Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars - PCOS Diva
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Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars

by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva

Many women struggling with their weight and health don’t like or eat breakfast.  As I mentioned in my article, “Diva’s Secret Sauce,”  I was a member of that club for a long time too. Low blood sugar often left me queasy in the morning, or I was in to big a rush on my way out the door. My health turned around when I began to start  my mornings with a protein rich breakfast. Even today, if I start to have sugar cravings later in the day, I can usually track it back to not enough protein at breakfast. So, if you are not a big breakfast lover, then what options do you have?  Well, you can always eat leftovers from the night before, but at 6:30 or 7AM, last night’s chicken dinner may not be very appealing.

Protein powder provides a wonderful way to boost your protein at breakfast. I use PCOS Diva Power Protein and feel good about using it versus soy or whey protein. It can enhance my breakfast in several ways. I add it to my morning smoothies, oatmeal, whole grain pancakes, and even make homemade protein breakfast bars.  This makes getting enough protein in the morning a snap.

If you haven’t tried my Protein Smoothie yet, you can find my recipe here.  If you are looking for another great on-the-go breakfast, try these Perfect PCOS Pumpkin Spice Bars. They have been taste tested by my kids and husband and received rave reviews. I added the dark chocolate chips and coconut to sweeten the deal, but they are not necessary. I often eat these as an afternoon snack bar. When I make them for breakfast, I usually omit the chocolate. There are many variations on this recipe – be creative and enjoy!

Perfect PCOS Pumpkin Spice Bars – These gluten-free, vegan, and mostly raw bars are just the thing for breakfast-evading PCOS Divas.

1 1/2 c Rolled oats

1/2 c Raisins

1/2 c Chopped walnuts

2T Ground flax seeds

2T Chia seeds

1/4 c Unsalted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Sea salt (only if using unsalted nut butters, seeds and nuts)

3 scoops of PCOS Diva Power Protein

1/2 c Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 c Almond butter

1/3 c Maple syrup

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 c Virgin coconut oil (if desired)

1/2 c Flaked unsweetened coconut (if desired)

1/3 c high quality dark chocolate chips (if desired)

Combine the oats through the protein powder in a large bowl. Then combine the pumpkin through vanilla extract in a smaller bowl.  If adding coconut oil, melt over very low heat and then add to wet mixture.  Fold wet mixture into the dry, and add coconut flakes and chocolate chips if desired. Spread mixture into 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press firmly until flat. Freeze or refrigerate until just set.  Cut into 15 granola-style bars.  Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap and store in freezer for a grab and go breakfast or snack. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. They defrost quickly on the counter.

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  1. Recipe sounds great! Just that I have never seen canned pumpkin! Is it just mashed pumpkin? I live in australia and I’m pretty sure we don’t have that or pumpkin pie spice in our supermarkets. Is there an alternative?

    1. Ellen- it is just mashed cooked pumpkin. The pumpkin pie spice just has cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.

  2. These look amazing! I love that they are gluten-free and vegan. I’m going to make them this weekend – can’t wait to try them out. 🙂

  3. First attempt came out pretty good. I added just a bit too much pumpkin …. but that small tweak will make them spectacular.

    1. Oats in and of themselves do not contain gluten – the problem is that they are often grown on fields where crops have contained gluten and can be processed in a plant that also processes gluten grains so there is cross-contamination. Since I am not celiac and have a gluten intolerance, I can use regular oats. But if you do have celiacs disease it is best to use oats that have not been contaminated – Bob’s Red Mill sells them.

  4. I can’t wait to try these Pumpkin Bars! A friend turned me onto your website and I’m very excited when I read it. I don’t have PCOS, but I have changed my eating so that I can get healthy again. I have lost 35 lbs and I have successfully given up soda, dairy, and fast food. I am also eating less meat because I would like to become total vegetarian, but being raised a meat lover this is proving to be more difficult than I thought. But the one thing I can’t seem to shake is my craving for chocolate. It usually hits me immediately after I eat a meal and sometimes I can occupy myself with something else and the craving goes away. But at other times it’s insatiable and I can’t shake it and I have to have chocolate. I mainly eat grains, rice, beans, fruit, veggies, so I don’t know what I’m eating that is causing this craving for chocolate. Do you have any ideas?

    1. Karen-
      I would try raw cacao – it is a superfood – it is basically raw chocolate and is do good for you. I use raw cacao powder in my smoothies or make hot chocolate with almond milk – delicious! Allow yourself to savoring a little 70% or higher dark chocolate after meals it shouldn’t be a problem.

  5. Instead of giving into the craving, I would rather try to curb it. Could there be something that I am eating that’s causing the craving in the first place? Or is there something that I could eat that would remove the craving altogether? I’ve been denying myself chocolate for the last 4 months to lose the weight then I gave in once and now I can’t stop eating the chocolate! Thanks for your help 🙂

    1. karen,
      are you eating brown rice or white rice? if you’re eating white rice, maybe it’s the carbs making you crave it? and you can try to trick yourself.. every time you crave chocolate, go brush your teeth & use listerine… definitely won’t taste good anymore! hahahahha just a thought!

  6. Hi there, I live in the UK so can I check the recipe is c cups and t teaspoons? Also what I can I use for pumpkin pie spice? We don’t seem to have the same options available in UK supermarkets. Thanks

    1. Hi Stephanie, You will love these pumpkin spice bars! Yes, c is cups, T is tablespoon and t is teaspoon. Pumpkin spice is just a combination of spices that are common in fall foods like pumpkin pie. Here is a link to a good recipe for pumpkin spice: http://southernfood.about.com/cs/pumpkins/ht/pumpkin_spices.htm. It’s really easy to make your own, and that way you can control the quality of the spices and adjust to taste too. Enjoy!

  7. Hi Amy, I find the directions somewhat incomplete. Ingredients list includes a lot more than oats, protein powder, pumpkin, vanilla, coconut flakes, coconut oil and chocolate chips. Do I just assume to mix all dry together with the oats/protein powder and all the remaining wet with the pumpkin and vanilla? Thank you for any advice. I ordered and just received PCOS Diva protein powder so I can make these and am anxious to give them a shot.

    1. Hi Amy, I made these today just mixing all the dry ingredients together and all the wet ingredients together, then mixed the wet with the dry, thoroughly. They are awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Elaine

  8. Nice recipe, except the PCOS Diva Protein Powder has stevia in it. Stevia is a plant in the ragweed family, and can really harm people with seasonal outdoor allergies. When I consume stevia, it’s like injecting the allergen directly into my body. It’s complete nightmare. I wish you guys made that protein powder without stevia, even unsweetened would be fine.