It's that time of year again when we're finding PUMPKIN SPICE in everything we're eating. And is it just me or with every year that comes are we getting to see Pumpkin spice in the weirdest places? Like pumpkin spice vodka (okay YUM), pumpkin spice ice cream, tortilla chips, LIFE cereal with pumpkin spice, bark, pumpkin spice yogurt pretzels (SAY WHAT??), pumpkin smash smoothies (hmmm), pumpkin Oreo's (gross), pumpkin hummus (okay that actually may be good), and even pumpkin spiced Greenies for our furry friends (that's just a marketing ploy right there).
This time of year always gets me in the mood for baking. And while I love to cook and do so almost every day, I really enjoy taking time out to bake AND to try something new. Here lately, I've been looking into some creative VEGAN / GLUTEN-FREE treats because here in South Alabama you really can't find very of these at the local bakery or grocery store. And let's just admit it, it's way more fun to make it yourself AND you know what goes in it!
I happened upon these delicious VEGAN / GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN BARS while I was looking for something to take to a local Habitat for Humanity annual dinner. I've been volunteering with them for a couple of years and love giving back to the local community. In fact, I taught two healthy cooking/educational classes this year to the up-and-coming homeowners. What an outstanding organization that helps so many people. And me being a healthy chef I couldn't walk in with a bucket of KFC and call it a day :) And while many of the attendees probably would prefer a bucket of chicken I happen to know that a few of the staff members are gluten-free and vegan.
Let me say that though this is a fairly easy recipe but there are a couple of steps. And you do have to allow for resting time (in the fridge). But all in all, they turned out fabulous and very tasty! I took a few to a friend and she fell in love with them. I threw a few in the freezer and man, are they ever good frozen!
They are the perfect substitute for your annual Thanksgiving dessert and especially an event you may be attending since they are in bar form and easier to manage than a piece of pie.
The crust is an almond/coconut crust
and the whipped cream (which is totally
off the chain delicious) is simply made
of organic coconut cream, xylitol
and organic vanilla flavoring.
Trust me, you're going to love these.
Hey, and no one will ever know
they're VEGAN/GF unless you spill
Below is the picture of the final results when I plated them on a cake plate at the event.
VEGAN / GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN BARS with Coconut Whipped Cream:
∙ Makes 12 Bars
Coconut whipped cream:
NOTE: Set a can of full-fat coconut milk (I used organic) in the fridge for at least 24 hours so it can separate.
Come back and let me know if you decided to make them and how it turned out. I'd love to hear from you!
This post was written by Susan Avello, Personal Chef at Lean Bean Chef Personal Chef Services in Dothan Alabama - offering Healthy Meal Prep, Meal Planning, Private Cooking Classes, Private Dinner Parties and Education on Healthy Eating.
by Chef Susan Avello
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