Pumpkin is my favorite flavor, especially when it’s paired with chocolate. These bars are perfect for Thanksgiving, and equally yummy made with squash or sweet potato. I love blondies with chocolate chips, and finally found Paleo 100% chocolate chips! Hooray! Most chocolate chips are loaded with sugar. Even “healthy” chocolate chips are 35% to 70% cacao. Unfortunately that means they contain 30% to 65% sugar. Eeek! We know sugar is toxic and stevia is poisonous. Look for Pascha 100% Cacao Organic Dark Chocolate Baking Chips Unsweetened. Woo hoo! They’re pure cacao, available in some healthy groceries or online at Vitacost.com. The Paleo diet is sugar-free, and so are Pascha chocolate chips. Hooray! These blondies are extremely low in carbs, especially if you use the suggested zero-glycemic sweetener. That means they’re guilt-free, won’t cause blood sugar rush or promote weight gain. Yay! Perfect for a healthy holidays! I adore the flavor of Mesquite powder, a wonderful superfood flour, or you can substitute almond meal instead. Makes a 9 x 9-inch square pan, or about 20 bars.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sweetener to taste such as Just Like Sugar Brown natural chicory root sweetener, or 2 2/3 tablespoons PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 3/4 cup raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) coconut butter (You can soften it briefly in the oven to measure. Or if it is solid, you can also weigh it)
- 2/3 cup cooked pumpkin pulp (145 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt, or a little bit less
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
- 1/2 cup Mesquite Powder or Lucuma Powder (or you can substitute another 1/2 cup almond meal)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, or a little bit less
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup walnuts, soaked and toasted if possible (See All About Nuts)
- 1/2 cup Pascha 100% Cacao Organic Dark Chocolate Baking Chips Unsweetened
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper that hangs over the edges like handles.
- In a food processor, blender, or mixing bowl (food processor is easiest) add eggs, sweetener, coconut butter, pumpkin, salt, vanilla, maple, coconut oil. Process well. (If you're using a blender, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.)
- Add dry ingredients: almond meal, mesquite powder, and spices. Mix well. Taste the batter for sweetness, and add a bit more if desired, remembering that unsweetened chips and nuts will also be in each bite. Pulse or mix in the nuts and chocolate chips very briefly so they remain in chunks. Spoon the batter into the baking pan.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out almost clean. (Take care to not overbake if you like them chewy) Cool in the pan for about 1 hour. (They're easier to slice when chilled, however they're so delicious it doesn't matter how they slice.) Enjoy!