Delicious Paleo Diet Recipes For The Holidays

October 20th, 2016
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Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Holiday Baking – Paleo Diet Style

Holiday Baking – Paleo Diet Style

Ah, the Holidays! Wonderful, sweet memories of baking pumpkin pies and gingerbread men with your grandmother.  Now that you’re on the Paleo Diet, you have to give up all those goodies, right? Guess again!  Here are a few yummy recipes to try. And don’t forget: modifying the recipes for your taste or preferences is definitely allowed!!

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars

With Thanksgiving coming just around the corner, I thought this would be a tasty alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie. You can play around with the spice amounts and make this recipe your own.

For the Crust:

  • 6 dates, pits removed
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the Filling:

  • 1 can (14oz) pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut cream concentrate or homemade coconut butter*, melted just to soften
  • 3 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/16 teaspoon cloves (don’t bother measuring, just shake)
  • Pinch of salt

For the Topping:

  • ½ cup pecans roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. First the crust: add pitted dates and almond butter into food processor. Pulse until it breaks down together.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients for the crust and puree until smooth.
  3. Grease an 8×8 pan with coconut oil and pour your mixture in, smoothing and leveling it out. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes or until firm and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
  4. While crust is baking, mix your filling ingredients into the food processer until pureed, incorporating the coconut concentrate/butter. It shouldn’t be chunky.
  5. When the crust is cooled, add your pumpkin puree on top, smoothing and leveling again
  6. Now your topping: add the coconut oil to a pan to heat under medium heat. Add your chopped pecans stirring constantly as they will burn easily. Add the remaining ingredients while stirring to prevent burning the pecans. Roast for about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Pour pecan mixture onto the puree and smooth out. Put into freezer for 20+ minutes
  8. Cut and serve. Keep refrigerated or in freezer to keep intact and from melting

*To make your own coconut butter, just get a bag of coconut flakes and put in the food processor. Process for about 8-10 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally. Done.

Brownie Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

If you would prefer a more traditional pie, but still want to do Paleo, never fear! There are lots of wonderful Paleo recipes for pumpkin pie, like this one:

For the Filling:

  • 1 can (14oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk eggnog
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • Pinch of salt

For the Brownies:

  • 15 dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a pie plate with coconut oil
  2. Place all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processer (doesn’t have to be super clean).
  3. Add dates to food processor and pulse until a clumpy paste forms
  4. Add coconut oil and cocoa powder, puree until well mixed and it has become smoother
  5. Finally add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, about two minutes
  6. Spread half the brownie mixture into the bottom of the pie pan, smoothing it out to the sides.
  7. Pour pumpkin mixture on top.
  8. Lastly, add the remaining brownie mixture by the spoonfuls on top and swirl around with a knife. The brownie mixture will be sticky and not swirl easily.
  9. Place pie on baking sheet in oven and bake for 1 hour
  10. Let rest for about 20 minutes and then place in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

*If you have all the regular spices, you can use those instead in the traditional amounts or use the amounts from the pumpkin pie bars recipe above. And if you are using the pumpkin pie spice this recipe calls for, I recommend using a bit more than they ask for.

I added this one in, because we all love chocolate chip cookies and who doesn’t love bacon?

Paleo Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

Yes, you read that right! Paleo allows dark chocolate and of course, BACON!! Now we can put two of our favorite foods together and have the king of all comfort foods! I realize it is not a traditional holiday cookie, however, bacon! We require:

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 2/3 cups tapioca flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ bag of dark chocolate chips
  • [h2] For the bacon:
  • 5 slices thick bacon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare the bacon: put the bacon into a bowl and coat with the maple syrup, using fingers is probably best. Place on a baking sheet and put into oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn the bacon over and give it another 5 minutes. Take out, let cool on baking sheet and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. The bacon will crisp up as it cools and add a delightful crunch to the cookies!
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients until fully mixed. When done, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Once the bacon has cooled, cut into chocolate chip sized pieces and add to the mixture along with the chocolate chips.
  4. Roll your dough into 1 inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 18 cookies.

You could replace the maple syrup with agave syrup, but it will change the flavor a bit. If coconut flour is less expensive in your area, try using that instead. These cookies are well worth a try and are a great addition to the holidays! Any holidays. Birthdays. Late night snack. Whatever. Mmmmmm, bacon.

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About Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Matt Poteet graduated with a B.S. in Biological Science from Lee University in 1998, and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University in Atlanta in 2004. Professionally he has been fortunate to hold positions on staff at two of the leading private, academic teaching hospitals in the southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.