My spirits rose sky high this week, after receiving your outpouring of encouragement from my post 6 Things I Would Tell My Old Self About Healing Chronic Disease. When I hit “Publish” on that post, I felt like I had leaped into new territory, and I didn’t know where I – or the post – would land.
Your reception of that piece of my soul has inspired me to open wider this new discussion of healing on Empowered Sustenance. If that piece resonated with you, I also encourage you to follow me on instagram where I have been sharing additional pieces of the whole-hearted healing journey.
More seasonal treat recipes coming soon
In the next few months, along with discussing healing at a deeper level, I’ll be sharing a variety of grain free baked good recipes. Here in Seattle, the air turned decidedly crisp and called me into the warm kitchen to bake.
In the last week, I stocked up on my essential baking supplies: pumpkin pie spice, sweet potatoes, and coconut flour. I’ll be sharing fall baked goods and holiday treats over the next few months. I’ve focused on recipes with minimal sweetener, and also created some egg-free recipes per the requests I’ve received.
About the Ingredients in Paleo Cinnamon Roll Bars
Japanese sweet potato – You’ll find this variety of sweet potato in most grocery stores or any Asian food store. This white-fleshed variety is denser and sweeter than orange sweet potatoes, and it provides all the sweetness necessary in the batter. The only added sweetener here is the coconut sugar filling. I wanted these bars to have the rich and moist-but-tender texture of a cinnamon roll, and this ingredient proved the optimal ingredient.
Eggs – Real eggs are integral to the texture of this recipe. If you do not tolerate eggs, stay tuned for some of the treat recipes I’ve formulated without eggs in the next few months.
Baking soda and apple cider vinegar – this is the leavening agent I use in my baked goods. The acidity in the vinegar (or lemon juice) reacts with the baking soda to create lift and lightness.
Coconut flour and arrowroot flour – This grain free flour combination acts as the binder, without making the bars dry or crumbly. As I’ve mentioned before, you can get a FREE bag of coconut flour added to your Thrive cart at this link. If you haven’t taken advantage of this, do so for the holiday season.
- 1½ cups Japanese sweet potato (about 3 medium), see step 1 below
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs. coconut flour
- 2 Tbs. arrowroot flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 Tbs. coconut sugar
- Optional: Coconut butter to drizzle, available here
- First, bake or steam the sweet potatoes. If baking, bake them (peels on) at 400 degrees until completely soft, about 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and let cool in the oven. Remove the peels. If steaming, peel first and steam until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a square baking dish with parchment paper, so that the parchment overhangs the sides for easy removal of the bars (as pictured). Grease the dish and parchment paper with coconut oil.
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Combine all ingredients, except the cinnamon and coconut sugar, in a blender until smooth.
- Stir together the cinnamon and coconut sugar. Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Top with the remaining batter, and spread evenly.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until just set but still moist.
- Store leftovers (what leftovers?!) in an airtight container in the fridge.
- If you want to make these bars utterly decadent, I recommend drizzling the cooled bars with coconut butter (which is different than coconut oil).
I use this recipe a lot. I’ve used it using pureed pumpkin, bananas, zucchini, carrots, etc. What I’ve discovered is that if you lower the amount of eggs just a bit (3 instead of 4) and up the amount of flour, it makes a lighter product. Not that this recipe isn’t good, but if you want a less dense result, you may want to try this out. I usually use about 1/3 C. of coconut flour, and 2/3 C of arrowroot. If you like a lighter result, with some texture, you could substitute some of each of these two flours with some Tiger nut flour. Also lightens things up a bit but it does add texture…not as smooth. I love your recipes and I’m always stimulated to try new things. I was a chef in my past life (retired) with my own natural food restaurant. I did not, however, BAKE. So you’ve been helping me with baking, with the added difficulty of paleo! So thanks for that. Ellen
Thanks you saved me asking about substitutions as I dont even have to rty to look to know theres no way of getting those potatoes over here cant even get my hands on plantains tut.
This looks delicious! I’ve pretty much cut out sugar from my diet, but these bars have such a small amount, I might be able to try it. At the very least, I know my family would love it. Now to find those Japanese potatoes… 🙂
Can regular (orange) sweet potatoes or pumpkin puree be used instead of the Japanese sweet potatoes?
I have not tried this recipe with pumpkin or orange sweet potatoes, which will have a higher water content and likely change the texture of the recipe. Let me know how the recipe works if you try it.
Yes, looks great. But what would be the equivalent measurement when using pureed pumpkin or other alternatives? I may not be able to locate the Japanese potato.
These potatoes are at Trader Joes now, I think it is seasonal.
We don’t have Japanese sweet potatoes in Melbourne, Australia ????
Do you have access to kumara? It’s the same vegetable.
I have not tried this recipe with pumpkin, which will have a higher water content and likely change the texture of the recipe. The japanese sweet potato is an important ingredient here.
Where do you get your Japanese sweet potato? I live in the Seattle area.
I live in Everett and have seen them at Sno-Isle Co-op, PCC and Central Market.
What is one just used the regular yams, not sweet potato
Can I use tapioca flour instead of arrowroot?
Yes, that would work.
Could you take a picture of the particular sweet potato- we have a few varieties available but don’t necessarily call thing by the same names in Australia and I’d like to make these for our Paleo grandchildren for Christmas!
The “Japanese” sweet potatoes in my locality are purple-skinned with a white flesh.
Hi Lauren, I just wanted to say that I love all the information you share with us. I just have a question about weight loss and all the delicious desserts you post. Im trying to lose about 25 lbs and I know I can do it eating the paleo way. My question is, will all these delicious desserts put weight on me, even if it is paleo? Is there a lot of carbs involved?
Barbara, you may find these post on tweaking carb and balancing blood sugar helpful:
http://empoweredsustenance.com/sugar-its-your-friend/ (that URL name is misleading)
Also, phosophatydlserine is a supplement I discussed here and it often supports healthy weight loss by balancing hormones: http://empoweredsustenance.com/phosphatidylserine-benefits/
I do very little paleo baking, since I just don’t want baked goods that much. But these sound amazing. Hoping I can find the Japanese Sweet Potatoes here in Central PA.
For those who are wondering what a “Japanese Sweet Potatoe” is. I just use “google”. Took me 1 second to find out. Yes, they do sell them in Australia – purple skin, white flesh.