The Holiday season is almost upon us, and I am sure some of you have started looking for Fall recipes to bake, just like me. But if you bake as often as me, then I think you would be trying to make them healthier too, if possible. After all, you don’t want to stuff yourself and your family with a sugar overdose and then pay the bills for frequent dentist visits, right! That’s why I was absolutely thrilled to find this sugar-free, butter-free Pumpkin cookie recipe online! [Photo courtesy of Whole Foods] With wholesome ingredients like Pecans, pumpkin, whole wheat and dates, these are cookies I can feed to my toddler every single day, without feeling any guilt at all!
These cookies have no sugar, no butter, no eggs; the only saturated fat comes from the oil in the Pecans and the fat content in Dates. pumpkins are a good source of Beta-carotene, and the nuts and oats provide fiber, good fats and proteins. they will not be as chewy or sweet as regular cookies, so don’t expect these to be decadent. But they are a good wholesome treat, naturally sweetened by the dates. I did add some honey to the recipe because everyone in our family has a sweet tooth. Also, instead of cinnamon and cloves, I used cardamom and nutmeg as my spice blend, these are the only changes I made to the original recipe. These are good healthy cookies to nibble on, especially with milk or tea.
Sugar-Free Pumpkin Cookies
Prep Time: 20 mins
Bake Time: 30 mins
Servings: 15-20 cookies
2 cups pecans, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup puréed pumpkin
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
4 tbsp honey
Take a baking sheet and roast your pecans for about 10 minutes, watching them carefully so they do not burn. you can also do this on a stove in a wok. or you can buy Toasted Pecans in the first place.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put pecans and oats in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a fine meal forms, about 25 times. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom and nutmeg to the ground meal and pulse another 20 times to combine all the ingredients. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Add pumpkin, orange zest, orange juice, honey, vanilla extract and dates to the food processor. Blend until a smooth puree forms, scraping the sides down occasionally, about 1 minute.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Scrape the pumpkin mixture into the well and fold all the ingredients together with a large spatula.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Flatten the batter slightly. Bake 20 minutes, until the bottoms are just browned. Remove to a cooling rack and cool slightly before serving. Store in an airtight container.
As I said earlier, these are not like your Holiday cookies; they are simple healthy treats perfect for guilt-free snacking. However, For a fancier version, I would suggest icing your cookies with some vanilla frosting, or add some sweetened dried cranberries along with the dates.
I did have some Pumpkin puree leftover after making these cookies, so I used it to make another seasonal treat. Top these cookies with some delicious Pumpkin Butter, as shown below, or use it as a spread for Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cupcakes or your favorite Pancakes.