pumpkin puree

Paleo Mixed Berry Pumpkin Muffin Bars

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OMG these are delicious. I can see why they’re from a blog called PaleOMG. Seriously, her recipes are amazing. I love messing around with them and giving them my own personal cooking touches, adding things here and there. She actually liked this photo on my Instagram yesterday! Yeeaaah I’m such a geek, but I’m a huge fan of hers, so I was really excited about it.

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The best part about these bars?….I doubled the original recipe and it cost me $5. Yes, $5 for 16 bars the size of the palm of my hand, homemade, and healthy! But I have to add, I only needed three more ingredients (a lemon, more frozen berries, and pumpkin puree) to make these. This may seem like a huge ingredients list, but if you’re a regular Paleo/low carb dieter, you probably have coconut flour, maple syrup, honey, nuts, and basic spices already in your pantry. Also, I already had some frozen berries in my freezer. I love keeping frozen berries as back up because I’m a supporter in trying to eat what’s in season. The berries I like to eat aren’t usually available during the winter or else they’re probably shipped from outside of the country, or they’re probably genetically modified or something…I don’t know…I think eating what’s in season is just a nice habit to get into. Think about it, google around. You can google what produce is in season and when and post the list to your fridge. I’m no expert on this sort of thing, but my sister is (almost) a certified nutritionist and I get a lot of advice about food from her.

On a totally random note…I saw Alton Brown LIVE! In Baltimore, last Saturday. I was elated! I have a pretty great guy, getting me such a great gift for Valentines Day. The man knows me so well. I wish I was half as good as buying gifts for people as he is….

If you don’t know who Alton Brown is….*siggghhhh*…….

 
 

Yields two 8×8 inch baking dishes. Feel free to half the recipe and make one dish.

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin muffin part:

2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (if you get a can, save the leftovers for pumpkin waffles, recipe coming soon!)

2/3 pure maple syrup

1/2 melted coconut oil..or butter..or whatever oil you have that you think would work.

6 eggs, whisked

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut flour (Bobs Red Mill brand- cool, employee owned company. My sister met Bob too. Not the happiest of guys..)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 pinches of salt

 

Berry layer:

4 cups frozen mixed berries (thawed) or fresh berries. You could use just blueberries, cherries…get creative

4-5 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut butter

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

4 tablespoons coconut flour

 

Topping:

1/2-1 cup of any nuts you like or have lying around. I used raw almonds (banged it up in a zip loc bag using a butter knife handle), macadamia nuts, and walnuts. Could add shredded coconut to that if you want to. Again, get creative!

1/2-1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Add how ever much you like, really.

1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on the amount of nuts you’re using)

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

pinch of salt

 
 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease two 8×8 baking dishes with butter or coconut oil. Then, line the bottom with parchment paper. You want one, long 8×8 strip, so the edges hang over two sides. This allows you to take the bars out more easily once cooked and cooled.

3. Mix together the wet ingredients- pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, syrup, and oil-in a large/medium bowl.

4. In a separate and smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the pumpkin muffin part- flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Then add to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and mix it all together until well combined.

5. Divide the batter among the two greased baking dishes, pouring it into the bottom of each and spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Then pop that in the oven for 30-35 minutes. You will know it’s cooked all the way through if you poke the center with a toothpick/skewer and it comes out clean.

6. While that’s cooking, combine the thawed out berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, and honey in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. If you have fresh berries, you’ll know they’re done when the blueberries start to burst. If you have frozen berries, you want the fruit to be cooked to the point where you can easily squish the berries with a spoon/spatula. Then add the coconut flour and stir until well incorporated. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool.

7. Once the muffin part has finished cooking, divide the fruit mixture among both dishes and spread out evenly again with the spatula.

8. Combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and sprinkle/crumble it on the top of the bars.

9. Put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to remove the bars from the pan, moving it to a cooling rack.

10. Refrigerate the bars, uncovered on plates for a half hour to one hour. After that it will be much easier to cut into rectangles. Keep leftovers refrigerated.