These bars are a delicious, easy way to start your morning, and they taste WAY better than the store-bought stuff.

By Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN
Updated: October 25, 2018
Photo: Jacob Blount / Shutterstock

The health benefits of pumpkin make the squash an easy way to add a powerful dose of nutrients to your daily diet, thanks to its vitamin A (280 percent of your daily needs), vitamin C, potassium (7 percent), and fiber content (about 3 grams per half-cup). Plus, you can enjoy pumpkin in many other tasty forms like canned pumpkin purée and pumpkin seeds.

One other important reason I love cooking with pumpkin is that it blends beautifully with other textures and flavors, as evident in this recipe for pumpkin yogurt breakfast bars.

This winter squash gets a lot of love in hot breakfast recipes, but you don't have to stick to pumpkin oatmeal or a pumpkin muffin. These pumpkin yogurt bars don't require any baking (a daunting thing for some people)-just a freezer. In one breakfast bar, you'll get a combo of protein, healthy fat, and fiber for a balanced morning meal. These pumpkin yogurt bars also happen to be gluten-free, grain-free, and free from refined sugars.

These are best enjoyed with a fork or spoon like a piece of pumpkin cheesecake, but you can also eat them with your hands-just keep some napkins handy for inevitable stickiness. And if you're taking one to go, wrap it in parchment paper for easy eating. Or you can get real crafty and combine all ingredients in the blender, and pour the mixture into popsicle molds for an even easier way to transport.

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bars

Makes 4 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

1. Line a shallow, resealable square or rectangular container with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, mix together nut or seed butter and ground flaxseed. Pour mixture onto the parchment paper, and spread evenly to cover, pressing as needed.

3. Combine yogurt, pumpkin, dates, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup in a blender, and blend until smooth.

4. Pour yogurt-pumpkin mixture over nut butter layer. Spread out evenly.

5. Melt dark chocolate, if using, and drizzle on top.

6. Cover container and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

7. Remove container to thaw in fridge, and cut into 4 pieces when soft enough to slice (about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on thickness of bars).

8. Eat immediately, or store cut bars in the freezer. When you're ready to eat, allow the bar to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes before eating.

Nutrition information (per bar): 389 calories, 24.3 grams total fat, 145 mg sodium, 31 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 17 grams protein

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