Saturday, November 24, 2012

No-Bake Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Bars

I've been absent for the past few days for the obvious excuse of Thanksgiving. We just got back from my parents' house in New Jersey, where the only thing I cooked was the sweet potato side dish for the main meal.

I'm sure many can relate that eating at holiday time can be a challenge. I actually didn't eat anything too crazy or "off limits," but definitely had my share of red wine and food that made me feel a little wonky. I don't really like eating out too many days in a row, and I likewise hate showing up with a ton of my own food in tow (I have the family rep for being high-maintenance in the food department...)

On Facebook I promised to be back in the kitchen cooking today, but I faced one challenge: the inability to get to the grocery store. So I'm having some takeout salmon and salad tonight, but did manage to come up with a breakfast treat this morning.

I skipped the pumpkin pie on Thursday (it was from Stop & Shop, so honestly not that tempting), so thought a healthier pumpkin treat was in order. Instead of using added sweetener, I made use of the very brown banana I had accidentally left sitting on the kitchen counter.

My son and I loved this, but my daughter lamented the banana flavor. Using the fruit makes these Whole30 worthy, but if you'd rather omit the banana I imagine some maple syrup or honey would add both sweetness and help keep the bars together.

I made my bars  in a standard muffin tin, but you could certainly press all of the batter into a baking dish and then cut it into bars after freezing. The kind of nuts and seeds used is also up to you, and you could always use almond meal rather than adding in the step of grinding up the almonds.
No-Bake Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Bites

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup creamy raw almond butter
1 mashed, ripe banana
1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Run almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin pie spice and salt through a food processor until the nuts and seeds are mostly broken down. Put the mixture in a large bowl and add in the coconut and raisins.

In a small pot over low heat, whisk together the almond butter, pumpkin and banana. Stir or whisk until the almond butter has softened and really integrated with the other ingredients. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Using wet or greased hands, press the mixture into either a greased baking dish or muffin tin. Make sure to really push down hard to ensure you don't wind up with crumbly bars.

Freeze for at least a half hour, or until firm. These could be stored in the fridge, but I really liked the texture fresh from the freezer so I'm keeping mine there.


  1. Do you think it would work to swap out banana for avocado, to keep it whole 30 approved? I'm just not a big fan of bananas, and looking for other options! ;)

  2. hi Katie! I do think that might work, as should unsweetened applesauce. I should caution, though, that while the bars fit within *my* concept/confines of a Whole30, the program founders would likely term them "sex with your pants on":

    1. No worries, I'm playing a little loosely with their ideals too, and I'm okay with it :) This is what my first week looked like: :)

      Thanks! I'm definitely going to try these, once I get myself to a grocery store to pick up the extra items I need.

      P.S. I've pinned so many of your recipes... I think you're my new favourite blog!

    2. Do these bites/bars stay well in room temp? Or do they melt or get soft after awhile? Thanks

    3. Do these bites/bars stay well in room temp? Or do they melt or get soft after awhile? Thanks