Pros of using pumpkin seed butter: easy to make compared to almond butter, kids can bring to school, full of healthy nutrients.
Cons: tastes earthy, has a yucky green appearance (great for Halloween though!)
I was planning on making sunflower seed butter so the kids could bring some treats to school, but accidently grabbed pumpkin seeds without thinking. You can make pumpkin seed butter, right? Actually, it turned out to be way less time-consuming than making almond or peanut butter, and it was a great way for me to use up our pumpkin seeds.
You can make this recipe two ways. The first way is a naturally-sweetened energy ball. By adding chocolate chips, or a chocolate coating, you can make a second version that is perfect for a treat. Both ways help disguise the earthy taste of pumpkin seed butter.
MAKES 8-10 balls.
– 1/2 cup pumpkin seed butter (you can make your very easily! See note below).
– 8 soft dates
– 1/2 cup large flake oats, (you can use gluten-free)
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1.5 tablespoon maple syrup
– 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
– pinch of salt
– 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Combine all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until mixture can form a ball when pressed together. You want the pieces to be still visible to the eye.
2. Form into balls and store in the fridge or freezer. I use a cookie scoop to form evenly sized balls.
3. Optional step: if you aren’t adding in chocolate chips, or want an even more decadent treat, dip the balls in chocolate. To do this, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave for 1-1.5 minutes and then dip each ball into the melted chocolate.
NOTE: to make pumpkin seed butter, blend pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Once it is finely chopped, add a touch of extra-virgin olive oil (approximately 1 tsp) and mix further. The pumpkin seeds should almost immediately form a smooth butter.