Pumpkin-Pecan Oat Bars [Vegan + GF-Friendly]

I absolutely adore oats! They’re incredibly versatile and need very little ingredients added to them in order to make a hearty and healthy breakfast or snack. Baked oat bars are one of my favorite things to make because usually, I throw together a variable of 4-6 ingredients that I have laying around my kitchen and bake them up for 20 minutes for a nutrish and satisfying treat!

I recently made these for my boyfriend, Steve, for the first time as well as his family. Steve liked that they were not overly sweet and were filling, but didn’t make you feel heavy afterwards.

Funny story, my initial oat bar idea was inspired by my adorable bunny, Zuko. For his birthday, I combined oats and banana and baked it in the oven for him. He loved it, but of course, I tried a piece and also found it quite enjoyable. So I began playing around with the recipe and evolved them into first blueberry-lemon bars and then wanted to make a fall-friendly option.

Naturally, pumpkin became the star ingredient and replaced banana, which is my usual binder for these bars. Another great option would be apple sauce for a cinnamon-apple bar, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with these bars first and eventually, I’ll publish my other breakfast oat bar ideas!

The great thing about these bars (and most of my recipes) is that you can add ingredients or change them up. Feel free to use different nuts or add pepitas or dates — whatever floats your boat!

Also, I will warn you, I don’t overly sweeten my recipes so you may want to add more maple syrup or perhaps brown or coconut sugar. A little vanilla or maple extract might also sweeten the deal without adding extra sugar.

If you try this recipe out or make it your own, I would love to hear what you come up with! Leave your suggestions/ideas in the comments!

Pumpkin-Pecan Oat Bars

Ingredients:

For ingredient suggestions and a shopping list visit my Amazon idea page for this recipe.

Makes 4 bars or 8 squares (if using mini loaf pans)

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 4 mini loaf pans, or a muffin pan, or any other type of pan. I used mini loaf pans because they come out perfectly sized. Note: You won’t be filling them to the top! That would probably add baking time and it would be quite dense!
  2. Place oats in a large bowl. Add pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well.
  3. Add pumpkin and maple syrup. Stir well.
  4. Add in chopped nuts and any other add-ins you might want. I thought about adding pepitas, but I didn’t want it be too complex or crunchy.
  5. Divide mixture evenly among greased pans. I placed about 1/2 cup in each mini loaf pan.
  6. Press mixture down and smooth with the back of a spoon or spatula into a flat and even bar inside the pans.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. They’re ready when the bars start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Let cool for a couple of minutes and simply turn over onto a plate for easy removal. The bars will easily fall out without any effort. Enjoy as a breakfast bar, in between meal snack, or a healthy dessert! 
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Author

  • Sandy Lo

    Sandy Lo’s personal story is inspiring. She started, StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Recently, she has been seeing some tremendous momentum in book sales on Kindle. She has been included on the “50 Writers You Should Be Reading” list by The Authors Show, and “Dream Catchers”, “Breaking The Moon” and “Indigo Waters” reached the Top 100 Best Selling Coming of Age novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store. What makes this even more unique, is that Sandy relocated from NY to Nashville in order to write “The Watch Dog,” which is set in a fictional town outside of Music City. “The Watch Dog” reached the Top 10 Ghost Stories on Amazon. Aside from her writing projects, Sandy is also a freelance digital strategist.