One week until Thanksgiving! 'Tis the season for baking too much, cooking too much, and eating too much. But sometimes you don't want to wait until Thanksgiving for a slice of pumpkin pie, yet you don't want to ruin it, or sometimes you just want something of a lighter nature that you can feel good about eating. The upcoming season of delicious foods and feasting does not mean that you should be eating plain lettuce, carrot sticks, and rutabaga all day to "save up" for the holidays. In fact, if it's not delicious, then you shouldn't eat it. I believe food is a good gift and should always be enjoyed, and never suffered through. If it's not delicious, then something isn't being done right. Nutritious can be delicious. But delicious does not always have to be nutritious. Everything in moderation. Do you follow me? Well, never mind. Now for something that falls into the three most important categories: Delicious, Nutritious, AND Festive.
Pumpkin Coconut Energy Bars
Makes 8-10 Bars
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup nuts of choice, raw or unsalted
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds or chia seeds
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend for several minutes, until slightly chunky or completely smooth, as you wish.
Line an 8x8 in baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle with oats or coconut to prevent mixture from sticking too much.
Scoop mixture into dish and carefully spread to the edges. Use lightly oiled or wet hands to help this process. Sprinkle with more coconut, pumpkin seeds, or both.
Place in the freezer for a couple hours, then slice into bars. Store in at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, depending on how firm you want the bars to be.
I used a combination of almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts. Why use only 1 or 2 varieties of nuts when you can use 5??