Paleo Pumpkin Spice Brownies (w/ Vegan option)

I am so excited for Thanksgiving. I love the holiday, and I love being in a house full of family and food and football. We’re a football family, so that’s what we do. But I know that there are some people out there that hate that element of Thanksgiving. They look around in disgust as people get distracted and entertained by a sport, not really understanding what the big fuss is about. I get it, I’ve been there. Let me tell you the solution: pay attention to the game. Then you’ll be entertained just like everyone else! Okay, so maybe that won’t work for you, fine. But that’s how I fixed it for myself.

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I can tell you one thing that I don’t love about Thanksgiving Day though, well other than the fact that it stems from the invasion of a foreign land, and the removal of its native inhabitants. What I do not love about the modern day itself is that most of the food that I’m surrounded by is food that I don’t necessarily want to eat. I don’t prefer to consume food that is full of gluten, pasteurized dairy, highly refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, etc. And most of my family members are not health-oriented, which is fine, to each his own. But if you’re like me, and you want to have mashed potatoes and stuffing and dessert and all the Thanksgiving foods, but without all the other stuff, it can be disappointing. But don’t fret! This is 2018 and we have the internet and all sorts of alternative ingredients right at our fingertips! So I created this lovely pumpkin spice brownie recipe for you (and for me) to bake and bring to your Thanksgiving gathering so that you and all your family can enjoy dessert together. These brownies are so yummy, and everyone will love them, even those who cringe at the terms “gluten-free” and “vegan” and “dairy-free” and “longevity” and “avoiding heart disease” and “avoiding cancer” and “living happier and healthier”. You know those people.The trick is to just leave the brownies out without saying anything about them, and let them try them for themselves. Then they’re hooked. Muahahaha.

I especially love this recipe because it uses honey, which is the most nutrient-dense sweetener out there, in my opinion. It’s full of antioxidants and can help boost immunity, aid digestion, and reduce inflammation. So if I’m having sugar, honey is my favorite option.20181114_094948

Some notes about this recipe:

  • These come out nice and gooey. If you want them extra gooey, bake for less. If you want them sturdier and drier, bake for longer.
  • I used 2 tsp of pumpkin spice, but you can feel free to add more if want a more pungent flavor.
  • The baking flour that I used is from Natural Grocers. Bob’s Red Mill has a very similar one with the same ingredients called Paleo Baking Flour Mix, which I have found at Wal-Mart, H-E-B, and Whole Foods. You can also try making your own using the same ingredients using this recipe, but I’ve never tested it on this recipe.

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Prep time: 10 min.                             Bake time: 20 min.                               Total Time: 30 min.

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ c pumpkin puree
  • ¼ c paleo baking flour
  • 1 c raw pure unsweetened unsalted almond butter
  • 3 Tbs cacao powder
  • ¼ c honey (sub maple syrup for vegan option)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice (I made my own using this recipe)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of pink mineral salt (Redmond’s Real Salt is my go-to)
  • Optional: ¼ chocolate chip + more for decoration (make sure they are vegan for vegan option)
  • Optional: ¼ chopped pecans/walnuts + more for decoration

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, and oil an 8×8 baking dish with ghee (or coconut oil for vegan option). You may also line the dish with parchment paper for extra stick-prevention.
  2. Add pumpkin puree, almond butter, paleo flour, and honey to a mixing bowl, and mix together evenly.
  3. Add cacao, pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda to the mixture and mix evenly.
  4. Add optional chocolate chips and pecans/walnuts and mix evenly.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and distribute it evenly. Oil your hands to flatten and even out the mixture. Add any additional decorative toppings.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, and clean up your mess while you wait!
  7. Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes before devouring!
  8. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for YEARS (if you’re risky like me).

Let me know if you try this recipe!

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