I was invited to participate in a paleo food blogger swap called Paleo Pen Pals. I thought that was a very cool idea so I joined up.
Each month I get an email from a new penpal. We send each other a Paleo/local food ingredient and we are challenged to make something with that ingredient. This month I am featuring my recipe(s) using my pen pal’s choice for me and I am featuring her recipe as well.
Tarah from What I Gather and Brittanie from Three Diets One Dinner have teamed and are running this fantastic ongoing event. If you are interested in joining the adventure, you can sign up at the facebook page: facebook.com/paleopenpals or by sending them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month my penpal is Amy from Massachusetts. She sent me a beautiful cheese pumpkin. It has nothing to do with cheese. It’s named for the shape — just like a ring of cheese. I wish I could eat cheese, but it does not agree with me — even raw aged cheeses. But I love this cheese pumpkin because there is so much to do with it!
I used to make pumpkin bread with regular wheat and canned pumpkin. But those days are long gone.
This recipe is grain, dairy, refined sugar, and soy free. It is moist, delicious and satisfying and in my humble opinion, it is better than the wheat version I used to bake!
Paleo Pumpkin Bread
- 2 cups cheese pumpkin puree (regular pumpkin or butternut squash may also be used) (see below for directions)
- 6 large eggs (pastured if possible)
- 1/4 cup ghee or butter melted (where to buy ghee) (how to make ghee)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup almond flour (where to buy almond flour)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (where to buy coconut flour)
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon (where to buy spices and salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 3 seven inch stainless steel baking pans (where to get these) lined with parchment paper and greases with ghee or butter
- Food processor
- In the food processor process the pumpkin puree
- Add the eggs, honey and melted ghee or butter and process
- Add the almond flour, 1/4 cup of the coconut flour, salt and all the spices and process
- If the batter is still loose, add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut flour
- you want the batter to be thick but pourable
- Divide the batter into the three baking pans
- Smooth the batter in the pan and with a spatula bring the batter away from the sides
- Place all three small baking pans on one cookie sheet for ease in handling
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- If it is still not cooked inside, cover with oven safe material and bake another 5 minutes
- Cool on a rack
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Isn’t this baby gorgeous? It’s hard to resist buying these up when they are in season. I’m so glad my Paleo Pen Pal sent this one to me!
Baking the Cheese Pumpkin
- 1 medium to large cheese squash
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt
- Ghee or butter
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- Bowl for mixing
- Place the cheese squash into the baking dish
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about 1 hour or until a knife goes through easily
- Carefully remove from the oven and slice open to cool (this will be hot so be careful!)
- When cooled, remove all the seeds and discard
- Scope the meat our of the shell taking care not to bring any skin
- Place in a colander or sieve over a large bowl
- Let drip for 1/2 to 1 hour — there will be a lot of liquid
- Discard the liquid and mash the squash
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Pumpkin Swirl Banana Bread
This is the recipe that my Paleo Pen Pal, Amy, followed to use the shredded coconut I sent her this month. You can find the recipe at whatrunslori.com. Here is a bit from Amy:
Hi! My name is Amy. I am a 34 year old stay-at-home with 2 boys ages 5 and 6. Just about 3 years ago in January 2010, I began having daily digestive issues. After several months of dealing with symptoms, I saw a gastroenterologist and was diagnosed with IBS. After my diagnosis, I began taking 3 OTC medications daily to try and combat my symptoms.
Fast forward two years to spring 2012. I came across a link on a friend’s FaceBook page that took me to an article on Mark’s Daily Apple about how bad gluten was. I found it to be an interesting read.
So I did a Whole30. I was unsure at first about how I was going to accept this new way of eating. My body adjusted and accepted it better than I anticipated!! After the first couple of days, my energy was up. The headaches from caffeine with drawl were diminishing. I wasn’t on a mood controlled roller coaster. And I felt satisfied after eating a meal.
I’m now 10 1/2 weeks into following a Paleo lifestyle. While I consider my Whole30 a success, I have had my ups and downs in the past 6 1/2 weeks since finishing. I am very happy with the food choices that I make for myself now. Best thing of all…those 3 OTC meds I used to take daily, I haven’t taken any of them since going Paleo!!
One thing I’ve noticed that I don’t miss is sugar. My body has become so adapted to not having any (unless it comes in foods naturally), that I don’t crave sweets that I used to eat any time.
This month, I was sent unsweetened shredded coconut from Jill over at The Real Food Forager. So I decided to try out one of the bread recipes I came across on Pinterest. I had a few other ingredients at home (some homemade pumpkin puree and a few overripe bananas) that needed to be used as well, so I wanted to find something that would make use of all 3 ingredients. With this loaf, the coconut added a slight crunch and a nice texture to that moistness.
This is a great testimonial to the power of a grain-free, real food diet. Thanks Amy! I had a lot of fun exchanging emails and ingredients. I can’t wait until next month for my next Paleo Pen Pal!