Baking with Muscle: Protein-Packed Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread Bars

September 11, 2011

Perhaps the only thing I miss about my pre-Primal lifestyle is baking.  Baking is one those inherently loaded activities, lush with nostalgia, that stir memories of comfort, of childhood, of running outside while mom puts pies or breads out to cool.  Autumn baking, particularly, evokes these sensations in me; the warm spices feel cozy, and the act of baking fills the whole house with that unmistakable aroma.

Baking without grains can be difficult.  In my experience, though, as with all other recipes, the grains really only play a role as a sort of caloric filler – that is, they don’t offer much in the way of distinct flavor.  The upshot of grain-free baking, then, is that while it can be tricky, once you get a recipe that works, it tastes decidedly better than the grain-based version of the same thing.  In that spirit, here is a Primal-friendly recipe that will leave you satisfied, with that warm cozy feeling that comes with eating something fresh from the oven.  Do you know anyone who is on the fence, skeptical, or otherwise unconvinced about your Primal living?  Make this for them; it might just push them over the edge.  Without further ado, I present to you:

Primal Pumpkin Bars!


1-1/2 c pumpkin puree

1/4 c agave nectar

2 eggs

1 c almond butter

1/2 c vanilla or plain protein powder (I only use Bluebonnet Whey Isolate)

1 tsp vanilla extract (if using plain protein powder)

1 tsp each cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda


Preheat the oven to 350 and line either a baking sheet (around 10×12) or two 8x8s with parchment paper.

Unceremoniously dump everything into a bowl.  Mix well, until everything is smooth and even.  Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly into your baking sheet(s).  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool, then slice.  Makes 16-20 depending on size of slices.

Nutrition: The whole recipe contains 2433 calories from 169 g of fat, 111 g of protein, and 156 g of carbs.  Divide by the number of slices you made to get per-serving stats. It is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous.  For an extra dose of heart-healthy saturated fat (special thanks to Primal Toad for that phrase), spread with a pat of grass-fed butter before serving.


4 Responses to “Baking with Muscle: Protein-Packed Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread Bars”

  1. JoAnne Isgro Says:

    I ordered pumpkin today from….can’t find any canned anymore!! Pumpkins are just coming into season here…can’t wait to try your recipe!!

  2. Thanks for commenting!

    I had a hell of a time finding the pumpkin in the first place. Apparently, there was some sort of problem with the crop, so there’s a shortage everywhere. I’ve been told that we’ll be back on track with canned pumpkin in a few weeks, though.

    Also, one note on this recipe that I just discovered: they go bad fairly quickly. Make sure your container is really airtight, keep it in the fridge, and consider either making a half batch or else share them around, because they only last a few days.

  3. Catherine C Says:

    Vitacost seems to ALWAYS have those in stock too!!!

  4. I just wish Vitacost carried Bluebonnet…although Amazon has good prices on them.

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