Pumpkin Cream Pie Bars

PUMPKIN + CHOCOLATE TREATS

These delicous fall treats offer a hint of sweentess that won’t trick your system.  The combination of coconut milk and pumpkin creates a delicious bar brimming with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps maintain healthy, glowing skin while supporting those treasured windows to your soul.

This seasonal treat gives a nice balance of flavors and is packed with powerful antioxidants from the orange pigments (aka. carotenoids) found in pumpkins. Using canned pumpkin also ups the antioxidant load of carotenoids due to the removal of water in transition from fresh to canned, while the presensce of fats in coconut milk allows them to be better absorbed.

Finally, when it comes to choosing chocolate, look for products labeled at least 70% cacao (or cocoa) because they have more antioxidants and less sugar then do varieties with a lower percentage of cocoa. Enjoy!


Recipe

The Goods: Crust

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 medjool dates (pits removed)

The Goods: Filling

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

The Goods: Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 cup chocolate chips of choice (at least 70% cocoa)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

Special notes:

  1. Refrigerate the canned coconut milk overnight. 
  2. Let the bars sit in the freezer overnight before cutting into squares. To slice with ease, it will need to sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes before it is soft enough to cut and share. Store in the freezer. 

The Magic:

STEP 1: In a food processor, combine the nuts and cinnamon for about a minute. Next, add the dates and process until a crumbly mixture begins to form.

STEP 2: Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Firmly press the dough into the bottom of the baking pan. Stick in the freezer while you make the cream filling. While the crust is freezing remove the canned coconut milk from the fridge (refrigerating the coconut milk overnight creates a think fatty layer that will be very important in creating the consistency of the cream). Open the can and scoop the solid white part into your mixing bowl (you can use the remaining water for smoothies!) With a hand mixer whip the coconut milk into a cream.

STEP 3: After you've whipped the cream, mix the remaining filling ingredients in the food processor. Gently fold the pumpkin mixture into the coconut cream.

STEP 4: Once everything is combined, spread the mixture on top of the crust in the baking dish and place it back in the freezer.

STEP 5: To make the chocolate topping, fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Place a heat safe glass bowl on top of the saucepan and reduce heat to medium. Add the chocolate chips and almond milk into the glass bowl and gently melt the mixture. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid burning. Once the chocolate is melted, spread evenly over the cream layer in the baking dish and place it back in the freezer to set.

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