There is nothing better than a warm, sweet treat on a fall day. With Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner, these vegan Pumpkin Spice Orange Banana Bars will be a sure crowd pleaser, and will put everyone in the holiday mood.
This recipe comes from Kathy Patalsky, founder of The Lunchbox Brunch, a line of books, apparel, and greeting cards that seek to inspire children to taste and experiment with different, healthier foods. Check out her blog for other fun, fast, and delicious vegan meals and snacks.
The combination of spelt (a nutty-tasting, low-gluten flour that’s better tolerated by some with wheat sensitivies) and whole wheat flour gives these treats a healthy twist. Make them into bars or muffins.
2 cups spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 extra-ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of cayenne
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 large orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted nuts/seeds)
1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup crushed pecans or other nuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
2 tablespoons crushed flax seeds
1. Preheat oven to 375º. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over an 8 x 14″ baking pan for bars, or line a muffin.
2. Add flour, dry spices, salt and baking powder to a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
3. Add in the coconut milk, oil, vanilla extract, bananas, pumpkin, orange juice and maple syrup. Stir well.
4. Add in pumpkin seeds, 1 teaspoon of orange zest, and pecans and dried cranberries, if using.
5. Pour batter into baking dish or muffin tin. For bars, use a spatula to smooth out the top of the batter.
6. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, the other teaspoon of orange zest and an extra drizzle of agave nectar or maple syrup over the top.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bars are lightly browned on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
* Letting the bread chill in the fridge is another option. Freeze to store for a few days.
Makes 12 bars of muffins
Per serving: Calories 291, protein 4 g, fat 10 g, carbohydrates 47 g, dietary fiber 6 g