Friday, December 28, 2012

Cranberry Bars

Every year my sister and her husband prepare and serve a sit down dinner called, The Cargioli Ravioli Extravaganza. They make home made ravioli and spaghetti sauce and various other delicious Italian type soups and dishes and serve about 18 to 25 friends and family.
Last year I made these cranberry bars and my sister loved them so much she asked me to make them for all future Cargioli Ravioli Extravaganza dinners, thereby, creating a new tradition.

I found this recipe here on blog. She is my favorite blogger for grain free baking. Check her blog out.
This is my adaptation of Elana's original recipe.
Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 20 dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbs walnut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  1. Place pecans and dates in food processor and pulse to coarsely ground.
  2. Pulse in oil and sea salt until it begins to form a ball or pack together.
  3. Press crust into an 8X11 pyrex dish. For a thicker crust and bar you could use an 8X8 dish.
  4. Bake for 18 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned.
  5. While crust is baking make the filling.

  • 6 cups fresh cranberries (discard the bad ones)
  • 1 cup agave
  • 1 Tbs orange zest

  1. Clean and separate out bad cranberries
  2. Place 4 cups of cleaned cranberries agave and orange zest in saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until cranberries start to dissolve.
  4. Add remaining 2 cups cranberries and cook covered another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove filling from stove and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour filling over prepared crust.
  7. Let cool for 60 to 90 minutes or overnight in refrigerator.
  8. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Just in time for Christmas baking!!
I've been doing alot of baking the last couple weeks. I love trying new recipes and the way my house smells when I bake is better then any air freshener.
The recipe today is Gingerbread Cookies. 
I have one word to describe them YUM. 
OK, I use the word alot. 
So I love intensely flavored foods. The coconut sugar and molasses and spice combination gives this cookie a special flavor that is not too sweet and fully engages your sense of smell and taste.

Weird ingredient alert!! You're going to need a fair amount of arrowroot flour. You can find a 20 oz bag of it at Whole Foods.
 I got the recipe from The Food Lover's Kitchen here. I have an app on my iphone with lots of awesome recipes at my fingertips. I also get new recipes delivered to my email inbox. This is not the first recipe I have tried from here and it won't be the last if they are all as good as this. This site is a great resource for all things Paleo.

Gingerbread Cookies

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 4 Tbs coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Heat molasses to boiling in a small saucepan and remove from heat.
  4. Add coconut oil into molasses.
  5. Pour molasses mixture into the dry ingredients and mix completely with a wooden spoon.
  6. Make sure you get it mixed up well, It's going to form a ball.
  7. Break off a piece of the dough and roll it out between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Dig out you cookie cutters or biscuit cutter and make you some cookies.
  9. Place the cut out cookies on a piece of parchment paper that has been placed on a cookie sheet and bake for about 9 minutes. 
  10. After your first batch reduce your cooking time to 8 minutes.

 Have fun with those tupperware cookie cutters that are in the back of your kitchen drawer. I found trains and hearts in my drawer. Or you could make superball(remember superballs?) size cookie dough balls and smash them with the bottom of a glass. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for some wicked ginger snaps. Bake a little longer if you don't smash it too flat.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Paleo bread, buns (oven adaptation)

My sister Sherry has been eating paleo for a few months now. She started it as a challenge to eat better. She has been a great source for recipe trials for me. She made this recipe for bread. It is from primal bread 2.0. The one thing I don't like about the recipe is the fact it is cooked in a microwave. So I adapted this bread to bake in the oven.
I could have easily used my 5 inch ramekins instead I used my stand alone, paper quiche cups. I bought these at Marshall's Home Goods Store. They are approximately 4.5 to 5 inches.
I doubled the recipe and reduced the baking powder by one teaspoon. My adaptation of this recipe made 5 "buns". Which made 10 pieces of bread when you slice each bun in half width wise. 15 slices if you make thinner slices. Your choice. There are lots of ways you can use this bread. Beware! It is very filling so a small piece is super satisfying and delicious!

Paleo Bread (buns)

  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal (I used golden flax)
  • 1/4 cup salted toasted sunflower seeds 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup or coconut nectar(optional)
  • 3 Tbs walnut or coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease or butter ramekins or paper quiche cup
  3. Measure sunflower seeds into a Ziploc baggie and smack it with a rolling pin to break up the seeds slightly. Don't pulverize the seeds.
  4. Measure all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, sweetener and oil in a small mixing bowl. 
  6. Now dump the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to incorporate everything.
  7. Divide the batter between the 5 quiche cups or ramekins.
  8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

This bread has the taste and texture of a multi-grain bread but without the grains!! It's simple and quick to make and keep on hand for toast or sandwich bread.
Important thing to remember...Cool completely before you slice it. It will hold together better, No worries though if you slice and butter it while it's still hot. You'll be polishing off all the crumbs that fall. This also toasts great!!

Hot from the oven with melting butter

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love making cookies and candy to give away as gifts at Christmas time.
This year I am making paleo treats to give away.

I have gathered treat recipes from across the paleo blog globe. One of my favorite blogs is written by Danielle Walker at Against All Grain. She does some amazing things with out of the ordinary ingredients. I have never failed to be impressed with recipes I have tried from Danielle's blog.
One of my favorites is the Chocolate Chip Cookies. I loved the way she rolled up the cookie dough and refrigerated or froze it for a slice and bake cookie. I actually made a double batch and stored the rolled dough in the fridge over night. I baked a batch before I had company for a nice bakery smell in my house. You can't fake that yummy smell.
Here is my adaptation of Danielle's recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1/2 cup softened butter, palm shortening can be used
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 2 eggs, suggested room temp but I used mine right out of the refrigerator
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 Tbs + 2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)


1) Preheat oven 350 degrees
2) In a food processor cream together, butter, palm sugar, coconut nectar, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
3) Scrape the sides of the canister down once or twice.
4) Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips and pulse for 30 seconds or so, until all ingredients are incorporated.
5) Turn out into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.
6) Divide into 2 portions and form each portion into a log.
7) Slice and flatten cookies.
8) Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. 9 minutes for softer cookies and 10 minutes for firmer cookies.

Special notes:
You can also place the parchment wrapped log in the refrigerator for use within the next few days or place in the freezer for use in the more distant future. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
These cookies do not raise and spread out like glutenous chocolate chip cookies so be sure to flatten them and don't be afraid to place them closer together on the cookie sheet. This means more cookies on the cookies sheet and less time in the kitchen.

These have gotten two thumbs up from everyone at my office and close enough to satisfy your desire for treats.

Real food satisfies your nutritional needs so you are less likely to overeat.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins with dairy free spiced topping

Pumpkin Muffins with dairy free pumpkin spice topping
Thanks, Sherry, for the heads up on the pumpkin muffins from  I have never been disappointed in recipes I have made using blog.
I watched 5 pumpkin muffins disappear in record time. I have to admit, I made 1 1/2 disappear. Tastes like pumpkin pie in a cupcake paper. The topping is light and refreshing.
I switched up some of the spices based on what I had with me on vacation. So here's my adaptation of Elana's recipe.

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbs ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs pumpkin spice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin pulp
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 pkt stevia
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare muffin tin by lining with cupcake papers.
  3. Mix together all dry ingredients. I used a hand mixer.
  4. Add in eggs, pumpkin, agave, coconut oil(I didn't melt) and stevia.
  5. Mix completely with the hand mixer.
  6. Spoon into cupcake papers. 
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Cool and frost with the Pumpkin Spice Dairy Free Whipped Topping(recipe below).
Pumpkin Spice Dairy Free Whipped Topping
Pumpkin Spice Whipped Topping, Dairy Free
  • 1 can coconut milk (chilled and use only the creamed part. Save the water for some other recipe or disgard).
  • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin pulp
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 pkts stevia
  1. Scoop chilled coconut milk into bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix completely with a hand mixer using high speed.
  3. Frost cooled muffins.
Muffin recipe yields 8 to 9 muffins.
Pumpkin Spice topping tops 20 or so muffins so make a double batch of muffins for all that topping. You'll wish you had made a double batch once you have tasted this delicious treat.
Store leftovers, covered in the refrigerator.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Macadamia Nut Butter Bread

Bread is a food group all to itself. Banana bread, pumpkin bread, cashew butter bread just to name a few. Today I'm sharing another bread recipe that's basic ingredients are nut butter and eggs. I adapted the recipe from Free the Animal blog. There is also an analysis of this bread verses wheat bread, Check it out.
Macadamia Nut Butter Bread

This recipe makes a dense bread that holds together well when sliced and used to make a sandwich or toast or even french toast. Oh yeah I know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Using a food processor is highly recommended because you are going to start with raw macadamia nuts. I found my nuts at Whole Foods and Earth Fare. As a side note, Earth Fare just opened in my town *BONUS*
Back to the bread...
This recipe is simpler with fewer steps to put together then the cashew butter bread, which makes it a more desirable recipe for me as I am all about getting in and out of the kitchen quickly.

Macadamia Nut Butter Bread


  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup raw whole macadamia nuts (made into butter, directions below)
  • 1 cup coconut butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 rounded tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place nuts in food processor and process on high till it is a chunky nut butter/meal. While running on high drop one egg down the chute and wait for the sound to stabilize(approx 20 to 30 seconds) and run smooth. Do the same with the second egg. Once the processor is running smoothly add the other 3 eggs down the chute and process. You should have a smooth batter by this time. 
  3. Remove lid and add the coconut butter and sea salt. Replace lid and process on low(or pulse if you don't have a variable speed processor like me)
  4. Once everything is mixed in, pour the lemon juice down the chute and run till incorporated. then add the baking soda. Mix for a few more seconds.
  5. Pour the batter into an 8 1/2 inch loaf pan that has been greased with coconut oil, ghee or butter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack. 
  8. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Delicious bread that satisfies your craving for a sandwich. Try this recipe and pack a sandwich for lunch tomorrow or make french toast with vanilla, cinnamon with pure maple syrup drizzled over it. Are you hungry yet?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Layered Roasted Veggies with Goat Cheese

Amazing! This was just one comment I heard after serving this delectable dish.
I was sitting in the hair salon the other night thumbing through a magazine and came across this recipe. I made a few changes to the recipe and voila!! Rave reviews!
I took out the white beans and added cauliflower and sweet potatoes. The spice combo is spectacular!! I bought a large jar of Herbes-de-Provence at Marshall's Home Goods Store at a very good price. You can substitute Trader Joe's, 21 Seasoning Salute if you want.
I took a picture after everyone had dug into the dish so it's not such a beautiful display for the blog but the taste was "AMAZING"!! The smell that filled the house was equally amazing.

Layered Roasted Veggies with Goat Cheese


  • 1 Cup chopped onions
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil 
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small head cauliflower sliced and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 heaping Tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Herbes-de-Provence

  1. Saute over medium heat till onions are translucent.
  2. Pour into 9X13 casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Preheat over to 400 degrees.

  • 1 med Yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 med Zucchini, sliced
  • 4 small red potatoes, sliced
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 1 Cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbs Herbes-de-Provence
  • 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Place all the sliced veggies in a bowl and toss with herbs, oil and salt and pepper. 
  2. Arrange seasoned veggies on top of the cauliflower/onion mixture in your casserole dish. 
  3. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove foil and sprinkle with goat cheese and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately. Be careful not to burn your tongue.

This veggie casserole can be changed up to cater to your tastes. I was baking for a crowd. If I was cooking for only me, I would have increased the sweet potatoes and eliminated the red potatoes. Brussel sprouts, broccoli, leeks could all be subbed into this recipe in any combination. Use your imagination and create your own unique layered roasted veggie dish.
What's your favorite roasted veggie?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paleo Cashew Butter Bread

Bread is a familiar kind of comfort food that is full of grain and NOT ALLOWED  when you go Paleo. I went Paleo almost a year ago and I am just now getting around to making a loaf of bread.
It is nice to have bread available to eat once in a while but I don't eat bread daily. This post is my review of a couple recipes I have tried.

Today I'm sharing my favorite(recipe #1) so far. It wins based on texture and flavor. It's made with cashew butter, a little sweeter and has a porous texture. Recipe #2 is made with macadamia butter and is tasty but a little too eggy for my taste.
Recipe #1 requires making nut butter from your cashews. I didn't find cashew butter at my local Whole Foods. If you are looking for simplicity and ease of preparation then go with the eggy, I mean, macadamia nut recipe. The cashew butter recipe has more steps and will take longer in prep time but worth the extra time, in my humble opinion. Both recipes require a food processor.
I will share the recipe #2 in a future post but if you can't wait, here is where you can find the recipe.
Both recipes hold together when sliced and used in a sandwich and toasted.
Here is where I adapted this recipe from. is one of my favorite blogs.

Follow carefully as there are several steps to make this a delicious loaf of bread!

Paleo Cashew Butter Bread


  • 1 cup cashew butter(recipe below)
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 to 2 Tbs coconut nectar(2 Tbs for a sweeter loaf)
  • 2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line bottom of loaf pan(8.5X4.5) with parchment paper.
  3. Grease side of loaf pan with coconut oil.
  4. Beat cashew butter with egg yolks using a hand mixer.
  5. Add coconut nectar, vinegar and almond milk incorporating completely with hand mixer.
  6. In a separate bowl use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
  7. In a small bowl whisk together coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt. (Yep 3 different bowls)
  8. Pour the dry ingredients into the cashew butter mixture and use the hand mixer to blend.
  9. Hold your horses if your oven has not been reheated. Once this is done continue.
  10. Stir egg whites into your batter thoroughly. Don't over mix.
  11. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the oven.
  12. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Be sure you DO NOT open the oven door for at least 40 minutes. Don't peek!! It can effect how your loaf raises or not.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes, using a knife to loosen the bread from the side of the pan.
  15. Cool for about an hour on a cooling rack before slicing.
  16. Store in the refrigerator.

Cashew Butter

  • 2 cups raw or roasted cashews (I used raw)
  • 1 to 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Here's where your food processor gets a workout.
  2. Add cashews and seas salt to food processor and pulse for a couple minutes.
  3. Add 2 Tbs of the coconut oil while pulsing cashews.
  4. Add 1 tsp coconut oil at a time scraping down the sides occasionally.
  5. Pulse to desired consistency.
You will have enough cashew butter to make 2 loaves of bread.
I'll be having french toast using this bread this weekend. 
I hope this inspires you to try a loaf of paleo bread soon. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gingerbread Granola (Grain Free)

I love the way my house smells when I am baking something with ginger in it. Even more I love the taste of ginger in my baked goodies. One of my favorite snacks when I was fat was Ginger Snaps dunked in a glass of milk. This recipe reminds me of that snack. Instead I have a nutritious breakfast food.
Gingerbread Granola in a bowl of coconut milk. YUMMO!!
Guess what I'm having for breakfast!!
Gringerbread Granola (grain free)

Gingerbread Granola (Grain Free)


  • 2 cups slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seed
  • 1/2 cup chia seed
  • 1/4 cup hemp nuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup black strap molasses (regular molasses can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar.


  1. Toss spices and salt into the nuts, seeds and dried fruit mixture and mix well.
  2. Pour molasses and vanilla over the nuts and spices and mix well.
  3. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in coconut sugar.
  5. Spread on to the baking sheet and bake 30 to 40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes or so to evenly brown.
  6. Let completely cool. It gets crispier as it cools.
  7. Store in an sir tight container.
Skip snacking on potato chips and go for a hand full of granola, It is real food so it satisfies your bodies need for nutrition. Chocked full of nutritious seeds and nuts and mineral rich molasses.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkins are abundant this year so why not take advantage of the abundance of recipes with pumpkin in it. I have already shared
Pumpkin Bars,
Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Spice Frappe
Pumpkin Cheesecake (dairy free)
Processing your own pumpkin can save tons of moolah. Freeze it in 1 cup portions bags. Shizam, Pumpkin dessert any time of the year!
Here is a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Coffee Cake with pecan crumb topping. 
Easy to make and easy to make substitutions for sweetener and fat. 
You can easily substitute coconut oil or palm shortening for the butter to make this dairy free.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Pumpkin Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin pulp, pureed
  • 1 cp almond flour, packed
  • 2 Tbs coconut flour, packed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cp almond flour, packed
  • 2 Tbs softened butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cp chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees
  2. Grease 9X9 glass dish or similar size
  3. Stir together all wet ingredients for cake.
  4. Add all dry ingredients and whisk until well incorporated.
  5. Pour into dish.
  6. Make topping by combining all ingredients and mix together with a fork. (It will be sticky)
  7. Sprinkle/spread evenly over top of batter.
  8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Tastes great while still warm or at room temperature although it can be difficult to remove from the dish before it is completely cooled. This is super moist and the flavor becomes richer each day. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This has been my adaptation of the recipe I found here at Thanks Michelle!!
What is your favorite fall recipe?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cups(coconut caramel)

A mistake gone GOOD!!

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cups

I was thinking I wanted to make frosting with my coconut sugar. Well, frosting is NOT what I made. Instead I created a delicious caramel candy that screamed to be made into some sort of decadent confection.
The caramel filling is totally coconut. Coconut milk, coconut butter and coconut sugar. You'll need a blender and a hand mixer for this recipe.

Caramel-pecan topped variation
Here goes:

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cups

Caramel filling

  • 1 1/2 cups blond granulated coconut sugar
  • 1 heaping Tbs coconut butter
  • 2 to 3 Tbs canned coconut milk This might be more for desired consistency. Add a tsp at a time over 2 Tbs.
  • 12 to 24 pecan halves for chocolate cup assembly.

Instructions for caramel filling:

  1. Place sugar in blender and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Dump powdered sugar into a medium bowl and use a fork to cut in the room temperature coconut butter,
  3. Add 2 Tbs coconut milk and using a hand mixer, blend until smooth, adding 1 tsp milk at a time to desired consistency.
  4. Caramel is now ready to use.

Chocolate Coating:

  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Instructions for chocolate coating:

  1. Melt chocolate chips and oil in a double boiler.

Assemble the caramel cup:

  1. Prepare mini-cupcake pans by putting cupcake papers in pans.
  2. Spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of the cupcake paper.
  3. Next spoon a half teaspoon caramel filling in the middle of the chocolate cup.
  4. Place a piece of pecan on top of the caramel.
  5. Cover with another spoon of melted chocolate.
  6. Once all the cups are filled in this order, place the pan in the freezer on a level shelf.
  7. Leave for no more than 15 minutes.
  8. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

You can also top with a pecan half instead of covering with chocolate. Both variations are pictured.

This recipe was a total mistake but what a deliciously decadent mistake. I see these becoming part of my edible gifts at Christmas time.

How to Make Pumpkin Pulp Puree

Don't be afraid to delve into the land of food preservation!

While my children were still small, I had a 1/2 acre garden. I used to can green beans, tomato juice, and freeze corn and zucchini and an assortment of other fruits and veggies. I don't have a garden anymore nor do I can green beans and tomato juice. I would much rather spend my time on the golf course or taking a long bike ride or even spend an afternoon with my grandkids at the pool.

This year with pumpkins in such great abundance, I decided to put a few lbs of pumpkin pulp in the freezer. It's easy to do although it might take a little while to complete.

Canned pumpkin is not cheap and if you use it much in during the holidays, it can get quite expensive. I have used all but one of the cans I stockpiled from last winter.

Last winter I bought the last 2 cans of organic pumpkin pulp at the local Trader Joe's. I kinda felt bad while I was still shopping as I heard customer after customer asking where they could find the canned pumpkin and each one being told all the canned pumpkin has been put on the store shelves and if they didn't find any, they were all sold out. I strategically placed a couple bags of sweet potato chips on top of the cans so no one could see my canned pumpkin. The check out clerk announced he had thought they were out of canned pumpkin as I was checking out but was glad to see I found a couple cans. I then heard the lady at the next register send her husband back into the store to recheck the shelves for more. Sorry fellow shoppers but I got them first.
I won't be scouring the shelves this year. I am putting pumpkin in the freezer and saving a few bucks.
Here's how....

1) Using a sharp knife,
cut your washed pie pumpkin in half
2) Pry apart and remove seeds

3) Remove the insides using
an ice cream scoop.

4) Place pumpkins flesh side down in dish and pour
 about 1/4 inch water in the bottom of the dish.
Place in oven for about an hour at 350 degrees.

5) Scoop cooked pumpkin out of
 the skin and place in bowl when cooled

One big bowl of cooked pumpkin pulp.

6) Place pumpkin pulp in the
 food processor in batches to puree

7) I packaged one cup of pureed pumpkin per ziploc baggie for the freezer.
I got  7 cups of pumpkin puree for about the same cost as one can of pumpkin.

I hope you find this post helpful. It is really simple and fast to plan ahead for future baking projects.
Look for more pumpkin recipes here in the near future.
You can also use the same procedure to cook and process fall squashes such a butternut, acorn and crookneck. Squash can also be used to substitute for the pumpkin.

Here are a few pumpkin recipes I already posted:
Pumpkin Squares
Frozen Pumpkin Spice Frappe
Pumpkin Granola
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (Dairy-free)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin bars with Raw Pecan Crust

It's fall and pumpkins are in abundant supply. I will be posting lots of pumpkin recipes including how to prepare a pie pumpkin in future posts. I love this time of year and love the pumpkin and assorted squash that is harvested in the fall.
I  have a weird ingredient alert. This recipe calls for agar agar, It is a vegetable gelatin. Unflavored gelatin can be substituted.

Pumpkin Bars with Raw Pecan Crust


Add the following to your food processor:
  • 1 cup pecan pieces (add a handful more if your pecans are whole)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal flour (I used Trader Joe's Almond meal)
  • 5 soft pitted dates (soak first if they are dry)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Pulse till it begins to form a ball or is chopped up well. Scrape down the sides occasionally.
Press into 9X9 square dish.
Note: You don't need to grease or line the dish first. The raw crust won't stick.


Combine the following in a small sauce pan:
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (has low glycemic index)
  • 10 drops vanilla flavored liquid stevia
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
Simmer till coconut sugar is just dissolved.
Once the coconut sugar is dissolved add:
2 tsp agar agar powder (Not flakes! You would need far more if you use flakes!) I got my agar at Whole Foods in the bulk food section
Whisk agar powder  into the pumpkin mixture while simmering for about one minute. My pumpkin mixture thickened very quickly.
Pour over crust.
Refrigerate till solid.
Store in the fridge.
This recipe was adapted from the recipe I found on TheSpunkyCoconut. Thank-you for sharing your incredible gift with those of us still learning.


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