Sorry I missed posting my promised “week of Thanksgiving inspired recipes” yesterday guys and girls, but hopefully these pumpkin pecan pie bars will make you forgive me….please, pretty please forgive me…with pumpkin pie on top. Am I forgiven?
The week has come to a close and has been filled with all things Thanksgiving but don’t worry I have some plans for one more Thanksgiving inspired post next Monday to wrap things up and also to make up for yesterdays no post. Hopefully all this Paleo Thanksgiving talk has gotten you in the spirit for the big Turkey Day next week. By the way, I love Thanksgiving!! Let me tell you why….let’s take a walk down memory lane. This may date me, but here we go! So in October 2004 I got married to the hubby which means our first holiday as a married couple was of course Thanksgiving (I’m not counting Halloween folks…we were actually on our honeymoon then). We were broke after paying for some of the wedding plus the honeymoon so we decided to hunker down and have Thanksgiving just the two of us in sunny South Florida. Mine you I didn’t cook! I hated cooking back in 2004….yeah I know a shock since I now have a food blog, right? I had a kitchen full of all these cool kitchen “things” from the wedding which many of them I had no clue how to use. Yes, that is embarrassing to admit but we are all friends here. So it was my first Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to let my husband down since Thanksgiving happens to be one of his favorite “eating” holidays. I got the turkey and gathered all the recipes from family members and I put my new kitchen apron on and cooked in our super small kitchen. I wish there is a picture to document this, but maybe it might be better there isn’t. It wasn’t pretty! I had never cooked a turkey….ever! It was pretty funny to watch me try too. I have to remove what?! Well where is that? Those were just some of the questions I asked myself. My husband actually left the house for a “drive” because my stress level was at a all time high. I made it threw it all and we did sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner that was edible but from that moment on my thought of cooking has changed. As crazy as that may sound. So every year when Thanksgiving comes around I think of my first Thanksgiving as a wife and I’m thankful, because it’s that one day of cooking that inspired me to want to get better and to eventually start this little blog where I share my creative outlet in the kitchen. Of course, if you have followed me from the beginning (thank you my early followers) you have seen my progression as I have cook, baker, and hopefully blogger. My diet has changed through this time as well. You can check the archives, I wasn’t always Paleo. Which I have gotten a lot of crap from Paleo readers that I still have those on the blog. I have gone back and forth about taken them off but it shows my progression. I am 100% believer in Paleo! It has changed my life and my families! If I have readers coming over for a non-paleo recipe I’m hoping they will find my new Paleo recipes and question what it is and hopefully walk down the path of Paleo and see how wonderful it is. Because truly guys, all I want to do is help you all! That’s why I share free recipes here. Because lets face it I love you, I’m thankful for you, and I’m fortunate to love doing it. So if you don’t like that I have non-paleo recipes on here I’m sorry but just look at the ones that are and smile and be happy that they are here. No hard feelings, ok?
Ok, guys and girls have a wonderful weekend! I hope your excited about Turkey Day, I know I am! Especially now that we live in a state that the temperatures actually feel like they should be on Thanksgiving, basically I’m not sweating! Ha! I’ll be back next week with a little something special if you still aren’t sure what you might make for your Paleo Thanksgiving. In the meantime, enjoy these bars. They rock! I took them to my Paleo Challenge party at my Crossfit Box and they were originally going to be a secret until the cookbook release but I was in the mood to share…so Metro Crossfit these are for you!
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars
Pumpkin Pie is a traditional fall favorite dessert that graces most Thanksgiving tables. These bars are a twist on the traditional pumpkin pie with the added pecan topping. If you are a pumpkin pie fan, this recipe can be turned into a pie very quickly. Just form the crust into a pie plate and follow the directions below for the filling. Leave out the topping and you have yourself a Paleo version of Pumpkin Pie.
1 ¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup hazelnut flour (if you don’t have you can use more almond flour)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree
5 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup almond flour
½ cup pecan halves, chopped
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 medjool date, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper making sure paper goes up the sides, this will help you later on in removing the bars from the pan.
Add all of the crust ingredients to a small bowl and using a fork stir together until crust forms. Place crust mixture to prepared baking dish and press down to form a even layer across the bottom of the pan. Bake crust for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Allow crust to cool completely.
In a bowl of food processor or high speed blender place filling ingredients; pumpkin puree, eggs, dates, coconut milk, and pumpkin pie spice. Process the ingredients together until smooth and dates are broken up. Pour filling ingredients into cooled crust.
To make topping; add almond flour, pecans, shredded coconut, maple syrup, chopped date, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Combine topping and evenly sprinkle across filling. You can sprinkle additional chopped pecans on there if you like too.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until filling is set. Remove and allow bars to cool completely before removing from pan and cutting into bars.
Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Before enjoying allow bars to come to room temperature.
Makes 12 bars.