Hate Bananas? Try These Pumpkin Bites

May 10, 2011   41 Comments

Back in April, Snack Girl posted what she thought was an awesome cereal bar recipe. People complained!

Pumpkin Cereal Bar Recipe

It seems there are a bunch of people who don't love bananas in the same way that I do. Including my son and husband! They avoided my brilliant cereal bars and my feelings were hurt :(

Also, I received many e-mails requesting a banana substitute.

Since I never give up, I went back into the Snack Girl test kitchen (my kitchen) to redesign my snack. It was painful, but I HAD to do it.

I decided to use canned pumpkin because it has a sweet flavor and you don't have to cook it. Whatever you do, do not waste your time looking for pumpkin next to the other canned vegetables or fruits in the supermarket. It is found in the BAKING section on a very low shelf.

Yes, I was resenting the banana haters as I searched through the massive store on the hunt for pumpkin out of season. - but I am over it (not).

You can find it - and it works! The biggest difference is that pumpkin has more water in it - so it took me longer to cook these than the banana ones.

They turned out slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and THIS time - my entire family like them (they were gone in 2 days flat).

I did add maple syrup to make the batter sweeter - but this is a matter of personal preference. Go ahead and taste them before you add any sugar to see if you like the flavor.

These turned out to be fewer calories than the banana version (but I still like the banana version more :)

Did you try the cereal bites recipe? What did you think?

Healthy Pumpkin Bites Recipe

(makes 14 or 28)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or any of your favorite nut butters)
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1/2 cup whole nuts (choose your favorite)
1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, coconut, etc.)
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (optional)
4 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, coarsely chop nuts and dried fruits. Mix nut butter and pumpkin until a well blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Taste to ensure the right level of spice and sweetness. Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes. Can be stored in refrigerator for 5 days.

For one pumpkin bite (14 in recipe) = 168 calories, 6.9 g fat, 25.2 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g protein, 3.0 g fiber, 47 mg sodium, 5 Points+

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Just keep in mind that pumpkin is a seasonal item in some stores; it may be more of a search than just the baking section! (but it's worth it :P I don't like banana either!)

I loved the banana recipe! And I'm sure I'll like this one as well. Thank you for all you do =)

I really love banana, but I really pumpkin too!

Pumpkin is found year round in stores near me. Must be a New England thing. That, and I've heard it's healthy to add to your pet's food.

I definitely DON'T hate bananas, but I think the pumpkin ones appeal to me more. I have given in and printed out *both* recipes. I hope to try making them one of these evenings.

I love bananas on their own, but hate them cooked or added in something or banana flavored things. Strange, I know.

I love bananas and pumpkin and these ideas are great! I've made nut/fruit snack bars using dried fruit like apricots. Pour boiling water over dried fruit and let it sit until it plumps a bit. Drain and reserve liquid and add to the food processor. If you don't want to bake them - coconut and/or seeds (sunflower) can help dry them out to make them read to go!

I also love bananas but these look great. Can't wait to make them..Off to the store to get pumpkin.

Right on Snack girl!! I am going to try this,,, thanks :))

Baking aisle? Really? And here I was, thinking that the next time I go to the store, I'd look in the canned aisle :3 but if I can't find it in the baking aisle, it's gonna have to be the cans aisle. I just made the first cereal bar recipe and at 5 minis at one time. Let's just say that that's my dinner :)

They have canned pumpkin the organic section year-round at my grocery store. I think it tastes terrible, though. I much prefer the stuff in the baking section.

I am so excited to make these. They look delicious!

I have crazy question we use canned sweet potato or cook down sweet potatoes a lot of time since not real fond of pumpkin do you think it would work or need to change anything

Thanks snack girl! I look forward to this, I am a banana hater also and I was really excited to see this !

I cooked a batch of the banana ones and they were an instant hit with my family; I just popped some of these guys in the oven and they already smell heavenly. My daughter loves oranges and asked if I could make some "granola circles" with oranges in them. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could go about this? Thank you!

@Whitney - I would use the pumpkin recipe and add 1 tablespoon of finely grated orange peel - that should give it an orange flavor.

Great question!

@Patsy - just go ahead and use the canned sweet potato - I bet it would work. Lisa

@Snack Girl - Thank you so much, I will have to give that a try! And for the record, the pumpkin bites were a huge hit, too :)

I tried the banana cereal bar recipe and loved it; btw my husband who does not like bananas also enjoyed it :)

Since it is fall I am going to try out the pumpkin recipe to celebrate the season!


These are sooooo yummy! I made my first batch a couple of weeks ago and have been craving them since. My second batch is in the oven now. I can't wait!

I'm wondering if anyone has tried freezing these or tha banana version? My son eats gluten free, and I like to have snacks easy to grab for him. Making a batch and freezing leftovers would be easier, and would last a couple of weeks.

Thank you so much for this recipe. I'm allergic to bananas and I'm trying to find recipes that don't have them in it. I'm going to try this one soon.

I am also interested in knowing if you can freeze any of these muffins...(banana, pumpkin, blueberry) and for how long? I am doing Weight Watchers and I want to give my 18 mo. old healthy snacks. I am a teacher so I hardly have any time to cook. It would be great to keep these on hand in the freezer! (~: LOVE your site!

@Heather and @Kelly - sorry, asleep at the wheel. YES!! These freeze great and this is the way to keep them fresh.

Do it!

Made these over the weekend! Delish! Moist inside. I could put a dollop of whip cream on top and serve it with Thanksgiving dinner! But fantastic for breakfast!

Ended up using 3T of maple syrup and 1.5 t of pumpkin pie spice. I chopped up dates, dried cherries & threw in the last few dried cranberries, too.

Thank you for a keeper!

Could I substitute honey for the maple syrup? Or would that be too drastic a change?

@Leah - Honey will be great in these! Thanks for your question.

What about using molasses?

love your recipes!!!

All natural, whole foods, and good fat is better tasting than processed and added sugar.

Keep up the good work!

A Big Thank You to you, Snack Girl. :o)

My estimates are that if you made this with reconstituted PB2 instead of peanut butter then the calories go down to 148. That estimate is with almonds & cranberries as the nuts/fruits & the full 4 Tbsp of maple syrup. Can't wait to try these!

Two out of my 3 kids have very bad food allergies. Banana, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, chicken, turkey, shellfish, shrimp. I am always in need of a good snack for them. I just made them and am excited to see if they will eat them:0)

I wonder about the added moisture from using pumpkin: what if the pumpkin was spread over layers of paper towels to dry it out somewhat before adding it to the recipe? There are other recipes that require the "drying" of canned pumpkin, so I think that step might be helpful.

I've made both versions and I now make them regularly for both myself and daughter for our morning commute! Thanks for your awesome recipe.

Have (2) questions.....

(1) What temp. to bake them on if you use the mini muffin tins, and for how long ?

(2) Can you use one minute oats instead of rolled oats ?

I know this post is a couple of years old, but just in case this is helpful to anyone, I made this recipe using dark molasses instead of maple syrup, and I think it turned out fine. We're enjoying them!

Can't wait to try these! My toddler is allergic to bananas, which used to be my go-to ingredient in many of our GF recipes (still have tons of them in the freezer!) I love pumpkin, too.

This sounds awesome - I think I will try the pumpkin first (more seasonal right now) but will definitely be making the banana one too. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

ewwww i defitniely HATE pumpkins!!!!! bananas are so much more nicer ewww pumpkins its just so ewwwwww

what about sweet potatoes? I don't like pumpkin. I am thinking of mashed sweet potato instead (and i want to try the banana version since my family is addicted to bananas anyway)

Glad you posted this again....can't wait to make I don't like bananas either :)

Thanks for the pumpkin alternative. Many of us with latex allergies have to avoid bananas (which I miss). I do think sweet potato would also work; I've subbed it in for pumpkin in pie.

What could I use n place of dried fruit?

My husband is fructose Intolerant and diabetic.

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