Yesterday we talked about pumpkin spice and how it isn’t fall without it. And how you could find everything from smoothies to coffee to ice cream in the sickeningly sweet fake flavor.

As a matter of fact, I get a little sick of how many commercial foods are advertised as “pumpkin spiced." They’re usually laced with sugar and chemicals and contain absolutely no pumpkin at all.

Enough with the pumpkin spice! Unless, of course, you’re putting it in a dessert that contains real pumpkin. And a healthy one, at that!

Every fall, I kick off the season with these healthy pumpkin bars. Unfortunately, we cannot eat dessert for every meal of the day. We can, however, make fun fall themed snacks that still feel like we are indulging.

Every year, I find that I buy pumpkin puree and then don’t end up using it till the last minute. This year, I decided to use it early and made myself delicious pumpkin oat bars!

All the items needed for this recipe are probably already in your kitchen, making this a fun and spontaneous activity.

To make the bars you need:

  • 1 can pumpkin puréed.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour of choice (I used oat)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • *optional 1 tbsp pumpkin butter*

You want to do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The first thing I did was blend up my rolled oats so that my flour differed in consistency.

I then combined it with cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.

Next I added the pumpkin puree as well as my egg and honey.

Once everything was combined I folded in the chocolate chips.

The best way to bake this batter is in a square baking pan so that you can make nice, evenly sized slices. I oiled up my pan and after pouring the batter, I topped it with a generous amount of cinnamon.

This will bake in the oven for about 30 minutes and you will know it’s done when the top begins to brown.

These bars are a great snack to keep around the house and a great taste of fall. Enjoy!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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