Delicious pumpkin snacks

It’s pumpkin season again. Make these pumpkin treats with young people in your life for a fun activity and delicious snack!

As we enter the fall season, the temperature is dropping, leaves are starting to change color and fall, and we are bombarded with commercials from coffee shops and grocery stores for pumpkin-flavored products. We love pumpkin flavored snacks and drinks in my house but they almost always come full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Luckily, Google is just a click away for a better substitute.

These Pumpkin Pie Energy Bars from Nutritionistinthekitch.com are a great alternative to all of the pumpkin madness. They are vegan and gluten-free as well.

Prep time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates (220 grams)
½ cup raw cashews (100 grams)
3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup rolled oats OR ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup pure pumpkin puree (I used canned, you could use fresh)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. This may take some time but be patient. Or you could leave the mixture a little chunky if you like. Place parchment paper on the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking pan. Pour in the energy bar batter from the food processor (it will be quite sticky so it’s advised to work with wet hands to prevent it from sticking to your hands). Press the mixture down into a pan and use the back of a wet spoon to smooth the top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of reserved pumpkin seeds. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until solid and cut into eight bars. Store any uneaten bars in the freezer, as bars left at room temperature will become soft and mushy.

Notes:

If you prefer the bars to be more dense and last longer at room temperature, double the oats or protein powder to make the batter less moist. This will change the nutritional facts, however.

Michigan State University Extension hopes you like making these pumpkin treats as a fun activity and delicious snack to enjoy with the young people in your life.

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