Healthy Pumpkin Butterscotch Granola Bars for lean mean BBQ Man

Barbecue man is on a diet. As if he can make himself even sexier, he has decided to watch what he eats and make his giant muscles even bigger. He told me that this means no cookies or cakes. When I heard him say these words I died. I love baking, or at least I am good at baking and love the praise I get from baking yummy things. I’m just saying it like it is. Unfortunately all of my best recipes require enough butter to clog an artery or grease a small pig. So I knew I had to refrain from baking him any of these delicious buttery treats. Now that I’m writing this I’m wondering if those treats are the reason he needs to go on this diet. Hmm…well, while I ponder that I have been trying to think of a way I can still make him treats and get my weekly baking praise. Then I figured it out! Granola bars! Barbecue man loves him some granola bars. He can easily eat a Costco sized thing of them and not get bored. So I knew that granola bars were the perfect solution. They can taste as good as baked treats, I can hide yummy things in them, and best of all they won’t give barbecue man a small heart attack. I have tried a couple of different granola bar recipes for Barbecue Man over the past couple weeks and it seems that this one may be keeper. These are pumpkin butterscotch granola bars, the recipe which I got from  Heather Cristo’s blog. She’s kind of a healthy mom blogger, she does natural recipes that kids will like and since Barbecue Man and myself don’t have the most sophisticated palettes I thought this might be a good place to start. I apologize for not taking pictures step by step, but I hadn’t planned on putting this recipe on the blog until after I had made them and fell in love with them. All you literally have to do is mix all of the ingredients together in a  bowl and bake in the oven at 350 for one hour. One tip I will give you is to leave the slivered almonds, pepitas and butterscotch chips last to mix into the rest of the gooey mess. This gave me the best distribution of yummy goodness. Once everything is mixed together I loosely packed it onto a foil lined baking sheet and baked for an hour at 350 and then firmly pressed it down halfway through baking. I let them cool for about half an hour and then cut them into bar sizes with the sharpest knife I could find. But I think my favorite part of making the granola bars were wrapping them up. I found the cutest pre-cut wax papers at a Japanese import store near my work. The wax papers had different patterns: hearts, love letters, flowers, polka dots, etc and where perfectly shaped for granola bars. So I wrapped each bar up separately in a brightly colored paper to keep it fresh. Between you and me I might have just found the granola bar recipe to use my cute papers. Processed with VSCOcam Ingredients 4 cups Oats ½ cups Vegetable Oil ½ cups Honey ½ cups Brown Sugar ½ cups Pumpkin Puree 2 teaspoons Cinnamon ½ teaspoons Salt 1-⅓ cup Slivered Almonds ½ cups Pepitas (pumpkin Seeds) 1½ cups Butterscotch Chips

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