Lauren of Healthy Food for Living is a near and dear food blogger – she is local to me we’ve had the opportunity to get together on several occasions! Online, I enjoy her comforting but creative recipes with a healthful spin. In person, I always enjoy her company and I’m particularly thrilled that she’s due to have a baby girl just a few months before me. I can’t wait for baby-blogger get togethers come next spring Maybe I’ll luck out and she’ll invite me over for something super fun like Apple Pie Grilled Cheese. Or maybe we’ll feast on Banana Bread Pancakes with a scoop of Maple Cookie Frozen Yogurt while our  little ones roll around on the floor. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

For more of Lauren’s recipes, visit Healthy Food for Living, “Like” her page on Facebook, and follow @foodforliving on Twitter.

When it comes to holiday desserts, I’m pretty much the only one in my family that loves pumpkin pie. In fact, I’m really the sole pumpkin lover of the bunch!

It’s a good thing, then, that the food blogosphere is overfilled with pumpkin fanatics such as myself. As soon as the weather turns cool and the leaves start to turn vibrant colors here in New England, I start posting pumpkin recipes with reckless abandon.

I figured that a fun contribution to my friend Cara’s Clean Eating Cocktail Party would be mini raw pumpkin “pies”.

The filling is comprised of pumpkin puree, coconut butter, and some flavor punches by way of maple syrup, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spices.

The “crust” is simply rich & buttery pecans, sweet & chewy Medjool dates, and a bit of warm ground cinnamon. This mixture is pressed into mini muffin tins to form little cups; into which the filling is spooned.

A couple of hours chilling in the fridge allows both the filling and crust to set, and the cups can be easily removed from the muffin tin.

Bite-sized eats are ideal for a cocktail party – because you can hold your beverage with one hand and eat with the other – and nothing is more seasonal to me than pumpkin, so I think these healthy treats are perfect for the occasion.

I hope you agree!

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No Bake Pumpkin Pie Cups

Yield: 12 servings

Creamy pumpkin pie filling in a nut-and-date based crust makes a perfect hand-held treat for any holiday party - or, just to keep in the fridge for healthy nibbling!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut butter, (NOT oil), well-stirred and at room temperature
1/2 cup 100% cooked pumpkin puree, at room temperature (if your pumpkin is cold, the coconut butter may solidify when it comes in contact; if this happens, simply heat the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds and stir to melt the coconut butter)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 lightly packed cup medjool dates, about 10 pitted
2/3 cup raw pecan (or walnut) halves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Combine coconut butter, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl. Stir (or whisk) until very smooth.

Combine dates, pecans, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until mixture becomes crumbly and then forms a large ball, about 45 seconds. Remove from food processor.

Divide mixture evenly between the 12 cups of a non-stick mini muffin tin. Dip a finger in water and press the mixture into each cup, forming a crust with an indentation in each.

Fill each cup with the pumpkin pie mixture; smooth the top.

Place muffin tin in the fridge and chill until slightly hardened.