4-Ingredient Pumpkin Date Bars

Pumpkin Date Bars by katyskitchen,ca

There are times when I find out that something I always thought to be true is definitely not the case. This happens quite frequently with word pronunciation. Let me give you an example. Recently, I learned I had been pronouncing “fungi” wrong all my life. In case you were wondering, the word should be pronounced with a soft g (listen here). I had always said “fun-GUY”. Wrong.

Moments like these make me wonder: what else am I wrong about, that I am quite convinced I know to be true? The thought leaves me feeling unsettled, but quite curious.

Pumpkin Date Bars by katyskitchen,ca
Dates were another one of those misunderstood things. I used to hate them with every bone in my body. The sight and the smell would leave me cowering in a corner (or a somewhat more polite refusal of the baked good they were covering).

Now, I can’t get enough. They’re amazing for adding sweetness to baked goods in a more wholesome way than white sugar can. That’s because by eating the whole date, you’re also consuming fibre and minerals. Dates’ sticky nature means they work like magic binders in baked goods. I use them as a filling in my cinnamon buns, and in a no-bake pie crust here, here, and here. They’re also the base of my mint chocolate truffle bites.
Pumpkin Date Bars by katyskitchen,ca
In these pumpkin date bars, dates are responsible for sticking and sweetening. Since I don’t like overpowering sweetness, I added pumpkin to take the edge off. It was a great decision since it made the bars fit right in with the smell of autumn in the air.
Pumpkin Date Bars by katyskitchen,ca
I’m glad I was wrong about dates. But now I wonder, what other foods can I re-discover?
Pumpkin Date Bars by katyskitchen,ca

4-Ingredient Pumpkin Date Bars
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 9 bars
 
These pumpkin date bars are super simple to throw together. They make a great healthy snack on-the-go and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 and ½ cups rolled oats
Instructions
  1. Add the dates, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon to a food processor. Process until combined and the dates have become a sticky paste.
  2. Dump the date mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the oats and stir to combine.
  3. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Dump the date and oat mixture into the pan and press down with a spatula. Alternative, place a piece of parchment paper on top and smooth over with your hands.
  4. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours) before slicing. Store in the fridge for up to a week, or wrap individually and store in the freezer.

You might also like:

1. Choco-nut Puffed Millet Squares

2. Sweet Potato Cinnamon Buns

3. Fig and Coconut Tartlets

Katy MacKinnon

Katy MacKinnon is a food photographer and recipe developer, and Food Fight! co-host.

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13 Comments 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Date Bars

  1. Kelly

    I wasn’t a big fan of dates before too but am slowly starting to appreciate them more. These pumpkin date bars sound like a wonderful snack on the go and I love how simple they are to put together! Great fall snack, thanks for sharing Katy!

    Reply
    1. Katy

      Thanks Kelly! It’s funny, I guess it’s a pretty common thing not to like dates but it’s a good thing people are coming around. :)

      Reply
    1. Katy

      You just reminded me – I am out of almond butter and that idea of dipping dates in the jar sounds heavenly. Thanks Ari :)

      Reply
  2. Ashley

    I was the same way – dates always kind of grossed me out for some reason but within the last few months I have started to love using them to add sweetness to things. These pumpkin bars sound awesome Katy!

    Reply
  3. laurasmess

    Hi Katy! This is my first visit to your fine corner of the internet… love your philosophy, writing, photographs… well, everything! Re dates. Hm. Well, let’s just say that I hated them until I discovered the wonder of the Medjool variety. Those things are heaven in date form, particularly when stuffed with almond butter or crushed walnuts (yum!). I can imagine how the pumpkin would bring fantastic balance to this recipe. Great idea… cannot wait to make these for easy snacks-on-the-run! Thanks lovely! x

    Reply
    1. Katy

      Hi Laura, glad you found your way here, and thanks for such a nice compliment :) I have had Medjool dates once or twice and I really liked them because I found them much less sweeter than the traditional variety. A couple people have been mentioning almond butter to me, I’m going to have to try that combination :)

      Reply
    1. Katy

      Hey Katie, thanks so much! My site is not 100% vegan but I do cook many vegan dishes :) I really enjoyed those bars, especially how easy they were.

      Reply
  4. Sarah

    Oh, seems half of my msg was deleted. The missing bit is (and I’m afraid it sounds a bit daft): am I meant to bake it, or is it really just left in the fridge? I thought it was a non-bake recipe, but the consistency is really soft, not like I’d expected – it’s delicious, don’t get me wrong ;o) Just was hoping for some advice on how to turn it into “proper” bar…

    Reply
    1. Katy MacKinnon

      It is definitely a softer bar. I like to store mine in the freezer, and grab them before work and then by the time I’m ready to eat them (a couple hours) they’ve defrosted to the perfect consistency! They definitely need to be stored in the fridge. If you’re finding they’re a bit too soft, add some more oats to dry them out more, but it’s supposed to be a soft bar.

      Reply

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