Paradisiacal Pumpkin Bars

Sarah Nesselroade

I know it may be hard to wrap your mind around this, but, believe it or not, there are more ways to utilize a pumpkin than just the traditional pumpkin pie or annual Halloween pumpkin carving. Ladies and gentlemen, let me educate you on the endless possibilities that concern this large, orange vegetable that is sometimes used as a carriage. Well, actually, let me just give you one possibility, I don’t have the time to write out everything you know. So, with that said, may I introduce, the Paradisiacal Pumpkin Bar (I take all credit for creative licensing concerning the name). This is a recipe I found about a year ago and when I made it for the first time, well, let’s just say….it wasn’t my original intention to eat the entire pan by myself.

Ingredients:
• Filling:
• 1 (15 oz can) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup apple juice
• 1 Tablespoon molasses
• ½ teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon allspice
• Crust and Crumble:
• ½ cup almond meal
• ¾ cup old fashioned oats, ground up into a flour
• 1 cup old fashioned oats
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
• ¼ cup agave nectar
Instructions:

1. For the filling:
2. Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium sized pot.
3. Cook over medium heat on the stove for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Once thickened, remove filling from heat and let cool. Set aside.
5. For the crust:
6. Preheat oven to 350.
7. Whisk almond meal, oat flour, old fashioned oats, cinnamon, and baking soda together.
8. Stir in coconut oil and agave nectar.
9. Set aside ⅓ cup of crust mixture.
10. Press remaining crust mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 8×8 pan, pressing down so that it is even all around.
11. Spread pumpkin filling on top.
12. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over the top of the pumpkin filling.
13. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
14. Let cool before serving or refrigerating until serving time. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
15. Enjoy!
(Recipe is originally from Mary Frances at TheSweetToothLife.com)

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