Grab-n-go pumpkin and peanut butter granola bars

Today’s concoction is tasty, filling, AND better yet, will save you time and money on those running-late-Monday-morning-like work/school days. Make a batch of these incredibly simple vegan bars on Sunday night for a week full of easy mornings. This seasonal combo of flavors is the key to a productive morning buzz!

Grab-n-go Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Granola Bars
I think all the Kind bars I’ve been eating lately subconsciously inspired this one…
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Ingredients:
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
2 1/2 cups quick cook steel cut oats or rolled oats (I used the “cook in 5 minutes” steel cut ones but rolled oats would work great too. Not sure how regular steel cut ones would fare.)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

** Side note- you can substitute a different seed or chopped/ground nut (i.e. walnuts or almonds) for the pumpkin seeds or almond butter for peanut butter- whatever flavors you’d like to experiment with.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13 in baking pan. Combine peanut butter and agave nectar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture becomes smooth and a little runny when you pick up a spoonful. (It will probably take less than 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

P.S.- an easy way to get peanut butter out of a measuring cup is to rinse the cup with hot water without drying it before you put the peanut butter in. It will slip right out!
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In a separate bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Pour in the peanut butter/honey (or maple syrup) mixture and mix until everything sticks together (easiest way is to use your hands).
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I didn’t have this issue, but if your mixture is a little crumbly and not too sticky, add in some more heated peanut butter and that should do the trick.

Next, transfer everything to the baking pan, pressing hard on the mixture to ensure that it sticks together. I found it easiest to use my palms to press everything down rather than my sticky fingers.
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Pop in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Let cool for 20 minutes or so before slicing into bars. Store the cut pieces in plastic baggies or wax paper.

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Enjoy for quick breakfasts and snacks all week! So tasty.

Peace,

Lizzie

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