So it’s Easter, Passover, Earth Day – so many holidays to choose from, and I decide to make…pumpkin bars. What can I say, I’m visiting my mother and sister-in-law in Buffalo, NY and it’s cold and wintry and they had a can of pumpkin puree. It was a natural progression.
I actually had a good amount of help with this one – my sister-in-law and I were talking about desserts I could make “my way” (meaning obnoxiously healthy) and she got out a cookbook with some bars and suggested I could use pumpkin. And oats. And pecans. So, yeah, basically she invented this recipe and I’m taking all the credit. I did figure out how to make the stuff work without butter or gluten or sugar or condensed milk, so that’s something, right?
She also showed me their awesome little hand grinder, which we used to chop up the pecans for the crust – you just put whatever you are grinding in the top and crank it and it falls into the bottom. Eco friendly and a good arm workout!
These pumpkin bars are pretty fun – they have a delicious chewy crust that still manages to hold together, and a subtle pumpkin flavor that’s not too sweet. (You could always add more sweetener or spices to make it a bit stronger if you like – the batter tastes similar to the final product so taste it and get it where you like it before you bake it)
They come together pretty quickly – just combine your oatmeal crust ingredients in a bowl until you get a nice dough:
Then spread it evenly out into a 9×13 pan:
Then mix up your pumpkin batter and spread it out in an even layer on top of the oatmeal – both of these come together very quickly, and you don’t need a mixer or anything.
Once that’s all spread out, just pop it into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until a fork comes out mostly clean when you stick it into the middle. You can then put the whole thing in the fridge for a few minutes to let it set and you’ll be good to go! These would be great topped with some chopped pecans (like the sweetened ones in my butter pecan recipe!) or coconut whipped cream – anyone else have any other ideas for toppings? These things feel like they could work with a lot of stuff!
What’s your favorite easy treat to whip up? Anyone have a recipe they invented with a friend or family member?
Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars
For the oatmeal crust:
For the pumpkin filling: (very lightly adapted from Pure2Raw)