Pumpkin Bars


                Pumpkin Bars with Kids In The Kitchen

Our family loves pumpkin bars, apple bars, banana bars, and zucchini bars.  We just call them Yummy Bars around here. 

Pumpkin Bars are one of my children’s favorite 3 pm snacks.  We also use them as a quick breakfast on days we have to leave the house early.  We also like to take them on trips in an air tight container when we travel away from home.

Here’s the scoop.  I had never had cake bars much growing up.  But my Amish friends in Indiana always had frosted zucchini bars on hand.  They had them for company.  They had them for a quick snack coming in out of the fields.  They had them for desert at supper too.  They gave plates of them away for new mother/baby gifts and they were almost always on hand for school lunch box treats too.  They were made from zucchini squash they grew in their garden.  They would grind or grate the squash with a hand grater and pack it into freezer containers.  Then all year long, they would make this yummy snack.  

I would spend two and three days a week at Amish homes, and this food quickly became a favorite food of mine too.  It was usually served with a glass of raw chocolate milk.  The raw milk came fresh everyday from their own farm or a neighboring Amish farm.  The chocolate syrup in the milk was made from scratch too.   

Now that I have children of my own, I see nothing could be easier than homemade snack bars to keep on hand to feed them fast when they are hungry for a snack.  I still make zucchini bars.  But I have to admit that pumpkin bars are our favorite.

Pumpkin bars are very nutritious.  I very seldom frost them, unless we are having company.  The best frosting is made with a little plain or vanilla kefir, or a bar of cream cheese, and organic powdered sugar.   Just beat together until the desired consistency is achieved.

This picture is a frosted carrot bar.  You can read that story here.  Frosted carrot bars and pumpkin bars look about the same.



But our children enjoy these delicious treats without frosting too.  Frosting adds a bunch of extra sugar.  Sometimes to make them extra special, I toss in a handful or two of chocolate chips into the batter, or put it on top after pouring into the pan. 

Pumpkin and chocolate.   Whoooooo, YUMMY!

We usually make them from scratch and they mix up very quickly in the mixer.  I have come up with my own healthier version of cake bars over the years from that are much better in nutrition from the Amish treats I used to receive.  Thanks to the Weston A Price Foundation, I have learned a lot of valuable information about using truly healthy ingredients in making the foods we enjoy. 

You can use any pumpkin bread recipe.  But I substitute the best quality nutrient dense ingredients I can find to make them.  Such as grass fed butter or coconut oil instead of vegetable oils.  Free range eggs.  Reduce the amount of sugar and substitute Sucanat sugar.   Making these small changes has greatly improved our health over the years.

Here is our usual recipe.  This is a family tradition and we all participate and there is a fun job for everyone.  Kids really have fun helping make nutritious foods in the kitchen.


PUMPKIN BARS

2 1/2 cup sucanat 
1 cup butter from grass fed cows
4 eggs from free range chickens
1 can organic pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all natural or organic unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder – aluminum free
2 tsp baking soda – aluminum free
1 tsp sea salt – celtic sea salt it the best!
1/2 tsp ground cloves- Simply Organic or Frontier brand
1 tsp ground nutmeg – Simply Organic or Frontier brand
1 tsp ground cinnamon – Simply Organic or Frontier brand


Cream the sucanat and butter together. 
Add pumpkin and eggs.
Mix the dry ingredients together, and then mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Mix for about two minutes until batter is smooth.

Then bake in two greased cake pans at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.   If baked on a cookie sheet they will come out even thinner, and it only takes about 20 to 25 minutes.  However, if you bake it like a bread in a bread pan, it will take about 60 minutes.    We can’t wait that long to enjoy them, so we love the cake pan bar method.

Frost them if you desire to.  You can find the cream cheese frosting recipe with the carrot bars here.

                But HOLD ON just a minute!

Today, the kids and I decided to try a Simply Organic baking mix we bought from Weiser Natural Foods.

We have added pumpkin to mixes before, and we especially like to add it to Dr. Oetker Vanilla Cake mix and to Gluten Free Pantry Angel Food Cake mix.  These pumpkin cakes are so delicious served warm with a side of warm pudding also made from the Dr. Oetker mixes.  Warm butterscotch pudding is the best!  If you are in a hurry for a delicious and nutritious desert for your family, give a pumpkin cake and warm pudding a try.



But today is about PUMPKIN BARS, not our favorite pumkin cake and pudding.

The children chose to make Pumpkin Bars with chocolate chips made with Simply Organic Carrot Cake Mix.  This mix is really nice.  You could substitute carrots, pumpkin, squash, apples, pears, or other fruits or vegetables too.  You can also make it as a spice cake.  Very simple to use.


Simple Pumpkin Bars!

1 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
Simply Organic Carrot Cake Mix
1 cup or more chocolate chips

Mix together and pour into greased 9 x 13 cake pan.  Add 1 to 1/2 cups chocolate chips on top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.



Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.   Enjoy warm or cold.

Store in an air tight container.  Refrigerate them if you are not going to use them up with in 24 hours.  But ours are always gone before then.

These freeze nicely too.



Pumpkin bars are awesome with a glass of raw milk, or a mug of hot chocolate.   Made with wholesome ingredients, it is a perfect, healthy swea
t snack for hungry kids.  Shhhhhh….adults love them too!

Try our hot chocolate recipe here


Don’t forget to enter our Simply Organic Giveaway.  Details of the giveaway are posted here.









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