I'll Be Seeing You...

Print the Paleo Coconut Flour Bread recipe here!

Print the Paleo Pumpkin Bread recipe here!

Baking has always been my thing.  Not to say that I bake particularly well, or fancy for that matter. Though I've managed to replicate a cool recipe or two here and there during the holidays, the appearance of the baked goods has never truly been my concern.  I've been baking since I was really little, guessing 5-ish and originally with supervision of course.  One of my favorite things to do was to get up early on the weekends to make breakfast for my parents.  I think my dad was always more appreciative and vocal about how much he loved the homemade biscuits and pancakes, or the cookies, cakes, and brownies.  I believe my mom to have been a little less so only because she would wake up to discover the mess I'd have made in the kitchen!  Some weekends our imaginations would take over and we'd make a full breakfast spread out of Play-Doh.  Those mornings were probably a bit disappointing.

Sometimes my brother would join in on the breakfast making and we would make what we call "Daddy" biscuits.  You see, my dad was a strict vegetarian when we were younger and generally had a strict diet so our baking consisted of using water to replace milk and adding wheat bran to every.single.thing we made for him.  Piles and piles of bran.  Yuck.  Well, these "Daddy" biscuits would spread out across the whole baking sheet while baking to make one or two giant biscuits that my dad would enthusiastically eat.  Never once did he disparage our cooking mishaps which even more so encouraged me/us to bake more!  One fond memory is when my brother and I attempted to bake homemade bread...without a recipe...or yeast.  We essentially made a large loaf of a glue-like substance that was an awful mess to clean up.  My mom was not impressed.

Adding to this my dad has always been very particular that he doesn't want or need anything for gifts and would always make us return things we bought for him (unless it came from Home Depot, naturally).  He would tell us he wanted us to make him something by hand instead.  He instructed us to use our minds and creativity to make him something thoughtful that could not be bought in a store.  I have no doubt that is why I value the thought put into someone giving me a gift over the gift itself.

Starting off rather young I began to bake for Daddy & others.  I baked cakes for family birthdays, brownies just because brownies are AMAZING, cookies for Father's Day and Christmas and just because days.  You name it, I was baking.  As I got older and my "culinary skills" increased a bit here and there, I branched out into baking pies with homemade pie crust and cooking whole meals for my family.  It filled my heart as a way to show love to them.  I couldn't do much as a kid/teenager to help out, but I could help by cooking.

Throughout the years as my health and diet improved as well as my dad and step mom's dietary goals shifted, I began to experiment more and more with alternative ways to make things.  Flour-less peanut butter cookies? Sure!  Banana "ice cream"? You bet!  Flour-less banana oatmeal cookies?  A definite.  Coconut flour and pumpkin cookies?  I gave it a shot.  Paleo birthday cake with cashew icing?  Yep!  I loved taking these things over to my dad to share a new recipe I tried and of course he always made me feel like an exquisite chef as he would eat not one, but all of the cookies or whatever item I brought, and usually in one session.  It's just been my thing.  

Well, the seasons have turned a new leaf and the tides have shifted.  My parents have officially closed on selling their home and they're moving to another state.  I have known this day was coming for quite some time as it has been their general plan. However, in the last month the reality has been setting in slowly that they're really leaving.  It's bittersweet to lose the home I spent a majority of my life in and the proximity of having my parents live nearby, while being happy and excited for them to pursue the next phase of their lives in a much nicer climate than Houston can ever provide.  I had been helping them out to pack the house as much as I could, but this weekend it really dawned on me that short of snail-mailing treats (which is possible), I won't be able to bake for my dad anymore!!  I lost it.  I literally had a mini breakdown.  Seems silly perhaps, but it meant a lot to me.  Luckily for him my step mom is an amazing cook and baker so truthfully he won't go without something tasty.

So what did I do knowing it would be the last time I could bake for him this weekend?  I did what any rational yet emotional person would do.  I poured myself a heaping glass of wine and started baking at 10pm on a Friday night. I'd had the eggs sitting out for a while so they were room temperature knowing I was going to bake so once I got started it was a quick 10 minutes to prep these two loafs of Paleo bread.  No joke, it is so easy and fast it's almost a crime not to make this healthy, homemade bread.

In my previous post about spaghetti squash pasta & meatballs, I mentioned that I made this coconut flour bread using the The Coconut Mama's recipe.  Super fast and easy to make using the arrowroot flour option, nixing the honey option, and I personally like to add salt and either rosemary or oregano sprinkled on top of the loaf before baking.  In that post it dawned on me that this super easy recipe could easily be tweaked to make it more of a breakfast bread or "dessert" bread.  So that's what I did!

That night I made one regular loaf of the coconut flour bread and one "dessert" loaf beginning with the same recipe but literally winged it on adding additional ingredients.  It was a trial run, but my receiving patron is rarely critical so I wasn't too concerned to just give it a try.

Coconut Flour Bread

The dessert loaf attempt morphed into a Paleo Pumpkin bread.  It is the darker loaf in the picture above.  It turned out super moist (almost too moist) because of the pumpkin.  I ran out of coconut flour and substituted in almond flour and used olive oil in both loaves because I didn't feel like melting coconut oil at 10pm at night.  It wasn't sweet at all because I didn't add any honey, agave, or stevia to it.  In all honesty, I think it would have tasted better with that to enhance the pumpkin flavor but my dad said he didn't think it needed any sweetness added to it.  You see?  He's my best consumer!!!  

This was a one time experiment so some tweaking to personal taste may be needed if you attempt it and especially if you want it to be a little sweeter.  Of course, an easy idea rather than adding sweetener to the recipe itself would be to drizzle a small amount of honey over the top upon service.  Or powdered sugar if you're not eating Paleo, because powdered sugar is pretty.  It just is.

Here's how I made the Paleo Pumpkin bread: 6 organic eggs (room temperature), 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp arrowroot flour, 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 3/4 can organic pumpkin puree (though I suggest only 1/2 can), I added one banana though I am not sure that it added any benefit other than nutrition, a hint of my step mom's homemade vanilla, plus a lot of pumpkin spice seasoning and a lot of cinnamon.  You can add these to your taste preference.  I baked it at 350 F for about 40 minutes, but just watch your time and the bread's appearance.  My loaf looked done and the toothpick came out clean, which is why I was surprised at how moist the bread was still when I sliced it the next morning..  But, that is my same experience when baking with pumpkin in the past.  It's a gamble for me.

This can be served for breakfast or dessert, or as an any time of day snack.  I think it's best served with coffee!  I hope that if you try this recipe you enjoy it, but remember that I randomly added the ingredients so it needs some tweaking as well yet is acceptable as is if you're following a more strict dietary plan like I am currently with no sweetener at all...not even stevia. ={

Now that my parents are on the road and the keys have been turned over to the new owners, I have plenty of time to work out the kinks and dabble with versions of this bread.  It's 100% healthy and guilt free so why not?!?!  Hopefully the loved one is up for the arduous task of appeasing my culinary adventures.  As for being sad about my parents moving, I look at it like this: this is not goodbye, this is I'll see you later.  I'll likely pack treats to take on the plane for him, at least for the holidays.

*Side note to those who hate the word moist, I apologize for my excessive use of the word.  It's the most suiting for the result of the pumpkin bread I made given that I used too much pumpkin.  I know the loved one hates the word.  Oops!

Paleo Pumpkin Bread