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Friday, October 3, 2014

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Granola Bars to Celebrate Fair Trade Month + A Delicious Giveaway

October is Fair Trade Month and I’m so excited to help support the cause! Plus, I have a completely delicious dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bar recipe for you. Basically there’s a whole lot of goodness going on in this here post. Before we get to the fair trade chocolate granola bars (mmmmmm….), let’s talk about fair trade for a moment and meet some of the farmers!

fair trade dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bars from @janemaynard

There are a lot of labels on our foods these days. Gluten Free. Organic. Cage Free. Natural. GMO-free. The list goes on and on and ON. With so many labels, it’s easy to stop seeing them when you’re shopping. But one label that I always notice is the ‘Fair Trade Certified’ label. And, when I do see that label, I try to stop and think about the people behind the label, the farmers benefiting from that product.

Miguel & Lucia, Fair Trade Divemex farmers (from @janemaynard)

Two of those people are Miguel Romero Martínez, 22, from Tlapa, Guerrero, and Lucía Simón Mariano, 18, from Veracruz. Miguel and Lucía have an adorable two-month old daughter named Dulce Yamilet. Miguel’s family has been living permanently in the Chula Vista II residential area within Divemex’s La Veinte Agricultural Complex in Culiacán since 2006, while Lucía first came to Sinaloa with her parents in 2010. Divemex is a produce cooperative in Mexico that grows bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Both Lucía and Miguel are now employees, have an apartment of their own and currently Miguel is the recipient of a Fair Trade-sponsored employee scholarship as he studies open adult junior high school.

The Martinez-Hernandez family, whose first language is Nahuatl and originally come from Tlapa, Guerrero, is one of the most successful cases of migrant families from Southern Mexico, with numerous family members employed by Divemex and recipients of Fair Trade-sponsored scholarships. Currently, two family members receive open adult education scholarships while two others receive stipends given to children of employees. All must keep a monthly B+ average in order to maintain the scholarship status.

Divemex family From Left to Right: Miguel Romero Martinez (22, employee, open adult Junior High School scholarship recipient), his wife Lucía Simón Mariano (18, employee) with two-month old daughter Dulce Yamilet, Floriberto Romero Martinez (16, Junior High School scholarship recipient as child of employee), David Romero Martinez (20, employee), Andres Romero Martinez (24, employee, open adult Junior High School scholarship recipient, and only indigenous member of the Ten-person Fair Trade council at Divemex), Ana Martínez Peralta (family matriarch and employee), Heidi Hernandez Martinez (8, elementary school scholarship recipient as child of employee) and Felipe Hernandez Guerrero (employee, father of Heidi, and step-father to the four young men). 

Don’t you love seeing their pictures and hearing just a small part of this family’s story? It’s kind of amazing. Plus, in learning about this family I discovered that fair trade doesn’t just apply to non-perishable goods but to produce, as well. Very cool!

fair trade barkTHINS dark chocolate pumpkin seed bark for granola bars by @janemaynard

Fair Trade USA sent me a box of goodies (which I will also be giving away in just a minute) and challenged me to use some of the ingredients in a recipe. As I was gearing up to make our weekly supply of granola bars, I decided to change the bars up a bit. So, here’s the deal. We love our chocolate chip granola bars so much I can’t bring myself to change the flavor. But, this week, I decided adding more chocolate would not be a bad choice.

dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bars by @janemaynard

I added fair trade cocoa powder from Lake Champlain Chocolates as well as barkTHINS dark chocolate pumpkin seed bark with sea salt to the granola bars instead of boring chocolate chips. The result was SPECTACULAR. As I was making the granola bars, I realized that I had fair trade brown sugar, fair trade coconut oil and fair trade vanilla to use in the recipe as well. These granola bars are pretty soundly fair trade!

fair trade dark chocolate pumpkin seed granola bars by @janemaynard

Before we get to the recipe, let’s do a giveaway! One of you lucky commenters will get the same package of fair trade goodies I received, including products from Equator, Guittard, barkTHINS, Lake Champlain Chocolates, LÄRABAR, Traditional Medicinals, Dang Foods, Numi Tea, Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Eco Lips, Alter Eco, Badger Balm, Third Street, Celestial Seasonings, SunSpire, Nourish Organic and the book Where Am I Eating?.

Here’s how to enter the giveaway!

Time for granola bars! Happy Fair Trade Month!

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Granola Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolaty granola goodness in snack form!
Serves: 24
  • 4 cups rolled old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup crisped rice cereal (I like to use brown crisped rice, which you can find at markets like Sprouts)
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup fair trade cocoa powder
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Heaping ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate pumpkin seed barkTHINS (almost one 4.7-ounce package, with a little bark leftover to nibble on!)
  • Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ fair trade coconut oil (I prefer coconut oil, the texture works a little easier for getting the chewy bar)
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon fair trade pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Combine oats, crisped rice, flour, cocoa powder, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate bark, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Combine oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and mix well (stir a lot!).
  4. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour granola bar mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. Using wet hands, press mixture out into a large, uniform rectangle, about 9”³ x 13”³ and ¾" - 1" thick.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and dry to touch (watch out, it’s hot!), rotating pan at the 15 minute mark.
  6. Cool on the baking sheet for 10-20 minutes until cooled. Slide granola bar along with parchment paper onto a large cutting board. Let bars cool completely before cutting. Cut into bars using a long serrated knife. Makes 24 bars (8 rows, 3 columns). Bars will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

Fair Trade USA provided me with product to create a recipe with but no other compensation was given for this post and all opinions are 100% my own.


  1. 1

    Yummy treats!

  2. 3

    I Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook

  3. 4

    These look super tasty!

  4. Great post — I’m a huge believer in fair trade and the bars look and sound amazing!

  5. 7
    Kay Gee

    The bars look yummy!

  6. 8

    Yummo… these looks delish!

  7. Hi Jane! This is such a touching post. As consumers, it’s often easy to lose sight of where all of this stuff we buy and eat actually comes from.

    Thank you for the good read and way to go for supporting Fair Trade!

  8. 10
    barbara n

    I received some fair trade coffee and Infused Olive Oil as a present and I love them!

  9. i love supporting fair trade products especially when they’re from a reputable company.

  10. i follow fair trade usa on facebook.

  11. i follow this week for dinner on facebook.

  12. 15

    Your recipe looks delicous can’t wait to carve our pumpkin to get to those pumpkin seeds.

  13. 16
    Brenda J

    Great looking bars!

  14. 17
    Kelly Jensen

    I love anything dark chocolate!

  15. 18
    Kelly Jensen

    I follow you on fb!

  16. 19
    Kelly Jensen

    I repined at Kelly Jensen on pinterest

  17. 20

    I am a huge fan of Fair Trade and appreciate this wonderful story and yummy recipe. Thanks!

  18. 21

    I follow TWFD on Facebook.

  19. 22
    Amy L

    What a yummy assortment of prizes! 🙂

  20. 24
    Amy L

    I already follow Fair Trade on FB (Amy Masters Leach)

  21. 25
    Amy L

    I already follow This Week For Dinner on FB (Amy Masters Leach)

  22. 26

    Great post and cute family! The granola bars look great too!

  23. 27
    Lori H

    Good call on adding chocolate to the granola bars – you can never have too much chocolate! The baby is adorable!!!!!

  24. 28

    Gonna try these this week!! already follow on facebook.

  25. 29

    Great story!

  26. 30

    I like you on facebook.

  27. 31

    thanks for the reminder to look for fairtrade products!

  28. 32

    i follow you on facebook

  29. 33

    I follow Fair Trade on facebook.

  30. 34

    These look great

  31. 35

    I follow you on facebook

  32. 36

    I never thought of making my own granola bars, but I’d like to give it a try!

  33. This is just another reason I love you. Not entering, just wanted to say how amazing these look.

  34. 38

    ‘Tis the season for pumpkin and pumpkin seed recipes, so I’ll probably be trying this soon 🙂 I hope I can find the fair trade ingredients near me!

  35. 39

    I love fair trade items, workers deserve compensation and fair treatment for the hard work they do!

  36. 41

    I follow Fair Trade on FB

  37. 42

    I follow This Week for Dinner on FB!

  38. 43
    Laura Potts

    Thanks for a great post! I was unaware of fair trade items.

  39. 44
    Laura Potts

    I pinned the recipe:)

  40. 45
    Laura Potts

    I follow TWFD on FB

  41. 46
    Laura Potts

    I follow Fair Trade USA on FB

  42. 47
    Casey B.

    This looks so tasty!

  43. 48
    Casey B.

    I pinned the photo!

  44. 49
    Casey B.

    Also I like your page on Facebook!

  45. 50
    Casey B.

    And I follow fair trade!

  46. 51
    Ann Sam

    Yummy! I am going to make these.

  47. 52
    Ann Sam

    I pinned this to Pinterest!

  48. 53
    Ann Sam

    I liked fair trade facebook.

  49. 54
    Ann Sam

    Following This week for dinner😀

  50. 55

    nice recipe, I like that you used the seasonal ingredient pumpkin seeds!

  51. 56

    This recipe looks great.

  52. 57

    Just found your site and everything looks so good! Especially the Chicken Mole… trying that tomorrow! maybe with these for dessert..

  53. 59

    I also like This Week for Dinner on FB

  54. 60

    and Fair Trade on FB!

  55. 61
    lisa g

    These wouldbe great in my son’s lunch box!!

  56. 62
    lisa g

    I follow on facebook. As lisa denise gonzalez

  57. 63
    lisa g

    I follow on pinterest @ldgonza

  58. A great piece of information. I think this is what I was exactly looking for. All tips in a single click. I would definitely try to follow these suggestions.Without taken much of your time, in addition to this topic let me quickly tell you what credit card use is for. this is a card for people that like to make this type of fashion statements.

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