When I first began blogging, I honestly had no idea where I was going to end up. I didn't have a road map and didn't have a clear vision of what it even meant to have a blog. I just knew I needed to get my thoughts out into the world and hoped that some may resonate with other people.
It can be lonely making a lifestyle change, having most people question your sanity. Things like: "Why? And don't you miss bread and cheese? How can you live like that?" have come up. Yes, everything is a little more complicated (if you let it be). Going out to eat is different, holidays are a tad challenging and you have to be on your toes when it comes to most packaged food. But making this shift sparked more than just changing the way I eat and feel.
It created a new direction for me. At the time I made the decision it was just that. I was done eating gluten and dairy because I wanted to feel better. I did not foresee all that would be coming with it. I simply knew that I wanted an avenue to share what I was learning along the way, with others. Sometimes, all it takes is just one little shift in the trajectory of life, to start something completely different and be taken down roads you never imagined. I know it sounds a bit frou frou but when you stop searching, you will find what you need in unexpected places. But I digress...
So back to eating. When it comes to the holidays, I have to think ahead and plan. The amazing thing about today's food world is that you can pretty much re-create everything using substitutes. It is my mission to create food that tastes good and makes your body feel good at the same time. So as Thanksgiving is upon is, I decided to play around with pumpkin recipes. I like bitesize desserts that one can easily pick up and pop in their mouth. A little goes long way and these bars will satisfy your sweet tooth and put you in the holiday mood.
When it comes to baking, my preference is always uncomplicated. To me that means, toss everything in a bowl, mix it and then dump everything in the oven. The reality is, my life no longer allows for hours spent in the kitchen, carefully tinkering around, though I hope those days will return at some point. In the mean time, let's take a look at these pumpkin bars.
paleo pumpkin bars
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Makes 16 bars
For pumpking bars
2 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter (I use this)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (I use this)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp cashew, almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
For chocolate glaze
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp chocolate chips (I use these)
8x8 baking dish (I used glass for even heat distribution but metal is fine)
large mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients under pumpkin bars. Lay two sheets of parchment paper across one another to form a plus sign. Make sure you cut off any paper hanging over the edge. Pour the mix into the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
If using a glass baking dish, carefully remove by parchment paper and set aside and cool completely (the glass stays hot and will continue distributing heat). If using a metal pan, you can let it cool in the pan.
In a small bowl combine chocolate chips and coconut oil and microwave for 30 seconds. If you don't have a micro, you can do this in a sauce pan over low heat, stirring continuously.
Once bars are completely cooled, pour chocolate mixture over top and cut into 16 squares. Store in the refrigerator for about a week.