Pumpkin Bars – Gluten Free & Vegan

Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan at The Happy Housewife
By contributing writer Tessa

Tis the season for all things pumpkin! My family (especially me) gets giddy with all the orange orbs I am pulling from the garden. You can frequently find cookie sheets full of various pumpkins and winter squashes baking away in my oven this time of year.

Fresh puree is infinitely tastier than any variety you find in a can. It is an extra step, but I liken the difference to a fresh tomato off the garden vine versus a canned tomato—no comparison! In case you’re interested, I wrote a post to help you make your own pumpkin puree and explain that all pumpkins are not created equal.

Here is a quick recipe for pumpkin bars that your family will love! And you, as a mommy, can be happy that a vegetable is lurking within. You can eat it as is or consider some of these fun toppings:

  • whipped cream
  • melted caramel (add some milk to thin it)
  • a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • cream cheese frosting
  • maple sweetened creme fraiche

Not gluten free? This can be made with regular flour. See the note at the end of the recipe.

Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan at The Happy Housewife

Pumpkin Blondies- Gluten Free & Vegan
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup allowed butter (vegan butter, coconut oil, palm shortening)
  • 1 cup palm sugar, or brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon Nu Naturals Pure White Stevia Powder or ¼ cup additional sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, fresh is best!
  • 3 teaspoons chia meal gelled in ⅓ cup hot water or 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup millet flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (or more!) to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fand grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Beat in pumpkin, vanilla, and chia egg.
  4. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the the baking soda, guar gum, and sea salt.Continue with the flours.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread into prepared pan and bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Notes
If you don't want a gluten-free bar, you could substitute 1¾ cups flour in place of the gum, rice flour, tapioca flour, millet flour, and potato starch.

A gluten free all-purpose flour can be use although the flavor will change, and some all-purpose mixes do not do well with no eggs.

Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan at The Happy Housewife

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Dare to Try a New Vegetable

This post is in partnership with the #V8VegOut campaign. All opinions are my own.

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If you are like me you eat the same vegetables day after day, week after week. In fact many of my favorite veggies are on this list of the top ten vegetables consumed in America.

  1. Potatoes
  2. Tomatoes
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Onion
  5. Lettuce
  6. Cucumbers
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Carrots
  9. Cabbage
  10. Broccoli

I would argue that potatoes are not really a vegetable but I would be getting off topic. More often than not delicious vegetables are ignored or even forgotten because we’ve never tried them or learned how to prepare them.

For example have you ever heard of a oca? It is similar to a yam and very popular in South America.

What about a romanesco?

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Photo:aurélien./Flickr

This cauliflower variant is high in vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.

What about a sunchoke? This vegetable is actually native to North America and can be used as a low-starch substitute for a potato.

You don’t have to travel overseas or consume crazy looking vegetable to try something new. There are many awesome vegetables sitting in the produce section of your local grocery store or farmer’s market just waiting for you to try them.

Most of the time we think we don’t like vegetables because we haven’t had them prepared correctly. For years I thought I didn’t like brussels sprouts, then I had some prepared by my friend Allie and realized I just hadn’t had them prepared the right way.

They are delicious!

Another vegetable I didn’t try until I was older was spaghetti squash. This awesome winter vegetable tastes great as a replacement for spaghetti and if a great gluten free option for dinner.

Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce

Just last week I learned that the reason I did not like kale was because of the bitter stems, when they are removed kale is delicious in a salad, cooked, or in a smoothie.

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This month I’m daring you to try something new. I noticed that the top ten vegetables were mostly summer vegetables. I’m encouraging you to try something new, perhaps a winter vegetable?

They’re on sale and very fresh this time of year and I’m sure there are a few that haven’t been in your shopping cart this season or maybe ever!

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If you are unsure of how to prepare a vegetable do a quick google search and I’m sure you’ll find more than enough ideas.

Here’s a list of winter vegetables to help you get started.

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Belgian endive
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cardoons
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicories
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Tunips

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V8 wants you to share your dare on social media with the hashtag #V8VegOut. V8 wants you to celebrate veggies and join the community here.

If you need veggie inspiration follow V8 on all their social channels.

Next month I’ll be sharing some of the new vegetables we tried and a few tricks to get the kids to try them too!


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eMeals: 2 Week Free Trial

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone did your meal planning for you for the next two weeks? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if they did it for free? With eMeals these next two weeks are handled!

Meal Planning Made Simple

eMeals Free Trial

If you have never tried eMeals out before now is the time. Right now they are offering a free two week trial and all you have to do is sign up.

eMeals allows you to pick a food style, your family size and even your favorite grocery stores. With your selections they will put together a customized shopping list, meal plan and recipes! It is so easy to use and they offer so many plan options.

  • Gluten Free
  • Paleo
  • Gourmet
  • Kid Friendly
  • And many more!

Planning out the meals like this doesn’t just save time but you also end up saving a lot of money. What are you waiting for?  You can sign up here right now!

If you like the idea of saving money with meal plans check out this amazing 21 freezer meal plan!


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Apple Bars

Apple Bars Recipe at The Happy HousewifeBy contributing writer Andrea Green

If you are looking for a sweet treat to pack in lunch boxes or serve as an after school snack, look no further. Homemade Apple Bars are chock full of apples tucked into a delightful cinnamon batter.

These blondies are quick to make. In fact, you can get fall flavor in a plate with minimal effort.

Apple Bars
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped apple
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 7 x 11 inch baking pan.
  2. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and egg for 2 minutes or until creamy.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat another 30 seconds.
  6. Carefully stir in chopped apple.
  7. Spread batter into prepared pan. It will be thick. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
Notes
I always make these without nuts because I personally feel that nuts have no place in desserts. However, should you be in the nuts-in-dessert camp, you can add ½ cup chopped walnuts to the batter when you add the apples. Use any sweet apple in this recipe. My favorites to use are Gala or Braeburn.

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