One of my favorite things to do with the girls is bake. Whether an after-school activity or a Sunday morning session, I truly love baking with them. Luckily, they love it too. We practice math, we practice focus, we practice flavor combinations, you name it. And I never take it too seriously because if our experiment comes out awful, then so be it. And if we make a mess, we clean it. I let my OCD around the messes go a long time ago and it has made for a much more pleasurable experience. Now, all I do is make sure we have fun….and let them lick the bowl. That’s it.
These Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Squares are one of our experiments. I was planning to make pumpkin banana bars and Audrey decided we should skip the banana and add chocolate. Sounded good to me! So we went for it and voila, it was delicious and has now become a regular favorite of ours. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
These Squares are:
- Easy enough for kids to make
- Require only 1 bowl
- Soft enough for babies
- Healthy enough for breakfast
- Loaded with fiber
- Perfect for lunch boxes
- Filled with vitamin rich pumpkin
- Adaptable to taste and preference
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or dairy/nondairy milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper*, leaving enough paper to hang over all four edges. This will allow you to easily lift the bars out of the pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the puree, oil, maple syrup, flaxmeal, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together until well combined. Stir in the oats and chocolate. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Holding the edges of the parchment paper, gently lift the bars out of the pan. Let cool and cut into squares.
- * If you don’t have parchment paper just lightly coat cake pan with oil or cooking spray. Allow to cool in pan before cutting into bars.