Happy October! This is the time for pumpkin treats, chocolate sweets and Halloween candy… and usually an overload of sugar and processed ingredients. This year, how about changing up your routine with a much more nourishing option that’s still delicious and fun? These No Bake Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites are just the thing.
I’m a firm believer that nourishing and decadent don’t have to be at odds with one another, and these adorable little bites are a great example. Creamy dreamy pumpkin cheesecake mousse is piped on a peanut butter crust and drizzled with dark chocolate; they’re a perfect Halloween dessert! But these bites are also made exclusively of whole food ingredients, are minimally and naturally sweetened, are easily vegan, and even have a lot of protein to make them feel truly satisfying.
There are two big tricks to making these bars both very nutritious and very (almost absurdly) easy. First, the “crust” is actually a Peanut Butter OHi Superfood Bar! Cutting an OHi Bar into thirds makes for an ideally sized two-bite treat and is lightyears easier than making your own crust. The bars are nutritional powerhouses that contain nuts, seeds, coconut, and cocoa, and they have the perfect texture to serve as a “cheesecake” base.
The other big secret is in the pumpkin cheesecake mousse, which has a very special ingredient: chickpeas! While most pumpkin pie fillings are loaded with sugar, added fats, and stabilizers to help the custard firm up, the chickpeas in this version provide the creamy texture as well as a lot of protein. The simple combination of chickpeas, pumpkin, cream cheese (vegan if you prefer), maple syrup, and spices yields a creamy mousse that you can easily pipe or spread onto the OHi Bar crust.
From beginning to end, these festive bites take all of 15 minutes to make. You can easily make a big batch if you’re hosting a crowd, and can make them up to a couple days in advance for maximum ease. Just store your completed bites in the fridge and serve them chilled.
If you have kids, this is a very accessible recipe for novice cooks. You’ll want to help with opening cans, running the food processor, and cutting the OHi Bars. But kids will have a blast making the mousse, piping it onto the bars, and drizzling them with chocolate.
Looking to customize these bites? I love them with the Peanut Butter OHi Bars, but any of OHi’s wonderful bars will make a great crust; use the Double Chocolate Bar for a more chocolatey vibe! You can use traditional cream cheese if you like, or substitute your favorite vegan or reduced fat option. Love spices? Increase the cinnamon or add some freshly-grated or crystallized ginger to the filling. I’ve shown the bars drizzled with chocolate, but they would work wonderfully with a drizzle of peanut butter or caramel as well. This is really a recipe that you can vary based on your diet and preferences.
You now have no reason not to go all-out with Halloween treats this year. These bites are delicious, so festive, incredibly fast to make, and loaded with good-for-the-body ingredients. Sounds to me like it’s time to make some Halloween desserts!
These cute Halloween-appropriate cheesecake bites are easy to prepare, are made entirely of whole food ingredients (all pantry stables, no complicated ingredients!), and are fun for kids and adults alike. An OHi Superfood Bar serves as the “crust”, and a quick pumpkin cheesecake mousse piped on top yields a treat that’s ready to go in 15 minutes. A secret ingredient (chick peas!) firms up the mousse without the need for eggs, stabilizers, or confectioner’s sugar. These little bites are easily vegan, protein-rich, minimally sweetened, and free of refined sugar. You can double (or triple!) the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd, and can make them a day or two in advance for maximum ease.
- 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 c pumpkin puree (either canned or homemade)
- 0.5 c cream cheese (either vegan or non) at room temperature
- 0.25 c maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 0.25 tsp nutmeg
- 0.25 tsp allspice
- Pinch of salt
- Four peanut butter OHi Bars
- 0.25 c dark chocolate, vegan if desired
- 0.5 tsp coconut oil
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, spices, and salt. Process until you have a rich, smooth, creamy consistency.
- Spoon the pumpkin cheesecake mousse into a piping bag or ziplock bag with one corner cut off and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
- Cut each OHi Bar into thirds in order to yield 12 total rectangles. If desired, cut off the corners of each rectangle to make more interesting shapes.
- Pipe the mixture onto the bars however you like (or, for an easier option, just spread it on with a spatula!).
- Put the bars in the freezer for ten minutes to help the pumpkin cheesecake mousse firm up.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan or in the microwave until smooth, then drizzle over each bar.
- Store finished bars in the fridge in a tightly-sealed container. Serve chilled for the best texture.
- Use any leftover mousse as a spread on toast, as a cream between cookies, or just eat it straight-up!
About the Guest Blogger
Lee Corbett is a recipe creator, food photographer and author of The Rogue Brussel Sprout blog. She is passionate about creating nourishing plant-based recipes that are colorful, seasonal and celebrate fruits and veggies in all their glory. You can see all of her creations on Instagram (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) and on her blog (www.TheRogueBrusselSprout.com).