Running Update + Healthy Pumpkin Spice Bites

This quick, no-bake recipe for Healthy Pumpkin Spice Bites is full of delicious pumpkin spice flavors with only 6 ingredients.

If you haven’t already, please get out and vote at your local precinct today! For inspiration, check out this Huffington Post article on 27 Badass Images of Women Winning and Exercising the Right to Vote. Powerful images of an important civic duty.

{Image via Huffington Post, from Gabriel Hackett /Getty Images – “Vote baby vote.”}

Now let’s talk about fall running before I share a new, seasonal healthy snack recipe. I loved gaining an extra hour over the weekend {even though it meant I got out of bed even earlier than usual, around the 6:00 hour. I know.} However, I do not love darkness before 5:00 and the associated time I’ll be spending on the treadmill instead of running outdoors. Sniff.

In early October, I posted a running check-in for the first five weeks of training for the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k. The last few weeks have continued mostly on track, and my monthly miles in October totaled 65.2! This is definitely a PR month for me. Here is an update on the final few weeks of training:

Week 6: Ran 3.5; Ran 7 (long); Ran 10k race = 16.7 miles
Week 7: Ran 5; Ran 10k race = 11.2 miles 
Week 8: Ran 3.1; Ran 8 (long); Ran 4 = 15.1 miles

I started the last week of training {week 9!} with a 9 mile long run on Sunday, and I’m planning to take it easy for the rest of this week with two shorter runs to prepare for the race. After my final long run I was starving for snacks, and decided to try out a new recipe I’ve been thinking about for awhile – healthy pumpkin spice bites with only a few ingredients. This recipe comes together quickly in a food processor, with no cooking required.

My Pumpkin Spice Bites are inspired by Larabars. I have been thinking about making my own raw date + nut concoction for months but couldn’t decide what flavor to try. Word on the street is Larabar sells a seasonal Pumpkin Pie Bar, but I haven’t been able to find it in stores yet. Their version includes dates, dried pumpkin, cashews, and traditional pumpkin pie spices. I thought it would be fun to make a copycat recipe, using raw almonds and pumpkin puree instead of dried pumpkin.

These bites are the perfect bite-sized snack with a sweet, pumpkin pie flavor. There are no added sugars, only spices mixed with dates, raw almonds, pumpkin puree and pure vanilla extract. Try one, won’t you?

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Bites
Yields: 12 energy bites

15 dates
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

How to~
*Start by processing the almonds in a food processor. {I like to keep a few small chunks in the mix, so I did not process the almonds into a powder.}
*Add half of the dates, and half of the pumpkin puree. Process the mixture a few times. Stop the processor and use a spatula to re-combine the mix if needed.
*Add the rest of the dates, pumpkin puree, spices, and vanilla extract. Keep processing until the ingredients are evenly combined.
*Remove from the food processor and form into balls. I used a medium-sized cookie scoop to ensure even sizing for each bite.
*Freeze for 30 minutes to harden. Keep refrigerated in a covered container – the bites should last cooled for up to one week!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: N/A; 15 minutes to process and put the bites together.
Total time: 20 minutes

These bites come in at ~85 calories a piece, calculated by SparkRecipes.

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