Chewy pumpkin chocolate chip bars taste just like the holidays— made with pumpkin, chocolate chips, and the crunch of whole grains.
If there’s one reason I can pinpoint as to why eating healthy around the holidays is harder for me more than other time throughout the year it’s this: I’m busy. Yes, the occasional holiday party lends itself to feasting and drinking that can lead to weight gain. Thankfully I’ve found that most holiday parties we attend have both those sweet indulgences and healthier options for the health-conscious partygoer like me. The truth is the entire holiday season brings on a whole other element of busy that stresses me out—- starting way back in August. If you think I need to lay off the caffeine to handle my stress, well then you may be right. But the reality is between Christmas shopping, traveling to and from family celebrations, decorating [I know, big stressor], working, etc. etc., my diet tends to take a back seat. And I know I’m not alone in this.
As a result, I’m making it a point this holiday season to have healthier snacks on hand because between fighting the crowds at the mall and putting up Christmas tree lights, I’ll be doing more snacking than anything else. And besides, if you have small children, you know you’re snacking all day long with them regardless of it being the holiday season. I’ve created these chewy pumpkin chocolate chip bars to ensure that I’m fueled for whatever the holiday season may bring my way [and yours too]. Filled with holiday flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon, these bars smell like the season! And don’t worry about the added banana; you really cannot taste its flavor. It’s there for moistness and texture purposes.
If you’re like me and need a portable, whole grain snack to fuel that extra trip to Target or wrap presents late at night, these pumpkin chocolate chip bars are for you. They’re super kid-friendly too! Joey and Anthony might not understand why Mom pulls all-nighters from Thanksgiving through the New Year, but they certainly aren’t complaining when she’s making homemade snack bars that include chocolate chips. And they’re so easy for kids to eat because they are super chewy. There’s nothing better than a chewy bar or snack IMO. The chocolate chips sold me too…
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup apple chips
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Spread mixture evenly in pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- Cool for 10 minutes. Slice into 8-10 bars.