Maple Pumpkin Bread
I am seriously not TRYING to make all these pumpkin recipes (P3 Granola, Pumpkin Salted Caramel, Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Latte), it's just happening! I have no control over it! I guess I like fall? Actually, there is something really special about fall in New England. Before moving here, the only references of New England I had were Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Hocus Pocus (both of which I love). This year, I am hoping to make it to Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween! Being here in October, with the trees in all their gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, and red, the brick sidewalks, old buildings, tons of cemeteries, pumpkin farms, and a chill in the air - it just feels right. Maybe that's why all these pumpkin recipes feel right, too...
I also recently got this new loaf pan and was really excited to make any type of banana, apple, carrot, or zucchini bread. The only one of those ingredients I had was pumpkin, so that's what I went with. Let me be clear, I am NOT a baker. Baking actually really stresses me out. It is a science, and it has to be just right, or the whole thing fails. I love cooking because when you cook, you can taste and adjust as you go. But with baking, you only get one opportunity and it's a pass/fail (I frequently fail).
Feeling brave, I flipped through some of my cookbooks and decided to work off of a recipe from the Forks Over Knives cookbook. I was so pleasantly surprised that I not only didn't screw it up, but nailed it! YUM. Your turn!
BTW: Forks Over Knives (the documentary, books, and movement) is at this point synonymous with a healthy, whole-foods, plant-based way of eating. This includes vegetables, tubers, fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds - the foundation of a healthy diet. It's based on the famous research from The China Study, the most comprehensive study ever done on nutrition and health. Of course, when you eat mostly plants you're not consuming much fat to begin with, but FOK and the WFPB lifestyle tends to also avoid using excessive fats or processed fats that don't occur naturally (like oils). Instead, they would opt for whole fats like avocado, coconut, walnuts.
I don't usually shy away from using coconut oil, avocado oil, coconut cream, or other fatty ingredients, but I do appreciate that I have an entire book of recipes without it. I also went through a whole module in my cooking school that taught us how to cook without using oil. You might be surprised with how easy it is to roast, saute, and bake without oil!
Maple Pumpkin Bread
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
Pinch of sea salt
One can (or about 2 cups) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup vegan yogurt*
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Optional: raisins, walnuts, pepitas for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, pinch of salt.
Add the pumpkin, maple, yogurt, and vanilla, and combine with the dry ingredients until fully mixed and moistened. If using, fold in raisins or walnuts.
Spoon batter into a (greased or nonstick) loaf pan*, no need to spread it to the edges, it will spread as it bakes. I sprinkled some pepitas on top before putting in over.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted through the center comes out clean. When there are about 5-10 minutes left to bake, brush a thin layer of maple syrup over the top of the loaf.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and and carefully invert onto a cooling rack. Be sure it's fully cooled before slicing.
I used Bob's Red Mill pastry flour, but you could make this gluten-free if you used a 1:1 GF pastry flour.
The original recipe called for apple butter. I used coconut yogurt, but you could probably substitute applesauce or more pumpkin puree.
The dimensions of the loaf pan I used were 9 x 5.25 inches but an 8 x 4 inch pan will work as well. Mine is stainless steel, and I coated the inside with a layer of coconut oil. Otherwise, use a nonstick or silicone baking pan.
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