As mentioned in my last post, I love fall. Across the country, it’s a season that to me reveals itself beautifully… changing leaves, cooler nights, a generally cozier feel. Also with the onset of fall comes an onslaught of pumpkin everything… including another recipe here. I couldn’t resist.
While I don’t really like pumpkin “flavored” (aka artificial) things, which unfortunately is what is usually pumped into coffee cups or takes up much of the real estate on grocery store shelves, the real deal is one of the unique foods that to me can seamlessly translate into a sweet or savory recipe, and has a unique warming richness to it.
Unlike most pumpkin breads/bars/cakes, which while delicious can be heavy and overly laden with sugar or oil, this is a much lighter alternative. Considering it breakfast, dessert or a snack wouldn’t be a stretch by any means. It’s also almost too easy to make – hard to beat a one-bowl recipe!
After you make it, wait until someone tries it (and undoubtedly enjoys it) and then shock them with the “secret” ingredient of chickpeas. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who can truly taste them in there, but they add a wonderful moistness to baked things – not to mention good protein, fiber and other nutrients.
Recipe: Healthier Pumpkin Squares (vegan and gluten free)
What You Need:
- 1 can chickpeas / garbanzo beans, rinsed
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 1 1/4 c oats (ideally gluten free) or quinoa flakes
- 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 c coconut oil (liquid)
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 1/4 c brown sugar (**this can be replaced with more maple syrup or 1/4 worth of blended dates)
- 2.5 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or use a combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and all spice)
- a handful or two of dark chocolate chips (optional)
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease a baking pan (I used an 8×8 square; others will work fine too, but you may need to adjust baking time).
- Minus the chocolate chips, put all other ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until thoroughly combined. You’ll likely still notice some oat/quinoa flakes, which is expected.
- By hand, stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into prepared baking dish, and bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Let cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the baking dish.