Raw Pumpkin Spice Bars

Last Friday at at work in the deli, one of my coworkers was making all sorts of fallish desserts.  Maple pecan scones, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, spice cookies...but of course, the pumpkin sounded the best to me.  After all, it is the time of the year when we all get the pumpkin bug.

I wasn't planning on making anything pumpkin this weekend, but all the pumpkin stuff at work just smelled so good that I started to consider it.  I was going to make s'mores brownies, but then I thought maybe pumpkin bars would be better.  But I wanted the public to decide so I took a poll on Facebook and the pumpkin bars won.  Guess everyone else is craving pumpkin too.  Maybe because we are deprived of it for half a year or more...and is is just so darn delicious!

At any rate, I went to work creating my raw pumpkin bars that I had been dreaming of at work.  They needed to have plenty of spice, which included fresh ginger and be sweet but not overly so.  They smelled wonderful while dehydrating!  I couldn't wait to try them.

But first, they needed to have cream cheese frosting.  So I created a raw coconut based cream cheese frosting that was quite addictive.  It was a wonder there was enough left for the bars!  I haven't had a pumpkin bar in years, but these were more delicious than the ones I remember from the past.  Raw food has a way of doing that!

Raw Pumpkin Spice Bars
Makes 8 large bars

1 1/4 cups walnuts, soaked and dried
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 inch chunk fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp coconut nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
20 dates, pitted
2 cups finely grated organic squash*

1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cups fresh young coconut meat* (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/3 cup coconut nectar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and seeds of a vanilla bean
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

ground cinnamon for finishing

To prepare the bars, process walnuts, coconut and sea salt in a food processor until the walnuts are fine crumbs, then add the spices, nectar, vanilla and dates and process until well mixed. Add the squash and pulse until blended but not pureed (a few flecks of squash). Place on a dehydrator sheet spread out so that it the bars are about an inch high, and dehydrate for 4-5 hours, then flip over (carefully) and dry for 2 more (or until the outside is dried and the middle is still a little moist. ( or place in the fridge to firm up if you don't have a dehydrator, this works just as well, the bars are just a bit softer). Store in the fridge until ready to frost.
To make frosting, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, and set in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency. Place the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe over the bars (or simply spread it if you do not wish to pipe).  Sprinkle a little cinnamon over and serve!*I use squash instead of pumpkin because it is sweeter, but you can use pumpkin if you like.

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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

    • September 30, 2012 at 15:59

      Thanks so much :)!

  1. September 30, 2012 at 17:27

    Just dscovered your site and love the recipes :) Especially this one, making it soon!

    • September 30, 2012 at 23:16

      Glad to have you here :)! Thank you!

  2. October 1, 2012 at 14:09

    We love pumpkin and all pumpkin desserts. I can't wait to try out your bar recipe.

    • October 1, 2012 at 23:04

      Me too! I have been patiently waiting for the pumpkin to return :)!

  3. October 1, 2012 at 18:56

    I just couldn't manage pumpkin in September. I was in fall denial! But my cinnamon has now traveled to the front of my spice shelf. Your irresistible Pumpkin Spice Bars are just the inspiration I need to dive into fall baking!

    • October 1, 2012 at 23:05

      Thank you :)! I am going full force with the fall baking, love this time of year! Not that I won't miss summer desserts ;)!

  4. October 2, 2012 at 02:37

    This looks amazing!!!! Should you use Butternut squash in place of the pumpkin?

    • October 2, 2012 at 22:04

      Thank you :)! You can use butternut squash, I used buttercup which is a little sweeter, but they will both work.

  5. October 2, 2012 at 08:36

    Amy, love the look of this recipe - especially as you're using fresh squash or pumpkin, which makes all the difference. That list of ingredients sounds magical. No wonder you run so well, imagining these dreamy sweet treats on your return!

    • October 2, 2012 at 22:05

      Thanks Jill :)! It does! And I certainly do dream about desserts a lot when I am running, and it helps me run faster ;)!

  6. Eglu
    October 2, 2012 at 15:09

    Love your site! Your desserts always stand out because they are so beautiful, professional, and down-right mouth-watering!<br /><br />Have to ask though - is it really safe to eat raw pumpkin or winter squashes? I know it is safe to eat the yellow bottleneck summer squashes raw- is that what you mean when you say squash?<br />Is it because the heat of the dehydrator cooks it a bit over 6 hours?<br /><br />Thank you for answering questions!

    • October 2, 2012 at 22:08

      Thank you so much for your kind words :)! Yes, it is safe to eat raw squash, even if it is not dehydrated. There is no rule that says you have to cook winter squash, it is healthy and filled with vitamin A and other nutrients which are diminished when you cook it. The dehydrator just makes the cake not so wet because the squash has a bit of water in it which makes it sticky. No problem :)!

  7. October 2, 2012 at 17:31

    Fabulous - posted it on Facebook for my vegan friends and I will be trying it. Don't have to be vegan to love vegan...

    • October 2, 2012 at 22:09

      Thanks Claudia :)! Definately!

  8. October 3, 2012 at 17:08

    I don't have a food dehydrator, but want to get one! Any specific kind work best?<br />Also, I really want to see those s'more brownies/bars! More specifically, your version of them, since I've seen plenty of smore brownie recipes out there, but most have nasty ingredients.

    • October 3, 2012 at 21:35

      Definately an Excalibur! They last forever! I am planning on making them this weekend, if I can get the ingredients I need, but they will definately be happening soon ;)!

    • October 9, 2012 at 22:11

      Me too :)! Glad you enjoy the recipe!

  9. October 9, 2012 at 10:31

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  10. November 1, 2012 at 17:31

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. My family and I have been trying to have as much raw food as possible and I have to admit I was rebelling inside at the thought of not getting my traditional pumpkin bars with the cream cheese frosting. It took me 4 days to make this with all the soaking, dehydrating and having to go to another town to get a coconut... but it was SO worth it. You have an amazing palate... thanks for sharing.

    • November 3, 2012 at 12:22

      So glad you enjoyed them :)! Thank you for letting me know how they turned out for you!

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