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Divas on a Dime: Welcome Autumn with Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

Are you ready? It’s the first pumpkin recipe of the season!

The pumpkins have arrived at the grocery store, so it’s okay. It’s finally autumn and I think all of Pahrump just gave a collective sigh of relief because we made it through another long, hot summer. I think fall (AKA Pumpkin-spice-flavored-everything season) is my favorite season. I love that crisp nip in the morning air and the smell of wood smoke in the evening, the longer nights and the anticipation of all the upcoming holidays. Doesn’t it make you feel like a kid inside?

If fall was a flavor it’s got to be pumpkin. Right? I’ve had several requests for homemade energy bars so I thought this would be a great opportunity to combine the practical and the seasonal with Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites. Of course, you can make energy bars with using this recipe by placing the mixture in a parchment lined pan, refrigerating and cutting into squares. But this time, let’s make bountiful harvest bonbons.

These are packed with goodness. Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. The oats are a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. What’s not to love?

No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

Yield: 24 bites

Time: 15 minutes plus refrigeration time

What You’ll Need:

2 cups old-fashioned oats

½ cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup honey

¼ cup peanut butter or almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup optional add-ins – chopped nuts, chia seeds, etc.

2/3 cup chocolate chips

Optional garnish – crushed graham crackers for rolling or melted chocolate for dipping

Here’s How:

In the bowl of a food processor or a medium bowl with a wooden spoon and a strong arm, combine oats, pumpkin, honey, peanut butter, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Pulse or stir to combine. Add chocolate chips and any optional add-ins and knead to combine. Test the mixture. You want to pick up a small spoonful and press it together and roll it into a ball. It should stick together without falling apart. If it falls apart add more peanut butter or honey. Something sticky. You’re going to let it set up in the fridge and the oats will absorb a lot of liquid so it needs to be a bit sticky now.

Place mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. Form into 1-inch balls. As an option, roll into crushed graham cracker crumbs or dip in melted chocolate. Keep these in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for much longer.

These benefit from some crunch so add chopped almonds or sunflower seeds. Also, if you’re using a food processor don’t purée the oats to smithereens. Pulse just enough to combine.

Keep these in your fridge because they’re perfect for adding to school lunches, an after-school snack, having as a nosh with afternoon chai (yes, it’s time for chai tea too) or satisfying those late-night cravings for something sweet.

Fabulous Food contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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