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 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.