Pumpkin Pie Glow Bars are everything you want in pumpkin pie with a grain free nut and seed crust and a hint of adaptogenic ingredients to bring out your inner glow.
Friends, meet pumpkin pie that tastes as good as it’s classic, pastry crusted sister. Although, pumpkin pie glow bars are healthy enough to eat for breakfast and not feel like your morning was a wash. Naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup, this grain free, dairy free bar tastes anything but healthy, but really adds to all the benefits pumpkin has to offer the body rather than masking them. As an optional, added bonus I tossed in some maca and adaptogenic mushrooms to sneak in that skin-glow nutrition.
Although when the holidays come around, I will not shy away from a traditional, flakey butter crust in my pumpkin pie, I want to enjoy pumpkin pie all the time. While I will easily splurge during special occasions or nights out with friends, I try really hard to keep a very healthy diet on a day to day basis. I mentioned in my grain free falafel post that I am simply playing around with eating less grains. I still have a nice slice of sourdough a few times a week and regularly get in some quinoa (which is actually a pseudo-grain as it’s a seed) but my focus is on getting in more healthy foods that I have been neglecting. Those being vegetables and nuts and seeds.
The crust of these pumpkin pie glow bars is simply ground walnuts, coconut, pepitas, dates, maple syrup, and coconut oil quickly blitzed together in a food processor. While also being way easier than cutting fat into flour, chilling, and perfectly rolling out pastry dough, this crust is made with lots of good stuff — which is a technical term, btw. Simply press the crust into a pan, bake for 15 minutes, and you’ve got the perfect chewy base to balance that creamy pumpkin pie filling.
Adaptogenic herbs? Gesundheit!
Chances are you have no idea what I’m talking about when I bring up adaptogens. I actually just recently started experimenting with adaptogens in my matcha lattes in the morning. And you guys, I have noticed a big difference in my stress levels and the glow of my skin. So what is an adaptogen? It’s a food or herb that benefits the body by helping it cope with stress more easily. In other words, goodbye cortisol!
Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the body when you get stressed out. And it’s bad for you. From acne to high blood pressure to reduced libido, getting too stressed out throws our bodies all out of whack. Adaptogens makes your body less sensitive to a stressful environment. Some examples of adaptogenic herbs are ashwagandha, maca, ginseng, holy basil, licorice root, and a large handful of mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps, and shiitake.
I know, more big words. But adding these adaptogens to your pumpkin pie glow bars is totally optional. If you already use adaptogenic herbs, than this is a great recipe to try out. I used a bit of nutty maca is the grain free crust and added a dried mushroom powder to the pie filling, neither of which I (or my partner) were able to taste.
Also, always talk to your doctor before changing anything is your diet or adding supplements such as adaptogens.
The Champion of Pumpkin Pie Glow Bars | Coconut
The bulk of the crust and the creaminess of the filling are all a result of homemade coconut milk. Making your own coconut milk requires some shredded coconut and 2 minutes in the blender. It’s very easy to make and is my favorite dairy milk substitute. Of course you can simply skip this step and use shredded coconut and canned coconut milk, this step will actualy ave you some money. After blending the coconut, you strain off the pulp. This leftover coconut is perfect for making crust. The coconut milk I use in place of evaporated milk used in a traditional pumpkin pie. While the crust is slightly coconut-y, if you love coconut like I do, you will love the way coconut adds to pumpkin pie.
Guys, this is so a traditional pumpkin pie filling, with a few minor tweaks. I used garam masala in place of pumpkin pie spice. I like to do this guys (i.e. tomato jam, protein chocolate truffles). It is so similar to pumpkin pie spice but with a couple extra knockouts like cardamom and black pepper. It’s just so good. Another tweak is that I used fresh ginger rather than ground. I have been adding this and lemon zest to pumpkin pie the past couple years and it adds so much bang to that creamy pie. Lastly, this pie is sweetened with a handful of dates and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. I don’t like my sweets overly sweet. These pumpkin pie glow bars have the perfect sweetness balance.
Last week of the CSA Series
All summer long I’ve created recipes for the series I’m doing called “What to do with your CSA Farm Share”. And sadly, this is the last week. Very soon I’m going to start ramping up for all the festivities fall and winter have in store for us. Did you purchase a CSA this year? Tell me how it went. What struggles did you have? Did you try out any of the recipes I made for this series? If so, what was your favorite? What other resources have been helpful for you as you cooked your way through the summer? Your opinion and perspective are so valuable to me as I work to improve the content here at POP KITCHEN to meet your needs. Leave a comment below or send me an email through my contact page.
WHAT’S IN SEASON THIS WEEK | SEPTEMBER 27- October 3
Here’s what you’re most likely to find in your farm shares or at a farmer’s market this week.
- Green Beans
- Loose leaf lettuce
- Sweet peppers
- Winter Squash
The asterisked items are featured in this recipe.
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- 1½ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 4 cups filtered water at room temperature
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or old, clean t-shirt
- 1 cup leftover coconut pulp from coconut milk or shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 6 dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp maca (optional)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1¾ cup pulp from one pie pumpkin or a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 8 oz coconut milk (either the homemade variety or canned full fat)
- 8 dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- 2 Tbsp adaptogenic mushroom powder (optional) such as reishi, shiitake, lion's mane, cordecyps, or a blend
- ROAST A PUMPKIN:If you're using a pie pumpkin rather than puree, preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C/4 gas. Cut the top and the bottom off your pie pumpkin. Slice the pumpkin in half vertically, remove the seeds, drizzle with a small amount of oil, and place face down on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
- COCONUT MILK (OPTIONAL): If you want to make your own coconut milk, here is how you do it. Add the shredded coconut, water, salt and vanilla to a blender and blend on high for 2 minutes. Line a quart sized measuring cup with a nut milk bag, two layers of cheese cloth, or an old, clean t-shirt.
- Pour the blended coconut mixture into whatever you're using to strain, gather the cloth together at the top and gently twist to force all of the liquid through, leaving just the coconut pulp behind. Squeeze hard to make sure all the liquid is removed. Reserve the pulp for the crust. Store the milk in the fridge for a week. The fat will separate after it sits, Simply shake it up to incorporate is all back together.
- CRUST In a food processor, combine all of the crust ingredients. If you did not make the coconut milk, that's fine. Just use regular shredded coconut and pulse it into small pieces before adding the other ingredients. Process the crust until the nuts and seeds are a fine meal and it starts to form a ball in the bowl of the food processor.
- In an 8x8 inch baking pan, press the crust firmly to evenly spread it across the pan (no need to grease, these babies don't stick). Prick the crust all over with a fork to keep it from bubbling up. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and set aside until the filling is ready to go in.
- PUMPKIN FILLING: In a blender, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut milk, dates, maple syrup, lemon zest, ginger, vanilla, salt, coconut oil, garam masala and optional mushroom powder. Blend on high until smooth, lump free, and all the dates have been processed. Pour the filling into the baked crust and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is set in the middle. Allow to cool completely before serving. This tastes the best when chilled first. Serve with coco whip.