Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars!


Happy October everyone! There are a couple of reasons that I am really excited about this post. For one, I am obsessed with pumpkin. I absolutely adore indulging in all things flavored with this wonderfully seasonal fruit. This is very clearly illustrated on my Instagram. The second reason that I'm excited about this post is because it's my first recipe post that is completely gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and peanut free! As I have mentioned briefly on my blog before, I have these five food intolerances, which makes enjoying many common foods impossible. Since I found out about my dietary restrictions about seven months ago, I've been on the look out for substitutions and replacements for my favorite foods. I've found some wonderful alternatives to some of them, but I've been a little bit worried about completely missing out on this fantastic pumpkin season. Last time I was at Trader Joe's, I picked up some pumpkin butter (surprisingly not made with any dairy at all) and a couple cans of pumpkin purée, having every intention to make the effort to add pumpkin to my diet this way, despite the fact that I can't have pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin bread, etc. So when I found this recipe in my Living Without's Gluten Free magazine, I thought, What a perfect way to kick off my pumpkin spree! I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe, based on what I had available to me in the house, but I think they came out great! I hope that even if you don't necessarily have food restrictions that you still give them a try. They are healthy and yummy and easy to make. So without further ado, here we go!



Pumpkin Pie Bars

Makes 8 Bars

1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil, organic margarine or grape seed oil
3/4 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds or flax meal
2 tablespoons amaranth flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8X8-inch pan or line it with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor, combine dates, syrup, oil and pumpkin. Pulse until mixture forms a paste.

3. In a medium bowl, place oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, amaranth flour, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined.

4. Add date paste to dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

5. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.

6. Place in preheated oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan completely before cutting.

Recipe taken from Living Without's Gluten Free magazine, August/September 2014 issue.




For this first time around, I used maple syrup and flax meal. I replaced the oil with dairy, soy-free butter substitute, and used all-purpose gluten-free flour in place of amaranth flour. I also used chopped hazelnuts in place of pumpkin seeds. Again, this was purely because of what I had on hand. Next time, I absolutely want to use the ingredients that are listed in the recipe, and I think I'll try honey in place of the maple syrup. Overall, though, I think they are delicious and a wonderful way to have my lovely pumpkin while still keeping within my dietary limits.




Let me know if you try them and what you think! Do you have any food restrictions? What kinds of substitutions do you make?

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