No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

And just like that, summer as we knew it was gone.  With it went 95-degree swimming pools, driving free of 15-mph school crosswalk zones, and the long days that woke you up at 5 am and allowed 8 pm to look early enough for happy hour.  At least, that’s how we in the valley of Arizona could tell that fall had taken summer’s place. 

But, despite the lack of hard evidence for seasonal change, Arizonans are known for fiercely taking the concept of fall into their own hands. 

Fall decorations begin to appear in and on homes from the very second August is over.  The scent of apple-cider air fresheners wafts through the air.  Everyone is simply rabid for pumpkin spice lattes… and, well, anything “pumpkin” at all.

I’ll admit to strewing fake fall leaves over every surface of my house, yes, and that the combination of AC and those little scented plug-ins from Bath and Body Works does almost make me forget about the upper 90s weather outside.  But I still don’t care about the physical presence of the season so much as the acceptability of beginning to bake with pumpkin.

I may go crazy… but at least I won’t be alone.

Which brings us to my first pumpkin recipe of the season.  No-bake, and sure to please most raw-foodies, this pie-like treat is vegan, gluten-free, and no sugar added!  Oh.  And it’s THE BOMB.  Really could not believe how wonderfully pumpkin-pie-y it was.

Did you feel like angels were singing too?  It really is almost too good to believe.

If you want to get at these right now – and come on, if you could make ‘em in ten minutes, wouldn’t you? – all you have to do is blend the crust ingredients, press into a pan, then blend the pie ingredients, and top the crust with it.  Freeze or refrigerate until semi-firm, and enjoy!

no bake pumpkin pie 2a.jpg

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

makes 12 {vegan, gluten-free, no sugar added}

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 c. rolled oats (gluten-free certified if necessary)
  • 2/3 c. pitted dates
  • ¼ c. ground flax seed
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 T. pumpkin puree

Pie:

  • ½ c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. raw cashews
  • 1/3 c. pitted dates
  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. each ginger, nutmeg, allspice

Directions:

  1. Soak the dates for the crust in a small bowl of water at room temperature for up to four hours, or in the refrigerator, overnight.  In another bowl, do the same with the cashews and dates for the pie crust, together.   (If you don’t have the time for that – don’t worry!  You can get the same softening effect, quicker, by microwaving these in water for 1 minute.)
  2. Drain the soaked dates.  In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the crust and blend until as fine as possible.  Press the crust firmly and evenly into an 8 x 8” pan.
  3. Drain the dates and cashews for the pie.  In the now-empty food processor, combine all ingredients for the pie and blend until as smooth as possible.  Spread the pie filling evenly on top of the prepared crust.
  4. Refrigerate or freeze until just firmed, about 1 hour in the freezer or 4 hours in the refrigerator.  Cut into 1/12ths, garnish with a cashew or dollop of whipped cream, and serve!

Makes 12 bars

Nutrition per serving: 166 calories; 9 g fat; 18 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 3 g protein