There is one holiday that I look forward to more than any other, purely because of the fact that it revolves around food — and I suppose giving thanks. Traditionally, I spend the weeks prior contemplating menu items with my parents and bargaining one dish for another. However, I expect this year to be much different.
It’s been almost two months since I did a three sixty on my eating habits (formerly a self proclaimed carbatarian with little interest in meat) and adopted the paleo lifestyle. My ultimate goal, kick that nasty sweet tooth and just plain ole feel better. But coming from a family of bakers, giving up sweets completely proved damn near impossible. Thus, I make modifications when necessary.
If my undergraduate degree in nutrition has taught me anything, it’s all about moderation. I mean is life really worth living if you can’t indulge every once and awhile? My answers: No.
Needless to say, convincing my family to prepare a 100% paleo friendly thanksgiving feast is not going to happen. And I don’t want it to — the special, once a year foods are the reason I love the holiday (can anyone say green bean casserole or jellied cranberry roll?). But since my major contribution is always the pumpkin pie, you can bet at least one other thing on the table besides that turkey is going to be paleo!
Paleo Pumpkin Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 6 dates, pits removed
- 1 cup almond butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 (14oz) can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup Coconut Cream
- 3 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup/ honey/ agave
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pecans, chopped
- Add dates and almond butter to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Add 2 eggs, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, almond meal and baking soda and puree until smooth.
- Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with some coconut oil and pour in crush. Level with spatula.
- Place in oven to bake for 15 minutes or until crust is firm and cooked through when you poke it with a toothpick. Then let cool.
- While your crust is baking, make filling ingredients.
- Add filling ingredients to food processor and puree until completely smooth.
- When your crust is cool, top it off with your pumpkin puree filling and smooth evenly.
- Coarsely chop pecans and sprinkle over filling.
- Set in freezer to cool for 20+ minutes.
- Cut and serve. Store in fridge or freezer.