Looking for a healthier pumpkin treat? These raw pumpkin bars are made from dates, soaked cashews, and pumpkin puree and are absolutely delicious. The perfect lunchtime snack or after-dinner dessert!
Day numero dos of PUMPKIN WEEK, so obviously I'm coming at you with a dessert recipe. Or snack, whichever category you classify "bars" under. They're definitely a great pack-in-your lunch snack, but they're also an excellent after-dinner dessert. Or . . . both. Yes, we'll go with that.
Today I want to talk about food paranoia because, well, that's what's on my mind. What is food paranoia? It is exactly what it sounds like – being paranoid about what you eat. I think there's a fine line between being mindful and being paranoid. To me, being mindful means being aware of what you're eating and consciously trying to make good decisions for you and your body. Being paranoid is constantly checking labels, calories, ingredients, nutrients, etc. Now, I'm not saying knowing those things isn't important – I myself try to look into ingredients on a semifrequent basis – but I don't think it's necessary to constantly be checking those things every time you eat.
Being mindful of what you eat and purposely choosing the salad over the sandwich is a healthy choice (unless you live in Pittsburgh and that salad is topped with french fries). Simply put, lettuce is healthier than bread, so nine times out of 10, the salad is the healthier choice. It goes from mindful eating to paranoid eating when you start worrying about the ingredients on every single thing all the time. Unless you have a strict dietary restriction (i.e. gluten free), it isn't super necessary.
For those who suffer from food paranoia, the really hard part is going out to eat. Once you start becoming overly aware of every.little.thing you ingest, there won't be anything left to eat AND you won't want to eat anywhere! And what fun is that?!
I know I constantly talk about "listening to your body" and all that jazz, but this post is more inspired by some things I heard recently, specifically that honey is bad, syrup is bad, meat is bad, all vitamins are bad, the Paleo diet is WRONG, and the only correct diet is a raw vegan diet. While this may hold true for some, I really do believe that every body is different and responds differently to certain foods, which I suppose is why I don't have a diet label. That is my belief, the end.
In short (except this post is getting rather lengthy) YOU DO YOU. You do what works for your body. Think about food in a healthy way, meaning don't think TOO hard about good vs. bad food.
Phew, sorry for the ramble – I had to get that off my chest! I think I was actually just mad to hear that maple syrup is bad because . . . no and so good.
Coincidentally, these bars are raw vegan. Quite topical if you ask me.
The crust of these pumpkin bars is made from dates, pecans, walnuts, maple syrup, and shredded coconut, while the "icing" is made from cashews, pumpkin, and cinnamon. I brought them over to Cassie's house when she was home and she, her dad, and Angela all said they liked them. WIN.
From The Almond Eater
Raw Pumpkin Bars
11/2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
11/2 cups soaked cashews*
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
11/2 teaspoons organic maple syrup
2 tablespoons pecans
1 tablespoon walnuts
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine bottom layer ingredients (dates, pecans, walnuts, coconut, syrup) together in a food processor and pulse for at least 30 seconds until everything is mixed together.
- Transfer mixture to dish and use a spatular to flatten it out; place dish in refrigerator.
- For top layer, combine cashews and water together in a blender and pulse until cashews form a creamy texture.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add pumpkin, cinnamon, and syrup and stir either by hand or with an electric mixer.
- Pour on top of bottom layer, add toppings if you wish, and allow at least 30 minutes for bars to harden.
- Cut into bars and enjoy!
- Serves 9-16