Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bar (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Here's to my Vegan and Gluten Free friends!

This is a fabulous breakfast/snack bar!  It's full of the things we love: oatmeal, pumpkin puree, fall spices, chia seeds, walnuts and walnut oil.   It's simple, not too sweet, with loads of fiber and a dose of omega-3's.

pumpkin breakfast bars

I was looking around the internet for a healthier alternative to the average breakfast/snack bar.  While I found many, it seems that even the most popular 'vegan' cookies, did not look appealing nor were they utilizing the best healthy alternatives.  So, I took the best of what I found and changed the components to actually offer,well..... MORE! More flavor, more fiber, more omega 3's, more nutrients.

The changes I made to the Vegan recipe were :

~ I made them gluten free, substituting oat flour (or sorghum flour) for white all purpose flour

~ instead of a non dairy spread (which contains water) or vegetable oil, I used walnut oil. Walnut oil is packed with flavor, so if its too much for your taste you can use 1/2 walnut oil & 1/2 other oil.  ALSO, spectrum makes a filtered walnut oil, that has all the omega-3's of walnut oil,  but none of the walnut flavor.  Organic Coconut oil is also a good choice.

~ I added a Tablespoon of Chia seeds to my dry mixture, it adds omega-3's and fiber

~ for sweetener, I added 1 Tablespoon molasses, and used an organic raw sugar.. I like the large sugar crystals as they add crunch to the topping. Plus I wanted the filling to have more of a gingerbread note then just pumpkin.

This is a soft breakfast bar, more suited for coffee and tea, then backpacking.  I tested these out on my family, who in all honesty, are accustomed to all the butter and cream that usually is involved in my cooking life.  I knew they were a hit when I returned to the pan and half of them had been consumed!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Vegan too!) 

 1/2 cup filtered walnut oil (spectrum) OR 1/2 cup (1/4 cup canola oil &; 1/4 cupunfiltered walnut oil)
                                                           OR 1/2 cup filtered coconut oil, OR 1/2 cup earth balance, melted
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract 
1 cup GF oat Flour or Sorghum Flour
1 cup GF Rolled Oats
1/3 cup ground walnuts
1/2  raw sugar, or maple sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Chia seeds (optional) 
1 1/2 teaspoon Xantham Gum
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Pumpkin Filling
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/4 cup raw sugar or agave nectar
1 Tablespoon Molasses 
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest from one orange

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.

Generously oil 8x8 inch pan.

In a medium bowl combine oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, oat flour, oats, walnuts, sugar, chia seeds (if using), xantham gum, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.  Press HALF of mixture firmly to the bottom of the pan, and back for 10-12 minutes,  until it begins to brown.  

While the base is baking, combine the pumpkin filling ingredients in a bowl. Taste the filling, now is the time to adjust the flavors.. want more sugar? more ginger?  add a bit more now, but keep in mind the flavors will deepen as it bakes.

Once the base has browned, let cool for  5 minutes, then spread filling all over the top. Next sprinkle crumb topping over the filling.  At this point you can add an additional teaspoon of raw crunchy sugar, or a few more nuts. ( I always have to gild the lily so I added a little sugar on top).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, you want it to have some color.  Cool for 30 minutes, and cut into 16 pieces.  Enjoy!

The breakfast bars will remain soft and will keep for about 4-5 days.  Most of ours were eaten in one day, but I kept one, just to see how it would hold up.

Here's a great fall recipe from my archives:  Anasazi Bean and Pumpkin Stew (Vegan and GF)

Chef Deb

No comments: