I love baking with pumpkin, don’t get me wrong, but I have those big 29 ounce cans of pumpkin puree, and one of those cans seems to last me forever! It’s like a bottomless pit, never empty no matter how many pumpkin recipes I make.
With another attempt to use up some of that neverending pumpkin, I made pumpkin cherry bars, an extremely moist creation with pureed pumpkin, dried cherries, pureed persimmon (you can also use banana), and almond meal. It’s sugar-free and gluten-free.
These bars are great for breakfast or lunch. You could even eat them for a healthy, light dessert. I’m loving them because they’re absolutely guilt-free!
This is a really easy recipe. You can make your own almond meal by grinding almonds (I start with slivered almonds), and you can of course substitute any other dried fruit for the cherries. However, the cherries do add a nice sweet tang to the mix :)
Pumpkin Cherry Bars
adapted from Elana’s Pantry
(makes 15 bars)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup pureed hachiya persimmon (or banana), about 2 persimmons/bananas
2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup dried cherries (or other dried fruit, use unsweetened for sugar free)
Oven Temperature: 350 F
1. Using a food processor, pulse the pumpkin puree, persimmon or banana (either already pureed in a blender or whole), and eggs for 2 minutes.
2. Add almond meal, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice to wet ingredients and pulse for 1 more minute.
3. Add the dried cherries to the batter and stir in by hand until just incorporated.
3. Pour batter into a greased 11 x 7 glass baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, making sure that a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean when done. Let cool before slicing.