Two-Bite Pumpkin Cookies

It’s the end of September and you know what that means. Pumpkin season!

While most of us think of pumpkin as a base for pie and other festive fall desserts, we often overlook the fact that it is also a nutritional powerhouse.

  • Packed with vitamin A, pumpkin and other winter squashes are one of nature’s finest immune boosters. Winter squash is packed with lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene—three antioxidants that play a huge role in helping our body fight the “bad guys” and stay in tip top shape during cold and flu season.
  • While pumpkin is a carbohydrate, it is rich in fiber and phytonutrients, therefore making it more satisfying than refined carbohydrates and a cleaner source of fuel for the body to burn.
  • According to WH Foods, while we don’t think of squash as a fat source, one cup of winter squash contains about 340 mg of omega-3 fats coming from ALA. That makes this fall comfort food a fantastic supporter of heart health and an anti-inflammatory all-star!

When it comes to cooking and baking with pumpkin, I will add it to just about anything, from classics like pie and cheesecake to hummus, muffins, curry, and more. Roasting and pureeing winter squash is incredibly easy to do, but if I’m in a pinch I’ll pick up a few cans of organic pumpkin puree. My favorite brand is Farmers Market, as the cans are BPA-free.

But we’ve all been in that sticky situation where we’ve just cooked up a pumpkin-licious storm but still have a small scoop of leftover squash hiding out in the fridge. Do we dump it? Eat it as a quick snack?

I say when in doubt, bake cookies!

I found myself with just a little bit of pumpkin in the fridge in one day and set out to use it up in a nutritious cookie recipe. These incredibly moist Two-Bite Pumpkin Cookies were the end result. They are small but delicious. Packed with many of my favorite ingredients (almond flour, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, coconut sugar, and cinnamon to name a few…), they’re the perfect autumn treat to tuck away in the freezer and pull out when you have a craving for a sweet but not-too-indulgent treat.

One important note: Like I said, these cookies are very moist. Just 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree gives them a soft and chewy texture. In light of this, the cookies hold up best on the day they are made. The good news? They store beautifully in the freezer! Just give them a quick thaw and enjoy. Or if you’re impatient like me, eat them straight from the freezer. They’re amazing this way.

If you’ve been bit by the pumpkin bug like I have this season, add these recipes to your must make list:

Two-Bite Pumpkin Cookies

Makes 20-22

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil (room temperature, not melted)
  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (make sure it’s well drained)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs or dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the coconut sugar, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until combined. Add the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Beat to combine. Stir in the cacao nibs, raisins, and pumpkin seeds.
  3. Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls. (The dough may be soft and slightly sticky. If it feels too sticky, stir in a few more tablespoons of almond flour.) Place the balls 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Using your palm or fingertips, flatten each ball to about 1/3-inch to 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets. Enjoy within 1 day or freeze for longer storage.

Hallie KleckerHallie Klecker is the author of Super Healthy Cookies and  The Pure Kitchen, both gluten- and dairy-free cookbooks focusing on fresh ingredients and whole foods. Her newest e-book, Crazy for Kale, makes use of kale in 40 creative ways. She is also the Editorial Content Manager for Simply Gluten Free Magazine. Hallie writes the recipe blog Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole, natural foods. Hallie is a certified Nutrition Educator and former personal chef. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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