A Taste of Autumn: Pumpkin Raisin Bars

So for some reason, I’m embracing fall like never before this year.  And when I say I’m embracing it, I mean I’m running toward it with arms wide open and a choir of angels is singing the Hallelujah Chorus in the background!  And nothing says fall like pumpkins!

We went pumpkin patchin' this morning, and I sported my favorite fall boots for the occasion!

And we came home with these!

As you know, I’m a big fan of using stevia as an all-natural alternative to sugar (Try my all-natural margaritas!).  I found this recipe for pumpkin raisin bars in my stevia cook book, and I decided to try it last night.  For the same delicious taste, the only thing you sacrifice with this recipe versus the sugar version is the high carbohydrate content.  This recipe contains 4 grams of sugar and 16 grams of carbohydrate, while the traditional sugar recipe contains 18 grams of sugar and 25 grams of carbohydrate.

In the spirit of full disclosure (and I promised full disclosure on all my cooking endeavors back when I wrote this), I have to confess that going into this recipe my confidence was extremely low.  Earlier in the evening I tried to make this antipasti salad, and it was a complete bust.  I was trying to be all fancy-schmancy and cook something a little exotic, but it didn’t work out so well.

Sure, it may have looked pretty, but it was a catastrophic fail!

I think I messed up by not rinsing the arugula and drying it off more thoroughly, and as a result the salad came out tasting really soggy and gritty!  This was the first time in my 9 months of marriage that my husband straight up refused to eat something I cooked…now that’s bad!  I guess I can understand why he didn’t want to eat dirt!

So we just ate salmon by itself with no side item last night.  Anyway, you win some and you lose some, and at least my pumpkin raisin bars were a big win.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need (6 large bars, or 12 small bars):

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

3/4 tsp. stevia extract (Make sure you get extract and not stevia in the raw or any other form!)

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup unbleached flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup organic raisins

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set out a greased 11×7 glass baking pan.

With electric mixer at high speed, cream butter in large bowl for about a minute.  Beat in eggs, stevia, pumpkin, and applesauce.  Fold in the raisins so they don’t get smashed.

Blend the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the batter and mix well on medium speed.

Spread the batter in the baking pan and bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bars comes out clean.  Cool and enjoy!

This makes a great dessert, but it's also perfect for a fall-themed brunch or shower.

 

If you want to turn this into a more decadent dessert, substitute the raisins for chocolate chips and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

I hope this recipe is a win for you as well.  Happy October, and enjoy this beautiful fall weekend!

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