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Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Protein Bars and Ecuador Part 2 [Clean, Vegan, GF]

Now that it’s officially fall it’s time to start posting some fall inspired recipes. Up first are these AWESOME oatmeal pumpkin protein bars. They only require 5 ingredients, 1 bowl and are clean, vegan and gluten-free depending on the type of protein powder you use. They are great for breakfast, snack or post-workout. Even better? They travel well and are great warm or after they have been chilled in the fridge.

oatmeal pumpkin protein bars

I’m not exactly sure how it is fall already, but according to the calendar, we are past the start date of fall for the year. Crazy right? Even more so because it’s still oh high 80s and 90s temperature wise here. Anyway, aside from the fact that I now feel better about posting fall type recipes (YAY PUMPKIN!) [ahem, even though I eat pumpkin year-round since I stock up on it when it goes on sale in the fall] let’s talk more about my adventures in Ecuador!

I started telling you a bit about my trip to the Cloud Rainforest in Mindo, Ecuador in a previous post. My bug bites are still present, but healing and not nearly as gross looking, nor itchy. So high-five for that. I can now get away with wearing outfits that bare my legs without awkward stares and questioning looks. Let’s go ahead and give another high five for that too!

Anyway, my trip was FULL of high adventure activities that were SO fun throughout the week. Here are a few of them:

I got to zipline through the canopy and I even went upside down on one. The guy was like hey do you want to go upside down on this one? And I was like upside-down? YOLO let’s do this. Aside from the awkward, open your legs wider..no wider conversation, it was insane, but crazy to be suspended upside down with the ground SO far away

upside down ziplining mindo

If only I could have shown you from my view!

I also went canyoning. Basically, creek walking until we got to some waterfalls and rappelling down them.

This one was 50m high

This one was 50m high. I wish these pictures had better perspective on the distance!

I jumped off a 50 foot ledge into a waterfall that was also oh 40 degrees. HOLY MOLY was it cold. I was the only one to do it and I’m not going to lie…I stood on that ledge contemplating my potential actions for a solid few minutes before I got the nerve up to jump. The guy (who did not speak English) was like here is this rope I’m going to attach to you in case you don’t make it, so I can pull you around. Also, you have to jump a meter out. You can’t jump any closer, or any farther because BAD. Ummm… YOLO?

waterfall jumping mindo

This is a different view, but I jumped from the top right hand corner of this picture

Since we are talking about jumping off ledges, I also jumped off a ledge with nothing but a rope attached to my waist and swung about the treetops? It was a crazy rush, but I particularly liked swinging back and forth after the initial “Am I really going to jump off this ledge? Are these knots right? Is this going to hold me?” jump.

tarzan swing mindo

That’s the ledge on the right and the rope

There was also this cable car that went across the canopy. It was raining when we decided to cross and the cable went unexpectedly SUPER fast, but it was SO cool.

cable car mindo

I can’t imagine trying to set this thing up initially. The ground was SO far below us.

So, there is some of the adventure part of my trip! Stay tuned for some of the more tranquil aspects of my trip in an upcoming post! In the meantime, I encourage you to try out these awesome pumpkin bars. Not going to lie, I ate them all over the course of a day! Haha. So good, but healthy enough to do so! Stay tuned 🙂

oatmeal pumpkin protein bars

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Protein Bars [Clean, Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Author AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup pumpkin (make sure it is only pure pumpkin and not pie filling)
  • 1 1/2 T psyllium husk powder
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • water/liquid of choice*


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 dish

  2. Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a bowl and then mix in the pumpkin

  3. Add liquid until mixture is fully saturated*

  4. Pour into your greased dish and cook for 25 minutes, or until your toothpick is clean

  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and placing on a wire to complete cooling

  6. Store bars in an air-tight container in the fridge

Recipe Notes

  1. You may use whatever liquid you prefer. I use water. The amount will depend on your protein powder and your use of psyllium husk powder. I used ~3/4- 1 cup water. I recommend adding a bit of your liquid at a time, mixing and seeing how well it absorbs. The mixture should be thick, but you should be able to pour it into your dish when you are finished. 
  2. I cut my bars into 12 servings, but you can cut it into as many pieces as you would prefer. If you are using it for breakfast, cut fewer pieces, or eat a few bars at a time.

I link up with Deborah and Sarah’s, and running on happy’s/ the fit foodie mama’s Meatless Monday, #recipeoftheweek, Best of the BlogosphereHomestead Blog Hop,  glutenfreefridays,#healthyveganfridays,  What’s for Dinner, Sunday Fitness and FoodGraciousPantry

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Emily November 3, 2016, 10:34 PM

    Wow! What a leap of faith into a BEAUTIFUL place. God is so glorious; His creation sings His amazingness. 🙂 That is such an awesome opportunity!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon November 4, 2016, 12:20 PM

      Leap of faith is an excellent way to describe it! Mindo was beautiful. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to explore it.

  • Tana Mason October 19, 2016, 1:30 PM

    Can’t wait to try your bars! And it looked like you had a blast? Come on over and share at the Homesteader Hop https://www.floydfamilyhomestead.com/2016/10/19/homesteader-hop-25/

  • brita October 10, 2016, 9:27 PM

    These bars look so good! And OMG that zipline looks so fun! I can’t believe you went upside down on one of them. crazy!!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon October 11, 2016, 6:49 PM

      They were SO good and so easy. The zipline was awesome. I actually don’t recommend going upside…lol. I don’t think I’d do that again, maybe soaring like horizontal, but nooottt upsidedown lol. It was really crazy

  • Helen at the Lazy Gastronome October 5, 2016, 8:10 AM

    Not sure if I would be brave enough to go across that cable – but your oatmeal bars look great! 🙂 Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up!

  • Mary Ellen @ VNutrition October 5, 2016, 6:52 AM

    Your trip looks so cool! My father’s from Ecuador (and I have Ecuadorian citizenship) so I love hearing about trips there. 🙂

    You make the best protein snacks, can’t wait to try these!

  • Farrah October 4, 2016, 2:33 PM

    I need to go to Ecuador someday! *-* I’ve actually kinda been looking into immersion programs so I can hopefully concureently learn a little Spanish as well. :p Glad you had a ton of fun, and yay for fall-inspired recipes! Those protein bars look delicious!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon October 4, 2016, 3:40 PM

      You do! I can vouch for the rainforest part of it for sure. I actually have thought a lot about doing some work afterwards somewhere where I can get a bit of immersion to learn Spanish! It’s something I would love to be able to do and would love to be able to speak Spanish and medical Spanish fluently. They were so good! Hope all is going well with your rotations!

  • amanda -runtothefinish October 4, 2016, 1:40 PM

    Ohhh these look great for fueling our hikes!

  • Amy (healthandbeautygirl.com) October 4, 2016, 12:23 AM

    these look so good! i must make them. Can I use a substitute for psyllium husk powder?

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon October 4, 2016, 6:07 AM

      I hope you do make them! You could likely substitute with any other binder or high fiber alternative. (Maybe chia seed, or flax, but you may be able to taste the flax if you were to use it) You could also just leave it out. I use it for the fiber benefits and it also allows me to have much more volume because it soaks up so much liquid.

  • Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands October 3, 2016, 12:47 PM

    Looks like a fun trip!
    Love oatmeal and pumpkin, such a great combo! Thank you for linking up with us for Meatless Monday!

  • Terri Wickstrom October 3, 2016, 10:14 AM

    They look good! But can you leave out the fiber or put something tastier in it like chia or flax? How much, a T.?

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon October 3, 2016, 5:09 PM

      They are good! Yep, you could leave out the fiber if you wanted to. I like it because it helps make it denser, and more satiating (and you get more volume!). You also can’t taste it. However, I don’t see why you could’t swap it out for either of those. But, I bet you’ll be able to taste the flax if you do, which certainly isn’t an issue if you like the taste of flax! (I do). A T should be good for starters. You can just add your liquid slowly to adjust for the variable absorbing capabilities.

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner October 3, 2016, 8:45 AM

    Oatmeal and pumpkin are a great combo! Thanks for linking up today for meatless Monday

  • Amber October 3, 2016, 8:29 AM

    This sounds like a delicious combo! Thanks so much for linking up with us at the best of the blogosphere!

  • Annmarie October 3, 2016, 7:03 AM

    Pumpkin and oatmeal is such a perfect combo for fall! 🙂

  • Kimmythevegan October 1, 2016, 7:21 PM

    “Even more so because it’s still oh high 80s and 90s temperature wise here.” Yup – us too. Doesn’t feel like fall at all to me. It’s starting to cool off a bit here now.
    This recipe looks great – simple & delicious. I like that it takes minimal work, that’s my kinda bar.
    Thanks for sharing at Healthy Vegan Friday – I’m pinning & sharing!

    And your trip!!! Wow! Canyoning? Ziplining? Cliff diving? Damn girl – you are adventurous =D YOLO!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon October 2, 2016, 8:47 AM

      Literally just yesterday it started cooling off, but just by a bit. Still in the 70s but it still doesn’t feel like fall. Well see. I am all about quick and easy but tasty! recipes. I don’t have time for much work in the kitchen unfortunately. I love adventure! So fun 🙂

  • Bethany September 29, 2016, 6:48 PM

    These look good!

  • Jeri Glynn September 28, 2016, 5:18 AM

    WOW….what an adventurous trip…I’m not so brace. Pumpkins! My favorite, esp in the fall. Can’t wait till try your bars!

    • AZ@...And A Dash of Cinnamon September 28, 2016, 5:32 PM

      It was such a fun trip! The bars were SO tasty. I actually preferred them cold (great either way though). I hope you get to try them!

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