pumped-up pumpkin squares

I thank Jessica at cleangreensimple.com for her oatmeal pumpkin bars , which inspired this recipe for luscious yet nutritious snack bars.  They’re pumped up nutritionally and texturally with roasted pumpkin seeds.  And since there’s not a chocolate chip in every bite, you might even get away with calling them breakfast!  Add a little brown rice syrup to the pumpkin layer if you’d like it sweet, and/or sprinkle twice the amount of chocolate chips over the bottom layer to turn them into dessert.  They are most enjoyable warmed up!

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prep time: 12 minutes

bake time: 40 minutes      cooling time: about 40 minutes (for ease of cutting)

makes 20 squares.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with vegan buttery sticks or a little coconut oil.

Ingredients:

bottom layer:

2 c old-fashioned oats

2 c almond meal

1/2 c walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 c brown rice syrup

1/2 c coconut oil

2 pinches salt

a few generous pinches ground nutmeg

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pumpkindryingred

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for bottom layer.  Press into greased baking dish.

over top of crust layer:

1/4 c roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds

1/4 c vegan semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and choc. chips over bottom layer, and press them in slightly.

pumkincrustmade

addedchipsandseeds

pumpkin layer:

2 15 oz cans pureed pumpkin

1 14 oz can coconut milk

1/2 c smooth almond butter

1/2 c potato starch

2 tsp vanilla

3 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

few generous dashes nutmeg

pumpkinwetingred

In a medium-large bowl, combine pumpkin layer ingredients and mix by hand till smooth. Taste and adjust spices to your liking.  Spread filling evenly over bottom layer.  Bake 40 minutes and/or till top is very lightly browned.  Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then place in fridge for 20-40 more minutes so they’ll cut up nicely.

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