She had me at pumpkin pie for breakfast. Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog for a few seasons now, you’ve likely read that my family has been known to eat strawberry shortcake and apple dumplings for dinner. Though this seasonal dessert-turned-meal concept shocked my husband when we were newly married (at that point, it hadn’t occurred to me that this wasn’t “normal”) he quickly came around to the delicious aberration.
So when I read what Kiersten from Oh My Veggies had to say about her family eating dessert for breakfast, I felt a certain kinship. Specifically, every year after Thanksgiving, Kiersten’s mom bought pumpkin pies on sale and they’d eat them for breakfast. Kiersten pointed out the many redeeming factors of pumpkin pie–like pumpkin is a vegetable that’s full of fiber, and there’s eggs and milk in there.
In her official breakfast-worthy recipe, however, she added protein-rich Greek yogurt and an easy granola crumb crust. The crust is far easier than the traditional rolled-out version and works beautifully. Maple syrup is used in place of sugar for a not-too-sweet filling.
In Kiersten’s words, it’s like having pumpkin pie for breakfast, but without the shame of having pie for breakfast. Win!
- 2 1/4 cup granola*
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (may substitute melted butter)
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup 2% milk (I used almond milk this time)
- 2/3 cup (or one 5.3-ounce container) plain Greek yogurt**
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Optional for serving: additional granola and yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF., and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- Pulse the granola in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. (Don't be inclined to leave chunks, as they won't maintain their typical crunch under the pumpkin mixture. If you don’t have a food processor, you can put the granola in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush it.) Transfer to a mixing bowl, and then stir in the coconut oil. Press the granola crumbs into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. (The mixture will be more crumbly than a typical crust, but don’t worry. It will hold together once baked.)
- Wipe out the mixing bowl, and then stir together the remaining ingredients. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the granola crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pumpkin mixture is set.
- Allow the bars to cool, and then cover and store in the refrigerator. Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt--vanilla or maple flavors are delicious--and a sprinkle of granola for a little crunch.
- Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, these bars will keep for approximately one week. Once cooled, they can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- *A basic oats and honey granola works well, or you can choose a seasonal pumpkin variety. Use a gluten-free option, if needed.
- **Nonfat yogurt works well and provides just a hint of tang. Whole milk or 2% yogurt may be used and will create a slightly richer flavor.