Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Scrumptious and easy pumpkin bars with an oatmeal crust

So it’s Easter, Passover, Earth Day – so many holidays to choose from, and I decide to make…pumpkin bars. What can I say, I’m visiting my mother and sister-in-law in Buffalo, NY and it’s cold and wintry and they had a can of pumpkin puree. It was a natural progression.

I actually had a good amount of help with this one – my sister-in-law and I were talking about desserts I could make “my way” (meaning obnoxiously healthy) and she got out a cookbook with some bars and suggested I could use pumpkin. And oats. And pecans. So, yeah, basically she invented this recipe and I’m taking all the credit. I did figure out how to make the stuff work without butter or gluten or sugar or condensed milk, so that’s something, right?

She also showed me their awesome little hand grinder, which we used to chop up the pecans for the crust – you just put whatever you are grinding in the top and crank it and it falls into the bottom. Eco friendly and a good arm workout!

Theseย pumpkin bars are pretty fun – they have a delicious chewy crust that still manages to hold together, and a subtle pumpkin flavor that’s not too sweet. (You could always add more sweetener or spices to make it a bit stronger if you like – the batter tastes similar to the final product so taste it and get it where you like it before you bake it)

They come together pretty quickly – just combine your oatmeal crust ingredients in a bowl until you get a nice dough:

Then spread it evenly out into a 9×13 pan:

Then mix up your pumpkin batter and spread it out in an even layer on top of the oatmeal – both of these come together very quickly, and you don’t need a mixer or anything.

Once that’s all spread out, just pop it into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until a fork comes out mostly clean when you stick it into the middle. You can then put the whole thing in the fridge for a few minutes to let it set and you’ll be good to go! These would be great topped with some chopped pecans (like the sweetened ones in my butter pecan recipe!) or coconut whipped cream – anyone else have any other ideas for toppings? These things feel like they could work with a lot of stuff!

What’s your favorite easy treat to whip up? Anyone have a recipe they invented with a friend or family member?

Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars

Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Low Fat, Soy Free
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins

Ingredients

For the oatmeal crust:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecans chopped very fine (you can run them through a blender or food processor if you like)
  • 1 c. Amaranth flour or Sorghum, or probably several other gluten free flours would work
  • 3/4 c. agave nectar this is more than I usually use, but this makes like 24 bars so per serving it's not too high
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt

For the pumpkin filling: (very lightly adapted from Pure2Raw)

  • 2 15 oz cans pureed pumpkin just plain, not pumpkin pie mix
  • 1/2 cup hemp or soy milk. I haven't tried it but I bet coconut milk would be awesome here also
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 heaping cup of arrowroot you could also use potato or corn starch. I mean it when I say heaping cup, it's probably closer to 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine all oatmeal ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread evenly into a greased 9x13 inch pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all pumpkin filling ingredients until smooth. Spread evenly over the oatmeal mixture in the pan.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a fork inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean and the whole thing seems solid but not too browned. Chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes or more (an hour is good, and they are even better the next day) and slice into 2 inch squares. Serve with coconut whipped cream, top with pecans, or sprinkle with some more cinnamon and nutmeg.

40 Comments

  • I love the idea of pumpkin as the filling … I’m finding it difficult to find canned pumpkin puree in Perth though. Do you have any tips for creating pumpkin puree from scratch?

    • Yeah, it’s actually really easy – take a good eating pumpkin, slice it in half, and put the halves face down on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about an hour (until the whole thing is really soft when you poke it)

      Then scoop out the seeds and stuff, and then scoop out the flesh and puree it in the food processor until smooth. Aside from the hour in the oven it is super fast & easy. Let me know if you try it!

      In my experience a pumpkin about 10 inches in diameter will usually get you around 15oz (but measure anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  • I keep canned pumpkin in the house all year long for just this type of thing–I love the combination of oatmeal and pumpkin in my breakfast bowl, and I bet these are just heavenly!

  • Those bars look amazing, and pumpkin is good any time of year! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I was wondering though, where did you get the hand grinder? And also, do you know if it would do coffee beans?

    • The hand grinder I pictured is really old so I don’t know where they got it, but I found this grinder on Amazon that looks pretty cool. It does coffee beans for sure, not sure if it does other things or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it works for nuts and things.

  • The pumpkin bars did come out very well ๐Ÿ™‚ Had also thought it could be done with Sweet Potatoes and a marshmallow middle with the granola type base – for anyone who has a problem with finding pumpkin or wanted to try something different ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now I did find a site that caries that same nut grinder tho I can’t vouch for the site as I’ve never used it.
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/69139163/vintage-federal-glass-grinder-white-hand

    Thanks Jess for all the great food made this week here in chilly western new york!! will be making much of it again :)) xx

  • CAUTION ON THE OATS!!

    make sure the oats are gluten-free!! If you buy any regular old oats they will have gluten in them because oats are harvested on wheat fields and there is cross contamination! This is very important if you have celiac disease or if you are allergic to gluten!!!!!!!

  • So we all agreed that this tastes like pumpkin pie on top of an oatmeal cookie. Um, yum?!?! This is so unique and SO delicious. Thanks so much, now we have another gluten free pumpkin pie option! I’ll be making this often.

  • Thank you – This is the kind of recipe I have been searching the web for – I don’t have those specialty flours though – Do you think I would use the same measurements for graham flour?? Is it okay to just skip the pecans? – nut allergy.
    Also, I will need to sub maple syrup for the agave. Can’t wait to try it.

  • I made these pumpkin bars for Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit with me and my boyfriend. We just recently had to go gluten/wheat/sugar free since I discovered those things trigger my migraines. These bars definitely hit the spot and didn’t make us feel disappointed we couldn’t eat pies that our other family members were eating.

    Thanks so much! keep blogging!

  • I have a grinder just like that from my mom! It’s at least as old as the 70’s. I’ve never seen them in stores. It’s too bad, they work really well and cut to just about the perfect size for a good morsel of nut. Maybe people think it’s redundant with food processors so common.

  • I made these last night and they were AWESOME! I used WW flour instead of amaranth, added an egg to the pumpkin mix, and a bit of allspice and cloves. I will be making this again for sure!

  • I made these yesterday for Mother’s day and I botched the recipes up by accidentally adding 1/2 cup arrowroot (whoops). It made it a bit too starchy. My mom tried it (I warned her about the extra starchiness) and she hated it! I guess she’s too used to super sugary pumpkin pie. I think for next time I will make sure the starch is right, add a bit brown sugar to help maintain the true taste of pumpkin pie, and I think it would be perfect. I loved the crust though!

    • Yeah, that’s a bit too much arrowroot ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with adding more sweetener, the recipe is definitely on the low end of sweet because I tend to prefer things that way, but a bit more would be great!

  • So I made these tonight – YUM! I made a few changes based on what I had on hand and it worked well so I wanted to share for other people’s reference.

    Crust: Instead of agave in the crust I put 1/2 cup maple syrup and about 1/4 cup of raw honey (I didn’t measure the honey, but it was close!) I also used walnuts instead of pecans (again, what I had on hand) and hazelnut flour/meal for the gluten free flour. Oh, I also used coconut butter melted in place of the oil.

    Filling: I used 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree and 1 cup homemade butternut puree. I also subbed brown sugar for the agave (I’m out of agave right now!). I had coconut milk for the milk, added about 1 Tablespoon of creamy goat cheese (because I love it, and because I needed to use it up, and to add some moisture since I took out the agave – obviously not vegan, so don’t sub this if you’re vegan). i also added pumpkin pie spice instead of the spice combo mentioned here, and had cornstarch for the starch part….

    Whew, I didn’t realize how much I changed. Jessica, I LOVE what I’m seeing on your blog – don’t take the changes personally I’m a flexible cook especially when I’m determined to make something that looks delicious and don’t have everything I need on hand! ๐Ÿ™‚ I learned it from my Mom! I’m not Vegan, but we are dairy-free, gluten-free and for now peanut, tree nut, and egg-free (our son has to be tested soon – he’s only 1 so he won’t be eating this either way!), so these recipes fit us nicely!

  • Sweet potatoes and marshmallows is genius!!!

    All I would have to do is make the refined sugar free marshmallows I pinned … Sounds like an amazon thanksgiving dessert!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.