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Apr 6, 2009

Good for You Pumpkin Granola Bars

Pumpkin Granola Bars

I still have a red light on sugar. That does not mean I am using the artificial stuff! However I have decided to use honey in small amounts.

Also, can I mention Stevia again? If you use it, too, let me know how, okay?

What about Agave nectar? Anyone use that? Guitar Girl uses a bit of Agave nectar on her South Beach pancakes!

Several weeks ago, as an experiment, I stopped using sugar. This includes artificial sweetener which I only consumed in a Diet Pepsi! However I never shared exactly why I was giving up the sweet stuff.

For many, many years I have had migraines. If I don't use a prescription medication when I feel one coming on, it lasts for 3 days. There are different triggers for migraines and I was wondering if sugar might be one of mine. I was headache free for several weeks from the start of giving up sugar. However when the pollen count went way up, sinus headaches triggered migraines. So my results are mixed. However there are so many other great reasons to avoid sugar and at the very least, cut back on it, that I intend to find other ways to sweeten baked goods. After all, I don't need sugar in my tea or lemonade when I can use an herbal sweetener (stevia). So that only leaves baked goods in which to find a good substitute.

I have tried 3 recipes so far. I'll share the Pumpkin Granola Bar recipe today. And I already gave you my recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Muffins.

The other recipe I have made is a chocolate cookie that does not have flour or sugar. The recipe called for splenda, but I subbed stevia. I was happy enough with the results that I have made them several times.

Guitar Girl raved over the granola bars and said they were even better than the Kashi brand!
Here's the recipe: *

3/4 c canned pumpkin

1 egg

1/4 c butter - soft

1/4 c honey

2 cups rolled oats ( I used old fashioned.)

1/2 c chopped nuts ( I used walnuts.)

1/4 c wheat germ

1/2 t ground cinnamon

Blend pumpkin, egg, butter and honey in a mixing bowl. Add the oats, nuts, wheat germ and cinnamon. Mix well. (I accidently added all ingredients at the same time, then mixed it.) Spread the mixture into a lighty greased jelly-roll pan. Bake @350 for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, cut into bars. For very crisp bars, remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

* The recipe I used above is one I tweaked from an adaptation from a recipe in Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar out of any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman. I found the "adapted" recipe online.

Above is the recipe I used. Mine is tweaked from the "adaptation" because I didn't have some of the ingredients. The other thing I will do differently next time is put the batter into a 13 x 9 dish instead of my jelly roll pan. It didn't spread completely to the corners so the edges got done faster than the rest. I'll let you know how that turns out. What I left out: 2 T of shredded, unsweetened coconut, 2 T molasses, 1 T. grated orange rind. Maybe that made the difference with the jelly roll pan.

What do you think? Is this a recipe you would try? Are you interested in finding healthier alternatives?


  1. Looks yummy. I'd add chocolate chips. LOL! Oh wait, is that not a healthy alternative? I used Stevia for about 1 month or so, in my coffee instead of sugar. It's okay. No weight change on the scale.

  2. I do not have a sweet tooth, and I do not consume very much sugar, but I must admit these pumpkin bars sure do look good and healthy. Thank you for sharing another fun recipe. As for your migranes...I feel so bad for anyone who has to go through having them.

  3. This does look yummy! I will have to give it a try! I might add white chocolate chips in it! Thanks so much!


  4. I had just tried the pumpkin/flax kashi bars last week and love them. So it's a given I'll love these.

    Migraines are so tricky. I've never had them but my youngest daughter deals with them. After changing, diet, air, water, going to the dentist to check her bite, the Chiropractor, accupuncture and therapeutic massage, she is now on a preventive med. I hate it, but we were all exhausted. (And it's crazy how insurance won't pay for the natural stuff!)

  5. I have the worst sweet tooth! I have been known to make cookie dough for dinner when hubby is out of town. Yum! I would love to be healthier and I do try in other ways, but I don't know if I could give up sugar. It sounds like that has helped with your migraines!

  6. Hey miss melaine.....those do look delish! And I just bought that sweetener this week. I thought it would be great to go in my tea! It's great!:) Miss you! I have been so busy with work its hard to take time to blog....hopefully now that I am trained I can come around more often!

  7. I love agave nectar. I use it in my coffee.

    I use Stevia some too. And honey.

    Sometimes Splenda. Naughty me.

    :)And I don't bake.