Pumpkin Granola Bars
By Jean McFadden Layton, ND
These fruit-filled treats, lightly sweetened and laced with orange rind and cinnamon, make a delicious dessert or afternoon treat. For a vegan version, just use soy flour instead of eggs and agave syrup instead of honey.
1 10 ounce can pumpkin puree or an equivalent amount of puree made from fresh pumpkin
2 eggs or 2 tablespoons soy flour as a vegan alternative
1/2 cup butter or organic soy margarine at room temperature
1/4 cup honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons molasses, preferably blackstrap
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup nuts, chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries or raisins
1/4 cup oat bran
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Blend the pumpkin, egg (or soy flour), butter, honey (or agave), and molasses in a mixing bowl or food processor. Add the oats, nuts, dried fruit, oat bran, cinnamon, and orange rind, and mix well. Spread this mixture into a lightly greased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, cut into 3-by-1 1/2-inch bars. For very crisp bars, remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.
Yield: about 30 bars