Train Travel & Pumpkin Granola Bars

This week, work brought me to Washington, DC, a quick, two-hour train ride from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.
Opened in 1933, 30th Street Station is on the National Register of Historic Places and I am always in awe of the stunning architecture and sculpture that adorns the terminal.

(Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial)
Despite it being one of the busiest railroad facilities in the United States, the station retains its historic charm. While most departure boards have gone digital, I love that you still have to listen for the clickety clack of the flap display at 30th Street, waiting for your platform number and boarding cues.
As a frequent flier, I often forget how much I enjoy train travel. I can pack my liquids, show up minutes before departure,
use my portable electronic devices at any time (with an outlet to charge them!), enjoy adequate legroom, walk about freely,
and relax and watch the beautiful American landscape roll by outside my window.
And before I know it, a few hours have gone by and I’m in another city. This time, the nation’s capital, with an equally beautiful train station

(Union Station Interior)
with gorgeous architecture
and history right outside the station doors.
Next month, when I take the train again, the sights outside my window will include the changing fall foliage. Inspired by the new season and the ease of train travel, I wanted to bake a quick, portable, fall treat this weekend — Pumpkin Granola Bars!
This recipe, with a substitution encouraged by its creator, is from My Baking Addiction.

Yield: 12-16 bars


  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil, allowing for a 1 inch overhang on the sides of the pan. Lightly spray foil with non-stick baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla until smooth.

Pour wet ingredients over oats and stir until oats are moistened. Stir in cranberries, dark chocolate chips, pecans, and pumpkin seeds.

Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cut into bars. Can also be enjoyed crumbled over ice cream or yogurt.




5 responses

  1. These look delicious! Love the idea of crumbling the bars over ice cream or yogurt as well.

    You've made train travel and the sights along the way so appealing. Photos throughout are just great.

  2. I want to shout it from the rooftop for all bloggers to know how GREAT your blot is — how professionally it is photographed — how professionally it is written – how appetizing your recipes are.

  3. Who knew that train travel could be so appealing? Makes me want to try it. Once again, you have outdone yourself with the photography, narrative and recipe. Great job! Keep it coming.

  4. These bars look awesome! Such a good idea for travel, and it is SO nice to be able to pack your liquids and hop on the train. There are way too many flights in our future….a train would be most welcome (particularly by Frank who is mildly train-obsessed).

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