Pumpkin Granola Bars / by Chelsea Zwieg

"Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. Happiness and choosing joy.

There are so many little things in my life where joy resides, I just neglect to give them a voice. 

When I think of what I’m thankful for, my mind automatically jumps to the big things. Family, friends, a job, a home. But what about the little things? Things like fall starting on Tuesday. A new book to read. Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix. Perfectly blue skies that can only happen in autumn. Apple cider. A trip to Dallas. Popcorn with salt and lots of pepper. All of these little things are spilling joy into my life and I can’t overlook them.

Pumpkin granola bars are a little thing. They taste like fall, they remind me of being a little kid and they keep me from getting hangry in the morning at work. And yet, it's these little things that I'm so apt to overlook. But lately, I'm reminded to stop and notice the little places where joy is living, and for that I am so so thankful. 

Pumpkin Granola Bars 

Adapted from Fork Knife Swoon

Makes 12 bars 

Ingredients |

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • 1 cup nuts, roughly chopped (almonds, pecans or pistachios would work great)
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil  

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, stir together oats, coconut flakes, pepitas and nuts
  • In a separate bowl, wisk together brown sugar, pumpkin, honey, vanilla, coconut oil and pumpkin pie spice
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine
  • Pour the mixture into the pan and press into a flat, even layer with a spatula (or your fingers, I don’t judge)
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove the parchment from the pan and allow bars to cool completely before cutting