Paleo Pumpkin Bars (whole30 friendly!)

No matter which way you spin it, fall isn’t fall unless you throw in a WHOLE LOT of pumpkin spice. It’s basically an American movement that finds a home in the hearts of blanket-scarf-clad, tall-boot-wearing, coffee-sipping women everywhere.
No judgement, I’m at the front of that pack, proudly waving my slouchy, jewel-toned beanie. So, you can add these pumpkin bars to that mix, and it’s a pretty complete fall package for your average women anytime in October. Or guy, really.
I love them. These folks. They are my people.
Bonus: these particular bars are FREE of all the things. (Gluten, sugar, dairy). But they do contain eggs and nuts. Cashews actually. Salted.
Mmmm. Salted cashews.
*ahem* You’ve been warned.
Enjoy!

PALEO PUMPKIN BARS

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Crust:
1.5 cups salted and roasted organic cashews
1/2 teaspoon aditional salt
1 egg
3/4 c. almond flour
1/2 c clarified butter

Filling:
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup dates
29-oz can Pumpkin
1 cup vegan coconut creamer (1 cup prunes, 2 cans whole-fat coconut milk)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Whipped Topping:
2 cans whole-fat coconut milk, cream only.

This recipe takes a little bit of initial prep work and the inclusion of a creamer which you’ll have to make in advance, but I promise, it’s worth it. I mean, really. actually pumpkin bars with ALL THE FREES?! (Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, chemical free).

So begin by mixing up a batch of coconut milk creamer.
(1 cup prunes and 1 cup boiling water in a blender, whirled until smooth. Add two cans of whole-fat coconut milk. Whirl again and there ya go!) Set aside.

For the crust, begin by whirling cashews and salt in a food processor until smooth but not so long that it begins to liquify into an actual nut butter. Catch it before that stage. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground cashews, egg, clarified butter, and almond flour until a soft dough forms. It won’t exactly form a ball the way a typical dough would, but it will by nice and sticky. Spread with a spatula and press with your fingers into the bottom of a butter 9×14 pan. Bake at 400 degrees until it sets. About 8 minutes or a bit less. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While the crust is cooling, go ahead and mix up the filling, starting with processing the dates, which will serve as the sweetening element—in liue of sugar or maple syrup. Once the paste/syrup forms, scrape into the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the spices, eggs, pumpkin and the creamer you mixed up earlier. Using a mixer blend the filling until the ingredients are well-combined. Pour over the crust and using a spatula, smooth until level in the pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until a knife inserted comes out clean. About 30-35 minutes. Adjust time accordingly.

Once the bars have cooled you can top with ‘whipped cream’ before serving. Simply skim the coconut cream from the top of the cans of coconut milk (this is easier if you’ve refrigerated the cans for several hours beforehand). Using a mixer, beat until peaks form, just as you would with standard dairy whipping cream.

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