Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

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Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for “on the go” on those chilly fall days.

Photos updated September 2015!

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.

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

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.

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

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.)

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

 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.

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk1
  • 1 large egg2
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly spray 8 x 8 square baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Make ahead tip: Bars stay fresh for up to one week in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Bars freeze well, up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Or any milk you prefer.
  2. You can choose to leave out the egg by 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. To make vegan, use this flax egg as well as dairy free milk and chocolate chips.

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Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for on the go!

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for on the go!

148 Comments

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    1. Hey Mindy! The pumpkin is listed under the milk! Sometimes my recipes get all messed up and out of order when I hit publish (darn technology!), but I just made sure that it is there right now!

  1. Pinning this recipe for sure! I’ve been craving pumpkin more than I’ve ever craved it before, and this looks like a great healthy way to satisfy my craving. I think I’ll try subbing the whole wheat flour with almond flour..hopefully it works out!

    1. Hey Meghan! Thanks for the pin. Let me know how the almond flour substitution tastes! I’m curious to try it. 🙂

  2. Eek! These look AWESOME. I love that your granola bars are so wholesome and yet, so delicious looking! They aren’t those stupid scrawny packaged ones that I need 800 of to even fill me up remotely. Plus, those stupid packaged ones don’t have amazing flavors like THIS. Holy pumpkin, girl! They look amazing!

    1. packaged granola bars are like candy bars and literally leave me hungry for more! no staying power at all.. you are so right!

  3. Sally they look amazing! I have a recipe that I worked on last week involving pumpkin, choc chips, brown sugar, molasses, 1 egg…girl. We should swap kitchens or have a real life cook-together meetup 🙂

    Pumpkin, choc chips, the fact that these are bars, only make 8×8, chewy, YES –all of it. Delicious!

    1. Oh my goodness, we really ARE on the same wavelength! can’t wait to see your pumpkin recipe. 🙂 If I get on the banana bandwagon, we’d be blog twins 😉

  4. I love using old fashioned oats in recipes. If you’re going to eat oats, you might as well eat the really healthy ones, right? These bars look awesome, packed with tons of yummy ingredients and flavors.

    1. I’d go nuts for anything you baked in the oatmeal-granola-healthy category Dorothy!I’m sure you’d come up with something fabulous over on crazy for crust :D!

  5. I made these this afternoon. Loved them! Fast and easy to make, nutritious, and crazy delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. EEK! Sally, you are amazing! You know I love pumpkin anything, and these? Look to.die.for. Seriously! I have been looking for a healthy snack I can take to the office during the week (I usually need something around 2:30 to perk me back up), and I can totally see THESE doing the trick. Love, love, LOVE!

    1. Thank you Ashley my dear! It’s funny that we both posted pumpkin recipes today. I feel that will happen a lot int he next few months. 🙂 These are a perfect snack.. I had one today after lunch. 🙂

  7. these look SO good and the PERFECT fall treat!! i love that it’s a granola/oatmeal bar..i can easily take this to work and nosh on it all morning…but who am i kidding? it’ll be gone in 2 bites 🙂

    1. I just had my last one yesterday and need to bake more because I KNOW I’ll be craving one sitting at my desk at the office! Thanks Julie 🙂

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