With oats and protein powder as the base, these pumpkin protein bars are gluten-free and if you use a vegan protein powder they’re vegan as well. They have a nice pumpkin pie flavor, a hint of sweetness and a good protein to carb ratio — perfect for munching on before or after your workout. Or as a grab-and-go breakfast bar.
We’re home! Isaac and I were pretty sad to leave Aruba yesterday but there’s something to be said about coming home and sleeping in your own bed… and seeing your fur babies. We missed Olive something fierce. But goodness, it is freakin’ COLD here in Richmond. I’m literally wearing a parka as I type this! A few folks have already asked if I’m going to do a recap of our trip to Aruba and the answer is a definite yes. I’m just waiting for a few photos from my brother-in-law. He is a photographer and has GoPro so I let him take a lot of the photos. 🙂
In the meantime, I have another pumpkin recipe for ya. Perhaps the last one for this year… unless I get a wild hair and decide to try my hand at making a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Probably not likely because every time I make pumpkin pie it cracks and isn’t pretty enough to post. We shall see.
I have a few recipes I go back to often but as a food blogger (and lover of trying new things) I often find myself creating a recipe, making it a handful of times and moving on. It’s on a random day when I’m cleaning up my recipe index or looking through old blog posts for a specific reason when I stumble upon an old recipe and remember how delicious it was. I decide to make it again and most of the time it’s just as good as I remembered, but sometimes I feel like it needs a little tweaking. These vegan Pumpkin Protein Bars are a good example. I made a batch a couple weekends ago because I knew I’d be traveling and they make a great protein-filled travel snack. Plus, the photos needed an upgrade.
While the bars tasted just fine they turned out a light shade of green because I used a Designer Protein Sunshine protein powder made with sunflower seeds. I actually really like the protein powder but sunflower seeds have chlorophyll within them and when combined with baking soda and heated it releases and turns whatever you’re making green. This has happened to me before (but I had forgotten about it). I wasn’t alarmed about the color, but I really didn’t want green pumpkin bars for the new photos. Green pumpkin bars are kind like green ketchup. It’s just not right.
Since I was determined to get new photos I decided I needed to make another batch of the bars and this time I decided to tweak them a bit. The result was this recipe, which I like even better than the original because they’re not as moist (I had some readers comment that the other bars were very wet and my first batch was really moist and almost gummy). I also maple syrup instead of molasses and cut down the amount a little so the bars have less sugar and still taste just as good.
Oh, and I put a few diary-free dark chocolate chips on top of the bars because they’re cute and chocolate makes everything better.
With oats and protein powder as the base, these bars are gluten-free and if you use a vegan protein powder they’re vegan as well. They have a nice pumpkin pie flavor, a hint of sweetness and a good protein to carb ratio — perfect for munching on before or after your workout. Or as a grab-and-go breakfast bar. Hope you love this new version as much as I do.
Pumpkin Protein Bars (Vegan + Gluten Free)
- 1 cup rolled or quick oats (certified gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 8X8 glass Pyrex dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
- Stir together the dry ingredients including oats, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients including the maple syrup, pumpkin and almond milk.
- Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Spread batter evenly into the prepared dish, sprinkle on a few dark chocolate chips and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean.
If you try the bars I’d love for you to leave a comment letting me know how you liked them and/or share a photo on social media. Reading your comments or social posts make my day. Just be sure to tag @eatingbirdfood so that I see it.
Question to all my blogger friends — how often do you go back and make old recipes? Do you ever tweak the recipe and repost?