I'll never forget Halloween of 2012, two years ago today. After letting Luke answer the door and hand out candy (he didn't want to go trick-or-treating yet...hadn't figured out the fun), I went to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I was a few days late, and it was time to see.
Positive. Tried not to get overly excited. Wasn't sure when or how to tell Matt, because I knew he would panic a little. EXACTLY two years prior to that, we found out we were pregnant with our second baby, who we lost at eleven weeks on Christmas day of 2010. When you go through something like that, fear and doubt creep in. It's harder to enjoy the next pregnancy, because you are so scared that something is going to go wrong. I showed the test to Matt, and he was cautiously optimistic. Emphasis on the "cautious" part. I remember he ran to the store to buy 2 more "expensive" pregnancy tests, to be sure. Got some smiley faces that confirmed it.
I remember crying in the shower, praying for God to let us keep this baby. It was happy/sad/gut wrenching cry. Ugly cry. But cleansing. And the kind of prayer where your thoughts are not clear, but you know God understands what you're saying. We had a few scares along the way, but delivered our precious Elizabeth 7 1/2 months later, happy and healthy. She has been a joy ever since, and fills our house with love every day. And not a Halloween will go by that I won't remember the day we found out she would be in our lives. So blessed and grateful. Stay hopeful, friends.
It was officially time to unleash the pumpkin beast at our house this week. It's not really cool outside yet, but it was time. First up...Paleo Pumpkin Bars. I have made healthy pumpkin bars before with an almond butter base. They were very tasty, but very heavy and caloric. Kinda sat like a brick in your stomach if you had more than one little guy. I have also made some tasty pumpkin muffins that were a hit, but sometimes I just want something easier. Who has time to measure out batter into a muffin tin? (well, I sometimes do...but not this week!!)
These are fabulous. They are very creamy like pumpkin pie filling, but kinda cake-y, and totally feel like you're cheating on your healthy diet. But you're not! And the kids both LOVED them. They have been Luke's after school snack all week.
Anyway, this is a dump, mix, spread, bake, eat recipe. Super simple, and we will be making it again. Probably tomorrow. I was determined to use an entire can of pumpkin for the recipe. I really despise opening a can of pumpkin, taking out half, then getting tupperware dirty to store the rest, which I will inevitably forget to use. So, I get to throw it out later AND wash more tupperware. YAY! I digress.
I used the smallest amount of sweetener I thought we could deal with, and I think it was just right. I'm sure my father would disagree, but he would be wrong. That being said, you can experiment if they are not sweet enough for you. I think they tasted sweeter chilled the next day, which incidentally, I liked better! We put the chocolate chips on top, as a last minute "oh yeah, that would be awesome" kind of thing. I think they would be better mixed in, or at least pressed into the batter. They kinda fell off the top of the bars. Didn't stop us from eating them all, though.
15 oz. pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups, for you crazy people using fresh pumpkin puree)
3/4 cup coconut flour
3/8 cup honey (6 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Handful of chocolate chips (yeah...didn't measure, but I'm guessing about 1/4 cup)
Coconut oil, for greasing the pan
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 8"x8" (or 9"x9") baking dish with coconut oil. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well until no clumps remain. Transfer the batter to the greased baking dish, and use a spatula to smooth the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are start to brown and the center is firm.
Hey there! I'm J-L (short for Jennie-Laurie), and I'm a wife, mom of 2, and I love all things health and fitness. Welcome to my blog!