One of my favorite “holiday” recipes (who are we kidding… I make these year round) is Taralynn McNitt’s pumpkin bars. They have not failed me yet, and trust me, I’ve made them QUITE a few times! This time, though, I decided to change it up a bit and add my own little flair to it, and I love how they turned out. Most of the ingredients and the steps to make the bars are the same as the original recipe, but below is my version of it. I hope you enjoy!
Protein Pumpkin Bars
Ingredients for bars:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup protein of your choice (I used Perfect Fit protein)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon (or more…)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup non fat vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tsp olive oil
1 can pumpkin
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 cup agave
Stevia to taste
Ingredients for frosting:
2 Tbsp coconut flour
5 oz nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
3/4 cup fat free cream cheese
1 tsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Some unsweetened coconut and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and mix. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring as you go (this is easiest when using a stand up mixer! If not, add and stir in increments). Once the batter is smooth, add the additional sweetener if needed (yes… this is when you try the batter!)
Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan and spread it with a spatula until smooth. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the bars are baking, mix together the ingredients for the frosting and place the mixture in the fridge to chill. Make sure the frosting fits your sweet tooth by adding a little bit of Stevia, if desired. I didn’t add any and loved it!
Now comes the difficult part… Let the pumpkin bars cool completely before frosting them! Resist the urge to eat them directly out of the pan, and instead enjoy the delicious smell of fresh pumpkin bars and sit back and relax while it cools down.
Once cool enough, cover the bars in frosting and voila! Delicious, protein packed pumpkin bars that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling guilty. I sprinkled some unsweetened coconut and pumpkin pie spice for aesthetics (and for that delicious coconut taste that I love!).
Cut the bars into small pieces (I always end up with about 24-30 bars, depending on how I divide the pan) and try not to eat too many in one sitting!
On a side note… these bars go PERFECTLY with a fresh cup of coffee!