FOOD

Video: Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Bars

November 14th, 2020

Prep School is back! Thrive Market’s exclusive video series brings you delicious, easy, and healthy recipes. In this episode, host Chef Megan Mitchell is ringing in some holiday cheer with a vegan, gluten-free spin on a traditional fall favorite—pumpkin pie—switching up the format to create a seasonal treat that’s less fuss and more fun (you don’t even need a fork).

While you might expect creamy pumpkin puree and warm spices to steal the show, the real star of this festive dessert is Dr. Bronner’s Regenerative Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. Because it’s made from fresh coconuts that are sourced from small-scale farmers, carefully dried, and expeller pressed, this particular coconut oil offers super-rich flavor and smooth texture—making it the perfect stand-in for butter in the graham cracker crust and crumble topping. But the reasons to use Dr. Bronner’s Regenerative Organic Coconut Oil go beyond its ability to imperceptibly turn baked goods vegan. The brand is committed to regenerative organic agriculture practices that nurture soil health, help soil retain water, sequester carbon, and create biodiversity, all of which are key to promoting resilient communities and mitigating climate change.

Now that you know the facts, let’s get baking. Heads up—these bars need to chill for at least two hours (ideally overnight), so plan accordingly. No pumpkin pie spice on hand? We’ve also included a recipe for a DIY blend.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Bars

Blog_VeganPumpkinPieBars

Active Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients:
For the crust:
7.5-ounce box gluten-free graham crackers
1/2 cup Thrive Market Organic Pecans
3 tbsp. Dr. Bronner’s Regenerative Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

For the filling:
15-ounce can Thrive Market Organic Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup full fat Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Thrive Market Organic Maple Syrup
1/4 cup melted Thrive Market Organic Creamy Almond Butter
2 tbsp. Thrive Market Organic Cornstarch
1 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Vanilla Extract
1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (see below for instructions on making your own)
Pinch of fine sea salt

For the crumble topping:
2/3 cups Thrive Market Organic Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Oats
2/3 cups chopped Thrive Market Organic Pecans
1/3 cup Thrive Market Organic Pumpkin Seeds
1/3 cup almond meal
2 tbsp. Dr. Bronner’s Regenerative Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
2 tbsp. Thrive Market Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 straight-sided cake pan with parchment paper.

Add the graham crackers and pecans to a large food processor. Blend until it forms into a fine meal. Pour into a medium bowl and add in the melted coconut oil. Stir together until mixture resembles wet sand. Pour this mixture into the prepared cake pan and press to a flat, even layer to form your crust. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup, almond butter, cornstarch, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

Next, make the crumble topping: In a small bowl mix the oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, almond meal, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.

Pour the filling over the baked crust and spread out to a flat layer. Sprinkle the crumble topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is set.

Place in the fridge to chill fully before slicing into squares—at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Allspice
1/4 tsp. Thrive Market Organic Ground Nutmeg

Add all ingredients to a bowl or jar and stir to combine. Store in a tightly sealed container.

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Lily CombaLily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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