Halloween has become quite the special event around our house. The spooky holiday also just so happens to be little Miss G.’s birthday.
So as the jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins, brooms, spiders, bats and witch costumes begin to make their appearance around town it doesn’t take long for Grace to realise her birthday isn’t too far away.
I’ve really grown to love the ghoulish holiday too. It’s not only a fun chance to decorate the house, to rock some scary looking costumes and take the kids trick-or-treating but a wonderful opportunity to create new Halloween inspired recipes.
Today’s recipe testing made use of gorgeous pumpkins, which are in absolute abundance this time of year to create a delicious batch of pumpkin choc oat bars drizzled in dark chocolate.
These oaty bars couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Its just a matter of popping the ingredients into a food processor, blitzing and baking! The pumpkin scented bars are also studded with beautifully fragrant cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that echo the autumnal feel of halloween beautifully.
And I am proud to say these pumpkin choc oat bars are free of refined sugar, instead they are sweetened thanks to the delicious blend of mejool dates, maple syrup and of course the natural sweetness that comes from the gorgeous pumpkin. Our pumpkin was roasted the evening before – lovely leftovers destined for a salad that went uneaten. I would advise using roasted pumpkin rather than steamed as roasted pumpkin tends to be a whole lot sweeter and more intense in pumpkin flavour.
These bars do contain an egg. However, if your little one is allergic please feel free to replace the egg with one mashed banana. The banana will lend the bars the same binding qualities and yield very similar delicious results.
In terms of freezer friendliness, although I haven’t tested myself (our bars disappeared way too quickly) I imagine these bars would be fine to freeze. Simply wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months. Nestled in a lunch box, these bars wouldn’t take long at all to defrost.
To make your own batch of choc drizzled pumpkin choc oat bars simply…
Begin by preheating your oven to 170 degrees celsius (330 F) and line a 20cm x 20cm square tin with baking paper. Set aside.
Place the roasted (or steamed) pumpkin into the large bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely pureed.
Add the milk, dates, vanilla bean paste, maple syrup and egg and pulse until finely pureed.
Add the wholemeal flour, baking powder, desiccated coconut, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and pulse to combine.
Gently fold through the chocolate.
Evenly spread the choc studded dough into the prepared tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and set.
Place the remaining dark chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 15 second intervals (stirring in between) until melted.
Place the bars onto a wire rack and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Allow to set.
Cut into 16 squares and enjoy x
pumpkin choc oat bars
1 1/2 cups (340 grams) cooked (roasted or steamed) pumpkin
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
6 mejool dates, pitted
1/4 cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
1 egg (or 1 banana, mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups (225 grams) wholemeal (wholewheat) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (90 grams) oats
1 cup (80 grams) desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
3/4 cup (90 grams) dark chocolate chips (or chopped)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (330 F) and line a 20cm x 20cm tin with baking paper. Place the pumpkin into the large bowl of a food processor and blitz until finely pureed. Add the milk, dates, maple syrup, egg and vanilla bean paste and blitz until finely pureed. Add the flour, baking powder, oats, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and pulse to combine. Fold through 1/2 cup of the dark chocolate chips. Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and set. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and heat on high in 15 second intervals (stirring in between) until melted. Place the cooked bars onto a wire rack, drizzle with melted chocolate. Allow to set. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy.
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