Yes, there is a lot going on in these bars. But sooooooo yummy! I had the dilemma of some leftover pumpkin pie puree in the fridge that I needed to use up, so I found a few promising recipes on the web, and then modified them into this recipe! I find that I almost never follow a recipe exactly (unless perhaps I’m using my beloved Joy of Cooking); one of my main substitutions is for sugar – any time I can, I will use other natural sweeteners because refined white sugar (and white flour, for that matter) is so bad for you!
So here’s the recipe! Perfect for breakfast or a snack on an autumn day!
Coconut Walnut Pumpkin Raisin Bars
1 cup date sugar*
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or from the can)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
(*date sugar is a great substitute for white sugar in baking – it has a slightly molasses-like flavor. You can find it at natural foods stores, or you can make it yourself! I took a large amount of dried dates, chopped them into pellet-sized pieces, and then baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. They’ll get really hard once cooled. In batches, grind the dates in a coffee-grinder or food processor until fine.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together your dry ingredients and set aside.
Pulse your coconut and walnuts in a food processor, for a finer consistency. If you like a chunkier bar, simply chop by hand.
In a large bowl, stir together the date sugar, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla until combined.
Add the coconut/walnut mixture to the wet mixture.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until combined (this will be more like a dough than a batter).
Spread evenly in a greased 8×8 pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool, then cut into squares, and enjoy!