Pumpkin = Autumn or Thanksgiving, right? Well, not in my book. I had a hankering for some pumpkin pie the other night, and what mama wants, mama now makes! Trust me when I say, it's just as good in the Spring as it would be in the Fall.
These are, essentially, pumpkin cheesecake bars, made healthful. Instead of cream cheese, we use Greek yogurt, and the crust is made with my go-to almond meal/flour from Bob's Red Mill, which lends a nice, almost chewy texture and a delicious, buttery flavor to the super light maple pumpkin filling. I love it when I go out of my way to make a healthier version of a traditional favorite and it ends up just as tasty as the original!
MAPLE PUMPKIN BARS
Serves 9 to 12
for the almond crust:
2 cups Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
for the maple pumpkin filling:
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
Prepare the almond crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly coat with an 8'' x 8'' square baking pan with oil.
In a mixing bowl, stir together all of the ingredients for the crust.
Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it into the bottom and sides of the dish with your hands, evenly distributing the mixture.
Place the crust in the oven and bake it for 8 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool.
Prepare the maple pumpkin filling:
Add all ingredients for the filling into the pan with the crust.
Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the center is set and doesn't jiggle when you shake the pan.
Allow your cake to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate to chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar or add a dollop of whipped cream and serve!
(Adapted from this recipe)