Even though I am a true summer girl at heart; I think that I have to say that Fall is my favorite season as I have gotten a bit older. I love the chilly mornings, fresh air, and the idea of getting back into more of a routine that I tend to lose during the summer. I also think that as I have gotten older and live in the city it can be a bit harder to relax and enjoy everything that summer has to offer. This summer I wasn’t able to escape to the beach as much because I was constantly working or teaching- which is a good thing!
Once the fall hits, my body starts to shift as well with just about everything, but especially with the way that I eat. Usually I will crave warmer things in the morning and things that are a bit heartier, but still healthy and make me feel good.
One thing that I love to make during the fall or winter are big oatmeal bakes; mainly because they are super easy to make and filled with fiber and protein to keep me full during the morning until lunch. Normally I will have them with either yogurt, on it’s own with almond butter on top, or in a bowl heated up with almond milk. It also makes for a really good dessert with a little chocolate on top or over some vanilla ice cream!
For this oatmeal bake, I cut them into bars to make them convenient for grab & go snacks or a healthy hearty breakfast. To give them a little more; I added in Vital Proteins Marine Collagen. It is completely tasteless but adds in about 11 grams of protein and collagen- of course! Not only is it great for your hair and skin, but I mainly started to use it to improve my digestion! You can read all about different ways to stay healthy now that we are getting into colder months with the addition of collagen in your routine; I wrote a post here! I talk about the benefits of collagen, how I incorporate it into my diet, which of the products are my favorite ones, and if you search on my blog you will see that there are over 15 recipes or so incorporating it if you are unsure as to where to start!
Side note; two of my favorites are this Butternut Squash Mac and “Cheese” or my Simple Blueberry Protein Pancakes! Either way you can’t go wrong with making it part of your routine; your body will see major improvements within just a few weeks of using! You can add it into your smoothies, coffees/matchas, yogurt bowls, any baked good and works well in both savory or sweet recipes! Also, it totally isn’t necessary for the recipe and if you decide to leave it out, you do not have to replace it with anything!
These oat bars are crispy on the outside, a bit softer in the middle, and will make your entire kitchen smell like a pumpkin had a baby with every fall spice you can imagine. The best part is that you can prepare everything in less than 10 minutes and while it is baking in the oven you can get a quick home workout completed or get ready for work!
The recipe is below and so are some helpful notes!
Breakfast / Snack
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes or less
YIELDS: 9 bars
2.5 cups gluten free oats (I used rolled oats)
2 scoops Vital Proteins Marine Collagen (or 1 packet)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. pumpkin spice mix (*mine was pre-bought mixed)
dash of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp. chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg (or chia egg)
1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup**
Toppings: 1/2 cup melted dairy free chocolate chips, walnuts, chopped dates
**The maple syrup can be optional as well, or you can control the amount you put it, but adding more or less will change up the taste a bit!
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly coat an 8x8 pan with coconut oil or spray
In a large bowl, mix together the DRY ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix together the WET ingredients.
Combine the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Gently mix until well combined.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. The edges will crips and the middle will be slightly tender.
For the chocolate drizzle, while the pumpkin spice oats are baking in the oven, melt the chocolate over the stove top on low. Immediately when the bake is complete, drizzle with chocolate. Allow to cool for 15 minutes or so before cutting!
The pumpkin spice oat bars will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days. I prefer to eat these bars cold, but you can also reheat them, or serve them as is or with either yogurt or a little bit of almond milk in a bowl.
To reheat, place in a oven safe dish. 400 degrees for 10 minutes or in your microwave for 2 minutes or so.
You can sub any milk of choice.
The Vital Proteins Marine Collagen is completely optional, but adds amazing benefits! You can also use any of their collagen for the mix; it is completely tasteless!
To make a chia egg, in a small bowl add 1 tbsp. chia seeds with 3 tbsp. water. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
If you do not have a pre-made pumpkin spice mix; it is simply a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves (about 1/2 tsp. of each); but totally worth have it pre-mixed! You will use it over and over again!