Savour fall with this delicious autumn bake. It's gluten free, refined sugar free and guaranteed to nourish both body and soul.
Remember to read until the end to learn about the nutritional benefits of this little beauty.
1/2 Hokkaido Pumpkin (about 300g)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
50g dark chocolate (for a completely sugar free bake make sure this is 100% chocolate)
1/2 cup nuts (of choice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom (or seeds of 5 pods)
1 tsp salt
Prepare your pumpkin by cutting it in half, removing all seeds and sprinkling half of it with coconut oil and cinnamon*
Then bake in the oven at 200 degrees C for up to an hour or until soft and lightly caramelised
In a large bowl mix together your roast pumpkin (if it is organic you don't need to remove the peel) and butter
Whisk in the eggs and apple cider vinegar
In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients, then stir slowly into the wet ingredients
Pour mixture onto a lined baking tray and shape however you like (but make sure the dough is about 1-2cm thick)
Bake at 200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden
You can serve this as a healthy snack in the form of a flapjack, or you can cut it into slightly bigger pieces and serve it as breakfast. It's particularly delicious topped with nut butter, live yoghurt, apple sauce and/or fresh fruits.
I hope you find this recipe as delicious and nourishing as we have - I would love to hear from you! Tag me @efias_kitchen to let me know and show me your bakes <3
I spoke about the benefits of combining oats with a source of beta carotene (orange fruits and vegetables) and vitamin C in my carrot cake breakfast bowl recipe - and this recipe right here is another perfect example of combining the three ingredients to boost your iron absorption !
Remember - iron deficiency is one of the most common in the developed world (particularly for vegans and vegetarians) - and this can impact on your energy levels and immunity [1, 2].
Eating the Rainbow:
A fantastic and simple way to support your body for ultimate wellbeing is to set yourself this simple challenge each day: eat the rainbow.
By that I mean try to eat at least one fresh food in each colour of the rainbow each day. Follow this link for a simple handout on why the different colours are important and for some inspiration on how to eat more colours.
You might have noticed - the only source of actual sugar in this recipe is the dark chocolate. The pumpkin does add some natural sweetness (especially as you have roasted it) - but other than that this recipe is relatively low in sugar (especially for a flapjack!). The full recipe (which makes at least 4 big breakfast squares plus about 6 flapjacks) contains 28.2g of sugar - which makes about 2.8g per serving (don't quote me on the maths!).
Why does it matter how much sugar there is in here? For a few reasons.
If you read my blog you will know that blood sugar imbalances can impact our mood . Low blood sugar makes us feel sad, tired and teary . High blood sugar makes us feel jittery, irritated and nauseous . Foods that make our blood sugar spike and dip are foods that contain a lot of refined or simple sugar and very little fibre, protein or fat. This recipe is the opposite of that - it contains relatively little sugar, but does contain a healthy dose of fibre, protein and fats. If you want to read more about how sugar might affect your mood have a read of my blog article on food and mood here.
Sugar can negatively impact health in other ways and you can listen to a fun (if scientific and long) talk on sugar here.
Remember though - sugar is not sugar. As long as the sugar you eat is bound up in the natural fibre of the fruits and vegetables it comes in (i.e. the peel and flesh of the plant) it will not have the negative effects on your health that refined sugar has!
To me fall is actually a beautiful and exhilarating period - I love the change of season, the promise of Christmas and the vivid colours of fall. When I came across Rilke's poem I was surprised at the sadness and nostalgia of it - but captured by the final notion. That someone - in my Christian eyes God - who so infinitely calm is holding up all this falling. Whether this period is happy or sad for you always remember you are held firmly and safely in those hands.
Curl up with that knowledge and enjoy a slice of this comforting autumn bake ;-) I wish I could be the one to make it for you and we could sit down and speak about this together - as we can't, leave me a comment below! That's second best <3
 Platel, K. and Srinivasan, K., 2016. Bioavailability of micronutrients from plant foods: an update. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 56(10), pp.1608-1619.
 Jackson, J., Williams, R., McEvoy, M., MacDonald-Wicks, L. and Patterson, A., 2016. Is higher consumption of animal flesh foods associated with better iron status among adults in developed countries? A systematic review. Nutrients, 8(2), p.89.
 NHS, “Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) - NHS,” 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-sugar-hyperglycaemia/.
 NHS, “Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) - NHS,” 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/low-blood-sugar-hypoglycaemia/. [Accessed: