Just because the holidays are right around the corner does not mean you have to give up your healthy diet! No one wants to give up the classic pumpkin pie dessert on Thanksgiving or Christmas, so we provided you with a healthy alternative to a traditional pumpkin pie recipe! These creamy pumpkin pie bars are plant-based, gluten-free and naturally sweetened!
What you will need:
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour* (not meal // or 1 cup raw almonds*)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 4-5 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 3/4 cups pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or sub mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
1. First you are going to preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Make crust by adding oats to a blender (or food processor) and blending/mixing until you reach the consistency of oat flour (if using raw almonds, mix them with the oats at this time).
3. Add almond flour (not meal*), sea salt, coconut sugar and mix once more. Then add maple syrup and melted coconut oil and mix/pulse to combine. Depending on device, you may need to use a spoon to scrape around the edges to ensure the crust is completely mixed. If it appears or feels too dry, add more coconut oil.
4. Add crust to the parchment-lined baking dish and shake to evenly disperse, then lay down parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object (such as a liquid measuring cup or drinking glass) and pressing down to pack the crust into place, making an even, firmly packed layer.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.
6. In the meantime, add all filling ingredients to the blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.Once the crust is baked, pour the filling into the crust and tap on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour. The filling will still be just a bit jiggly, dark orange in color, and have some cracks on the top – this is normal.
7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering with plastic wrap or foil and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
8. Once cooled, gently lift bars out of dish and slice into 9 bars.