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Pumpkin and Date Oatmeal Streusel

 

Yields:  about 9-12 servings Prep Time:  25 minutes       Total Time:   1 hour

 

Pumpkin puree is combined with dates (for less refined sugar) and warm spices such as cloves, cinnamon and allspice, to make the filling for crisp and delicious oatmeal and whole wheat crust and streusel topping.

 

Ingredients

For the crust and streusel topping:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

6 tablespoons softened butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

5 dates (soaked in water for at least 2 hours, up to overnight)

1/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped pecans

 

For the filling:

5 dates (soaked in water for at least 2 hours, up to overnight)

3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree, homemade or canned

2 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

2. In a bowl, prepare the crust/streusel.  Combine the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and chopped pecans. 

 

3. In a food processor, place 5 dates (pits removed), sugar, milk and vanilla.  Puree.

 

4. Using a pastry cutter, cut in softened butter. (It helps to chop into tablespoons prior to cutting in).  There will still be chunks, but that’s OK.

 

5. Pour date puree into dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Set aside.

 

6. Prepare the filling.  In the food processor (no need to intensely clean from first use), combine pumpkin puree 5 dates (pits removed), 2 eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt.  Puree until combined.

 

7. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 glass dish (or similar).  Divide the crumble mixture in two, and using your hands or a spatula, gently press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan, creating the bottom crust.

 

8. Spread the pureed pumpkin mixture evenly as the second layer.

 

9.  Using your hands, gently break apart the rest of the dough into pieces evenly across the top, completing the third layer.

 

10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  It is important to let this dish cool before serving.  The inside filling will always be a little soft, but the sugars need to cool to let it harden a little.

 

It is pumpkin season.  Pumpkin is everywhere, and for good reason.  See, I try to see the benefits in why I need to consume the seasonal foods as much as possible (pumpkin breads, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cakes, even pumpkin lasagna!).  Seriously though, pumpkin has some amazing benefits.

 

Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene, supporting eye and lung health, as well as the overall immune system.  Additionally, pumpkin boasts vitamin C, fiber and potassium – just to name a few.  Now, I’m not sure a pumpkin spice latte has much benefit, however, this streusel qualifies a bit more!

 

Additionally, I used dates, a fiber and potassium packed refined sugar replacement.  They also have some B vitamins, magnesium, iron and zinc.  Dates really are great natural sweeteners, that also come with a whole host of vitamins and minerals.  Of course, I do keep some refined sugar in the recipe.  Things still have to taste good to make people want to eat them and take in all of the health benefits!

 

Now, speaking of sugar, we did enjoy this dessert with ice cream and caramel sauce.  It is perfectly delicious on its own, but it is especially decadent with some pure vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel.  Did I mention the oats in the recipe help slow the absorption of the sugar???   

 

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