Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for “on the go” on those chilly fall days.
I dream about my Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars every time I gobble the last one up from the batch. So soft, moist, wholesome, and chock-full of banana and peanut butter flavor. The chocolate chips are dreamy too.
I’ve had an itch to remake the bars with a little fall-ish makeover. Sub some pumpkin for the bananas, some molasses for the peanut butter, and fill them with pumpkin spice and everything nice. Love love love.
I’m in a pumpkin-state-of-mind these days and there’s no turning back.
Until, of course, it’s time to roll out the green & red Christmas sprinkles.
Pumpkin-chocolate-oatmeal was my regular breakfast some years ago. A sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of cocoa powder, a spoonful of honey, a smothering of pure pumpkin, and chewy, buttery oats were the start of my fall days.
It’s been a few years since I made my pumpkiny oats, but the taste and texture comes to my mind whenever the air begins to cool. Pumpkin and oats go hand-in-hand for me, so I knew this recipe would turn out perfectly. Plus, there’s chocolate.
The pumpkin leaves these bars soft and moist, exactly like my original recipe with bananas. The oats give each bite a chewy texture. I use old-fashioned whole rolled oats in my recipe, not quick oats. Quick oats are finely ground up whole oats, and would leave these bars with little texture. I typically never use quick oats in my recipes. I’m not a fan!
The molasses & brown sugar blend give the bars a rich sweetness and depth of flavor. You could use any type of molasses in these, just go by your taste preference. I used dark molasses, which is less sweet than light molasses but slightly sweeter and easier to handle than black-strap molasses.
I also didn’t use too many chocolate chips in these. I opted for mini chips and only used 1/2 cup. I didn’t want the chocolate to overpower the pumpkin.
The bars are dense, but not heavy. They’re low in fat, but NOT in flavor. I love that I didn’t have to clog these bars with any extra fats like oil or butter. There was simply no need for it! Healthy AND tasty recipes do exist.
Perfect as quick pre-workout fuel or a wholesome mid-afternoon snack.
Serving suggestion: warm up in the microwave for 15 seconds. Eat. Grab a napkin. (I was left with melty chocolate on my face and pumpkin on my fingers.)
1 bowl. 1 pan. Easy clean-up. 20 minutes. Healthy. Low-fat. Quick. Chocolate.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days. Vegan option listed in the notes.
Yield: 16 bars
- 2.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick oats)
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp nutmeg + 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup pure pumpkin
- 1/2 cup almond milk (regular or soy milk would be fine)
- 1 large egg (or vegan option, below)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the vanilla, pumpkin, milk, egg, and molasses. Mix together until evenly combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Do NOT overmix.
Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 20 minutes-30 minutes, or until baked through in the center. Allow to cool and cut into bars. Bars stay fresh for up to one week in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
To make vegan: These bars can easily be made vegan by ensuring your chocolate chips are dairy free and using a “flax egg” instead of a regular egg. Flax egg = mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes while it “gels” up. Use the "flax gel" as a replacement for the egg.
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