I’m back in Montreal and am more grounded than I’ve been in a long time. The opportunity to go home to Alberta for a couple of days was exactly what I needed to put things into perspective and begin to move on from my life there.
I got to spend a fair deal of time with my parents, stay up insanely late with my little sister, and connect with my old coworkers for two days at the office. All of this human interaction just made me realize that it’s not so much home that I’m missing, than it is just being around like-minded individuals and having a support system around me. I realized that if I want to be happy in Montreal, I need to make an effort to:
- make new friends
- explore the city
- fall in love with life here
So, instead of starting up new projects and solely focusing on my work, I’m allowing myself a bit more freedom to come and go, and just let life happen.
I was so pumped when I got back from my trip, that I had no reservations when I went into the kitchen. Before my trip, my new kitchen had been intimidating me. The new oven, small space, limited appliances, poor lighting, but I didn’t let it get to me over the weekend.
I rocked it and put all my other gluten-free pumpkin recipes to shame! Well, maybe not shame, but this is by far one of my favorites.
- 1-1/4 cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup soft coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar * see note
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 14oz. canned pumpkin
- ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup pitted and packed medjool dates (approx. 6)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 scoops (30 grams) unflavored protein powder
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Place almond flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add remaining ingredients and mash with a fork until combined.
- Knead with your hands for a couple of seconds. You'll know it's perfectly mixed when the dough holds together in a ball.
- Press into a 8x8 square pan and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into prepared base and smooth out with a spoon.
- Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the pumpkin edges away from the sides and the top begins to crack just slightly.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for a couple of hours, until completely cooled.
- Cover and place in the fridge overnight to set.
- Afterward, cut into squares, top with pecans if desired and enjoy!
- Will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Do not freeze.
Begin by whisking your dry ingredients together, then adding your wet ingredients to the mix.
Mash with a fork until everything’s combined. You could use a hand mixer, but I was too lazy!
You’ll know when the mixture is ready when it can be rolled into a ball quite easily.
Press the mixture into an 8×8 pan.
Do your best to make as flat and even as possible. Little finger indents are okay ;) Set the base in the fridge for 20 minutes or so while you prepare the dairy-free pumpkin mousse.
I think adding everything to the bowl of your processor would work better than a blender just because it’s quite dense, but use whatever you have handy.
Drop pureed mixture into your prepared baking sheet and smooth the mousse out with the back of a spoon.
Bake for time allotted in the recipe, and be sure to let it cool, then sit in the fridge overnight to set. This step is imperative or it wont work!
During my visit, my Mom shared a poem with me that she hoped would help me over the coming weeks,
May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content known that you have been born with a purpose. Let this settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
I’ve been reading it before I get out of bed, and the moments before I fall asleep. It’s really nice!
Have a fabulous Monday, all!