I miss little-kid Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t life be so much more fun if we all walked around with huge bags of Valentine’s that we got to pick out from the store or make ourselves? I used to love picking out a box of Valentine’s-whether I wanted to give out Tweety Bird or Spiderman or Strawberry Shortcake. I also loved the somewhat menial and repetitive task of sitting down at my kitchen table and sticking all of the lollipop sticks into the tiny holes of the Valentine’s.
My other favorite part of the day was that when we woke up, my parents would always have a little heart-shaped box of chocolates sitting at me and my brother’s places at the breakfast table. Any holiday where I’m allowed to eat chocolate at breakfast is a good one in my book.
Well today, since I’m far away from home and have a nearly impossible chance of stumbling upon a box of chocolates at breakfast, I decided to make a dessert for my roommates and I that uses another ingredient that I love a lot. Any guesses?
Sweet potatoes? No. Greek Yogurt? No. Chocolate? No.
Alright, I’ll just tell you. I made PUMPKIN BARS! Yes, I know, most people find pumpkin “seasonally inappropriate” right now or something ridiculous like that, but I find pumpkin relevant year-round. I love pumpkin so much that it seemed like the natural thing to do to whip up some pumpkin bars when I got home from class.
Some disclaimers: I’ve never made up my own bar recipe before, so I basically just compiled every ingredient that I could think of that would taste delicious in a bar and threw them all together (not literally of course). Also, I’m going to warn you that I’ve got a new addiction to puffed Kamut cereal so you might be seeing it in a few recipe posts coming up! But other than that, these bars are the perfect thing to eat on Valentine’s Day – or any day for that matter.
So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy your day and get to spend it with people you love! I also hope you fall in love with these bars today – I sure have!
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon earth balance
1 teaspoon almond milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup carob chips
2 1/2 cups puffed kamut cereal
1/2 cup oats
1. In a small pot, heat almond butter-molasses at medium-low on the stove top. Stir and make sure that all ingredients mix and do not burn on the pot.
2. Meanwhile, combine all of the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until they are evenly distributed and thoroughly mixed. Once the mixture on the stove top is melted, take it off of the heat and pour into the large mixing bowl.
3. Mix the two sets of ingredients and then press the mixture into a greased 8×13 casserole pan. Let the bars cool. If desired, put the pan in the freezer or fridge to help them firm up faster. Lastly, cut and enjoy!