Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat: Flourless sugarless pumpkin almond cookies sweetened with dates

September through November  marks the craziest months for us – yes in terms of work, but really in terms of birthday parties. Every weekend for about 8-10 weekends we are booked – sometimes doubly and triply booked – for birthday parties. Now my daughter is obsessed with cake and cookies and ice cream and wants them all the time everytime. I can’t control what other people serve, but I can teach her that that healthier more nutritious versions can be enjoyable as well. So continuing on with the pumpkin fest, I made flourless pumpkin almond butter cookies make with pumpkin and pumpkin spice and sweetened with dates.  
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The key to any tasty pumpkin dish is fresh pumpkin puree. As I mentioned in previous posts, you can use canned pumpkin, but the best tasting dish with the least amount of preservatives will come from freshly roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash), pureed. I stored the pureed pumpkin in 1 cup portions in ziplocks in the freezer.
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I blended the dates in a food processor.

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I then added the almonds, pumpkin, spices and coconut oil and blended it until it was the consistency of a nut butter. I like starting with almonds because the more whole the ingredient, the more nutrition you preserve and the more control you have over the sugar and additives. But it does take time and may take a toll on your food processor and requires you to push down the sides with a spatula every few minutes so using almond butter is the less painful route.

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Feel free to use a pumpkin spice mixture (or create your own) – I love using fresh spices as much as possible – have you ever seen the beauty of a nutmeg from the inside? I grind it on a microplane when I need it.

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I refrigerated the dough for about an hour to firm it up, rolled it into balls and flattened them on a baking tray. I garnished with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut or slivered almonds and then baked.

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I let them cool completely before removing them from the tray. The taste was pumpkiny, earthy, soft and filling. My daughter ate them up. Healthy cookies are possible.

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Happy eating!

Pumpkin Almond Cookies

Makes 12-14 cookies

  • 1/4 cup dates, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup almonds (or 1 cup almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 ground all spice
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slices, coconut for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place dates in a food processor with a little bit of the date water to make a paste – about 30 seconds-1 min. Add the almonds and oil and blend until mushy, add pumpkin puree and blend until creamy like a nut butter – about 5-15 minutes depending on the food processor – push down sides every few min.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth batter is formed. Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight. Roll into balls and place onto a  lined baking sheet and flatten spread them out into circles. Garnish as desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden. Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking sheet with a spatula.

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