I have a little problem with canned pumpkin. And no, I’m not going to say that I prefer fresh because I don’t, far too much trouble as far as I’m concerned. No, my problem is that, every year, I end up with a ridiculously large amount of it because
A. I can never remember if I have it or not so I always buy just a few cans more.
B. I don’t ever actually make that pumpkin pie I think I have to have it for. Ever. Frankly, I (and most everyone I know) prefer Costco’s pumpkin pie so I stick to making my berry and cream pies and leave well enough alone.
Therefore, I found myself staring at about 120 ounces of pumpkin puree in my pantry and decided something must be done. Pumpkin bread was the obvious choice as it’s my favorite pumpkin treat but, as much as I love it at Starbucks, I wanted to try a little healthier take on it.
I used coconut sugar and maple syrup to sweeten it, eliminating a bit of the sugar shock and adding more complex flavor (if you can’t find coconut sugar, sub with brown sugar). The Greek yogurt and pumpkin make it really moist without adding extra fat so I didn’t need a lot of butter. And, using whole wheat flour and adding flax meal makes it more nutritious by adding extra fiber and protein. I ended up with a very moist, not too sweet bread with a wonderful maple/spice flavor that I felt a lot better about eating.
I’ve made a dent in my pumpkin supply by making a few batches in the last few weeks and have gotten rave reviews and recipe requests. So, here it is, hope you enjoy!
makes 2 loaves
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup canola oil or butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 cups whole wheat flour (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill for a milder flavor)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice, ground
1/4 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated or ground (eyeball it if you’re grating as it’s a pain to measure)
1/2 cup flax meal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 loaf pans by coating with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Gather ingredients and 2 large mixing bowls. Melt butter and allow if to cool a bit.
Place coconut sugar in first mixing bowl and work out large lumps with your fingers, don’t worry if some remain, they will dissolve in the batter.
Bread will be done when a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the bread bounces back when pressed with your finger.
Slice just before serving. I find keeping it in loaf form for a day or two actually improves the texture but, of course, it’s also great while still a little warm from the oven!
Life of Pi