I don't know about you, but I love this time of year! I love throwing on my boots, favorite pair of jeans and a sweater. I love taking my kids to the pumpkin patch, apple picking and camping. I love all the fall produce and I especially love all things pumpkin! I try to test out new clean eating recipes as often as I can because in our house we tend to eat the same things every week until we get totally bored of everything and then I am left with an entire weeks worth of new recipes to think of all at once. But if I continually rotate new recipes in every other week, I find that everyone is a lot happier and all it requires is a little time on Pinterest! I have been making these No Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites a lot this year and my kids and husband cannot get enough. They have ZERO added sugar and the perfect amount of pumpkin for a tasty fall treat. The sweetness comes mostly from dates and a little bit of honey. If you wanted to make them totally vegan or have someone who is allergic to honey in your family, you could use maple syrup or agave as a substitute. They are so easy to make that I literally made a batch this morning before school drop off and still had time to take a shower! Did you know that pumpkin is full of vitamin A, good for the skin, helps with cholesterol and promotes a healthy heart? It also has zinc, fiber and potassium. And it is a great mood booster! So turn off your oven, pull out your food processor and make a batch of these delicious little tasty treats!
No Bake Pumpkin Energy Bites
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
· 8 oz. (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates
· 1/4 cup honey
· 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
· 1 Tbsp. chia seeds or flax seeds
· 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
· 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
· 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
· pinch of salt
· 1 cup old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
· 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
· 1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia (or flax) seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls. (Mine were about 1-inch in diameter.) Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.)
If you feel like adding a little extra sweetness, these would also be great with some cinnamon or white chocolate chips tossed in.
Happy Fall and Happy No Baking!