Perhaps it starts with the premature Back to School ads and displays. Maybe it's knowing all of the football fans are settling back on their couches watching their games on TV. It could be the late-night browsing I do on the internet when I can't sleep, but I am already starting to make the transition from yummy summer to scrumptious autumn.
It always happens this time of year. Instead of buying candles with tropical names like Piña Colada or Coconut Lime, I start searching for the ones with woodsy, spicy fragrances. Pumpkin and cinnamon scents start wafting through our home, courtesy of the fall-scented candles and my experiments in the kitchen. When I browse for recipes, I'm looking less for summer salads and more for hearty soups and foods featuring apples and pumpkin.
I finally found a guilt-free treat: Pumpkin Pie Squares from the folks who brought us Forks over Knives. The ingredient list is short: pumpkin, oat flour, Medjool dates (available at Sam's Club, by the way), nuts, and spices. The "frosting" is macadamia nuts blended with dates. I only have almonds this morning, so let the substitutions begin!
This is a VERY healthy recipe. There's no sugar; no sugar substitutes; just whole food. If you didn't have access to anything sweet, this would do. It by no means could compete with true-blue pumpkin desserts. It has a heaviness to it. The bars are slightly sweet with the topping giving it a barely sweet, nutty taste. They're OKAY. Not bad for a first attempt. There is definitely room for improvement. I love to play in the kitchen. This one will be getting some tweaking, and it's a good place to start.
The link to the Forks Over Knives website is here, if you'd like to give the recipe a whirl in YOUR kitchen!