I wanted to take a break from baking my traditional pumpkin pie and try something new this Thanksgiving. The result are incredibly simple, healthy, portable and delicious spiced pumpkin bars. Free of gluten, dairy, eggs and refined sugars, it’s hard to believe that these nutrient-dense bars taste so good! They are sure to be a hit at any fall celebration!  

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped pitted Medjool dates

FILLING

  • 1 1/2 cups puréed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch ground black pepper

Preparation

CRUST

  1. Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment paper so you can lift the bars out for cutting.
  2. Place the oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  3. Add dates and process until well combined and sticky. The mixture may look crumbly, but it should hold together when pinched between your fingers. If necessary, add more dates to get the right consistency.
  4. Press the dough firmly and evenly into the baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

FILLING

  1. Combine the puréed pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and spices in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the coconut flour and pulse until well combined.
  2. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the filling on top, spreading it out evenly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Lift bars out of the pan by holding the parchment paper edges. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts. Serve chilled.

If you like, you can decorate the bars with coconut, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and/or a dollop of coconut whipped cream.