Every year, I'm charged with making the pecan pies for our family Thanksgiving dinner. I love to make chocolate pecan pie but this year, I'm making it a little healthier with Pumpkin Pecan Bars. This recipe is oil-free, sugar-free, and completely plant-based.
2 cup pecans, whole or pieces (can use a little less if using pieces)
3/4 cup soft dates, either Medjool or Deglet Noor
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tblsp soy milk or other milk substitute
1 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves)
1 1/2 Tblsp corn starch (or 1 Tblsp arrowroot powder)
For the crust:
In a food processor, puree dates, adding a bit of hot water if dry, until pureed. Add pecans and pulse until chopped. Add cinnamon and mix . Press firmly into bottom of an un-greased 8x8 square pan.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees until firm. Let cool while you mix the filling.
For the filling:
Using a large spoon, blend canned pumpkin, maple syrup, 2 Tblsp soy milk, 1 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning, and 1 1/2 Tblsp corn starch.
Pour filling on top of crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until slightly darkened and semi-firm. Let cool in fridge overnight or freezer for one hour.