Guest Post: Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling from Without Grain

It is the beginning of a magical time of year – the stretch of time leading up to the holidays where the cookbooks that have been teased by our FAVORITE RECIPE DEVELOPERS finally hit bookstore shelves, and more importantly – hit our doorstep. See book releases tend to go in waves, and we have a list of books that we are anxiously awaiting, post-it notes in hand and ready to mark the many recipes we plan to re-create. 

First up on our list, Without Grain, written by the very talented Hayley Ryczek, blogger behind the site Health Starts in the Kitchen. This book is not strictly paleo, but is a gold mind of delicious grain-free creations! In fact, we have already enjoyed a number of recipes from Without Grain, including the Banana Bread and Vanilla Granola

This book would make an excellent gift for someone who is looking to cut out gluten and is need of some inspiration, but is also equally perfect for the paleo-foodie who enjoys great diversity in the kitchen! 

Enjoy this guest post from Hayley below, that includes a TO-DIE-FOR recipe for Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling! Seriously raising the pumpkin treat bar pretty high!


Greetings Healthy Friends!! I’m Hayley Ryczek, the voice of the blog Health Starts in the Kitchen and the newly released cookbook Without Grain: 100 Delicious Recipes for Eating a Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free Diet.

Paleo Parents Guest Post: Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling from Without Grain

MY EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES are of the weekends spent with my Grammie Elsie and Grandpa Stush. At the time, I enjoyed being with them because they spoiled me rotten. Looking back, however, I realize that
I had no idea of the true abundance of gifts they were giving me. All those little intangibles (not the toys, clothes, and shoes) molded me into the person I am today.

Despite living in town with a small yard, my grandparents were known for their garden. I grew up eating freshly picked, still-dirty vegetables, while playing barefoot in their garden during the summer. And in the fall, I helped with putting up their harvest (canning, drying, freezing).

As I grew older, Gram invited me to help with her catering business. You see, my grandmother was even more well known for her cooking! 
I learned to appreciate a well-made knife,
 how to season a cast-iron skillet, and the importance of adequately seasoning food, 
all under her tutelage.

After too long I was headed off to college, which took a toll on my body almost immediately. As my weight steadily climbed, it became apparent why I felt so awful. I was eating the standard collegiate diet of pizza, beer, sandwiches, soda, and French fries, which was vastly different from the real-foods diet I had eaten for the first eighteen years of my life.

Growing up, I ate homemade meals with my family, at the dinner table. My mom always served balanced meals with lots of vegetables and moderate amounts of protein. She didn’t take shortcuts, such as using instant mashed potatoes or store-bought spaghetti sauce—after all, she learned to cook from my grandmother, too!

So, I ditched the cafeteria food and started cooking for myself. I never relied on recipes
 or cookbooks because cooking came naturally to me. I have always cooked just like my grandmother and my mother: with real foods, in their most natural state. I learned that when I ate balanced meals of real foods I felt healthy, but when I ate meals that were carbohydrate-heavy and full of processed foods, I felt awful.

Just as my passion for cooking grew, the trends in the 1990s pushed everyone toward a diet full of low-fat, processed foods. The idea of replacing natural foods with processed ones simply didn’t make sense to me. I began researching health and saw beyond the low-fat fad and processed foods’ “health” claims.

Over the subsequent fifteen-plus years, I continued researching healthy eating and finding ways to feel my best and maintain a healthy weight. I worked with alternative health professionals to help me understand why I wasn’t able to easily lose weight and was increasingly struggling with my energy levels—even though I was eating a balanced diet of real foods, and I felt much better than if I had been eating the alternative.

After researching the effects of gluten, I removed it from my diet. Shortly afterward, genetic testing revealed I had received genes associated with both gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Although I showed none of the classic symptoms (digestive upset, neurological issues, mood disturbances), it became imperative that I remain gluten-free to avoid the damaging effects.

However, like so many people who’ve removed gluten from their diets, it wasn’t enough for me to achieve optimal health. I noticed white patches of skin developing on the right side of my body, which quickly increased in number over a six-month period. Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition in which the skin loses its pigmentation (it’s most commonly known as the skin condition Michael Jackson suffered from). With no known medical treatment or cure, many people find improvement by addressing their underlying inflammation (more on that in chapter 1 of Without Grain).

By removing all grains from my diet, my vitiligo stopped spreading and many of my white patches began re-pigmenting. Seeing the immediate improvement in my condition ignited a passion in me for grain-free cooking and helping others improve their health as well.

I began blogging as a way to initially share my kitchen successes and homesteading experiences. (Not only did I inherit my grandmother’s cooking notoriety but I also inherited her green thumb!) “Health Starts in the Kitchen” is my mantra for healthy living, and it’s where I’ve been sharing my voice as a blogger.

In Without Grain, you will find out how I live without grains, the reasons why I believe that grains are harming our bodies, why it’s important to remove them from our diets, and which foods to replace them with. I’ll also share with you 100 recipes for your favorite foods—such as fried chicken, soft pretzels, egg rolls, and pizza—all made without grain!

without grain cover-01

If you’re unfamiliar with pumpkin rolls, then you’re in for a real treat. This is a thin pumpkin cake, rolled around a cream cheese filling. It’s as pretty as it is delicious. I make several of them before Thanksgiving and keep them in the freezer. Although they are best when thawed in the refrigerator, they are also very good frozen.

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling



  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Line a 15 x 10-inch (38 x 25.4-cm) jelly-roll pan with lightly greased parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, starches, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt, and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs and coconut sugar until thick. Add the pumpkin puree and blend until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter onto the prepared jelly-roll pan and sprinkle with the chopped nuts, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when touched.
  5. While the cake is baking, spread out a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and gently flip the cake onto the powdered sugared towel, so the parchment paper is on top, and peel off the paper.
  6. Starting at a short end, roll up the towel and cake together into a jelly roll. Set seam-side down and allow to completely cool while rolled up, about 1 hour.
  7. To make the filling: In a bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the honey, maple syrup, and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
  8. When the cake is completely cool, gently unroll it and spread with the cream cheese filling to the edges. Roll it back up (without the towel) and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Hayley Ryczek is the voice behind the popular healthy cooking and natural lifestyle blog, Health Starts in the Kitchen. She has also authored 2 published cookbooks; Without Grain: released in Sept. 2015 and Fermented Foods at Every Meal releasing in March of 2016. Most often you will find Hayley in her kitchen, she has always had an insatiable passion for food and cooking. She resides with her husband, Ray and black lab, Hercules, on a 6-acre homestead in rural, southwestern Pennsylvania. Together, they have a beautiful organic garden, raise chickens, forage for wild edibles and look forward to their summertime Sunday evening “mountain rides” in their Jeep. You can connect with Hayley via Facebook & Instagram[/author_info] [/author]

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