I love pumpkin. I know loving pumpkin this time of year is a little bit stereotypical, but there’s no shame in liking what we like. Besides, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and zinc. Both vitamin C and zinc help to keep your immune system strong. So before you jet off for the holidays in a metal tube surrounded by sneezy people you can make this recipe and know you’re doing your immune system a favor.
My problem with pumpkin is I never seem to use the whole can. Food waste is frustrating. You’re basically throwing the money you spent on that food into the trash. But not only is it bad for our wallets, it’s also bad for the planet.
ReFed estimates that in the United States, 43% of food waste happens in the home. Roughly 1/3 of all food produced globally is lost to food waste. As I’ve mentioned before, food left to decompose in a landfill releases methane and contributes to climate change.
Decreasing our food waste is something all of us can do that will make a difference. If you have some extra pumpkin sitting in your fridge this recipe is a great way to use it up. If you open a new can to make this recipe, try mixing some pumpkin into your oatmeal or yogurt for a festive treat.
I’m not really sure what to call these. They have more of a cakey texture than most brownies and cookie bars, but you can definitely eat them with your hands. So we’re just going to call them Cakey Pumpkin Bars. Regardless of what they’re called, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Cakey Pumpkin Bars
1 cup pumpkin puree
1.5 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 3qt (2.8L) casserole dish. Mix pumpkin, sugar, and butter together.
2. Once those ingredients are creamed, add eggs and vanilla and mix.
3. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. When thoroughly mixed fold in nuts and chocolate chips if you want to add them, be careful not to over mix.
4. Pour into the greased dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Cool and enjoy! Full disclosure, I did not cool, I cut into them almost immediately and enjoyed, but I did burn my tongue a bit. So the cooling is optional, but recommended for safety.
Taryn is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist passionate about eating food that nourishes all life on the planet.