Happy belated Thanksgiving (or very early Thanksgiving for my U.S. friends or just happy Wednesday to everyone else)!
It was inevitable…the pumpkin dessert had to make an appearance at some point. I resisted for quite, avoiding all pumpkin but when Thanksgiving comes around it just has to happen! I remember when I was younger we would always go to my grandparents’ for dinner. Being French Canadian, my grandma really knew how to cook a holiday feast right down to the home-preserved pickles, homemade ketchup, tortiere and mashed potatoes. I loved those potatoes so much she always made extra for me. And of course, there were 2 kinds of pie- one of them always pumpkin.
I was always so fixated on the pumpkin, I honestly have NO IDEA what the other one was. I had a selective memory as a child.
Here’s my version of pumpkin pie. I am a lazy cook and couldn’t be bothered to make a traditional pie with crust, so I went for more of a square. And I made them no-bake because I could make them and just stick them in the fridge without having to pay them much mind. Crucial for days I feel like I’m running around with my head cut off trying to get a million things done.
These pumpkin pie squares are packed full of healthy fats from the nuts and coconut and tons of fibre and Vitamin A from the pumpkin. Of course this is dessert so it has to be sweet- maple syrup does a brilliant job of playing up the warming fall flavours and pumpkin pie spice gives it that real pie feel while also delivering a punch of blood-sugar balancing cinnamon. The real secret ingredient here? Coconut flour! Just a couple tablespoons really help thicken the filling up, giving it a traditional texture while also adding a dose of sweetness and fibre. Coconut flour is a tricky ingredient to get used to but it’s magical once you do.
I hope some of you give this a try whether it’s for a Thanksgiving celebration or even if it’s just because it’s fall and that means ALL THE PUMPKIN.
Adapted from these bars from The Kitchn.
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- ⅓ + 2 tbsp cup maple syrup or coconut nectar (or to taste)
- ¼ + 2 tbsp cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper so you can lift the bars out for cutting.
- Crust: Place oats, pecans, coconut, cinnamon and sea salt in a food process and pulse until finely ground. Add in the dates and process until sticky and holds to together when you press it. Press the dough into your prepared pan and put in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Filling: Place all filling ingredients except coconut oil and flour in to the food processor and process until smooth and well combined. With the food processor running, pour in the coconut oil. Finally, while it’s still running, add the coconut flour. Pour on top of the prepared crust and smooth it out with a spatula.
- Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving. Sprinkle with coconut shreds, pumpkin pie spice or coconut whipped cream and serve!
To all you Canadians, how was your Thanksgiving? Favourite dish you or a friend/family member made? These squares topped my list but there was this amazing apple cider sangria that deserves a mention…
Americans- have any of you started planning your Thanksgiving meals yet? Do you have anything you always make?
Everyone! What’s your favourite way to enjoy pumpkin (or any squash)?