Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Harvest Bars (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free & Vegan)

Ah, it's fall and that means many of my favorite foods are in season.  These bars combine several of them into one and are just as delicious as they are nutritious.  These make a great breakfast, snack or lunch box treat.

Batter Base

1/2 of a medium pie pumpkin, roasted and mashed (about 2 cups)*
2 cups oats, ground into flour (gluten-free, if necessary)
1 cup xylitol, or stevia baking blend (or coconut sugar, if you prefer)
2 flax eggs (2 tbls ground flax + 6 tbls hot water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dropper full of stevia liquid (if desired)
2 tbls lucuma powder (optional)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Fruit compote

2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup dried, juice sweetened cranberries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Liquid stevia, to taste (optional)
1/2 cup water

Place compote ingredients in a pot on the stove over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and turn heat down to low.  Simmer until liquid is absorbed and fruit is softened.

Place all the ingredients for batter into food processor and blend until fairly smooth.  Add in fruit compote and pulse a few times, just until mixed in.

Scrape batter into greased 9x12 baking pan.  Bake at 400F for 25 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares and removing from pan.  Makes 24 squares.  Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week or freeze.

*For the pumpkin, I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and roasted, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet at 400F for about 40 minutes.  Then I let it cool and threw it into the food processor.  Feel free to use canned pumpkin, if you prefer.

I have included this recipe in Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday and Wellness Weekend for this Thanksgiving 2013 weekend.