No-bake Pumpkin Almond Bars (gluten-free, vegan & refined sugar free)

Well, since Halloween is over, stores have now taken to putting up Christmas displays.

This is a little mind-boggling to me, since I'm just now ready to think about Thanksgiving. In my view, this is still prime pumpkin time, so I'm sharing just one more pumpkin recipe.

These no-bake pumpkin almond bars are sweetened with dates and pure maple sugar. Initially I thought the crust was my favorite part--salty, nutty almond butter & sweet, chewy dates--but as soon as I tasted the filing it won me over. Totalllllly. It's creamy sweet, perfectly spiced pumpkin pie filling on steroids.

I'm already contemplating making it again just so I can eat it out of the bowl with a spoon.  Maybe pumpkin parfaits?

In addition to being naturally sweetened, these pumpkin bars are gluten free and vegan (if you use coconut oil).

Though food-processors are a pain to clean, it's the only piece of equipment that you'll need to make the recipe. (No mixing bowls or pots!) The hardest part will be waiting the requisite 6 hours that these need to solidify fully in the fridge. Even then, mine were still a little soft, but I stuck them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before cutting.

This next month and a half is going to be crazy for me. I'm not really sure how everything is going to get done, but I'm trying to trust that it will all be ok. It will be, right? I make Adam tell me so all the time.

Two things that helped me this week:
  1. this article about the disease of being busy
  2. this speech by Anna Quindlen about never confusing your life and your work

I love love love these, especially the speech.   There's no denying that I have a lot of work to do the next few weeks, but I don't want to miss the beauty and life still happening around me.

How do you stay grounded and avoid the work/busyness epidemic?

No-bake Pumpkin Almond Bars (gluten-free, vegan & refined sugar free)

For the crust:
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pitted dates, chopped
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or butter(optional*)

For the filling:
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter, slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons almond meal


To make the crust: 
Line an 8 by 8 pan with parchment or wax paper.

Add the oats, almond butter, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt and dates to a food processor. Pulse until mixture is combined. If your food processor is like mine, it might have trouble incorporating the sticky dates into the mixture. To remedy this, add 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or butterPour the crust mixture into a square 8 by 8 pan. Use your fingers or a spatula to press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling: 
Carefully wash the blade and container for the food processor. Then add pumpkin puree, maple syrup, melted butter/coconut oil, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and almond meal. Pulse until completely smooth.

Remove crust from the freezer. Spoon pumpkin mixture overtop. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.

If desired, top with shredded coconut, chocolate chips, or sprinkles!

Adapted from The Kitchn.


  1. I love this bars, I pinned it so I won't forget to make it soon :) And the article about the disease of being busy - I'm reading it. Thanks
    Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?

  2. Seriously, can't we just stop and smell the PUMPKIN?! I mean, the roses. I mean...I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT IT IS CHRISTMAS SEASON BEFORE THANKSGIVING. So excited for these bars, though. They are totally in the moment.

  3. I love your logo, Trisha!! Best of luck with all that's coming in the next couple weeks.. and enjoy as many pumpkin goodies as you can!

  4. I so get you girl! Sometimes all this gets so over whelming that we totally forget to stop and cherish what we got!
    Ami ||

  5. Yes! It is totally NOT Christmas season yet and pumpkins are still in full effect! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday along with Halloween. These bars look delicious. I hope all the tings you have coming up go well.