pumpkin cranberry bars 2

These paleo-ified pumpkin and cranberry bars taste like Thanksgiving, but without the grains or dairy that make you feel bloated afterward. They actually don’t use any flour whatsoever, so they are great for people on healing diets that exclude starch like GAPS or SCD, and they are nut and dairy free as well. Although they are a treat, they are loaded up with beta carotene, vitamin C, riboflavin and potassium from the pumpkin as well as antioxidants from the cranberries. And their secret ingredient – coconut butter – makes them a great source of healthy medium chain fatty acids!

Of course, when I set out to create this recipe I wasn’t thinking about the health benefits. My original inspiration was actually this recipe for butternut snack cake that I first discovered when I went grain free and started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for Crohn’s disease. This recipe uses a cup of almond butter and is probably fine for most people to eat in moderation, but I found that I could never do that. They were so delicious that I’d down a whole pan of these in two days (or less) and then have a tummy ache to show for it.

After moving on from SCD to a paleo diet with autoimmune protocol modifications, I took a break from eating nuts, dairy and some other foods and have experienced dramatic healing since then (read more about that here). I’ll try reintroducing nuts eventually, but for now I’m satisfying my sweet tooth cravings without them. A lot of recent recipes I’ve experimented with use tapioca starch, which is not allowed on the SCD diet and should probably be consumed only in moderation by most people on healing diets. With this recipe I wanted to create something my friends on SCD and GAPS could eat and that was also nut free.

I thought perhaps I could use coconut butter in a similar manner to the original recipe’s use of almond butter. To my delight, it worked like magic! The consistency is a little different, but not in a bad way. And the addition of the dried cranberries makes these an even tastier treat. In fact, just like with the original recipe, I couldn’t resist them and ate the whole batch in about 48 hours… but my tummy was much, much happier!

Note: I used ordinary dried cranberries that are sweetened with a small amount of sugar. If you are on SCD or GAPS, you’ll need to find dried cranberries that are either unsweetened or sweetened with fruit juice and that can be difficult. I think this would be equally tasty with raisins or another dried fruit if you want.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars (Grain Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
These bars combine two classic Thanksgiving flavors without any grains, dairy, nuts, or refined sugar!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup coconut butter, softened
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8X8 inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, coconut butter, and honey together.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, spice, salt, and baking soda and mix well.
  4. Mix in the dried cranberries.
  5. Spread batter in pan and place in oven.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and the center is set.
  7. These will have a very soft consistency and appear under-done in the middle but the set up nicely if you allow them to cool completely. Cut into 16 pieces and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

This post shared on Allergy Free Wednesday, Peeling Back the Onion Layers Healing With Food Friday, Girl Meets Nourishment’s Unprocessed Fridays, Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Easy Green Mama’s Gluten Free Tuesday, Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday.

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