Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Healthy and Easy Pumpkin Bars

Halloween is definitely not my favorite holiday. I loved dressing up as a kid and in college it was just another great reason to party. But now I can't bring myself to get that excited about dressing up and my idea of a party is good food and wine with friends. I am looking forward to the days I can dress my own kids up and share in their excitement as they go out to trick-or-treat. But until that time, there is one thing that I absolutely love about Halloween: pumpkin. And not the kind you carve up into a scary face and put on your front porch. No, I'm talking about the little ones that are used for cooking. I even get excited about the pureed form you can get in a can. Pure canned pumpkin is available year round but no one thinks about it until it's time to make another pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. But there are so many delicious things you can make with pumpkin, both whole and canned, that it's worth getting a head start on cooking with pumpkin before you make that pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin has a natural sweetness that adds to a recipe without having to include a lot of extra sugar. These pumpkin bars only use 1/2 cup of honey but with the pumpkin they taste sweet enough to be served as a light dessert or as a sweeter snack. The pumpkin also makes these bars incredibly moist. The traditional fall/winter spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves make them comforting and reminiscent of pumpkin pie but can be eaten any day of the week since they are much healthier. Serve them as dessert with some whipped cream or as a snack with a cold glass of milk. Because they are made with almond flour they are gluten free but anyone can make these with ingredients you can easily get at the store. Just take blanched almonds and grind them in a food processor until they become a soft flour. Almonds are full of healthy fats and proteins and add a great nutty taste to the bars.

Pumpkin Bars
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened canned pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour (see note above)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a food processor or with a hand mixer, blend pumpkin, honey and eggs until fully combined.
Mix in almond flour and all spices until an even consistency.
Pour batter into a greased 8x8 baking dish.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool and cut into squares.
Eat warm or store in an airtight container.

For a printable recipe click here

Recipe adapted from Elana's Pantry


  1. What an awesome idea!! I bet the almond flour adds a tasty dimension to the pumpkin bars. Sounds delicious.

  2. Yum! I will definitely try this week, may also experiment and do 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 almond flour.