‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice! Cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice – these are the reigning flavors of fall and if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth well before Thanksgiving rolls around, these Pumpkin Pie Balls are a delicious, all-natural way to get your fix.
This recipe uses carob powder, which can be used interchangeably with cacao powder if that’s what you have, but it will be a little more chocolatey. I just wanted a hint of its rich flavor.
Some notes on nutrition:
- Carob: Although similar to cacao, it’s actually a legume (whereas the cacao bean is a “seed” of the cacao tree). The powder is high in fiber and protein and is an excellent source of B Vitamins, calcium, copper, calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Potassium is particularly important for those with high blood pressure.
- Pumpkin: The rich color in pumpkin is from its carotenes, which are protective against many cancers as well as type 2 diabetes. They are a good source of Vitamin C and fiber as well.
- Sugar: These pumpkin pie balls are naturally sweet and only contain a little over 12 grams of sugar for the whole batch, from the pumpkin, coconut, and maple syrup. That’s about 0.4g of sugar per ball. You are free to remove the maple syrup for zero added sugar, particularly if you are using cacao powder in place of carob, which is sweeter.
These were a big hit at the NEMPAC Halloween Party last night, and I hope you will enjoy these at home for your next celebration!
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup carob powder (or cacao powder)
- ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- For the coating:
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut, pulsed in food processor until small
- 2 tsp carrot juice (optional)
- Pulse oats in food processor until coarse and crumbly. Add pumpkin, carob/cacao powder, coconut, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and pulse until combined and creamy. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Optional: While the mixture chills, if you want to dye the coconut coating you can stir in carrot juice with the coconut, spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and dehydrate in the oven for about 30 minutes until dry again, stirring halfway.
- With wet hands to avoid the dough sticking to you, roll into 1-tbsp-sized balls, then toss in the coconut coating until covered. Repeat until you're finished, and enjoy!