You might think the worst part about being sick for nearly two weeks was the jackhammer headache, fever complete with cold sweats and chills, sore throat, not being able to breathe air through either nostril, incessant cough, or subsequent laryngitis. You might think so, but you’d be wrong. The worst part about catching the Never-Ending Cold/Flu of 2017 was missing nearly two weeks of prime time pumpkin recipe posting opportunities. Ugh! I mean the horror!
The autumn cold my family and I had the bad luck of catching was scarier than any Halloween ghost or goblin I can think of. It has me thinking I need to post something soon on natural cold and flu remedies, because let me tell you, I have tried them all these past 12 days. Anyway, we can talk more about that later. Today it’s all about gooey, ooey, melt-in-your-mouth, pumpkin packed, grain free, naturally sweetened BLONDIES.
It’s funny to me that I just chose to write “blondies” in caps, because to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to call these. I was aiming for blondies, but somewhere in the midst of mixing, oven preheating, and baking and eating, I realized I can’t even remember ever having had a blondie in my life. Maybe once. I have this very vague childhood memory of eating something called a blondie that I’m pretty sure came from a package. I’m not sure that counts. So I’m not really sure I can be the judge of what a blondie is. Maybe these aren’t. But just believe me, whatever the heck they are, these chunky pumpkin squares are really, really dang good.
I decided to try something a little different in the flour category for these treats. I originally contemplated almond flour, but the big bag of cashews in my freezer got me thinking. How about cashew flour? Well, my dears, it was a winner. Cashew and coconut flour combined makes for the most wonderfully textured grain free baked good my teeth have had the pleasure of sinking into. Obviously I can’t even explain it beyond “wonderful” but basically it is soft, tender, and melts in your mouth. “Dreamy” comes to mind.
I used a whole can of pumpkin puree in these babies so you better believe me when I say they are moist. Dates up the moistness factor even further, as well as add natural whole-food sweetness. I used a bit of coconut sugar as well, as I wanted these to be a dessert, but if you like things less sweet, or want to make these as an anytime snack, feel free to try them without. I think they would still taste amazing.
These blondies firm up perfectly after cooling, but will be very, very soft out of the oven, almost like pumpkin pie. Which is also delicious, but if you can tap into your reserve of patience and willpower, these delectable squares are even better after cooling for a couple of hours (and even more amazing the next day).
After almost 3 weeks of holding onto this recipe, I’m so excited to finally share this one with you! As always, please snap a pic and share if you make this recipe and tag #feedingyourbeauty!
Vegan and Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Blondies
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of pitted dates, any variety (soaked in hot water for 5 minutes if hard or dry)
- 1/4 cup of almond butter (cashew or other nut butters should work too)
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Criss-cross two pieces of parchment in a 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Add all of the dry ingredients to a food processor and process until finely textured and no large chunks of cashew remain (see photos above in post). Empty dry mixture into a large bowl. Now add the wet ingredients to the now empty food processor and process until fairly smooth. Pour/scrape the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 33 – 40 minutes or until lightly browned and top is firm. You can also test with a toothpick. The blondies will be very very soft when hot/warm out of the oven, but will firm up and change in texture as they cool. They are meant to be extremely moist, “melt-in-your-mouth”, and soft in texture, rather than chewy like a cookie bar. Allow to cool then cut into squares and store in a glass container with lid. These are the very best the next day if you have the willpower to wait that long! After a day or so I stored these in the fridge to maintain the best freshness. They are delicious out of the fridge as well.