PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT BARS

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes 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.
  3. Measure out just 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and applesauce for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15-25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. After baking cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Notes: Bars can be frozen. Simply bake, cool, cut; store in ziploc bag. Reheat individually for 30 seconds in microwave.

*adapted from http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com

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