Pumpkin Pie Bars (WIAW)

Instead of beating around the bush I am going to jump right into my recipe. For today’s WIAW party hosted by our wonderful host Jenn, I am going to be sharing with you a recipe that is completely opposite from what I posted last week.

That’s right. It’s all about the pumpkin baby! (For some strange reason I said that in an Austin Powers voice. Sue me).

Egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and so yummy that you will want to eat the entire batch.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Really. It’s okay if you don’t want to share. We will understand.

I have to admit that at first I thought this was recipe was going to be an utter failure. It turns out that it just needed awhile to bake to perfection. Good things do take time after all.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

I also had a hard time in coming up with a name for these things. Pumpkin cookie bars? Pumpkin bread bars? Nah. None of those were quite… right. But then my dad ate one and said, “Do you know what these remind me of? Pumpkin pie!” Bingo.

And so the Pumpkin Pie Bar was born.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Wheat/Gluten/Grain-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free Option, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Makes 9 squares

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium banana, ripe
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (any other nut or seed flour would work too)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish with parchment paper and coconut oil if desired (I added the oil just to ensure that this wouldn’t stick and I suggest that you do the same since there is no added oil in the recipe itself).
  2. In a food processor place the water, banana, pumpkin, honey and vanilla and combine until smooth. Alternatively you could just mix it by hand.
  3. Then in a bowl combine the flaxseed, coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Next stir in the wet ingredient mixture until fully incorporated. (Don’t worry about overmixing since there is no gluten in here. Just make sure that it’s well combined).
  5. Let the mixture sit for at least five minutes so that the coconut flour and flaxseed have time to thicken up.
  6. Then spread out the batter into the lined/oiled pan.
  7. Bake for around 70 minutes (I would check after an hour and then every few minutes after that). The end result will be very moist, but will have formed a noticeable soft crust on top. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
  8. You can slice and serve the bars then, or place them in the fridge overnight to firm up even more. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Recipe thoughts: I am not sure how this recipe would turn out if you tried to use eggs in place of the flaxseed mixture. If I ever do try a version like that of course I will let you all know. For the flaxseed you may be able to substitute chia meal but again, I cannot confirm that this will work since I haven’t tested it personally. One additional thought that I hope to be experimenting with soon is to use banana in place of the pumpkin for banana bars. Or maybe replace the almond flour with carob/cocoa powder for a brownie-type recipe. Again, all just thoughts that I thought I’d share in case you’d like to experiment on your own!

Also shared at: Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

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Thank you for all of your suggestions on yesterday’s post! In case you missed it, I am looking for magazine subscription suggestions. If you have something that you think I’d like to read, you can leave a comment in that post. Wednesday night I will be making the final decision and will let you know what I choose.

Are you a fan of pumpkin pie?

Have you gotten into the baking spirit yet or are you still holding out for summer?

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Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

It has been over a week since I posted my last recipe, and quite a while since I posted a full-blown recipe that was not a pancake.

It has been even longer since I posted an allergy friendly recipe!

Last weekend I had quite a bit of time free to myself and instead of lounging around with my laptop I decided to bake instead.

cookie-bars-1f

Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

Wheat/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy/Egg-Free, Nut-Free Option, Peanut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed + 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2-1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2-6 tbsp honey (replace with maple syrup to make vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour (any other nut flour or seed flour will work)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the coconut oil and carob powder until well combined. Pour the carob sauce into a small loaf pan or large rimmed lid. Place in the freezer until solid (around 15 minutes for me).
  3. Combine ground flaxseed and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat the flaxseed mixture in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes or until the water is all absorbed.
  4. Add the mashed banana, honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the flaxseed mixture. Stir until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together. Then mix in the wet ingredients. Combine well.
  6. Take the carob out of the freezer and break into small chunks. Mix about 1/3 of the chunks into the cookie dough.
  7. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with coconut oil and further line with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Evenly spread out the cookie dough in the pan. Top with another 1/3 of the carob chunks.
  8.  Bake for 20-30 or until golden brown and the cookie bars bounce back to the touch. Remove from the oven and slice into 9 pieces.

cookie-bars-3f

Notes:  

  • If you are able to eat eggs you could probably substitute two eggs for the flaxseed + water mixture.
  • I used only 2 tbsp of honey and 1 small banana but my parents said that they would have preferred it to be sweeter. Next time I will use 1/2 banana and 6 tbsp honey.
  • I didn’t use all of the carob chunks and had some leftovers just for snacking. Depending on the size of yours and thickness you may end up needing them all. Also, if you don’t use carob a starch-free alternative would be cocoa. This would be much more bitter however (you could try experimenting with additional honey but that would probably not hold up/freeze as well).

cookie-bars-4f

 

Shared at Food Forager.

Being finally able to post an egg-free and dairy-free recipe makes me incredibly excited. I felt like I was kind of abandoning the whole intent of my blog being for those with food allergies. While I will continue to post non-vegan recipes, I will also try to make more of an effort to post allergy friendly recipes as well.

Thanks for all of your really nice comments and insight on my post yesterday about my gastric emptying study results. I have more doctor appointments scheduled for my week off in between the end of my full time internship and the start of school/my part-time internship. They are mostly just to check-in but as always I’m hopeful that I will walk away with something new to try out!

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Have you been baking a lot this summer or just sticking the heat-friendly, non-oven recipes?

Have you ever tried carob before? Do you prefer its sweeter taste to cocoa?

What are your plans for the weekend?

What I Made (And Did Not Eat) Wednesday

Catchy title, right?

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from my update on Friday (by the way- thanks so much for all of your amazing comments and support!) that I will not be eating anything blog-worthy for quite a long time. No matter though, because thankfully my family doesn’t have the same food restrictions as me and are very willing for me to make all of their meals when I’m home 🙂

Today I’m going to share some pictures of what I cooked up this past weekend, and let me know which recipe you’d like to see first!

It just so happens too that I have food for every major meal of the day. Perfect.

Breakfast: Oatless Oatmeal

wiaw-made-oatless-oats

If you would believe it, my dad doesn’t really miss the bread on his hamburgers or the chips for his salsa since going GAPS. No, he misses the quick and easy… oatmeal. It’s okay. Laugh a little. I sure did when I came home to find two full canisters of oatmeal sitting on our island. It turns out my dad just couldn’t take it anymore and was planning on throwing them out (he just hadn’t gotten to the “throwing them out” step yet as our trash was full 😉 ). When I reminded him that my brother makes himself No-Bake cookies practically every few weeks though, the oatmeal went back into the cupboard. A spark had been lit in my head though and I vowed to make him a bowl of GAPS-approved oatmeal that same weekend.

You may remember if you’ve been reading awhile that I made some allergy-free oatless oats for a snack last summer. This recipe is still grain-free, dairy-free and can be nut/peanut-free as well, but sadly not egg-free. For all of those of you who can eat eggs though (which is probably most of you), you will love the new recipe. Still, I gotta support my allergic peeps here (yes, I really did just call you “peeps”) and say that I’ve read that you can replace the eggs in the recipe with flax egg or tofu, but I of course I can’t guarantee the results!

Lunch: Homemade Ranch Dressing

wiaw-ranch-dressing

My mom has been complaining (okay, not really complaining but “mentioning”) for quite a while that her salads just aren’t as enjoyable anymore without a good dressing and all of the homemade recipes that she has tried were less than stellar. When I got home this weekend I made it my mission to change all of that. I did a little research online and got a good idea of some of the ingredients that others put in their ranch dressing recipes. Then I pulled out a whole bunch of stuff from my pantry and got to work. Five minutes later I had something that looked and smelled like ranch dressing. The ultimate test though would be if it actually tasted like ranch dressing. This picture shows a salad that I whipped up for my dad (romaine lettuce mix, diced onion and pepper, sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped grass-fed beef burger) with organic green beans on the side. Of course there was the ranch dressing too.

Thankfully it was a success and my dad was genuinely surprised that it tasted so close to the real thing. I have to admit that I was a little surprised (and relieved) too. It’s so hard to make something and not be able to test it beforehand.

When my mom got home from work later that day she heard of the infamous ranch dressing and asked if there was any left. Um… Whoops. But within a couple of minutes there sure was. Let’s just say that my mom was even more thrilled than my dad and asked for the recipe. Again… Whoops. It turns out my hands have a pretty good memory though and with each dash of “such and such” and spoonful of “this and that” that I threw into the mix we measured out the ingredients and had a solid recipe.

This ranch dressing can also be made allergy-free with one simple substitution, so I’ll make sure to include that in the notes when I eventually post it on this blog.

Supper: Stuffed Acorn Squash

wiaw-stuffed-squash

This will be more of a simple How-To. In fact, just from the picture you can probably already guess what the main ingredients will be comprised of. 🙂

Snack: Oh-So-Secret Snack Bars 😉

wiaw-bars

My mom tried Larabars for the first time on Saturday upon my recommendation and really liked them. Of course the price and size probably would have made my dad’s eye twitch, but the ingredients are so wholesome and clean it would be a shame to pass them up! Once again inspired though, on Monday before I left for school I whipped up some homemade bars with an ingredient that you’ll never guess (Hint: It involves recycling). These will be similar to the Acorn Squash recipe in that it will be more of a How-To with some measurement suggestions, but I’ll be making them again and can probably get a more accurate recipe for you all next week.

That about wraps up WIAW for today. Jenn is so awesome for hosting this shin-dig so go over to her blog and leave a comment thanking her for putting up with all of us every week 😉

wiaw-what-i-made-and-did-not-eat

I’m hoping to get up at least one of these recipes on Friday, but if I’m absent, just know it’s because I have been swallowed by the vortex that is Spring Semester Final Exams. I have one on Thursday and one on Friday so Wednesday will be jam-packed with studying and trying ever so hard to not get on Pinterest/Hulu/Facebook/Netflix. But we all know that’s not going to be possible. 

Still, I am going to be quite busy this week in preparing for these end-of-year tests, packing up my dorm room, getting ready for my internship and moving (just under 3 weeks!) and taking care of some Financial aid stuff at school. Of course I’ll still be blogging, but if I’m late in responding or commenting, you’ll know why. 🙂

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Did you make (and not eat) anything for someone this week?

Which recipe would you all like to see first?

What have you been busy with lately? Exams? Spring Cleaning? Getting ready for summer? Busy at work? Share!