Oh heyyyy…yep, it’s pumpkin again!
You can’t blame me though, can you?! Tis’ the season and all I want to do is sit and eat pumpkin all day, all day, every day.
I also want to put pumpkin puree in everything. Smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, bars, breads, coconut yogurt…
Plus, Thanksgiving the USA hasn’t even occurred yet, so all of you lovelies South-of-the-border still get to partake in tons of pumpkin deliciousness! Lucky you!
When I first made these bars, the bar mixture was a tad more moist than I would have liked, so my solution was to add more protein powder and it firmed up the bars perfectly. Hence, the Pumpkin Pie Protein Bar title! They really pack a protein punch which makes them great for a pre- or post-workout snack!
I decided to go with cashews in the batter for a subtle taste, and of course amp-up the pumpkin flavour by throwing in pumpkin seeds! Pitted dates always work wonderfully for homemade bars as they act as a binder to hold all the ingredients together and bring in that natural sweetness… they also really put the “energy” into homemade protein or energy bars, so they worked wonderfully in this recipe!
Now because I’m a huge fan of coconut (I think this is pretty well known by my regular readers) and coconut WITH pumpkin pie makes sense to me, I added some shredded coconut in the mix and then topped the bars with toasted coconut! (if you aren’t a huge coconut fan like me you can easily omit this).
There’s no guessing what the flavor is when you take a bite of one of these bars…it’s like POW!…PUMPKIN PIE!
Not only is making homemade protein bars quick and easy, you also save money and cut out the extra junky ingredients by making them yourself! Many protein or energy bars out there are full of ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, glucose solids, maltodextrin, malitol, sorbitol… and the list goes on.
Let’s stick with the real stuff.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 Tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup vegan vanilla or pumpkin protein powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup pure pumpkin puree
- Bars Garnish:
- 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. This may take some time, but just be patient with it - you can always leave the mixture a little chunky if you like as well!
- In an8x8 baking pan, place parchment paper on the bottom.
- Add in the energy bar batter from the food processor - it will be quite sticky, so it's advised to work with wet hands to prevent it sticking to your hands!
- Press down the mixture into a pan and use the back of a wet spoon to smooth the top.
- Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans, and toasted coconut flakes to garnish, press these firmly into the bar mixture.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours or until solid, and cut into 8 bars.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
If you have a favorite protein or energy bar you like to make, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
While you’re at it…check out some of the bars I’ve made in the past!
Nutritionist in the Kitch