Pumpkin is not something I have cooked with or eaten much of in the past. However as Halloween has gained in popularity here in Scotland, so have pumpkins. Back in the 80s (when I was a kid) our jack o’ lanterns were made from neeps (turnips/swedes) My Dad would take considerable time and effort carving out a masterpiece. I’m glad we have moved onto the Pumpkins now though as they are so much easier to work with!
I think the first time I tried Pumpkin was six years ago when I was living in Arkansas, USA. I had a delicious pumpkin pie. Although I was unsure on the first bite, after a couple more tastes I was hooked. I loved the warm winter spice taste and the creamy texture.
Last week I roasted a large pumpkin and used it up in different ways. I served chunks of it as a side, made a pumpkin quinoa “risotto” and these pumpkin oat bars. The oat bars were definitely the favourite with the boys!
I pureed some roasted pumpkin with some dates for sweetness and to provide some stickiness for binding. I then added some natural peanut butter, again to help bind and for a protein hit. I mixed the puree into some oats, crushed walnuts and raisins. The nuts and raisins were for texture and flavour. You can easily adapt the recipe – why not try a mixture of nuts and dried fruit.
Pumpkin Oat Bars
- 250 g cooked pumpkin
- 100 g dates
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 130 g (1/2 cup) natural peanut butter
- 180 g (11/2 cups) rolled oats
- 110 g (1 cup) chopped walnuts
- 67 g (1/2 cup) raisins
- Pre-heat oven to 180c / 350f / gas 4 and line a 21cm x 21cm (8.5inch x 8.5inch) baking tin
- In a blender / food processor blitz the pumpkin and dates together to form a puree. Add the peanut butter and spices and mix until combined
- Add the oats, nuts and raisins into a large mixing bowl then add the puree and combine
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and flatten
- Bake for 20-25 mins