pumpkin-spiced nut bars {gluten-free}

Well friends. We are fully immersed in the autumn season. 

Just the other day I stepped outside and the smell immediately took me back to Halloween as a kid. Dressed as Pippi Longstocking and walking down my neighborhood street in mismatched wool knee socks and wire in my braids.

The smell of fall. 

The crisp weather, colored leaves, football, apple cider… and lots of pumpkin things.

So, here is a pumpkin recipe. 

One with an uber healthy twist, no less.


Today, it’s all about these loaded granola bars. They have been pumped up with nuts and pumpkinness.

These are adapted from a recipe on www.nutritionstripped.com. It is a healthy food blog that I am a big fan of.


These bars take amaranth, a gluten-free “grain” (actually a seed), that is a protein power-house. I buy it at Whole Foods.  I have also used quinoa flakes as a substitute for the amaranth.  Both work great.

If you don’t have either, just double the oats in the recipe.  Or, I’m sure any kind of flour would do.  


I just add whatever nuts and grains that I have or want in the bars.  So, don’t want pumpkin seeds?  Hey, that’s totally cool.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to taste good.

And when I wrap these up…

It somehow all comes together.


pumpkin & nut bars {gluten-free}

adapted from nutritionstripped.com

  • 1 cup almonds, raw and unsalted
  • ½ cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts and/or walnuts
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (I buy Rob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup amaranth or quinoa flakes (available at Whole Foods) 
  • ¼ pumpkin puree, plain
  • ¼ cup grade A maple syrup
  • ¼ honey
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt, to taste


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- In a saucepan, bring maple syrup, honey, peanut butter and pumpkin puree to a simmer and immediately remove from heat.  stir until combined.

- in a medium bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.   You can mix up the nuts and use both sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.  I added both walnuts and peanuts.

- Pour the wet mixture over the nut mixture and mix until combined.  Add more oats or quinoa if the mixture seems too wet.

- Spray a square baking pan with nonstick spray and press the mixture into the pan and smooth the top and press it down evenly.

- Bake for about 20-30 minutes. Keep checking on it to make sure the nuts do not burn.

- Take out and let cool. I cool them in the freezer until firm.  Invert and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

BAKING TIP:  After I bake these, I put them in the freezer before I cut them so they keep their shape.  You can cut them into bars, or smaller squares.

Or, do you know what else you should do?

Just crumble up any broken pieces.

And by golly…

You have yourself some pretty darn good granola clusters.

Imperfections can lead to greatness.