It’s fall, so it’s time for pumpkin(-Chickpea-Almond-Butter Bars)s. They’re everywhere now: Outside the market, on your doorstep, carved into demonic faces, squished into cans in the cupboard. Thank goodness they’re back. I’ve missed you, pumpkins.
These bars are moist, sweet but not cloyingly so, with plenty of spice. They taste like pumpkin pie, and smell incredible. They also happen to be gluten free, dairy free, paleo, whatever. For me, they’re just good. My three-year-old daughter calls them “brownies” — I think because I cook them in a brownie pan and they’re in a bar-shape — and I don’t argue. (She would eat half a batch in one fell swoop if I’d let her.) I call them breakfast, tea time, snacks, dessert, etc. There is no bean-y taste to them, and who knows why/why not. By now, I know better than to question the power of the chickpea.
I bet you have all the ingredients sitting in your kitchen RIGHT NOW. Hurry, go check. You and pumpkin probably have a lot of delicious catching up to do.
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups chickpeas
½ cup almond butter (or any other kind of nut butter)
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
1 tsp baking soda
Optional toppings: pecans, coconut, chopped dates
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9×13” pan with parchment paper & spray it with olive oil.
2. Steam or roast pumpkin, and puree til smooth in your food processor. Or use canned pumpkin like I do in a pinch. This recipe is also really good with steamed sweet potato or even steamed carrots. (I made it with carrots last night and it was great.)
3. Measure out your chickpeas, and drain them if you’re using canned ones. Puree in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Scrape down the edges, and pulse until smooth. Add the puree.
4. Add everything else, and pulse just until it’s well mixed.
5. Pour the dough into your prepared pan.
6. Bake for 35 minutes. Enjoy warm or cold.
Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist, writer, mother, and sea creature. She is a regular contributor to The Hairpin, and is also cooking up a cookbook anthology. Prints of her art are for sale here.