Pumpkin Flaxseed Chocolate Breakfast Bars! The perfect fall, healthy sweet treat to make for your friends and family!
Paul and I have started biking together with our friends. I’m talking serious biking, clips and all, like with cycling shoes that you clip into your pedals and biking for 25 miles. I always feel like a rock star when we’re finished. It’s been so fun and great exercise!
One day we had friends over (I think we were all about to go biking together) and I had baked cookies or something. . something I do often, especially when we have kids coming over. I think I had just taken a photo for Instagram and was doing something on my phone when Will, my friend’s son, was asking me a question. I keep looking at my phone and answer him and he says, “How can you hear what I’m saying if you’re not looking at me and looking at your phone?”
I immediately put my phone away and give him my full attention and answer his question and hear what he has to say.
I love this kid. I love that he called me out. I love that he asked me that question so innocently and wide eyed and reminded me that I need to be present. Without my iPhone. I need to be present when people (of all ages) are talking.
The girls have been in school now for two weeks and everyday when they come home, I ask how their day went. I sit with them, giving them my full attention, and we have a snack together. Phoebe is doing great, this is her last year at her elementary school and has her friends (and new friends). . Madeline, even though she can be very spunky and out-going at home, can sometimes be shy. She, like most kids, fears rejection and doesn’t want to get her feelings hurt so she told me the other day that she would rather play by herself at recess than ask someone to play with her.
“What if she doesn’t want to play with me?”
That broke my heart into a million pieces. “What if they say no?” (which has happened by the way). so I say, “If they say no, it’s ok. . but there are kids who want to play with you so just ask. You’re super fun to play with!” She tells me there’s another girl who sits on the bench by herself so I tell Madeline to ask her to play together. I think I was the same way when I was Madeline’s age. . scared to make new friends, scared to be rejected, and often played by myself at recess.
I think Madeline has one friend that she feels comfortable with in her class. We’ll see. . I’m going to visit her for lunch next week at school to check things out. As a mother, I want to do everything for my kids but I know I can’t.
Working things out for themselves (to a certain degree) will help them. I can’t hover.
But I can be there when she gets home. And I can be there with these Pumpkin Flax Chocolate Breakfast Bars. We love pumpkin and chocolate and I packed a few of these and brought them in the car so my kids could have some after ballet.
Madeline was quiet in the car. Yes, I let my kids munch on food in the car. . especially when we’re going from one activity to the next. Phoebe says, “She likes them!” . . as Madeline is chewing and smiling, I look back at her in my rearview mirror and smile too.
I love my children so much. I pray for them everyday. That they surround themselves with good, nice kids. I’m getting a little emotional as I write this post. It’s been a long week. And Madeline is only in kindergarten.
God help me. I’m going to need a lot more pumpkin bars I’m sure. For all of us.
These pumpkin bars are delicious and nutritious! According to Phoebe, they have a banana bread type texture and the pumpkin is subtle. . add a little more if you’d like but make sure they bake all the way through and the almonds and extra chocolate chips on top are completely optional but are a great addition to these bars in my opinion! If you’re vegan, make sure you’re using vegan chocolate chips. The only ones I have used are Sunspire vegan carob chips and they’re great! And peanut butter and pumpkin you might ask? Ever since these cookies, I like to add a little peanut butter when baking with pumpkin. Try it!
- 2⅓ cups rolled oats
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup pure pumpkin
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, or a blend) + more for topping
- sliced almonds to sprinkle
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray and line an 11x7 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Using a food processor, pulse together the rolled oats until ground. They do not have to be ground fine; it's ok to keep some texture. Remove from the food processor and into a mixing bowl. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flaxseed meal and cinnamon. Mix together and set aside.
- Using a separate large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork (it doesn't have to be completely smooth) and add in the vanilla, pumpkin, maple syrup and peanut butter. Mix until combined and somewhat smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix, using a rubber spatula, until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread so it's smooth. Sprinkle on a handful of extra chocolate chips and sprinkle on some sliced almonds. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.