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Sharp Health News

Cranberry pumpkin seed energy bars (recipe)

Oct. 15, 2020

Cranberry pumpkin seed energy bars

Those slimy seeds you pull from your Halloween pumpkin are surprisingly loaded with fiber — so cleaning and roasting them is good for your heart and digestion.

However, if you’re tired of the same old oven treatment, this energy bar recipe puts pumpkin seeds in a whole new light — mixing them with other heart-healthy ingredients, such as pecans, cranberries and flaxseed.

The trick here is hulling the seeds, by either boiling them or hitting them with a cooking mallet. So, we suggest cheating: Pick up a package of pre-hulled, non-salted pumpkin seeds instead, and toss out the slimy shelled ones.

Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars

Prep time: 20 minutes / Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Nutrition facts per bar: Calories = 204; Fat = 11.5 grams; Sugar = 18 grams

This heart-healthy snack can help boost your energy with a powerful dose of fruit, nuts and seeds.


  • 1 cup pecans, crushed
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup hulled, raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Step 1: Preheat and Roast

Heat oven to 350° F.

Heat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread the pecans, oats, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed on the sheet and bake until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Step 2: Create the Caramel

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar, honey, butter and salt to a boil. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and a light brown caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Step 3: Drizzle and Stir

Drizzle the caramel all over the nut-and-oat mixture. Stir in the puffed rice and cranberries until evenly coated.

Step 4: Mold the Bars

Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, extending the paper over the side. Pour the cereal mixture into the dish in an even layer. Cover the mixture with a second sheet of parchment and press down to compress it. Let stand until firm, about 2 hours.

Step 5: Slice and Serve

Discard the top piece of parchment. Using the overhanging paper, lift out the cereal square and transfer to a work surface. Cut into 12 bars and serve.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine.

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