I’ve been on a mission for the past few days to find the perfect, healthy pumpkin bread. I started thinking about pumpkin bread last week and couldn’t get it out of my mind since then. But, I was being picky about my bread. Of course I wanted it to be vegan and preferably gluten-free. And I didn’t want any sugar – only agave. And I didn’t want any soy. And I didn’t want to use powdered egg replacer (I was hoping for flax meal, applesauce, or chia seeds). And I wanted to use coconut milk or coconut oil instead of other oils. And I was determined to use fresh pumpkin. Quite the list of requirements, eh?
I scoured every cookbook I could find and there was nothing even close to what I was looking for. I searched google, blogs, recipe sites and still found nothing. I was beyond determined so I decided I would just have to make my own recipe. This is where the fun really started.
I’ve told you I’m not really a baker, right? I’m great at other food because you can play with the ingredients a bit more. Unfortunately with baking, you have to be very precise… which I am not. But, there I was, determined to make up my own recipe.
I baked my pumpkin and made fresh applesauce from scratch. I threw together my quinoa flour, spices, and a few other things that seemed should go in the bread as well. The end result of my attempt at pumpkin bread wasn’t bad, but I knew it could be better. I knew I had the ingredients right because the flavor was great, but it didn’t rise right which meant my proportions were off.
That’s when I stumbled upon this recipe by Mary Vance, a holistic nutritionist in San Francisco. It met every requirement of mine and tasted fabulous. Problem solved.
This version is lightly sweet, but if you like things sweeter, feel free to add more agave to the batch. I also used fresh ginger because I like things a bit spicier, but you are welcome to use powdered ginger. In most of the pumpkin bread recipes I found, it said that the pumpkin bread would be great for breakfast. Not to sound snooty, but there is no way I would ever think of starting my day with that much sugar. However, I actually had a piece of this batch for breakfast this morning and it was perfect for breakfast. That’s saying a lot.
Makes 1 loaf.
1 1/2 cups Flour of your choice (You can use quinoa, spelt, wheat, or any flour of your choice)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups cooked & pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil
3 Tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with enough hot water to make 1/2 cup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup agave
2 tbsp applesauce
handful of chopped walnuts for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease loaf pan. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside. Puree pumpkin, flaxseed meal mixture, coconut oil, water, agave nectar, fresh ginger, and applesauce in blender until smooth. Mix flour mixture with puree until just combined and pour into the pan. Sprinkle a few walnuts on top, if desired. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until an toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.