Spinach & Pumpkin Granola Bars

As of two weeks ago Ev was officially enrolled in the toddler program at the school where I teach. For the first year of his life he was my classroom baby, which meant that we ate lunch together every day. This was wonderful for our introduction to different foods, and I never had to worry about offering food that was too messy or that he needed help eating. Now that he’s in a room with a dozen other kids around his age I do need to worry about those things, which has led to some meal planning streamlining.

For breakfast every morning Ev eats a 3-4 quarters of a zucchini waffle (which I make in bulk on Sundays) and a pouch full of plain full fat Greek yogurt. For morning snack I send in a few cubes of cheese and a little fruit, and then lunch is a combination of protein, fruits, vegetables, and cheese. Ev gets a combination of leftovers, food prepared in bulk on Sunday (like roasted vegetables), seasonal fruit, and cubes of whole milk cheese. For his second snack of the day I’ve been sending in these granola bars, and they are (reportedly) gobbled up. I played around with the ingredients a bit but have settled on oats, pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. It’s a nice combination of whole grains, vegetables, and seeds that will give him an after-nap boost and fill his belly.

Spinach & Pumpkin Granola Bars

4 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup applesauce

4 cups whole rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Saute spinach in 2 tbsp coconut oil until wilted. Add pumpkin seeds and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Heat oven to 400F. Mix together oats, pumpkin, coconut oil, applesauce, flour, and cinnamon. Stir together well, adding in spinach and pumpkin seeds. Turn onto a silicon baking mat and press into a rectangle that is 3/4-1″ thick.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until cooked through and crisp around the edges. Allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator (or freeze half!).

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