I’m posting my first pumpkin recipe of the season, and it’s already mid-October. I’ve had grand plans to make multiple batches of pumpkin bread, my pumpkin snack cake and pumpkin cookies, but it’s been a busy month and my pumpkin baking adventures have fallen by the wayside. These Pumpkin Pecan Energy bites are perfect for quickly satiating your pumpkin cravings without turning on your oven.
The flavor of these nourishing little bites is reminiscent of pumpkin pecan pie, with far less effort and filled with more wholesome ingredients. With a few easy steps and a turn in the food processor, these bites are ready in under 20 minutes. I’ve been keeping a stash in my freezer for moments when a craving for a sweet treat strikes — usually around 3 pm. And then again around 9 pm, of course. They are a delicious accompaniment to a cup of tea. I can also attest they are a hit with the toddler and preschooler set, without the dreaded sugar crash.
The recipe does call for toasting the pecans before making the dough, and while this is an optional step, I do highly recommend it. Toasting the pecans really intensifies the flavor of these bites.
Whip up a batch of these bites today to keep in the fridge/ freezer for a quick, seasonal pick-me-up. Enjoy! Xo Maggie
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted (approx. 9 dates/ 125 g); see note
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, divided
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1 cup quick oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- Toast the pecans, either in a 350 degree oven or in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant (about 8 minutes in the oven; 3 minutes on the stovetop).
- Place 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans in a food processor and pulse until very coarsely ground. Transfer to a shallow bowl or plate and set aside (you will roll the bites in this later). Place the remaining 1 cup of pecans in the food processor along with the dates and pumpkin puree. Process until the pecans and dates are broken down and the mixture is smooth and creamy, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the oats, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt. Process until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. Test dough by rolling a bit in your palms — the dough is ready if it holds its shape.
- Using a cookie scoop or simply your hands, form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in the reserved ground pecans, pressing down lightly to encourage it to stick. Enjoy from the refrigerator or freezer.
If your dates are particularly dry, soak in boiling water for 5 minutes to rehydrate them a bit. The consistency of the dough may vary slightly depending on the moisture of your dates. If the dough seems a bit dry, try adding 1 tbsp of the soaking water from the dates; if it seems a bit wet, add in another tbsp of oats.