HEALTHY PUMPKIN BREAD RECIPE
We're in the mood for some pumpkin baking! Yes, how very fall of us. Honestly, pumpkins taste just ok but like most fruits and vegetables out there, they have a lot to offer. Like this recent blog post mentioned, this rotund thing has so many nutritional benefits.
I think the most fun fact about pumpkin is that it's packed with beta carotene, which has been shown in a few studies to possibly protect your skin against the sun (1). They looked at people who ate a bunch of it for several weeks, and who then went in the sun. Their skin was overall less damaged than those who didn’t eat the beta-carotene. In the long run, that could mean less sunburns, less sun damage to your skin, and less cancer.
I wanted to bake a pumpkin recipe that had a good amount of pumpkin in it and wasn't just a cake disguised as a bread. Also, I've been into make-ahead breakfasts, so I thought that a seedy, nutty, mapley and hearty bread might be just the thing to grab on a busy morning.
My breakfast bread was slightly adapted from this recipe by Cookie and Kate. I like things only barely sweet in the morning, so that's what this recipe will make. If you know you'll want something sweeter, I recommend using 3/4 cup of maple syrup in the recipe.
I took home some cute sugar pumpkins and turned them into pumpkin puree. It really wasn't so hard, just took some planning ahead. Apparently pumpkin puree is pretty ok in a can too. But I think it's fun to make use of those pumpkins I see at markets. Here's how you do it if you want to do that too:
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Roughly makes 2 cups
2 small sugar pumpkins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut pumpkins in half and scrape out the seeds. Cut these pumpkin pieces in half (you should now have pumpkin quarters). Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce through. Let cool until they can be easily handled.
Cut the skin off of each piece (or gently peel off if it's cooperating). Place all of the pumpkin flesh in a food processor and pulse. Slowly add water into the food processor so that an applesauce-like puree is formed. I left mine very slightly chunky for a more rustic bread. Depending on how watery your pumpkin is, you may need to add up to 1 cup of water. Transfer your pumpkin puree into a bowl.
And then ta-da, you have pumpkin puree! It's what I used in my pumpkin bread recipe.
Seedy, Nutty & Mapley Pumpkin Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (any type you'd like)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 9x5" loaf pan by buttering or oiling the inside.
In a large bowl, add the flours, flaxseeds, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk the wet ingredients until combined.
Add the wet ingredients and the pumpkin puree to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Gently fold all ingredients together until just combined.
Add the walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds and mix until evenly distributed.
Pour contents of the bowl into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with a few seeds if you have extra. Bake in the oven for 60 to 70 minutes (mine took 70 minutes). A toothpick or knife inserted into the center should come out clean.
Let cool. Turn the pan over onto a cutting board until the loaf comes out. Cut the loaf into slices and enjoy! I ate mine with a slab of butter. Suggestion: individually wrap each slice in parchment paper for a grab-and-go breakfast all week.
- Boelsma E, Hendriks H, Roza L. Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr; 73:853-64.