Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars and a Swim Workout

Here it is, my last pumpkin recipe from my break at home! I went over to a friend’s house for dinner, and I wanted to bring a sweet treat to share, but her kids are allergic to wheat, nuts, dairy, and about a million other things. I love these Peanut Butter Granola Bars, but the peanut butter in these was a no-go, so I adapted them to be pumpkin flavored and nut-free! I also tried to make a pumpkin version of these Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars, but the pumpkin soaked into the crisp rice cereal and made them all soggy and not at all crispy. Sad day. However, for these granola bars, I found a solution to that problem! Oil is water-repellent, so I figured if I coated the crisp rice with cereal before pouring the pumpkin mixture over it, it would shield the cereal from becoming too soggy. It worked! It does make these bars a little more fattening, it’s true, but at least they have a crisp to them!

I really enjoyed these bars, since I love pumpkin flavor. I also added some nice spices to add a little kick to the flavor. You can amp up the spices even more if you wish. My friend asked for the recipe, and when I went back to visit a few days later, she had already made another batch of these. These were a huge hit with her children, and best of all, they were able to eat them! These are a perfect fall snack, or even dessert.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

Makes 10 bars

Ingredients

1 tbsp flax meal

3 tbsp warm water

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup crisp rice cereal

3/4-1 cup total mix-ins (I used golden raisins)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey (or agave or maple syrup)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.

Pour the warm water over the flax meal in a small dish and allow to sit while you make the other ingredients. You can also just replace this with a regular egg, but this is a vegan flax egg.

In a large bowl, toss together the oats, cereal, mix-ins, baking soda, and salt.

In a small saucepan, mix together the honey and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. As soon as it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the flax egg, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices. Set aside to cool for a minute or so. Pour the vegetable oil over the dry ingredients and stir to coat all the dry ingredients with the oil. The oil is what keeps the water from the pumpkin from soaking into the crisp rice cereal and making it soggy. Once the cereal is thoroughly coated, pour the wet ingredients over the dry. Thoroughly mix everything together, then press firmly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the bars begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. Bake for longer if you want crunchy bars rather than chewy bars. Allow to cool completely, and I would recommend chilling for about an hour, before cutting the bars. Enjoy!

Print

DSCN1062

I love pumpkin, and I love granola bars, so this is a wonderful combination for the fall!

As for the swim set I did today, it was my first Threshold Thursday for a while. I have a love-hate relationship with threshold swim workouts, since they’re always a challenging workout, but I always feel very accomplished afterwards. Today was a little different from my usual threshold sets, since I mixed up some threshold free with some non-free stuff. The main set was long, but had enough breaks so it didn’t feel too terrible. Overall, a good swim!

Threshold Thursday

200 free, 200 non-free, 100 free, 100 non-free

4×10 @1:30 descend 1-4

6×75 @1:20 fly/back/breast by 25

8×50 @1:00 2x(easy, sprint first 15m, sprint middle 15m, sprint last 15m)

50 easy

Main Set: 6 rounds of 5×100

1) 4 threshold free @threshold interval, 1 easy @2:00

2) 4 fly/free by 25 @threshold interval +10, 1 easy @2:00

3) 4 threshold free @threshold interval, 1 easy @2:00

4) 4 threshold free, 3rd lap breast @threshold interval +10, 1 easy @2:00

5) 4 threshold free @threshold interval, 1 easy @2:00

6) 4 IM @threshold interval +15, 1 easy @2:00

200 easy choice

Total: 5100 yards

Time: 1 hr, 25 min

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