Ben and I are thinking about vacationing somewhere fun between Christmas and New Years this year. Actually I should say “vacation” in quotes because taking a trip with small children is just watching them in a different place, but still. Change of scenery! No cooking and cleaning! Get me outta here!
That said, our first pick was Vail, CO because nothing says rest and relaxation like driving through the rockies during a winter snow storm in a minivan. Oh my gosh I am turning into such a crochety old woman. HA! Seriously though, we went to Vail for the first time back in 2016 when it was just Ben, Lincoln, and me (so weird to think back to when we only had one child – seems like someone else’s life!) and fell in LOVE. Such a magical place – feels like a little German village.
Anyway, do you know how much hotel rooms, condos, heck – subbasement rentals cost in Vail between Christmas and New Years? Let’s just say it’s OUT OF BUDGET. I mean, of course Vail is very chichi and that week is prime skiing time, but sometimes you pray you’ll get lucky. Guess I should plan a trip to Vegas for that!
I actually did hit the jackpot last week when I decided to give my uber popular Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Bars a fall spin and ended up with Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. Here’s what you need to know about these soft and dense oatmeal bars that make the perfect breakfast or snack: they’re healthy, easy to make, and taste like sweet, spiced pumpkin cake. We ate an entire pan in 24 hours. SO INTO IT!
We’ve finally gotten into a good rhythm with getting the boys up and ready in the morning and, long story short, Ben is in charge of breakfast…which commences at 6:45am. Woof. Even longer story short, nobody hates mornings more then Ben. NOBODY. That said, he really appreciates when I have breakfast bars sliced and waiting in the fridge so he can slap a couple onto plates then stand sleep while the boys have at ’em.
Now fall officially kicks off next weekend and, although it was a sweltering 90 degrees here today, these bars were a great way to kick off the new season. Syrup, spice, and everything nice!? Ahem. It’s definitely too hot for Easy Pumpkin Spice Lattes but it’s never the wrong time for these bars which you can prep on the weekend and enjoy all week long. They’re INSANE warm from the oven but again, keep perfectly in the fridge. You can even individually wrap the bars in saran wrap and freeze.
How to Make This Recipe:
This is a 1-bowl recipe so start by whisking up the wet ingredients in a large one. That includes pumpkin puree, an egg, milk (any kind – I use unsweetened almond milk,) coconut oil, vanilla, and pure maple syrup. None of that pancake syrup, ya’ hear?! I buy organic maple syrup at Costco and it’s just fab.
Next stir in the dry ingredients including gluten-free oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, chia seeds, and pumpkin pie spice.
I make oat flour from gluten-free oats in my food processor – just process for a minute or two until the oats are finely ground. If you already have oat flour on hand, you can use a scant cup in the recipe instead.
Pour the mixture into a nonstick sprayed 8×8 baking pan then bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark – if the edges are already turning golden brown, place a piece of foil on top which will allow the center to bake through before the sides brown too much.
As I mentioned, these bars are killerrrr warm but also keep super well in the fridge to slice and eat all week long. Hey, warm, cold – it doesn’t matter, you are going to LOVE these perfectly sweet and spiced pumpkin oatmeal bars! Enjoy!
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Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are a delectable gluten-free breakfast or snack recipe that's flavored with pumpkin pie spice and pure maple syrup. Healthy, easy, and delicious.
- 2-1/2 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided
- 1 cup milk, any kind (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8x8" baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Alternatively you could use a scant cup oat flour.)
- Add milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in chopped pecans then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark - if the edges are browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking pan. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.
- I recommend GF Harvest gluten-free oats >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.