Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Bites

We had four desserts at our Thanksgiving meal, and these 'lil beauties were the favorite. They're not overly sweet, but will leave you with a smile (and room to breathe after dinner). I'm not really into this whole "Paleo" diet craze. However, I understand that it's important to be able to offer all types of foods and desserts to the finicky, ahem, refined eaters in your life. This is by far one of the yummiest recipes I have discovered (modified from fitsugar.com) that can be tailored to just about anyone. Even my 14-year-old nephew picked this as best in show over the pecan and pumpkin pies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup grade B maple syrup

1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin

1/2 cup olive oil (or coconut oil, or melted ghee)

1 tbsp organic vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp. organic nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger (or minced fresh)

2/3 cup organic dark chocolate chips

2/3 cup organic chopped pecans

*NOTE: This recipe can be doubled if you are in the giving mood. Perfect for sharing with neighbors and other kind samaritans who deserve a tasty holiday treat!

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing vigorously with a spoon to avoid clumps.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (Check them at 15 to make sure they're browning evenly, top and bottom)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.

Arrange on a platter, serve and enjoy!

Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. *NOTE: NOT ALL CHOCOLATE IS CREATED EQUAL! The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content, and generally, the lower the sugar content. Buyer beware.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Ginger: Ginger is very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as gas, bloating, motion sickness, and morning sickness. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pecans: Pecans contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, a variety of B vitamins and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a source of monounsaturated or "good" fat and protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Pumpkin: This tasty winter squash is packed vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, as well as dietary fiber. It's also contains high amounts of carotenoids, the little nutrients which help to neutralize free-radicals within the body, and is low in calories. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.