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Substitutions in pumpkin bars recipe (banana, apple, sweet potato---oh my)

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I recently made a couple batches of pumpkin bars (using this recipe: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2... ), and it got me thinking about possible substitutions to make other kinds of bars using the same recipe as a template.

I was wondering whether substituting 8 oz. of the following might work?

-mashed banana
-apple sauce/puree (possibly cooked down if more watery than pumpkin puree
)-cooked zucchini puree
-sweet potato puree (water added if too thick)
-any other ideas?

I like the idea of having a go-to recipe that can be tweaked with the flavors of whatever is in season or available. Any thoughts, suggestions, or warnings?

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  1. I would definitely try banana, a thick apple puree or sweet potato. Not sure about the zucchini puree, however, maybe grated and well-squeezed zucchini would be better.
    Other winter squashes would work, such as butternut, kabocha, acorn.
    What spices did you use for the original? Sweet spices would work for all the above suggestions, although I'd go with just cinnamon for the zucchini, or maybe not.
    Happy baking, Christina!

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      :) good tips, thanks as always.

    2. Those look amazing; no wonder you keep eating them :) I'm making bars for my son's goodie gift basket and am thinking of using dried fruit & nuts; so far it's going to be dried cherries, cranberries, figs, dates, currants and dried apple chips with walnuts and pecans. That recipe would work well if I sub my ingredients and add grated orange peel, leaving out the pumpkin and pie spice.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        LOL, I brought a pan to a party and it took a lot of restraint not to eat a single one. I did permit myself a few brownies instead. My friend made this recipe with Ritter Sport Dark, and we all agreed, they were the BEST ever! http://www.joyofbaking.com/brownies.html

        They're next on my list of temptations :)

        Let me know how your bars turn out, ok? :)

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          Oh God, why'd you have to post the link!? I HAVE TO MAKE THOSE! Forgive me..you see, I'm cursed with this chocoholic condition....(lol)

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Dam*ed if you do, dam*ed if you don't. ;)

            1. re: ChristinaMason

              :)

      2. Just reporting back----substitution with banana worked wonderfully! I'm having a hard time picking a favorite now. I posted the bars on my blog, which I will not link to, for the sake of not being obnoxious ALL the time ;)

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChristinaMason

          You're hardly obnoxious. I'm glad you liked it. I have a glut of bananas right now, when it rains...just made more banana bread, very similar recipe to yours, but I had no yogurt. Smells good in here!

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Sounds good...esp. with all the nasty weather you've been experiencing! Make a cup of tea and you're set!

        2. Persimmon that has been cooked down and pureed.

          1. not sure about bars, but it works in cakes and muffins:
            http://creativedelites.com/2009/12/20...

            1 Reply
            1. re: felyse03

              squash sounds good, too! thanks!