Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pumpkin Almond Squares

Let me start out by saying that if you are looking for a sweet treat, you might need to go somewhere else.  Or you could up the sugar content pretty easily.  But that is not what I was looking for and if you are also looking for something with minimal sugar, this is your treat!  I like to have it in the morning with three egg whites (210 calories).  Delicious.  Not sweet, more like a biscuit in its level of sweetness. Fills me up until lunch.

Honestly, I am all about counting calories these days.  I have struggled with my weight for years, ah hem, all my life.  I come from a family of thin people.  I was the most active in my family.  I had tons of energy.  Literally my Mom would make me sit down and watch television sometimes just so I would stay put for a few minutes.  If I could have played tag all night with my neighborhood friends I sure would have.  My absolute favorite thing to do.

I played soccer for three years, starting in fifth grade, then basketball, then track and field...  I wasn't any good mind you but I was moving.  I would go to the local weight loss center and work out there- aerobics, step, dance, whatever.  I have always kept myself moving.  Honestly, I think in a lot of ways it is the reason why my blood pressure, despite my weight is still normal.  I have always had good eating habits.  My parents always went to market every week and brought home tons of fresh fruit and vegetables.  And I loved them.  Okay well, maybe not onions and peas at the time, but all the rest of them.  We rarely went for fast food and really I still don't- ask my kids, they feel like they missed out.  So, what the heck is my problem?  I am not a binge eater, though when I was young I did binge a little.  For me, at least for the past 25 years, it has been more about portion control and making poor choices.  Probably genetics has a lot to do with it too.

I have been counting calories.  I use My Fitness Pal.  There are a ton of apps out there and I have tried a few others but this is the one I am currently using.  I have built up my database so it is easier for me to log my calories. Recently I went down to 1200 to 1300 calories.  1500 sure wasn't working for like, six weeks.  Can't even begin to tell you how frustrating that was.  Giving up sugared things and gluten and still not losing weight was making me crazy.  But unlike before I am not giving up.  I am getting this weight off me! 

I am tired of getting winded going upstairs.  Ha, sometimes at night pulling myself up the 12 stairs that I need to go up to go to bed.  I want to tie my shoes easily.  I want to not worry about sitting in restaurant booths- whether I can fit or not. I want my ankle pain to decrease.  I want more energy to do more of the things I like to do.  Like bike riding.  I love biking.  I can go for an hour but I want to do that effortlessly! I want to shop in the small girls area. I want to have clothes that hang nicely around my body, that don't pull where I don't want them to pull.  I want to get rid of mounds of clothing that I have held on to for years because clothing is so hard for me to find. I want to fit into the seats at the amusement center so I can have fun with my kids! Oh, there is so much I want to do! 

If you are not into dropping the sugar- add a 1/2 cup of sugar to the recipe and you will find it sweet enough. 

I will share with you where I am today as soon as I get up the courage.  Probably, when I have lost a little so you know how serious I am about this!
It was, like, a really big strawberry.
Pumpkin Almond Bars

1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup pure brown rice syrup
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

Combine pumpkin, brown rice syrup, eggs and vanilla, until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and continue mixing for a full minute, until smooth and well blended. Pour into prepared pan

Bake for approximately 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick insert in center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes, before cutting into bars.

12 servings, calories 145 per square


Colette Joseph said...

Lori, this looks so tempting that I already made it! Just took it out of the oven. Waiting for it to cool a bit so I can taste it!

Colette Joseph said...

Lori, I made your cake and enjoyed a slice w my sister last night. She kept saying, "It's so moist." I added raisins and they plumped up. The cake is just sweet enough so that icing would be a lovely addition. Thanks again! xo