It’s a bite of pumpkin pie, ready in minutes. This is a great recipe to add to your snack rotation, to have on hand for when you (or your kids!) get hungry. These pumpkin pecan bites are rich in flavor and are also packed with fiber and protein. They provide energy for your day and as a bonus also satisfy those sweet tooth cravings.
I have to admit, there were definitely some positive outcomes of writing Paleo recipes for two years. One of the main things that I love making now are nut bites such as these—in fact, this recipe is loosely based off of a PaleoGrubs one. Whether it’s chocolate, peanut butter, or pumpkin, I like to have bars such as these around in the refrigerator for easy snacks. They are similar to popular fruit and nut bars that you would buy at the store, except healthier and ready in minutes. No cooking is even required.
The short list of ingredients for this recipe includes pecans, old-fashioned oats, pumpkin puree, and dates. You can easily find dates at the grocery store (probably near the raisins) and I suggest buying the pitted kind, otherwise you will have to remove the pits. The dates act as the binder for the bars and hold everything together; they also add natural sweetness. If you’re a fan of coconut, you could use coconut flakes instead of the oats in the recipe for more flavor. A magical blend of spices is included in the recipe as well, to make the end result taste like mini pumpkin pies—with a delicious sweet and spicy flavor balance.
The steps in this recipe could not be much easier. Everything is thrown together in the blender and then shaped into bars. Alternatively, you could roll the dough into balls. I suggest using wet hands to roll the dough into balls because it can be sticky, but this could be a fun process for kids to help with.
If you want to shape the dough into bars, I have found the easiest way to be to use wax paper. Use the paper to flatten and form the dough into a square. Then refrigerate for 30–60 minutes before cutting into bars or rolling, so that the dough can harden a bit. The bars are best served chilled, so keep them stored in the refrigerator. They won’t last there long though; once you start eating them you just can’t stop.
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup dry old-fashioned oats
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Place the pecans and oats in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Add in the dates, pumpkin puree, and remaining ingredients. Mix until the ingredients are combined. If the dough will not come together, add a couple drops of water until combined. Adjust the spices to taste.
- Use a spatula to transfer the dough onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 30–60 minutes, wrapped, to chill and harden.
- Use the wax paper to press the dough into a square. Cut into desired size of bars. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- Yields about 14 small bars.