Thursday, April 30, 2009

healthy pumpkin bread

There is something very satisfying about eating an entire loaf of pumpkin bread! My son and I made pumpkin bread last weekend and every day I have had one loaf for snack. Please don't think I'm a complete glutton - they were mini loaves, and I didn't even fill the mini loaf pans very full. What should have been 2 regular sized loaves was 8 mini loaves. I froze the extras, and each day I thaw one loaf for snack. That reduces the need for self control...I can eat whatever is thawed. I have no self control. And I'm eating for 3 so I consume large amounts of food. I'll probably gain a ton of weight when I'm no longer nursing. I have been pregnant, nursing, or both for the last four years and my sense of normal proportions is long gone. I'm always shocked at the small amount of food that can sustain other people.

So, here is my relatively healthy pumpkin bread recipe. I don't remember where I got it, but I've adapted is to fit my tastes (less sugar, etc).

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Nut Bread

3 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
~1/3 cup cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder (I can't remember, but I think I may have put 2 tsp baking powder in last time...I finished off the can, whatever amount that was)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt

mix dry ingredients together (a good task for the three year old while you get other things together. Oh, and be sure to let the three year old empty the measuring cups and spoons full of dry ingredients into the bowl...if you forget be prepared to scoop them back up again and try again!)

1 15oz can pumpkin
1/3 cup apple sauce
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2+ cup agave nectar
a bit of water - maybe scant quarter cup?

mix wet ingredients well

if you don't have agave nectar honey would probably work. I like the mild flavor of agave nectar and the fact that is has a low glycemic index. If you don't want to use agave or honey, just use 1 cup of sugar and up the water to 1/2 cup.

mix the wet into the dry (tough task for 3 year old, but he probably wants to try)

1 cup chopped pecans
(note, babies are not thrilled by sound of frozen pecans being chopped in cuisinart, but if you make happy funny faces at baby she might get through it without bawling)

and if you're pregnant and wanting extra iron and calcium you can add some fig nuggets or chopped figs - i suggest skipping the figs if you're not craving those things

ok. mix nuts/figs into the big bowl (note - by all means give the 3 year old a go at stirring it all together because if you don't give him a chance and the nuts get stirred in without his permission you're gonna hear about it)

divide into mini-loaf pans (8, or 6 if you make them fuller) or 2 large loaf pans. i guess you could make muffins

Bake at 350 till done. Um, I guess that's pretty vague. my notes say 60-65 minutes, but I think that was for big loaves. after putting these in the oven i went back to the bedroom to sort clothes and took them out when i finally remembered that they were in the it doesn't have to be precise. my loaves were pretty brown but taste fine. bake at least until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Enjoy. I am.

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