Today is National Pumpkin Day! This is a holiday I need to put on my calendar to celebrate every year. I’m always ready to whip up some pumpkin treats and in fact, just bought a pack of three 30-ounce cans of pumpkin puree from Costco! What do you make when you have just a little pumpkin puree left over from a recipe though?
Here’s my solution. I like to bake Apolinaras his favorite oatmeal raisin bars! I call these bars and not cookies because they’re low in sugar and fat and packed with oats and whole wheat flour. The pumpkin puree is a substitute for butter, much like applesauce is regularly used in baked goods. You can’t really taste it, but it does make the bars nice and moist.
Apolinaras’ Favorite Oatmeal Bars
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
Heat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Mix in pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract; stir in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until soft dough forms. Stir in oats and raisins. Spread dough evenly in a greased 8×8-inch square pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350˚F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.
Nutrition: 138 calories, 4.0g fat, 2.4g fiber, 3.0g protein per bar
Cost: $0.25 per bar