Hello you lovely souls. I’m sitting in a beautiful, cozy king bed writing to you from Hilton Head Health, a fitness and wellness resort in Hilton Head, SC. This past week has been so refreshing for me in more ways than I can fathom to write about. Sometimes you just can’t put into words what you feel when your heart is steady and content. I feel beyond lucky to be invited here; the inspiration in wellness classes, new friends and being a little more vulnerable has left me with a realization that I must let go of my fears of judgement when it comes to blogging and being more personal.
My goodness can you believe AK has been cooking for a little over 3 years? I’ve written here about my life experiences, career changes, moving, relationships, friendships and my ever growing obsession with Zac Efron.
What I haven’t included is my real and constant battle with food; certainly it is the love of my life (questionable due to Tony). I don’t want this post to become too heavy, but do want you to know that this blog will change and grow, just as any human being does. And as any relationship goes, I hope we’re in this together; that you’ll still come to AK to make my recipes because they certainly are not going away. I’ll just be writing more about this journey I’m on.
beautiful beach walk
But enough serious business. Let’s get onto the treats I baked for you today! Flourless Pumpkin Almond Butter Bars. I know, right? With dark chocolate and perhaps some coconut if you fancy it (you SO fancyyy).
And now here I am in between my silky sheets wondering why I didn’t pack a few in my bag to snack on in bed. Actually thank goodness I didn’t; these sheets are too wonderful to get crumbified. (Not a word, I’m aware.)
I’m so happy that these bars baked up so delightfully and full of pumpkin flavor. I was afraid the almond butter would come through too much, but it turns out that these satisfy a pumpkin craving like no other.
What I’m especially excited about is the wonderful nutrition in these bars. Lots of vitamins plus antioxidants (from dark chocolate) going on. They’re also gluten free, low carb, dairy free, paleo and grain free. I’m fairly certain you could easily veganize them by adding a flax egg (1 T ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water). I love enjoying mine in the afternoon with a big cup of coffee.
To serve them as a dessert, I suggest topping them off with a little coconut whipped cream or homemade almond butter smeared over the top with a sprinkle of sea salt. Just trust me on this one guys; sweet and salty is always the answer.
- Serves: 16 squares
- Serving size: 1 bar
- Calories: 110
- Fat: 8.4g
- Carbohydrates: 8.4g
- Sugar: 5.3g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 3g
- 1/2 cup natural almond butter
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt (only if using unsalted almond butter)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
- 3 oz your favorite dark chocolate bar (at least 70% cocoa), coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except coconut and dark chocolate. Once ingredients are well combined, fold in 1/4 cup of the coconut flakes and all of the dark chocolate.
- Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle the rest of the coconut flakes on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the edges. Place pan on wire rack to cool. Once cool, cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!
TO MAKE VEGAN: Try using a flax egg to replace the egg.
If you leave out the coconut and chocolate, each bar (based on 16 bars) is only around 67 calories.
If you just leave out the coconut, the bars will be a little under 100 calories.
Instead of almond butter, you can use another natural nut butter of your choice. I don't recommend sunflower seed butter. Peanut butter would be delicious!