The change of seasons always comes with a change in which vegetables and fruits are in season, fresh, local, and ripe.
My favorite color is orange, and the many shades of orange are apparent in the fall harvest. We have gourds, squashes, and of course, pumpkins! The pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING is available everywhere we turn. From bars, lattes, and pies to roasted veggies, soups, baked sweet potatoes, yams, and jack'o'lanterns, the autumn harvest seems endless.
The sunsets are amazing this time of year also. Even though San Francisco doesn't vary in its leaves changing colors during the autumn, the vibrant sunsets are awesome and breathtakingly beautiful. I'm at a loss for words most times I catch the sunset in September and October. I think of it as a birthday present just for me.
My 50th birthday is October 26, and pomegranates are my favorite fruit. I think God provided them around my birthday time on purpose! Halloween is my favorite holiday, and what a great time of year to celebrate anything with costumes! I never like regular biirthday cake anyway, so pumpkin pie and pomegranate juice is perfect birthday treat. Late berry harvests here give me a great (smoothie) reason to hike in the woods and forage for berries.
Pumpkin has many healthy benefits. It has lots of fiber, has vitamin A that we can absorb easily, builds immunity, and contains properties which naturally reduce blood glucose levels. Pumpkin also contains lots of water, so it helps with constipation too. The fiber also helps us stay fuller for a longer period of time when compared to the Standard American Diet.
Here's a celebratory recipe for you all to enjoy! It is sugar free and grain free, utilizing LAKANTO instead of sugar. Lakanto is my go-to, natural, healthy sweetener made from Chinese monk fruit.
PUMPKIN SPICE BARS
1 cup almond or coconut flour
2 cups steamed pumpkin flesh, mashed
1 cup Lakanto
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons shredded raw coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup Kerry Gold butter, melted
Mix all ingredients into a bowl until smoothe.
Press onto greased parchment paper, on a cookie sheet about 1 inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until golden brown. The edges will be a bit darker. Cool 30 minutes and cut into bars, about 2x3 inches.
If you want a topping, make home made whipped cream with raw cream. Sweetener is not needed in the whipped cream. Another option is to top with coconut milk ice cream!
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