Make pumpkin Larabar bites at home in 5 minutes with a few basic ingredients. Great for school lunches, snacks and cost 50% less than the store.
Ever since I started training for my first marathon, I’ve been more particular about the food I eat.
And since it’s the season for everything pumpkin, I’ve given homemade Larabars a new twist: pumpkin Larabar bites!
What are pumpkin Larabar bites?
In their simplest form, Larabars are dates and nuts. Dates are good for the heart because they help lower triglyceride levels and nuts have great health benefits. Larabars are a super convenient real food to have on road trips, long flights, or when you need to keep the kids entertained as you finish up the last bit of your grocery shopping.
But they’re NOT super cheap, hence the reason I’m making them on my own (and trimming the cost by around 50%).
I’m also making them because after a while, dates + nuts = boring. Let’s interject some flavor in there!
I don’t like waiting on a big honcho to officially declare pumpkin “in season” (which is always not soon enough in my opinion), so having a pumpkin Larabar recipe means making them anytime I want (which is all the time, really).
Ingredients for Pumpkin Larabar Bites
- Dates. For the best homemade pumpkin Larabar (or for any flavor), you want whole pitted Medjool dates. I found mine locally, but you can also buy them in bulk on Amazon and have them shipped to your door in 2 days with Prime. (Here’s a link to try Amazon Prime FREE for 30 days!)
- Nuts. I chose walnuts for this recipe because they compliment the pumpkin well and tend to be on sale this time of year. But you can substitute cashews or almonds.
- Coconut. Similar to when we make sweet & salty energy bites, we’re adding shredded coconut to create a bit of a textured binder so the bites stay together. Coconut has healthy fats that help refuel the body, but if you don’t like coconut, chia seed, flax seeds, or oats would be good replacements.
- Pumpkin. Both canned pumpkin and homemade pumpkin puree work here.
- Pumpkin Spice. I don’t normally have pumpkin pie spice on hand but I usually make my own using this recipe.
Equipment for Making Homemade Pumpkin Pie Larabars
- I recommend a food processor when you’re chopping up things like dates or nuts because the average blender doesn’t do the job well enough. Or if you have a high powered blender like my Blendtec, it’ll do the job.
- I used the Twister Jar with my Blendtec and the dates were nice and mushy after just one round. If you don’t have a fancy blender, definitely use a food processor.
- To make your Larabar bites a nice round shape, use a cookie scoop like this one. I use mine ALL.THE.TIME. in my kitchen. From breakfast cookies to meatballs to energy bites – even pumpkin or strawberry lemonade donuts – I love my cookie scoop!
Storing Larabar Pumpkin Pie Bites
Because pumpkin Larabar bites are soft, you’ll want to store them in the freezer. Don’t worry – they won’t freeze solid. They’ll be soft enough to bite into straight out of the freezer, but hard enough that they won’t turn to goo in your hands.
I pack these in school lunches, but they are soft by mid-day. The kids don’t seem to mind, but I give them a spoon just in case and pack them in the small section of a Planet Box container or in a small glass container on their own so they don’t “melt” into another part of their lunch.
Other Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
- 5 Ingredient Pumpkin Fudge
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Classic Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Swirl Black Bean Brownies
- 5-Minute Pumpkin Pie Hummus
- In a food processor or a high powered blender (I have a Blendtec, combine dates and up to 1 cup of nuts. (If you want a more textured Larabar bite, add ⅓ cup of nuts. If you want a completely smooth Larabar bite, add all the nuts.)
- Process the nuts and dates until you have a thick, yet mostly smooth mixture. Remove mixture to a medium bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop the mixture into balls onto the parchment paper. If desired, gently roll the balls with your fingers to shape.
- The Larabar bites are ready to eat at this point, but we prefer to eat them after they've firmed up in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store pumpkin Larabar bites in the freezer.