Pumpkin Coconut Treat Bars

pumpkin coconut treat bars

Pumpkin Spice and everything nice is what makes fall feel like FALL for me.  Please, hold the eye roll.  Evidently, the internet is all hyped about fall these days but let me tell you: I’ve been a fan of fall before it was trendy.  Yes, I went there. Fall holds meaning for me even without the glamorized PSL which may actually have a new flavor competitor around—see here.  Basically, winter and spring are almost nonexistent in southern California.  And summer?  No thank you, 120 degree weather. 

My dear fall, you are what I look forward to each year.  All I need are some breezy cool days where I can wear my cardigan and scarf and sip on my eat my pumpkin coconut treats.  HOORAY!

Throwback moment: my favorite childhood snack was the packaged rice krispy treats.  Not even the homemade kind!  The rice krispy treats in the blue packaging were perfect because of their balance of sweetness and textures—crunchy yet soft!  As you know, I like healthifying sweet treats.  So, I put a spin on my fave classic WITHOUT marshmallows for some pumpkin coconut NOT SCARY treat fun.  I know, it almost sounds sacrilegious.  Still, I think you’ll find that these are sweet and satisfying on their own and healthier than the sugar-laden original. 

Also, this recipe is a good use for date puree, or, date caramel as Minimalist Baker calls it.  Honestly, date caramel is what sweet dreams are made of and I highly recommend making some.  Although, if you want to substitute whole dates, you can try 2 (take out the pits!) and blend them up with the pumpkin and coconut oil until smooth. 

I know fall is all about baking but make room in your freezer for this no-bake treat!  You can thank me later.pumpkin coconut treat bars

Pumpkin Coconut Treat Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Pumpkin Coconut Not Scary Treat Bars are made with ingredients you can recognize. They're wholesome, satisfying, and no marshmallows are required!
Author:
Recipe type: Snacks
Serves: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp date caramel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 cups Erewhon cinnamon brown rice cereal or other brown rice cereal
  • 2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. First up, grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or line with wax paper so that the bars will be easy to remove.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, coconut oil, almond butter, date caramel, and spices. Stir in the brown rice cereal and shredded coconut. Adjust to taste by adding a pinch of salt or a sprinkle of granulated sugar, if needed.
  3. Press the mixture into the loaf pan, making sure to fill the corners. Then, place in the freezer for 2 hours to solidify.
  4. Remove from freezer and cut into 8 squares. The bars taste best when stored in the freezer. Just leave them out to thaw for a minute before you are ready to eat one!
Notes
I used sweetened shredded coconut because I ran out of the unsweetened kind. You could definitely use unsweetened shredded coconut and perhaps add a teaspoon of granulated sweetener like coconut or brown sugar to make the bars sweeter. I just don't recommend coconut flakes because those will be too thick and chunky for the bars.
Additionally, "cook time" reflects time in the freezer. This is a no-bake recipe.
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