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Pumpkin Spiced Tootsie Chews

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Pumpkin Spiced Tootsie Chews displayed in a jar

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free ~

When I develop recipes, I do my darnedest to make sure that I use ingredients that have healing and building properties. I created these candies for my grandmother.

She loves candy and has a lot of inflammation in her body. It may sound strange for me to list these two features together in one sentence, but it was those two things that gave me the motivation to create this special treat for her.

Now, if I were to tell her that I added turmeric and black pepper in her candy, she wouldn’t touch it.  She is old school and not willing to change her ways at this point in life.  So, shhh, please don’t tell her. :) It will be our secret.  And grandma, should you read this….”aaaah Bob did it!”

Healing Spices

So, let’s dive into the recipe and bread down all the incredible health benefits that it can have.  Black pepper is a warming ingredient and is considered an essential healing spice in Ayurveda.

It has cleansing and antioxidant properties, and it is a bioavailability enhancer, meaning it helps to transport the benefits of other herbs to the different parts of the body. It helps enhance digestion and circulation, stimulates the appetite, and helps maintain respiratory system health and the health of the joints.  And to think that people shake this on their food every day without ever knowing this!

I better move along… this post is going to get too long if I am not careful.  Turmeric contains the flavonoid curcumin, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to help detoxify the liver, balance cholesterol levels, promote a healthy response to allergens, stimulate digestion, boost immunity, and enhance the complexion. It is also an antioxidant.   Go ahead grandma, eat up!

So basically, I really wanted to sneak into this recipe the turmeric and black pepper.  The pumpkin spice, which is a combination of several healing spices as well, was added to distract my grandmother’s test buds. I don’t mean to be sneaking behind her back, but I think this is one time that I get a free pass to do so.   Before I let you go, I want to share a quick tip when it comes to making these candies…

Be sure to use “dry” date paste.  I know that sounds a bit confusing so let me explain.  When creating the date paste, use the least amount of water needed when getting it to that creamy smooth texture.  I provided a link below on how I make my date paste, please review it.  I hope you enjoy these candies as much as my family has.  Blessings, amie sue

unwrapping Pumpkin Spiced Tootsie Chews Ingredients:

Yields 48 (2” candies)


Create the candy batter:

  1. Remove the pits from the dates as you put them in the measuring cup.
    • Be sure to inspect each date as you tear it in half to remove the pit.  Mold and insect eggs can infect dried dates.  I don’t mean to gross you out; you just need to be made aware of this.
  2. Place the date paste, turmeric, pumpkin spice, salt, stevia, and black pepper in the food processor fitted with the “S” blade.  Process until it turns into a creamy paste.
    • Turmeric can stain fingers, fingernails, fabrics, and other materials, so handle it carefully.  I had yellow nails for a few days… I felt jaundice. lol

Fill the piping bag:

  1. It is best to use either a canvas or a silicone piping bag.  I used the piping tip Ateco #808.
  2. While holding the bag with one hand, fold down the top with the other hand to form a cuff over your hand.
  3. Fill the bag 1/2 full.  If you overfill the bag, the excess batter may squeeze out the wrong end not to mention that you will have less control of the bag when piping.
  4. Close the bag by unfolding the cuff and twisting the bag closed. This forces the batter down into the bag.
  5. “Burping” the bag: Make sure you release any air trapped in the bag by squeezing some of the batter out of the tip into the bowl. This is called “burping” the bag.
    • If you don’t remove the air bubbles, they will come out while you are piping your straight line and cause blurps and breaks.  Best to create a seamless line.


  1. Click (here) to view some photos of how I piped these.
  2. Hold the piping bag tip about 1/4″ above the non-stick sheet, at about a 22-degree angle (half of a 45 ), and slowly pipe the batter from one edge of the dehydrator tray to the other.
  3. Keep constant pressure on the piping bag as you squeeze out the paste.  This will ensure an even thickness of the line.
  4. After each completed line, stop and retwist the piping bag, working all paste towards the tip.  This will eliminate air bubbles in the bag and give you a solid grip.
  5. Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just have fun and if you make a mistake, scoop it up, place back in the bag and do it again.

Dehydrate & store:

  1. Place the tray in the dehydrator and dry at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 16-24 hours.
  2. Once cooled, cut into 2” lengths and wrap in squares of wax paper.
  3. I keep mine stored in the fridge for freshness, but they can be left out at room temp.
  4. These candy chews won’t be hard or crunchy.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F)?  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients, it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  • Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.

  Packaging Ideas

For packaging ideas, I used a hinged clamshell that you can find online or at any local restaurant store.  Twelve candies fit perfectly in them.  To wrap the candies, I used brown wax paper (not parchment, too stiff) and tissue paper.  I have wrapped over 1,000 pieces of candy this holiday, and I have learned what works the best… trust me, I am a certified wrapper now. lol
As far as tissue paper goes, you can use any color or pattern but stay away from full metallic foil papers.  They don’t twist close well at all.  Some tissue papers have metallic in them (as you see below), these work just fine.  When using tissue paper, you will want to use a piece of wax paper on the inside of it, so the candy doesn’t stick. The tissue paper is just decorative.
  Pumpkin Spiced Tootsie Chews wrapped in gold foil
This is how I packaged my candies for gift giving. You can find
the gift bags here in my Amazon store.  I put eight candies per bag.
 Pumpkin Spiced Tootsie Chews wrapped in gold foil and placed in a bag

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