I have some sad news to break to you about Seattle weather in combination with Daylight Savings Time: the sun starts to set at 2:30… and the winter has only just begun. This wouldn't be a huge issue if I wasn't such a foodie and a food blogger. My kitchen starts up around 6pm every night, oh you know, about 2 hours after it has gotten dark here. And that's on a sunny day. Days when it's cloudy and grey, it starts getting darker a lot sooner. Being that my blog is dependent on photos, it hard to take pictures in my florescent kitchen. Or at 3 o'clock when the sun is setting on a cloudy day. Or when I have to reheat and photograph my food the next day (it's never as pretty). So please, hold steady with my during the long Seattle winter. I will try my best to photograph is decent light or I may have to build a lightbox. Who knows. Either way, I will still keep cooking.
But, what bothers me the most about this weather is my eating schedule is all out of whack. I wake up and eat my oatmeal and coffee… this is good. Then I eat some lunch around 1 or 2 pm - pretty normal for me. But when the sun starts setting, the stomach in my brain starts screaming "whaaa? DINNER TIME!" and I am suddenly overcome with the urge to make myself a nice dinner and pour myself a glass of wine… at 4 o'clock. I swear, I don't have a problem… but I have the willpower to resist until at least 6 o'clock because I am a respectable lady.
Regardless of my complaints, here is a recipe for pumpkin granola bars. More pumpkin? I know, trust me. The interwebs are full of pumpkin themed foods right now, but I swear this one is worth your time. I may be a little bit biased, as I love pumpkin (I have bags of frozen puree in my freezer) and homemade granola bars. But oh boy, these were so good. They are moist but still have a nice firm texture… and the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate compliments the smooth texture of the pumpkin. My favorite part? These aren't sweet. The honey and applesauce are nice because when I scarfed them down for breakfast in the morning, I didn't feel guilty about it! WIN!
NOTE: I doubled this recipe and make it in a 9x13 pan (trust me, these go fast)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Adapted from: Two Peas in a Pod
- 3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist, so make sure they are golden and set-you don’t want them to be under baked. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely.