Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (Paleo, Vegan)

PUmpkin Bread2

This is your obligatory fall pumpkin post.

And it’s freaking amazing.

Now, I have to be very honest with you. (What, like I would lie to you otherwise?! Being (too) honest is part of the fun.) I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin.  I’m really not a huge fan of pumpkin spice.  I find that I’m really happy with one gluten-free pumpkin treat a year.  I’ll eat the pumpkin pie if that’s my only option at Thanksgiving.  I’ll throw pumpkin cheesecake a bone, too, because that is legitimately the best thing about Fall.

But pumpkin flavored soda or pumpkin spice toothpaste or any other number of Things That Should Never Be Pumpkin are just not doing any of us any favors. Even so, I get it.  It’s a craze. It’s fun. And people enjoy the feelings of Fall, and all things associated with this beautiful season. Even if it’s still 90 degrees most days, I GET IT.

So, I want you to have as much fall as you can handle.  Baby Zeus knows we will all struggle with sad winter feelings come January, which is why I’ve created lots of pumpkin-y things in my kitchen this month.  Even though it’s been 90 degrees here in the PNW all September and in the 80’s in October, and we don’t have central air conditioning and I don’t like pumpkin much.  It’s okay. That run-on sentence made me feel better, just like pumpkin treats make you feel better.


Also, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to tasty desserts so I endeavor to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.  This only means GOOD THINGS for you, my friends.  Easy, mind-blowingly good things.


  • 1 16 oz jar unsalted almond butter (Raw is best, but roasted works, too.)
  • 3 large eggs, or 3 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp natural sea salt (I prefer kosher style)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs (or flax mixture), almond butter, pumpkin, vanilla extract and honey.  Stir well.
  2. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine thoroughly. (You can use a mixer, but I prefer using a sturdy spatula.)
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into a greased bread pan. (I prefer to split it up between 2-3 small loaf pans.)
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-65 minutes, depending on your oven and size of pans.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan.  The cooler the bread, the better removal will go.  Because there is no gluten, it might crumble if removed too soon.

Pumpkin Bread

So, let’s have fun with this, okay? Mix it up.  Change out the chocolate chips.

Try butterscotch chips.

Try nuts.

Try maple glaze.

Try bacon.

Try Junior Mints.

Just kidding,  Junior Mints would be freaking disgusting.Make your pumpkin dreams come true.

PSL Forevah,

Blueberries and Cream Paleo Popsicles {Three Ingredients}

When you live in a region of the country that is poorly prepared for century mark temperatures, folks do everything they can to keep cool.  Kiddie pools, sprinklers, poorly equipped window AC units, movie theaters, cold foggy days on the coast, and lazy days spent on the banks of a lazy mountain river are just a few ways we choose to beat the heat here in the Pacific Northwest.

But few things bring immediate relief like a good old fashioned popsicle.

The other morning after breakfast, I pulled out my final popsicle to photograph it.  I had  previously devoured the rest during naptimes earlier in the week. Because I’m an adult and like to enjoy a treat without sharing.  But on this particular day, I made the monumental mistake in trying to get the picture while my son was awake.

As we started to swelter in the 100 degree weather in our south-facing second story home as our straining AC unit worked hard to keep up, I removed the final popsicle from the freezer. I stopped for a moment and let the frozen air fall over my face and shoulders, reveling that something could still be cold in this heat. I pulled out my camera and began searching for the right light to capture the cold, creamy, fruity essence of this frozen treat.

Enter E.

He wasn’t having it.

He didn’t care that mom needed to use the popsicle for work.

He didn’t care that it was the last one.

He didn’t care that I needed to take a really beautiful picture to share with you.

He. Didn’t. Care.

There was no stopping my tiny monster.  I turned on Jimmy Fallon.  I tried to distract him with his favorite snack. I pulled out the Tegu blocks, crayons, and even tried to give him my old phone to distract him. Nothing worked.

So, I went with it.

My first attempt to take a picture.
My first attempt to take a picture.
I tried to dodge him. He would not relent. “Me? This? Mama?”
Okay.  You.  This. Mama gives up.
Okay. You. This. Mama gives up.
Contemplating before annihilating.
The first taste.
The first taste.
No way will I be able to get that back from my toddler's death-like grip.
No way will I be able to get that back from my toddler’s death-like grip. This face is telling me not to even think about taking a bite.
Might as well keep him contained if he's really going to eat my post.
Might as well keep him contained if he’s really going to eat my post.

Here’s the recipe, even though the I don’t have Pinterest-worthy pictures to show for the effort.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!


  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pureed blueberries
  • 1/4 cup whole blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey


  1. Mix coconut milk, honey, and puree.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds.
  3. Drop a few whole blueberries into the molds, and then insert popsicle stick.
  4. Freeze until solid (2-3 hours), and enjoy!

You won’t be sad you ate this.  I promise.  And with very little sugar, these are ideal for low-sugar, refreshing summer treats.

Make your summer pop!

Salted Sunbutter Cups with Raw Chocolate {Paleo}

Sunbutter Cups Bite
Joy comes in a new, creamy, salty, sweet form.

Friends.  I’ve done the unthinkable.

I’ve given up refined Sugar for the summer.

No Salt & Straw.

No Petunia’s.

No sweet treats from Cascadia Bakery.

Because I have a problem.  Sugar means too much to me.  I can’t resist it right now.  I need to give it up for a while until I can use it responsibly.

Which might be never.  But I’m giving it until September, just to be sure. Because I don’t want the diabeetus.

One of my favorite treats is chocolate and peanut butter, but because of FPIES, we can’t keep peanuts in the house.  I love sunflower seed butter (aka sunbutter) as a substitute for peanut butter.  It’s safe for peanut and tree nut allergy peeps, and gives a comparable, creamy taste.  I don’t miss it peanut butter at all.  In fact, you can pretty much always find me with a spoonful of sunbutter in my hand when I get too busy and forget to feed myself.

I’m also pretty committed to using raw cacao nibs when possible.  Raw cacao is full of antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and can help fight heart disease and lift your mood naturally.  With a little bit of coconut oil for good measure, these treats aren’t just freaking delicious, they’re also super healthy for you.

Sign me up.  Twice.

I shared these with some of my best friends who are also trying to leave that jerk, Sugar, behind.  The consensus? We can no longer live without them.

Sunbutter Mini Cups

Ingredients for Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/2 cup ground cacao nibs (I use my nutribullet, but a coffee grinder would work, too.)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Sunbutter Fudge Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey or erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Chocolate Layer:

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients until fully incorporated.
  2. Pour into lined cupcake or mini-cupcake molds, filling about 1/3 of the way.
  3. Pop in freezer for 15 minutes until solid.

Directions for Sunbutter Fudge:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Pour mixture on top of frozen chocolate.
  3. Freeze or refrigerate until firm.
  4. Remove from refrigerator or freezer for 3 minutes, add flake salt on top, and devour.

These stay good forever in the freezer, and several weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  But good luck.  The sunbutter cups haven’t survived 24 hours in my house.  Maybe ever.

Open your heart and let the sunbutter in,


Boston Cream Pie {Grain Free, Low Glycemic}

A few years ago, I went to Boston for the very first time.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The first-first time I went to Boston, I was 20 years old and drove a 15 passenger van with a U-Haul trailer through downtown during a baseball game.

It was harrowing.

I was running on four fitful hours of up-right van sleep, and had about zero experience with big city traffic.  Did I mention that the van was full of a bunch of kids my age?  Because it was.  Who thought that was a good idea?  And WHO put me in the driver’s seat and deemed me qualified to navigate through downtown Boston during a Red Sox game while transporting 14 other human lives?  Holy moly, sometimes I’m amazed that I’m alive and haven’t killed anyone.  Anyway, I don’t really count that trip since we didn’t actually stop in the city and I spent most of my time there in a cursing, white-knuckled terror trying my hardest not to explode the world.

So, the second-first time I went to Boston I was about 10 years older, well-rested, traveling solo, and intent on eating  Boston Cream Pie at Bread & Chocolate Bakery.  My delightful New England-y friends, Gwyn and Becky, promised to show me the best Boston had to offer.  Unsurprisingly, we got distracted by other food, namely fresh lobster rolls and a cannoli taste-off between Mike’s and Modern.  (Mike’s won.)  I never got my Boston Cream Pie, but that’s okay.  People make me happy, happier than food.  Most of the time.  And I was also in a sugar-induced coma from the 5 cannoli I ate, so I wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway.  Much.

I still get a craving for it, though.  It’s also my husband’s very favorite dessert of all time. In fact, while I was gone in Boston, he ate almost an entire Boston Cream Pie by himself over the course of three days.  Because apparently, his sad, missing-me feelings tasted like cake and cream and chocolate.

I’ve adapted the dish for easy-making and consumption.  Dangerous, I know.  Spongy vanilla cake atop a creamy layer of sweet cream cheese, swimming in rich, dark chocolate.  Who needs Boston?  Or a complicated layered dessert?  Or a 15 passenger van?


Ingredients for cake:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1  cup coconut palm sugar or erythritol, divided (I prefer to powder mine in a coffee grinder first for easier break down while baking)
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (Take a knife tip and split the bean open. Using the dull side of the blade, scrape.)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 40 drops Vanilla Stevia liquid, or 1/2 cup coconut sugar or erythritol
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions for cake:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup erythritol, and baking powder and blend.
  2. Stir together 6 eggs, stevia, vanilla bean, butter, apple cider vinegar, and add to dry ingredients with an electric mixer.
  3. Spread batter into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish.
  4. Cream the remaining 2 eggs, cream cheese, 1/2 cup erythritol, vanilla extract and 20 drops stevia in a bowl.
  5. Pour mixture on top of batter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Sauce:
Take 2.5 ounces of super-dark chocolate (80% or more), and melt with 2 Tbsp of butter or coconut oil over your make-shift double boiler.  Sweeten with stevia to taste, and add a Tbsp of heavy cream if you want a more liquid consistency.

Cut pieces of the cake and turn upside down so the cream cheese layer is on the bottom.  Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top and serve slightly warm.

I never promised that this was low calorie or even healthy.  But in reasonable quantities, it will soothe your cravings and give you something really tasty.

Go Sox!

Star Anise Shortbread {Paleo}

Sometimes, you do crazy things to get a job.

Several years ago, I was feeling slightly disillusioned with the non-profit sector (which I had worked in for over a decade at that point) and really wanted to try something new.  I had mad administrative skills but I wanted to be in an environment where my skills were appreciated without the pressure of saving the world.  Okay, maybe that’s a TAD melodramatic.  But just a tad.

When an opportunity came for me to work for my favorite doctor, I jumped at the chance.  It was the single best professional decision I’ve ever made.  In this job, my confidence was restored, my skill set broadened, and my body healed right along with my heart.  It was the best kind of job.

When we decided to leave our city and have a new adventure in the Pacific North West, I was heart broken to leave my favorite job and my favorite doctor.  I had a glowing recommendation to carry with me along with my new skill set and healthy body.

After working in a job I wasn’t thrilled about for a few months, I began looking for other positions.  My friend and also my former boss connected me with a doctor who was looking for administrative help.  I was determined to woo him.

I went to his office.  I dropped off my resume with a batch of paleo shortbread cookies.

Three weeks later, I had a new job.  Coincidence?  I think not.

While I would love to think that I earned that job all on my own, I’m pretty sure these nifty little shortbread cookies had something to do with it.  Yep, I said NIFTY.  Because shortbread is classic and can handle words like “nifty” and “neato” and “groovy”.

I can’t guarantee your future employers will love these as much as I do. However, I can guarantee that, unless they have a nut or egg allergy, they will adore these treats.  And you probably will, too.

(If you are looking to cut back on sugar, you can substitute erythritol 1:1 in this recipe.)



  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or erythritol
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp anise extract or 1 tsp finely ground star anise
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt


  1. Combine flour, erythritol, and baking powder (and ground star anise if you use it)
  2. Combine egg, coconut oil, extracts, and stevia
  3. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and form into a log shape
  4. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least five hours (I chilled mine overnight and it was great)
  5. Once chilled, slice dough and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle a TEENY bit of sea salt over the top.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-17 minutes, until just slightly browned around the edges.
  7. Allow to rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Have you ever done anything unorthodox to get a job?  What was it?  I want to know!

Your Favorite Paleo Cookie Monster,