one of the best things about autumn and the holidays are the countless treats that fill our home with warm smells of all things good. i am not a big fan of pumpkin pie, however i am a huge lover of anything that resembles the smell of pumpkin. for me, one of the best feelings is to come in from the cold and walk into a warm kitchen filled with smells of cinnamon & spice or a warm soup simmering away.
it reminds me of my mom & gram - the sweet smell wraps around you like a big hug. childhood memories of the fall always included heading in from a chilly day of playing and being welcomed by a sweet treat, mug of cocoa or a big bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup.
lately i have been struggling with achieving balance in my life.
when i start a new project, hobby or activity i give 110% of myself - i strive to achieve perfection.
if it isn't perfect i have a tendency to start feeling guilty and end up putting too much pressure on myself.
often times if it isn't perfect i feel like i have failed.
perfect can mean a lot of things to different people.
perfect for me is giving it my all, completing it to the best of my ability with visible improvement.
finding balance between blogging, gym classes, work & down time is what i am working on.
i will be honest, it is hard - i toyed with the idea of taking the month of november off from blogging.
i tried, for like 1 week. the fact is i love creating & styling beautiful food and sharing it with you.
so my goal is to blog without out so much self pressure, workout for health & enjoyment and not like it's my second job and remember that its okay to take a nap on the couch in the middle of the afternoon.
these pumpkin pie bars are perfect to slowdown with along side a mug of piping hot tea.
they are filled with warm spices and pumpkin goodness.
the bottom layer of the bar is made up of pecans, dates & gluten free oats.
within the pumpkin layer you will be greeted with cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and maple.
the top layer, well the top layer is my favorite; oats, molasses, coconut sugar, vegan butter & cinnamon create a crunchy top layer that is hard to resist sneaking bits and pieces of after it comes out of the oven.
like i mentioned before, pumpkin pie isn't on my "top 10 list of pies heather loves" however this will definitely be going on my top ten list of awesome pie bars!
if you do not have the need or ingredients to make these gluten free, feel free to use regular rolled oats and a different flour in place of the ap gf flour and gf oats.
if you plan on enjoying these bars throughout the week i would recommend storing them in the fridge.
take a moment this month to slow down and be thankful for all the beauty and good in your life.
make your day even better with a cup of tea and these beautiful pumpkin pie bars
Pumpkin Pie Bars
makes 1 8x8 pan - 12 servings
you will need:
for the base
1 cup gluten free oats
1 cup pecans
10 medoj dates - pitted
1 tbsp coconut oil - softened (room temp)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
for the pumpkin layer
1 - 15oz can of pure pumpkin
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp all spice
5 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour
for the topping
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar or demera sugar
1 tbsp black strap molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp vegan butter
*pre heat oven to 350*
line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper allowing a little over hang on the sides
in a food processor fitted with an s blade, process oats & pecans until roughly ground. add pitted dates and process until mixture begins to bind. transfer mix into a medium mixing bowl - add softened coconut oil and maple syrup and mix well. empty oat pecan mixture into the parchment lined baking dish pressing evenly to distribute the mix which will create your base layer.
in the same mixing bowl add pumpkin through flour and mix well. evenly spread the pumpkin mixture over the base layer.
for the topping, using the same mixing bowl combine oats through cinnamon stirring well.
with your fingers work in the 3 tbsp of vegan butter - you are looking to work in all the dry mix into the butter creating marble size clumps. evenly sprinkle the topping over the pumpkin layer.
bake in your pre heated oven for 30 minutes. remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes prior to cutting & serving.
can be stored at room temp for 2 days or in the fridge for up to a week.