These Pumpkin Protein Bars are gluten-free, dairy-free and can be vegan. They pack whopping 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of healthy fats for a prefect pre or post-workout snack or breakfast on-the-go.
And it can’t be October without full-scale pumpkin cooking. From pumpkin pancakes, easy pumpkin soup and pumpkin chia pudding.
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With fall in full swing, pumpkin recipe is what we need!
These pumpkin protein bars are so scrumptious, guilt-free and perfect for healthy snacks! But they don’t taste that. So moist, rich and full of pumpkin flavor.
I haven’t used a drop of oil because I thought applesauce and canned pumpkin puree should do the trick, and I was right. These pumpkin spice protein bars also have a perfect ratio of protein and carbs, and are naturally sweetened.
These energy bars would make a great breakfast on-the-go or an afternoon snack. They taste like the most decadent pumpkin cake or a muffin. Delicious!
All you need is simple ingredients and one bowl to make delicious pumpkin pie protein bars.
- Quick oats or rolled oats: Oats are naturally gluten-free but often are processed on same equipment as wheat. So, if you or someone in your household have Celiac, be sure to buy certified gluten free oatmeal.
- Plant-based vanilla protein powder: My favorite protein powder is Orgain as I like its taste and price. You can also use unflavored protein, just be sure to add a few more tablespoons of maple syrup. Unfortunately, whey protein powder will not work. If you are not a fan of protein, be sure to check out these almond flour pumpkin bars.
- Pumpkin puree: Either use canned pumpkin from a store or homemade pumpkin puree. If using store-bought, read the label to make sure you don’t buy pumpkin pie filling. It has added sugar and spices. And if want homemade, here is a step-by-step tutorial how to roast a pumpkin whole and puree it after.
- Applesauce: I use unsweetened to keep bars low sugar, you can use sweetened. Also can substitute part or all of applesauce for Greek yogurt, more pumpkin puree or mashed banana.
- Sweetener of choice: It adds subtle sweetness to bars since oats are very plain. I prefer the taste of pure maple syrup in all of my baking. Feel free to use honey, agave or any favorite liquid sweetener, not dry.
- Egg whites: They help hold the bars. Also 2 large eggs will do. To make vegan pumpkin protein bars, use chia egg or flax egg replacement.
- Baking staples: Baking powder, baking soda, store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt.
How to Make Pumpkin Protein Bars
Here is a quick overview of how to bake pumpkin protein bars with 4 simple steps. There is no need for separate bowls with dry ingredients and wet ingredients. This is an easy protein bar recipe!
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder.
- Stir in oats and walnuts.
- Pour mixture in square baking dish lined with parchment paper, level with spatula and bake protein bars for 35 minutes in 375 degrees F preheated oven.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes. Once cooled, slice and enjoy!
Tips for Best Results
Here are a few simple tips to ensure to ensure the perfect bars:
- Line the pan: Don’t be tempted to bake these homemade pumpkin protein bars right in baking dish. Lining it ensures easy removal.
- Cool before cutting: If you are not being patient, you will have a hard time cutting the bars. Plus they will fall apart.
- A pinch of salt and splash of vanilla to bring out flavor: Don’t be tempted to skip either. Salt really brings all flavors together. And when you combine vanilla extract with pumpkin, it tastes unbelievable. Trust me!
Here are a few ways to spice up this fall snack:
- Chocolate chips: Add some dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a pumpkin and chocolate combo.
- Dried fruit: Dried cranberries or chopped dates would add a bit more of natural sweetness.
- Nut butter or seed butter: Add up to 1/4 cup of natural peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter for more flavor and healthy fats boost.
Storing Pumpkin Protein Bars
After healthy protein bars have cooled completely, transfer them into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. You could keep them at room temperature up to two days and only if it is not very hot.
You can also freeze them for up to three months.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Whole wheat pumpkin muffins
- Healthy pumpkin brownies
- Almond flour pumpkin cake
- Healthier pumpkin bread
- Almond flour pumpkin bread
More High Protein Snacks
I hope you enjoy this protein bar recipe! You may also love these healthy snacks!
Pumpkin Protein Bars
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1/2 cup egg whites or 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup plant based vanilla protein powder add 2-3 tbsp maple syrup if using unflavored
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats or rolled oats
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder. Add oats, walnuts and stir well.
- Pour mixture in prepared baking dish, level with spatula and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife into 8 or 10 bars. Serve warm or cold.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week
- Freeze: Tightly wrapped for up to 3 months.
- Eggs: Bars made with eggs will come out more moist and rich, but for a leaner version use egg whites. They still are super moist.
- Portion size: For smaller portions cut into 10 bars.
Loving these for breakfast. I pop a bar in the microwave to take the chill off and then top it with blueberries, greek yogurt and sugar free syrup. I used whey protein and they turned out fine. Maybe mine are more cake-like, moist and not hard like a bar.
I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!