It doesn’t take much for me to get full into the fall swing with all things pumpkin. Growing up in LA, we didn’t have much of a fall and I don’t remember food being seasonal either. All things pumpkin and pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING didn’t show up in my life until well into my 20s when I was already living on the East Coast and had a family of my own. Is that because I was finally paying attention? Or, because being a foodie had become en vogue around that time? Although I can’t imagine my mother ever making pumpkin spice bliss balls for us to have for an afternoon snack, so there’s no nostalgia here, I can’t imagine October without pumpkin spice bliss balls in my life now.
Is Pumpkin Seasonal?
I don’t know about you, but I use pumpkin all year round. It’s a great addition to any recipe that needs some bulk, some added nutrition and a neutral flavor palette. Yeah…..pureed pumpkin is actually kinda bland. But, it’s best to buy it unadorned and flavor it yourself. It’s those aromatic spices that I’m usually looking for when I’m craving something pumpkin. Also, you can substitute pumpkin puree for banana in many smoothie or quick bread recipes if you’re looking to cut back on sugar and boost the nutrient density.
Most of the time, I’m touting the benefits of eating food as close to the source as possible, rather than resorting to processed and packaged food. Using canned pumpkin allows you to enjoy the health benefits associated with pumpkin flesh without the lengthy process of baking and pureeing the pumpkin. Look for pumpkin, in a BPA free can or a box, that has only pumpkin in the ingredient list for a wholesome alternative to fresh. Pumpkin puree is low in calories but offers lots of nutritional value in the form of fiber, minerals and vitamins. If you need ideas to use up the rest of the box or can, I suggest you make some pumpkin overnight oats, or vegan pumpkin bread.
This recipe for pumpkin pie bliss balls is nutritionally well rounded with plenty of protein, from the nuts and seeds; high fiber content from the pumpkin, the oats, the dates and the flax; plus they have lots of healthy fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Nutrient dense and tasty too….what more do you want from a snack?
Although my new kitchen is finally usable (I am totally in love with it and I will do a post on it soon), as we push to get items on that final punch list complete, I find myself easily distracted and looking for snacks more often than usual. These pumpkin spiced bliss balls are totally hitting the spot for me, allowing me to get back to work after satisfying my cravings.
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup old fashioned oats (for grain free, sub ½ cup blanched almond flour)
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Place all ingredients, except toppings, in food processor and blend until smooth.
- Roll into balls, about the size of a golf ball.
- Roll balls into desired toppings.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- We store them in the freezer because we like to eat them cold.
- Crushed pumpkin seeds
- Crushed cacao nibs
- Crushed pecans
- Crushed pistachios
- Raw cacao powder.
- Hemp seeds
Serving Size2 bliss balls
Amount Per Serving Calories 127Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 90mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 2g