7 easy steps towards a Paleo diet {recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes}

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes on simplebites.net

The following is a guest post from Hanna of Honey & Huckleberries. Welcome, Hanna!

I’ve always tried to eat well.  Whole foods, lots of veggies, dark chocolate (because it’s healthy then, right?), all that good stuff.  So when my best friend told me that she had started to eat paleo, and then explained what that entailed, I have to admit I thought it was a bit crazy.

The Paleo diet cuts out processed foods, sugar, all grains, legumes, and usually dairy.  I was very excited that she was trying to feed her family less take-out, but not eating whole wheat?  Brown rice?  Cheese!?  Even if it was helping her lose weight, I couldn’t see how it could be healthy to cut out entire food groups and replace them with bacon.

It didn’t help that I was pregnant with my second little girl at the time, and horribly sick.  Bread was one of the only things I could keep down, no one was taking away my bread.

Then Sunny was born, my sweet wonderful baby girl.  She ended up with terrible eczema and I went on an elimination diet that was ironically very close to the paleo diet.  Her skin cleared up and I lost five pounds in a month.

It turned out that her issue was with dairy so I added wheat back in, only to find that it made me feel really weird.  My lovely, homemade, whole grain bread made my stomach hurt if I ate it for breakfast and gave me heartburn whenever I had some.  This had always been the case, but I hadn’t noticed until I cut it out completely.  I was pretty annoyed.

I didn’t want to believe it, but clearly the wheat was not my friend.  I did some serious reading and came to the conclusion that our family was going paleo.  I convinced my husband, tossed the toddler’s crackers and started our journey towards healthier eating.

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Baked Pull-Apart Pumpkin French Toast (Overnight Recipe)

It’s a little difficult to focus on writing this post because all I want to do is head to the kitchen and mix up another batch of French toast for the morning.

I already know I have pumpkin puree in the refrigerator, and Danny sheepishly arrived home from work with two loaves of whole wheat miche under his arm “…in case you wanted to make more of that baked French toast.”

It’s official: we’re completely smitten with this pull-apart Pumpkin French Toast. It bakes up crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, serves up in slices just like pan-fried French Toast, and is marvelous with a homemade Molasses-Cinnamon Syrup.  You have to try it this weekend.

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How to Make Pumpkin Challah

Written by Megan of Stetted.

I am nowhere near a bread expert. I have trouble achieving the proper rise and crumb, especially when it comes to sandwich bread. Yet that doesn’t stop me from practicing my kneading or remove the thrill that comes from seeing a bowl full of puffy dough.

Of all the breads I’ve tried making, the one I always come back to is challah. I not only love the flavor, but the methodical technique of braiding the loaves. I know many people hate the work that is involved with making bread, but the process relaxes me and is a great way to center my concentration. And let’s face it – we all need a little bit of relaxation when the holidays are fast approaching.

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A Healthier Autumn Cookie (Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Snaps)

When developing this particular recipe I had two goals in mind: to create a healthy cookie as equally desirable to my children as their beloved (yet overly sugar-filled) gingersnap, and to make a prettier pumpkin cookie than the standard lumpy brown drop cookie versions.

These pumpkin spice snaps are a success on both accounts.

I’ve eliminated the white sugar, reduced the butter, added whole-wheat flour and incorporated pumpkin for extra flavor and beta carotene. Raw ginger and freshly ground cinnamon kick in to make these spice snaps live up to their name.

These cookies are soft on the inside, thanks to the pumpkin purée, but are not cakey; they still have that chewy factor that is always desirable in a cookie. Still, don’t expect the same texture as a traditional gingersnap, as the caramelizing of all that white sugar is what give the gingersnap its ‘chew’.

Still, these cookies snap with flavor, and most importantly, my kids are crazy about them. As a bonus? They’re kind of pretty in an old-fashioned way. [Read more…]

23 Ways to Use Up Leftover Pumpkin Purée

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Last year Lynn gave a wonderful tutorial on how to make your own pumpkin purée. Whether you make your own or use a can, it seems you’re almost guaranteed to always have just a little bit left over. And, nobody likes to waste any precious pumpkin purée.

Today’s post is all about ways to use up that little bit of extra pumpkin so you can squeeze every last drop out of pumpkin season.

If you’re anything like me you like to find as many recipes as possible to help use up that last half a cup (or less) of pumpkin purée. I wanted to compile a list of recipes and ideas for doing just that and I thought I would share it with you. Make sure to tuck these ideas away for reference later. If you save them for that little extra, you’ll have something to look forward to and no reason to get bored of eating pumpkin the same way over and over.

Sometimes it makes sense to simply freeze the leftovers (especially when using canned purée) but if you already thawed your own pumpkin purée, you probably don’t want to stick it back in the freezer.

Here are a couple of ideas (and some recipes too) that use half a cup or less of pumpkin purée.

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