Sometimes people will ask, “where do you get recipe inspiration?”
To be honest, it comes from a variety of places. I’ll see recipes online that I want to vegan-ize, or I’ll brainstorm some nostalgic childhood classics in a plant-based way. Even eating at restaurants can spark new ideas. Fellow foodies know where I’m coming from. 🤭
I’d have to say the easiest source of inspiration is…the grocery store!
While I obviously love Trader Joe’s, it is easy to get carried away in their prepared snack section. Especially at this time of year — pumpkin mania.
While I was immediately tempted when I saw these chocolate-y oat bites, I knew their nutritional profile would be less than stellar. While this kind of eating OK every now and then, I thought it would be a fun challenge to attempt a recipe at home, with whole food ingredients!
If you’re not a chocolate fan, feel free to leave off the topping. Raisins would be a fun mix in to add some additional sweetness I bet!
I prefer large, chunky clusters of granola so I prefer to not stir on the pan at all during the cooking process.
I kept this recipe oil free and pretty low sugar, but you can add those ingredients to suit your taste preferences. It’s a pretty forgiving mix!
With the chocolate topping, this is snack is a little more indulgent than normal granola, but who cares! I do hope you get into the autumn spirit and give it a try. Did you know that pumpkin seeds rock 12 grams of protein per cup? Talk about plant power!
- 3 cups rolled outs, gluten-free if necessary
- 1 cup chopped nuts (a mix of walnuts, pecans, or almonds)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 - 3 TBS sugar, depending on your sweet tooth
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ cup applesauce
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 - 6 TBS maple syrup, again depending on your preferences
- For topping: ¾ cup vegan chocolate chips + 1 TBS coconut oil, melted in microwave and combined
- Additional pumpkin seeds for topping, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix oats, nuts, seeds, sugar, salt, and pumpkin spice. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, pumpkin puree and maple syrup, stirring until completely incorporated.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry, making to sure coat evenly.
- On a silicone mat-lined baking sheet, spread the granola in a thin but consistent layer. Pat it down a little with your spatula to insure even sides.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotate pan in oven, and bake for another 5 - 10 (watching to insure it doesn't burn). While this is baking feel free to whip up your chocolate topping, if using.
- Remove granola from oven and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Once cool, spread with melted chocolate mixture, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds, and let set in the freezer for about one hour. Remove from freezer and slice into whatever shapes you'd like!