Dairy-free, Gluten-free Chocolate Pumpkin Dessert Bars

OCTOBER! How the hell are ya?! I’ve missed you so! By this point, my husband is already wondering when I’m going to stop cooking with so much pumpkin. But after he tastes whatever I’m making, he quiets down and remembers how delicious pumpkin really is. I have no idea why I don’t cook with it more throughout the year, but I guess that’s what makes it so damn special.

Y’all know my kitchen is a no-baking zone when it comes to desserts so this is another easy frozen dessert that can be made pretty quickly with some no-fuss ingredients. Much of what I used I already had in my pantry or fridge. These little babies will satisfy your sweet tooth while offering a powerful nutrition punch.

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These bars are very PCOS-friendly! Here are some reasons why:

  • Low in added sugar: no huge spikes in blood sugar and better insulin sensitivity
  • High in dietary fiber and healthy fats: aids in satiety and weight management and reducing cravings and estrogen dominance
  • Loaded with antioxidants and important vitamins/minerals from the pumpkin and cocoa powder
    • Vitamin C: aids in improving progesterone levels (for women with low progesterone) in the luteal phase to improve chances of pregnancy
    • Vitamin A: supports the immune system to help fight inflammation
    • Flavanoids: reduces inflammation in the body to improve egg quality
    • Magnesium: relieves PMS symptoms, improves mood and insulin resistance
  • Good source of tryptophan: may aid in improved sleep quality

A common misunderstanding with PCOS is that we have to completely eliminate desserts or sweets because of the sugar or refined carbohydrate intake, but remember the key is enjoying desserts that are lower in added sugar AND offer nutritional benefit. As you can see, this sweet treat offers so many nutritional benefits! Not to mention, it’s so yummy! I hope you guys enjoy!

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Dairy-free, Gluten-free Chocolate Pumpkin Dessert Bars

Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, healthy dessert, PCOS, PCOS friendly, pumpkin
Author Liz Bissell

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 5 dates, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Filling

  • cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 2-4 hours
  • ½ can coconut milk
  • ¾ can coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ can 100% pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 pinches coarse sea salt

Topping

  • Handful of dark chocolate chips, chopped

Instructions

  1. For the base, pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped.

  2. Add the cocoa powder and pulse until evenly combined. Next, add in the dates and pulse until dates are completely blended.

  3. Using a 9 by 9 freezer-friendly dish, spread the date mixture along the bottom of the pan and press firmly down covering the entire bottom of the pan. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.

  4. While the base is freezing, add the cashews, coconut milk, coconut cream, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add additional salt as needed.

  5. Pour the filling over the frozen crust and sprinkle the chopped chocolate chips on top. Freeze for 2-3 hours.

  6. Remove from the freezer about 30 minutes prior to eating. Cut into squares and enjoy!