The Monday Make: Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars (vegan and gluten free)

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Well happy Canadian Thanksgiving this second Monday in October!

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I’ve been working hard this past week making the garden more aesthetic.  Wayne loved it when he first built the garden and it behaved so well inside those walls.  He much prefers container gardening or contained gardens as opposed to squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cukes curling through the fence line and beyond.

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We’re almost at the end of the harvest but not quite there yet, thanks to this gorgeous weather we’ve been having.  I still have a good number of carrots and eggplant growing.  And I’m delighted to say this has been a hugely successful year for my peppers.  I’ve NEVER been able to grow peppers so it’s been quite exciting to see mammoth ones ready for the picking.  Because I’m not a big fan of green peppers, I’ve been patient enough to wait for them to turn red.

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I finally pulled out all the cucumber plants even though they were still producing.  I was beginning to think along the same lines as a friend of mine who, when I brought her yet another bag of cucumbers from her garden plot, exclaimed, “if I see another cucumber……!!!!”  So I’m thinking I may need to pickle again this week.

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I thought I’d pass along an autumn treat for your harvest celebrations and one we all agree needs to be doubled, tripled, quadrupled since they’re so good you’ll find yourself sneaking another and another.

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These vegan and gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip oat bar recipe came to me via a good friend, who found it online at lifeonlybetter.com

ENJOY!

Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars:

Prep:10 mins

Cook time:  20 mins

Serves: 16

3 C gluten free oats

2 tsp aluminum free baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1 C canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 C dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil

1/3 C vegan chocolate chips, plus 2 Tbsp for sprinkling on top

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray 8×11 or 9 inch pan with nostick spray.

Make oat flour:  place oatmeal in blender or processor and blend for 1-2 mins until oatmeal resembles flour.  You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.

Measure out just 2 1/2 C of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl.  Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 mins until the consistency is smooth and creamy.  Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Gently fold in 1/3 C of chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp of chocolate chips on top.  Bake for 15-25 mins or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.  Timing will depend on what size pan you use.  Once finished baking, cool 10 mins on wire rack. Cut into 16 slices.

*Bars can be frozen.  Simply bake, cool, cut; store in Ziplock bags.  Reheat individually for 30 seconds in microwave.

2 thoughts on “The Monday Make: Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars (vegan and gluten free)

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