Halloween, Thanksgiving, or no holiday at all! These pumpkin bars are a must! As you already know, I am a huge fan of enjoying my favorite treats in healthier ways. Yesterday was no exception. My parents came to Detroit to visit and I wanted to bake up one of my dad and I's favorites...pumpkin bars!
As you can see...the pumpkin bars put smiles on our faces!
My dad is not a fan of healthy foods. He thinks most of them are dull, boring, and bland. Those are all the same things...I know. But I didn't tell him these were healthy or low calorie and he couldn't get over how good they were. He even had the nerve to ask me if they were store bought. I forgave him.
The average pumpkin bar contains over 250 calories. And if you are anything like me...one isn't enough sometimes! I wanted to make a recipe that I could feel good about eating and going back for seconds.
Ingredients For Pumpkin Bar Batter *1 1/2 Cups 100% Whole Grain Unbleached Wheat Flour, *1/2 Cup Almond Flour, *1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon, *1 Tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg, *1 Tsp Baking Soda, *1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce, *1 Tsp Olive Oil, *2 Cups Pumpkin Puree, *1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, *1/8 Cup Agave. and *Baking Stevia or Truvia to Taste.
Ingredients For Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting *2 Tbsp Almond Flour, *Baking Stevia or Truvia to Taste, *1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, *5 Oz Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt, 3/4 Cups Plain Cream Cheese(1/3 less fat) , *1 Tsp Unsweetened Almond Milk, *2 Tbsp. Agave, *1 Tbsp Brown Sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees!
Sift together the almond flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
Grate about 1/4 (tsp) of the nutmeg into the bowl of dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, applesauce, and oil.
Measure and add agave to the bowl of wet ingredients.
A pumpkin to the wet ingredients and combine until smooth.
Add brown sugar and vanilla to the bowl of wet ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until completely smooth.
After the mixture is combined, add the additional sweetener. Don't be afraid to try the batter to make sure it is sweet enough.
Grease a baking dish with olive oil, butter, or cooking spray.
Spread batter with a spatula until smooth.
Bake in the oven for 20 - 15 minutes. Use the toothpick method to make sure it is done.
While the bars are baking mix together all the ingredients for the frosting and place the frosting in the refrigerator.
Make sure you try the frosting until it fits your sweet tooth. I added about five packets of Stevia. It seems like a lot but, when it's divided between 35 servings, it's not that much.
Take the pumpkin bars out and allow them to cool before you add any frosting or the frosting will melt.
Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled pumpkin bars.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top for decoration.
Place the bars in the refrigerator for five minutes for the frosting to firm before cutting.
You can cut the bars in whatever shapes you wish. I just cut them into 35 squares.
Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. They last about one hour before the cream cheese starts to get soft. Because this recipe contains dairy, it's safer to keep them in a cool area after a while.
These bars are absolutely amazing. I literally can't put it in words how happy I am with the outcome of this creation. Sometimes recipe swaps and concoctions don't turn out too well, but this one is a guaranteed favorite!
We all had pumpkin bars for breakfast this morning with pumpkin yogurt! We are certainly going to turn into pumpkins.
I also had an extra good run today, so maybe these had something to do with it!
Recipe Makes 35 Pumpkin Bars.
Nutrition With Frosting: 60 Calories, 9 g Carbs, 2 g Fat, 2 g Protein, 2 g Fiber, 4 g Sugar
Nutrition Without Frosting: 46 Calories, 8 g Carbs, 2 g Fat, 2 g Protein, 1 g Fiber, 3 g Sugar
If you need help with some recipe swaps, leave a comment below and I'll try to help you out!