I had to commence the first week of fall with something equivalent to fuzzy slippers, pumpkin spice lattes, and tartan plaid couch throws. If you are experiencing a break from the summer heat, I envy you. Here in Florida we won’t see true autumn temperatures till the end of October, if we’re lucky.
Regardless of current weather, fall is my favorite season, and I’m pretty sure fall foods are my favorite too.
This Butternut Squash Pesto Pizza is just one example.
Gingerbread is another fall flavor I just love. You might reserve gingerbread for Christmas time, but when you think about it, it should really make its entrance now, with all of its warm spices and molasses, why on earth not?
But if we start eating all the holiday cookies and breads in September, we’ll be 30 pounds heavier come January. So instead, you should totally make these healthy granola bars. They have that punch of gingerbread yumminess, without the white flour or refined sugar. These are awesome with coffee at breakfast time or as a snack.
Gingerbread Granola Bars
Chewy, soft and full of autumn goodness. Vegan, Gluten-Free.
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free oats for gluten allergies)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (4 oz)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons molasses (black strap is okay)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9 or 8x8 inch baking dish with non stick spray and line with parchment paper, then spray the parchment and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, pecans, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda.
In a small bowl, stir together the applesauce, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla extract.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.
Transfer the sticky mixture to the parchment lined baking dish, pressing down firmly and spreading evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from oven.
Allow the bars to cool for 30 minutes and then score into 9 bars, but do not fully cut.
Cool the bars completely (you can lift the parchment slightly to see if they are still warm on the bottom). Then remove the bars from the pan by lifting up on the parchment paper. Cut the bars all the way through.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe adapted from Clean Eating Made Simple