I’m one of those people who LOVE pumpkin everything: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes. You name it, I want it. However, thanks to Whole 30, I know the added sugar and other gut irritants in most of these seasonal treats will leave me feeling less than optimal.
To get my pumpkin fix, I created a cleaner (and super easy, no bake) variation of pumpkin bars. Made with nutritious ingredients, lightly sweetened with dates and maple syrup, and thickened with antioxidant rich chia seeds, they are so creamy that you’ll need a spoon. Delicious served as is or top with coconut whipped cream.
For the crust:
In a food processor, finely chop:
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
5-6 medjool dates (pits removed)
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
Once fully chopped, press into an 8×8 dish and then place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
In a food processor, puree:
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1/3-1/2 cup pure maple syrup** (see notes)
2 teaspoons chia seeds**
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Once pureed to a creamy consistency, spoon over the prepared crust.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Refrigerating for a full 24 hours will allow the filling to thicken more. Cut into bars and serve.
**This can be modified to be nut-free by substituting pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in place of the nuts.
**I tend to prefer things less sweet. If you are a “sweets person”, you’ll need to increase the amount of maple syrup in the filling to 1/2 cup.
**Coconut cream can be found near the canned coconut milk in most grocery stores. I generally use the Thai Kitchen brand.
**The chia seeds create a thickening effect. 5 teaspoons of gelatin can be used in place of chia seeds.
**MOM HACK: This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. I actually prefer them after a few days!