I do not claim to be a foodie. In fact, I wouldn't even claim to be a good cook. It wasn't until about two years ago that I made the commitment to make healthier meals for my family and opted to not buy pre-packaged, pre-made or highly processed food. I strive to feed my family real food from real ingredients. My motto is "I don't eat 100% clean. I eat 90% clean 100% of the time". I keep it simple when it comes to cooking and tend to get a bit more adventurous when it comes to baking. I also am no good at photography. I'll leave the beautiful picture taking to the professional hens.
I created a healthy dessert recipe adapted from a good friend of mine. This recipe is sweet enough to replace a more traditional Thanksgiving dessert yet macronutrient-rich enough to be a quick breakfast on those busy mornings.
Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Bars:
Click here to print the recipe!
Here's what you'll need for the bars:
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- 2 cups raw pecans
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 Tbsp water for five minutes
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Here's what you'll need for the "caramel" sauce
- 30 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 13x9 baking dish.
- In a food processor, combine the dates and water. Let soak for about five minutes. Pulse until you get a caramel consistency. You will need to scrape down the sides a few times. Pour into a bowl.
- In the same food processor, grind up the pecans, pumpkin seeds and oats into a course consistency. Dump into a large bowl and add the baking powder, salt and spices. Mix well
- Combine pumpkin, applesauce, chia "eggs" & maple syrup.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the wet.
- Slowly spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan
- Add the "caramel" on top - as the middle layer.
- Top with the remaining batter.
- Bake in oven for about 40 minutes.