Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

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Experimenting with some recipes for my Healthy for the Holidays meal plans Im going to be making for my challengers, and this is a WINNER! .

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INGREDIENTS:

3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup applesauce

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist, so make sure they are golden and set-you don’t want them to be under baked. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

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