I figured it was about time for a Thanksgiving dessert recipe! There are plenty of traditional pies and other sweets on the internet (including several on A Dash of Soul) but this year I wanted to make something guilt-free with clean ingredients. Pecan pie is my favorite (tied with sweet potato) so I thought it would be fun to make a healthy version of pecan bars. And they came out even better than I was expecting!
This is a great option if you’re trying to balance out some indulgent items on your table, and the ingredients are so healthy that these make a great breakfast bar too (each one has 375 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 14 grams of natural sugar)!
- 2 c. old fashioned oats
- ½ t. baking powder
- ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ c. water
- 2 T. maple syrup
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ c. coconut oil
- ½ c. maple syrup
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1½ c. pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grind the oats in a food processor for a couple minutes until they become a flour-like consistency.
- Empty the oat flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining crust ingredients until everything is combined.
- Pour the batter into a parchment lined square baking sheet and spread it out evenly in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla together until it starts to bubble.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with about 2 T. of water then stir that slurry into the maple syrup mixture.
- Lower the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
- Add the pecan halves and continue to stir and simmer for another minute.
- Pour all the contents of the pan over the crust in the pan. Spread it out evenly over the crust.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then let cool for another 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
I’m not one of those people who will tell you a smoothie “tastes JUST like a banana cream pie!” if it really doesn’t. I HATE being tricked like that! So no, these don’t taste just like your traditional pecan pie. The pecan filling is very similar to the traditional, but the base of these have more of a baked oatmeal flavor. I love how much texture there is in these bars with the crunchy pecans, the gooey filling, and the chewy oat base. And while pecan pie is usually cloyingly sweet, these have just the right amount of sweetness using the maple syrup.
See you soon with a festive vegetable dish that you are going to LOVE!