If you are looking for a pumpkin treat to share for the holidays or to keep for yourself, this one is a keeper. I make these for my husband all of the time then I individually wrap and freeze them so he can grab for a snack on the go or enjoy after dinner. Whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, and canned pumpkin offer a healthier nutritional profile than typical bars. I use half cup oil and half cup of applesauce to ensure the bars are moist but contain less fat without compromising flavor.
2 cups whole-wheat flour (regular or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 T. pumpkin-pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T. ground flaxseed
1/2 cup organic coconut (or canola) oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup sugar (organic cane sugar, sucanat, or turbinado)
1 large organic egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease 9 x 13 inch baking pan with coconut oil.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, salt, and ground flaxseed; set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, applesauce, and sugar until smooth.
5. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
6. Beat in pumpkin puree.
7. Fold into dry ingredients until just combined.
8. Fold in chocolate chips.
9. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
10. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 – 40 minutes.
11. Let cool completely in pan.
12. Cut into 12 or 16 squares.
These are great to individually wrap and throw in the freezer.