Health-ier Pecan Pie Bars
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (sub gluten-free AP flour)
- 3/4 cup vegan buttery spread, softened
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup vegan buttery spread, softened
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (sub gluten-free all purpose flour)
- 3 cups pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Add crust ingredients to a large bowl, and beat with a hand or standing mixer on medium until crumbly.
- Line a 9x13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Press the crust mixture evenly onto the bottom of the sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- While baking, prepare the Pecan Pie Filling by adding 1/2 cup vegan buttery spread, 1 cup coconut sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt to a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer over medium speed until creamy and fluffy.
- Add in flour, maple syrup, and pecans to bowl. Beat on low speed until well combined.
- Spread the Pecan Pie Filling into the pan with the crust. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely in the pan before serving.
- Slice into bars and EAT UP!
2016 has thrown a quite few moments at me that have stopped me in my tracks. (Not even mentioning the countless police shootings, mass shootings, and natural disasters.) Earlier this year, a friend of mine from college went missing in his home country of Kazakhstan. A week later his body was found in a river. It’s one of those stories that never feels real, and you can’t imagine happening to someone you know. On that day a little bit of light was drained from my world. I attempted to keep working but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t shake the image of his body floating in that river from my mind.
While I was away on family vacation this summer my grandfather passed away of lung cancer. He was my childhood hero. When he was alive he served as a colonel for the airforce during the Vietnam War. He was a highly respected man whom saved quite a few people’s lives. So blogging about food professionally started to feel a little irreverent during that time.
And finally there is this election. Not by popularity – but by an outdated system – misogynistic TV celebrity was elected into office. On that day my heart froze in place. I wept for those oppressed cultures who would suffer most, I wept for the outdated system of belief that still exists within this country, and I wept for what this indicates about the hearts of men. And blogging about food? Well that just felt silly.
Making food and taking pretty photos of it for the internet to see will do nothing for the state of our nation. It will maybe make someone tap a like button or even – gasp- actually make a recipe, but it will not do anything that matters. It’s a strange thing to admit, because I spend 99% of my time attempting to convince you that I am worth your time, that my recipes are valuable. But it just doesn’t matter. Not in the grand scheme of things.
I’m not just talking about food blogging exclusively. Most jobs – excluding a few medical or science related – are truly inconsequential in comparison to things like love, life, or humanity. It all matters very little. But what does matter is family, friendship, acceptance, love, kindness, compassion, authenticity, and courage.
Those things can’t be found on Instagram. They won’t be found in this recipe. But they might be found at the dinner table. They might be there as you gather with those you love on Thanksgiving. In fact, I hope they are there. I hope you find them in every bite of health-ier pecan pie bar you eat, every conversation you share, every hug you give. I hope Thanksgiving reminds us all to love a little more fiercely this year. Because that is truly the only thing that matters.