butterless butternut butterscotch bars

tender, buttery & rich.  these butterless butternut butterscotch bars are packed with decadent flavors & healthy ingredients - the ultimate family-friendly treat!

don't let the slightly peculiar name of these bars deter you - they are amazingly delicious, very easy to make & a perfect breakfast/snack/treat for the entire family.  bonus - they are refined sugar free and naturally high in fiber (butternut squash), protein & healthy fats (cashews). oh yes, and they are very warm, cozy & fall-like. a win all around!

i am definitely guilty of working really, really hard to make sure we have  veggie-heavy, healthy meals nearly every night.  the downside?  it can take nearly two hours to make said healthy meals (in my defense, i do prep lunches at the same time) - and i am very speedy & organized in the kitchen.  i look at those articles & blogs that tell me to do my meal prep on the weekends, or make simpler meals during the week, but for whatever reason that never seems to happen.  and so with the school year here (helena is in first grade!!), i am making it a priority to change my ways and be better prepared - meal wise - for the week.  

these bars fit in with my new plan perfectly.  other than the butternut squash puree (which can be done in the microwave to speed things up) - or be purchased in a can (even easier) - they come together quickly & with minimal fuss.  and to make them even better, this recipe is a great one to get the kids involved with.  a bit of measuring, a bit of stirring & a lot of tasting (no raw eggs to worry about).

give this recipe a try.  the warmth of the cinnamon & creaminess of the butternut squash make these cakey bars perfect for a feel-good treat, any time of day! 

recipe: butter-less butternut butterscotch bars

ingredients:

  • 1/2 c raw cashews, coarsely ground into a flour (can sub for 1/2c cashew or almond butter, or 1/4 c flour - if you sub with flour, add an extra 1/4c butternut squash)
  • 1 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour (*all purpose can be subbed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • a few grinds of nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/4c cold water
  • generous 1/3c maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 c butternut squash, pureed (pureed sweet potato or pumpkin can be subbed)
  • generous tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 c greek yogurt
  • 1/3c butterscotch chips

method:

  1. preheat the oven to 350 & grease a 7 x 14" pan - 9 x 9 works well too - the bars will be a bit cakier
  2. in a small bowl, mix the flax & water, set aside
  3. combine all of the dry ingredients, including the ground cashews
  4. in a separate bowl combine all of the wet ingredients
  5. add the dry mix to the wet & stir gently until totally combined
  6. stir in the butterscotch chips
  7. bake for 20 minutes, check the bars & continue baking, checking every 5 minutes or so.  they typically take between 25 & 35 minutes to cook, depending on what pan you use.
  8. cool on a wire rack for 30 min before slicing - this allows the bars to set up a bit
  9. enjoy!

xoxo,

h & s