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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the pumpkin square

Prep time: 10 minutes Bake time: 30 minutes

Makes: 9-12


It's fall. Which means pumpkin recipes are everywhere. So what's one more?


I've always appreciated a good pumpkin loaf, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin cookie, I'd eat it all. Fall is easily my favorite season & pumpkin desserts are some of my favorite to consume. But (& this may be an unpopular opinion) if you were to isolate pumpkin, it's not all that exciting...

Pumpkin dessert on a plate

I find it sorta bland. Yet, so many of us go crazy over pumpkin-baking season (myself included).


Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to shoot pumpkin down. Because of its mild flavor, it's quite versatile to work with. You can bake with it in endless ways, roast it for a savory dish, blend into a soup, or sip on it in a warm drink.


And not only is pumpkin versatile, it comes with quite a few nutrients for us too.


health benefits:

Although we may think of pumpkin as a vegetable, it's technically a fruit, related to other fruits like watermelon, zucchini, & cucumber.


Source of fiber

Pumpkins are considered a fibrous fruit which helps move food along, supporting our digestion. It also acts as a source of food for the probiotic bacteria (the ones we love!) living in the gut.


Loaded with Beta-Carotene

I'd say this is pumpkin's prized nutrient. Beta-carotene is what gives vegetables / fruits their famous orange color. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apricots, mangoes, & yes, pumpkin. It's an antioxidant that's been well-studied to support our vision, boost cognitive health, support functioning of the heart, & defend against various cancers.


Contains vitamins C & E

Both of these vitamins are considered powerful antioxidants. Vitamin C is well known for supporting the immune system, cancer prevention, neurological health, & collagen production - strengthening the skin & other tissues. Vitamin E supports collagen production & cognitive function as well but it's also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. For mensurating women, it may help those struggling with PMS symptoms as it's been well-researched to reduce both length & severity of pain.


Provides manganese & copper

We don't need either of these minerals in large amounts, but both are incredibly important.


Manganese is a wonderful anti-inflammatory, protecting against bone loss while supporting joint health, & cognitive function. Copper supports collagen formation & creates enzymes that lend a hand in giving our bodies energy, synthesizing DNA, & protecting against free radicals.


There are certainly more benefits to pumpkin like it's massive supply of potassium, but as you can already see, there are many reasons why adding pumpkin into your life can be a supportive food for your overall health.


about the recipe:

Now, I know this is technically a dessert, so could one argue those health benefits of pumpkin are negated by adding sugar? Maybe. But, like most of the recipes you'll find here, this one is made with coconut sugar & just a hint of maple syrup, both of which contain more nutrients than your average white sugar AND have a lower glycemic load, aka, it won't send your blood sugar sky high.


The flour consists of blended, whole oats, with ground pecans - providing both fiber & nourishing fats. They're gluten-free & dairy-free which can both reduce the inflammatory load on our bodies.


Truly, these are comfort in a slice.

considerations:

Oil: I used both coconut oil & ghee to fill about 1/4 c of fat in total. So, it was about a 50/50 split between the two. Feel free to choose just one or consider trying avocado oil for a neutral flavor.

Flour: The recipe blends oats & pecans for the flour. The pecans add a nice fall flavor but you can certainly replace this. I would choose a nut-based flour though to make sure you end up with a similar consistency. The higher fat content really helps to absorb liquid, creating a nice consistency with the lighter, oat flour.

To make vegan: Substitute the egg for 1 large flax egg (1 Tbsp of ground flax + 2 Tbsp of water)

Baking time: Every oven is different. Check on them around 30 minutes. If a knife comes out covered, pop it in for another 5 minutes. If it comes out almost clean, but with some of the mixture still on it, they're perfect! These are intended to be gooey so err on the side of slightly underdone (they'll continue baking as they cool). Always remember, you can pop them in for longer but you can't take that time back ;)



the ingredients

Dry:

1 c oats, blended

½ c pecans, blended

⅓ c oats, whole

½ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

⅛ tsp clove


Wet:

½ c coconut sugar

1 Tbsp maple syrup

¼ c + 1 Tbsp ghee & coconut oil, melted *SEE NOTE ABOVE

1 egg


Add-ins:

½ c chocolate chips



the steps

Preheat oven to 350F.


Blend 1 cup of oats & all of the pecans in a small blender until you have a flour consistency. Pour the flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl.


Add the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl & whisk together.


In another medium-sized bowl, add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, & egg. Mix together.


Melt the ghee / coconut oil then add to your wet ingredients along with coconut sugar. Mix until everything is well incorporated.


Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients & mix until there are no remaining dry bits of flour.


Gently mix in your chocolate chips.


Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it with whatever oil you're using.


Pour your mixture into the pan, top with extra chocolate chips & flaky sea salt then place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes. *SEE NOTE


Let them cool for an hour (it's worth it) & slice however you want (I cut mine into 9ths).


Enjoy!


PS: I might suggest pairing it with a cup of coffee & good company.

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