These healthy pumpkin bars with chocolate chips are made with whole wheat pastry flour and less oil than traditional pumpkin bars! You’ll love the combo of pumpkin and chocolate.
Everywhere you look there’s something pumpkin flavored this time of year. I’m a pumpkin lover so this works in my favor. Naturally I take advantage of the season by indulging in all things pumpkin (have you tried my pumpkin oatmeal cookies or vegan pumpkin muffins?) and last night I came up with another favorite recipe to add to my collection – pumpkin bars with chocolate chunks!
If you only make one pumpkin-flavored thing this fall, these chocolate chip pumpkin bars should definitely be it. They’re like pumpkin bread but in bar form. They have the perfect amount of spice and the dark chocolate adds a rich sweetness to each bite.
Seriously, they are so good! I literally couldn’t keep my hands off them and ate one with every meal on Friday, including breakfast. Luckily I took most of them to Isaac’s parents’ house for dessert on Friday night so they won’t be sitting around tempting me anymore.
Are Pumpkin Bars Healthy?
Not only is pumpkin high in fiber and vitamins but I only used one Tablespoon of oil and substituted natural apple sauce and plain Greek yogurt for the rest of the fat. I also used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour and dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Gotta love getting your antioxidants in the form of dark chocolate!
Indulging in these bars isn’t so bad because they really are healthy pumpkin bars!
Ingredients in Healthy Pumpkin Bars
whole wheat pastry flour – if you need this recipe to be gluten-free, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour.
coconut sugar – I love using coconut sugar because it’s a natural sugar with a bit more nutrition but brown sugar works too.
unsweetened applesauce – I like using unsweetened applesauce to keep baked goods moist without using oil. You can make your own applesauce or use store-bought, just be sure to grab unsweetened to avoid added sugars!
coconut oil – this adds healthy fat and helps bind the bars together.
egg whites – adds protein and helps bind the bars together.
pumpkin puree – make sure you pick up canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. You can also make your own pumpkin puree!
dark chocolate chips – I like to use Lily’s chocolate chips because they’re sugar-free and low calorie, but you can use your favorite brand.
Why Use Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?
Whole wheat pastry flour is ground more finely than regular whole wheat flour so it makes lighter baked goods. It is also packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and is really easy to bake with. If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour at your local grocery store you can simply use all-purpose flour or a blend of 1 cup of whole wheat and 1 cup of all-purpose. It might change the consistency of the bars a little bit, but I think it should work fine.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
Start by mixing your dry ingredients together: the whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
In a separate large bowl, mix your wet ingredients: applesauce, yogurt, coconut oil, egg whites, vanilla and coconut sugar. Then, stir in the pumpkin puree.
Slowly add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and mix well until everything is combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour dough into a greased baking dish and top with additional chocolate chips.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the bars cool completely – patience is key! – then cut and enjoy!