Hey hey, it’s been a while! I dropped the ball with this blog after I started a new job managing all the behind-the-scenes stuff at Hello Glow. I went from working part-time with my previous job, with various freelancing things to fill out my schedule, to working full-time again and it’s been an adjustment. A good adjustment, but an adjustment nonetheless.
But a strange thing happened: in the past 3 months, this little blog started to get more traffic. And I even started making affiliate revenue! I had been kind of discouraged because I wasn’t sure if there was really an audience for this site, but hey—maybe there is?
I’m still struggling to figure out where this blog fits into the rest of my life, what I want it to be, and whether it’s even worth doing when I have no desire to hustle on social media, construct elaborate photography set-ups, produce videos, and all the other things food bloggers have to do these days. Things have changed a lot since I first started blogging 8 years ago and a lot of those changes aren’t ones I like or that feel right for me. For a while, I wondered if I should even write here at all if I wasn’t going to make it a BIG THING, but I realized that I missed it when I didn’t. So I guess it all comes back to this: right now, this blog is a hobby. It’s not paying my bills, so there’s no reason to force myself to do things I don’t want to do. And even if I don’t have the time and energy to post a few times a week like I was doing before, I can still post occasionally and make this blog something useful for people.
These Butternut Breakfast Bars are a twist on a pumpkin bar recipe I developed a few years back. They’ve been a staple in our house every fall and winter, but I wanted to make a version with butternut squash because I wanted to avoid using canned pumpkin and I didn’t want to have to use fresh pumpkin, which isn’t usually available after November-ish. Roasting the butternut squash in the oven brings out its natural sweetness and I think I actually like this version better than the pumpkin one.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s pretty much a complete breakfast in bar form—protein and calcium from the yogurt and milk, whole grains from the granola, healthy fat from the coconut oil, and plenty of fiber from the butternut squash. If you’re going to eat vegetables for breakfast, this is the way to do it. And when you’re in a rush in the morning (and let’s be real, when you have kiddos, you’re always in a rush in the morning), getting all those food groups in one convenient bar is pretty great.
This is currently Little Pea’s favorite breakfast food, so it’s a good thing these bars freeze well. After they’re finished baking, I let them cool, then I cut them into rectangles and put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I pop the baking sheet in the freezer and once the squares are frozen through, I put them in a freezer bag. They have a tendency to get a bit sticky even when frozen, so I put one layer of bars in the bag, then I put a piece of parchment paper on top of them before I put the remaining bars in a second layer.
As always, I feel the need to explain away the fact that these bars aren’t pretty and that the photos aren’t the best. But, yeah, this is real life. And this is what happens when you’re rushing to get photos done before your toddler gets home from school. But the bars? I’m pretty sure they’re going to be a hit if you make them.
Yields 16 bars
These Butternut Breakfast Bars are the best way to eat veggies for breakfast.
15 minPrep Time
50 minCook Time
1 hr, 5 Total Time
- 2 1/4 cup granola (whatever you have on hand will work)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil + more to grease your baking dish
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with coconut oil. Pulse the granola in a food processor until coarse crumbs form, then add the coconut oil and pulse to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to get a graham cracker-crust like consistency.
- Press the granola crumbs into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Stir together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the butternut mixture over the granola. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until the bars are set—they'll be a little bit softer and creamer than pumpkin pie when they're done because of the added yogurt.
- Allow the bars to cool, then cut them into 16 squares.
To make the butternut squash puree, cut a medium butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and bake it at 400ºF until it's tender, 30-40 minutes. Allow the squash to cool a bit, then scoop the flesh out of the skin and puree it in a food processor until smooth. Alternately, you can use canned pumpkin or butternut squash puree.