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Pumpkin Bars (Grain-free, Dairy-free)

These pumpkin bars are the slightly less sweet cousin of these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars I posted last week. I was recipe testing both at the same time, and just couldn’t resist making a chocolate-y treat AND a scrumptious counterpart. 

Paleo Pumpkin Bars - gluten-free, dairy-free

I love enjoying these bars anytime of day, but they just happen to make an amazing breakfast. 

They were a breakfast game changer for me. I am usually a pancake person – from pumpkin pancakes to banana nut – I just can’t get enough pancakes. Until lately. 

I got in a pancake rut, so these were a highly anticipated, very much needed, hit-the-spot kind of breakfast that make me so happy!

My favorite way to enjoy them is with a dollop of chocolate mousse, roasted kabocha squash, a drizzle of peanut butter, and a bunch of frozen raspberries. Yep, breakfast is my favorite meal. Go big or go home.

So anyways, essentially these are the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars, but with a bit less spice and sweetness and no chocolate chips. But, still mouthwatering delicious according to all of my taste-testers (and some even preferred these!) Basically, both recipes were a huge hit, so why not make both?

Enjoy them for breakfast, dessert, a snack, a side for lunch, whenever, wherever. 

Paleo Pumpkin Bars - gluten-free, dairy-free

So, how do you feel about this being the third pumpkin recipe in a row (did you see these no-bake Pumpkin Spice Energy Bars?) Hopefully you’re okay with it, but just in case, I’ve got a variety of posts coming your way in November. And, for all my pumpkin-lovers, you’ll be happy to hear that a Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse will be posted soon.

But back to these pumpkin bars – they’re naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and sweetened with banana and medjool dates. Vegans, omit the egg and use one full banana, rather than just a half as the recipe calls for below – they come out a little less fluffy but still amazing. 

Also, this is one of those super quick recipes where you dump everything in the food processor, turn it on, and pour in the pan. So easy.

Paleo Pumpkin Bars - gluten-free, dairy-free

As I mentioned in the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bar post, I use cashew butter because it’s neutral and acts as a wonderful base for pumpkin puree. I’ve also made these with natural peanut butter but felt they tasted too strongly of peanut butter and less of pumpkin, although my husband loved them. I’m sure almond butter would also work and would likely lend a more neutral base than peanut butter.

Do what works for you, and please leave a comment if you try with another nut or seed butter and let us know how it goes!

Pumpkin Bars (Grain-free, Dairy-free)
  • ¾ cup of unsalted cashew butter
  • 8 large, soft medjool dates*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ spotted banana
  • 1 egg**
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Process for about 30 – 60 seconds until the batter is just mixed together and then wipe down the sides.
  4. Process again until the batter is smooth.
  5. Pour into a parchment paper-lined*** 8x8 glass baking pan. Smooth into an even layer.
  6. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes****, or until slightly browned on top and a fork comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 20 – 25 minutes.
*Make sure to use large, soft, plump, moist medjool dates or the batter won’t come together as well or be as sweet. I linked below to the dates that I use – they’re the BEST!

** Vegan? Leave out the egg and use 1 full banana, rather than just a half. The bars will not turn out as fluffy, but they’ll still taste delicious!

***I line my baking pans with parchment paper so I don't have to use any spray, but do what works best for you.

****I take them out at 30 minutes because my family likes them better as super moist, but if you like them best with a chewier edge, leave in for a few more minutes.

Products I used:

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Grain-free, Dairy-free Real Food Pumpkin Bars

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  1. Well I’m loving the cashew butter!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Friday Finisher 10/30/15My Profile

    • Me, too! I can’t get enough. What is your favorite brand? I’ve been loving the 365 cashew butter lately, but I’ve been searching for some others that I could order online. Let me know if you have any recs!

  2. OMG YUM. I love all things pumpkin, especially when they are grain free! Woohooo!
    Liz @ The Clean Eating Cuple recently posted…October FavoritesMy Profile

  3. OH EM GEEEEEE! I need these in my life!
    Natalie @ A Fit Philosophy recently posted…Hip Flexor StretchesMy Profile

  4. These look and sound amazing :) Pinning!
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…5 tips for curating epic workout playlistsMy Profile

  5. oh i am LOVING these ingredients. I have to make these!
    Rachel Mansfield recently posted…Oatmeal PancakesMy Profile

  6. I don’t bake, so can you please send me some…pretty please? Have a beautiful weekend! XOXO
    She Rocks Fitness recently posted…Let’s Be REAL and EAT too…My Profile

  7. these are incredible, just incredible! Pinned :)
    rachel @ atheltic avocado recently posted…61 Healthy Sweet Apple RecipesMy Profile

  8. Holy yum Alex – these look amazing! I loveeee cashew butter based baked goods. It makes everything so delicious!
    Les @ The Balanced Berry recently posted…Pumpkin EnchiladasMy Profile

  9. How do I feel about it being the 3rd pumpkin recipe in a row?? Girlll, makes me realize I found someone that may have ALMOST as big of an appreciation for pumpkin as this girl :p Coming over after finding you through the FB group post on listing the three words :) Happy to find ya!

    Sarah Grace
    Sarah Grace recently posted…Sarah Spann Overcomes an Eating Disorder to Inspire OthersMy Profile


  1. […] Pumpkin Bars >> Alex from Made to Glow shared these delisshhhh looking GF/DF bars that I need in my life STAT. They have CASHEW BUTTER (one of my favs), and are sweetened with dates and banana. YUM. […]

  2. […] pumpkin bars for those who want something easier than, yet equally delicious to, pie […]

  3. […] Pumpkin bars – combine pumpkin, medjool dates, and cashew butter for a light, cake-y […]

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