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    Pumpkin Spice Bars

    Pumpkin Spice Bars can be made ahead and are great for holiday get togethers.

    They are free of gluten, grains, eggs, and dairy which makes them ideal for people who are on the healing path.

    Even though fruits, veggies, and leafy greens should be the base of our diet, life happens and sometimes we need to have dessert.  And if we do, let’s make it nutrient-dense right?

    Pumpkin is a very low calorie vegetable (actually technically a fruit) that is packed with antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and zea-xanthin which can help prevent age-related macular disease. Pumpkin is also a rich source of B-vitamins such as folates, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and phosphorus. The high amount of phytonutrients in pumpkin have been shown to help prevent the risk of cancers, particularly mouth, lung, and colon cancer. Pumpkin also contains several anti-aging benefits and the antioxidants help to keep skin wrinkle-free and radiating a healthy glow. It also contains immune-boosting properties which can help the body stay strong and ward off common colds and flus that may be going around. Pumpkin is excellent way to replenish and restore the body after a workout as it is high in potassium which helps to restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after exercise and keeps muscles functioning at their best.

    This pumpkin spice bar recipe uses coconut oil as its main source of fat. It gives the pie a subtle nutty sweetness that goes perfect with the pumpkin. Just remember that fat is fat.  It’s allll hard on the liver, digestive system and downstream organs and functions so cut them into small pieces!

    This is a great fall recipe or perfect for Thanksgiving! Impress your guests with a clean version of a favorite Thanksgiving dessert.

    Enjoy!

    Pumpkin Spice Bar Ingredients:

    For the Crust:
    ¾ cup arrowroot powder
    ¼ tsp sea salt
    1½ cups dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
    2 Tbsp REAL maple syrup
    2 Tbsp coconut oil
    1½ tsp fresh grated ginger root
    For the Filling:
    3 cups pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
    ½ cup REAL maple syrup
    ¼ cup coconut oil
    2½ Tbsp gelatin  ( essential!!!)
    1½ Tbsp cinnamon
    ¼ tsp ground cloves
    ¼ tsp sea salt

     Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 325 and grease a casserole dish with coconut oil (or line it with unbleached parchment paper).
    2. Soak and drain the dates, and place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor. Process for a minute until it forms a thick and sticky mixture. Don’t overmix – you want the dates to be slightly chunky and not completely blended.
    3. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and spread evenly along the bottom with a spatula or press with your fingers. This is your crust.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when gently inserted. Set aside to cool.
    4. Combine all of the filling ingredients, cold, in a pot. Turn the heat on medium-low, and heat, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should liquefy and the gelatin should dissolve. If there are still some chunks after 10 minutes, transfer to a blender and blend for a few seconds to incorporate.
    5. Pour into the baking dish pan over the crust. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours.
    6. Dollop with a non dairy whip topping if you desire…..or serve it with some coconut or homemade banana ice cream.

    PS – I suspect you could use agar agar flakes instead of the gelatin but I have not actually tried it myself.  When I was in grad school, we used agar flakes to make jello so I know it’ll work.  These days, my diet is so clean, I probably would experiment but back when I posted this, I wasn’t as picky {wink}.   Don’t sweat the small stuff.  If the worst thing you eat over a holiday gathering is a bit of gelatin, pat yourself on the back and move on!

     

    pumpkin spice bars

    Recipe adapted from Autoimmune Paleo

    If you are frustrated or feeling hopeless about your health, and you can’t continue like this, learn how to take charge of your body, and ultimately the quality of your life. Learn the foundations of health so that you can do the things that are important to you! Even if it feels like you’ve tried everything, or made things, worse, the good news is that your body CAN heal if you do the right things (and stop doing the things that are holding you back)! I will guide you and lead you along the healing path so that you can feel like YOU again!  Schedule a 1:1 session to get your Custom Nutrition Plan!

    Here to support you every step of the way!

    Tracy Konoske MS RDN
    Americas Virtual and Integrative Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist
    Food & Health Expert
    Helping YOU restore and optimize your health!
    Specializing in Immune Dysfunction, Gastrointestinal Conditions, Toxicity Issues, and Neurological Damage
    CEO & Founder of Healthy Lifestyles, Inc (since 1999)

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