Green Right Now Reports

pumpkin bread smlerOne of the greatest things about fall is the arrival of squash. Don’t tell your kids, but that family of veggies includes pumpkins, which we love to turn into beta carotene-rich pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin soup.

These foods hit the spot when the air turns brisk, and chances are, with the possible exception of the soup, your wee ones gobble them up. So don’t squash their enthusiasm with too much information.

Recently, a friend posted a batch of recipes with everything pumpkin. She’s smart and a pumpkin aficionado so I’ve stolen her pumpkin bread recipe and modified it to create a vegan version.

Vegan, in the case of this pumpkin bread recipe, really just means it’s more heart-healthy, and if you want to put the eggs back in, feel free. If you use organic, pastured eggs, you’ll keep the Omega-3s high. Your bread won’t be vegan, but it will be mo’ healthy. There are still two cups of sugar in this recipe, so we aren’t making a salad here. But pumpkin bread is full of vitamins A, C and E, and antioxidants, especially if you use actual pumpkin from a baking pumpkin, instead of the canned stuff.

VEGAN PUMPKIN BREAD

Ingredients:

¾ cup vegetable oil (grapeseed or canola will work *) + 3 TBSP of flaxseed oil

(Note: Using a bit of flaxseed oil adds healthy Omega 3s, but if you don’t have it on hand, substitute with the vegetable oil you’re using. You can also cut down the oil by substituting applesauce for half or even all the oil, in which case your pumpkin bread gets even healthier, but a bit sweeter. You can cut the sugar by about 1/4 cup to compensate for the sweetness you’re adding from the applesauce. The bread will also bake up a little differently using applesauce. It will have less of that pound cake feel because the oil will be absent. We recommend trying half oil and half applesauce. Don’t want to do the math? Fill the cup halfway with applesauce, then to the 3/4 mark with oil.)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar *

4 eggs or the equivalent in egg replacer (We use Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed 1 TBSP to 3 TBSP water.)

1  15 oz can of pumpkin (or 2 cups of your own pureed fresh pumpkin)

¾  cup almond milk, original and unsweetened (I like to avoid the carrageenan used in many milk substitutes so the brand to buy for that is Silk, surprisingly. This fortified milk will add selenium and other cool minerals.)

1 tsp. vanilla

3 1/3 cups flour (use organic baking flour for good texture)

½ tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg + ½ tsp each of cinnamon and cloves + dash of ginger

1 cup chopped walnuts (alternately pecans or sunflower seeds)

  1.  Mix the wet ingredients together with the pumpkin and sugar using a hand mixer or egg beaters.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the wet mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon. The texture should be like a thick cake batter. If it seems too dry add a bit more almond milk. Mix in the walnuts and reserve a few to sprinkle on top, if you wish.
  3. Pour into oiled loaf pans (8 ½ x 4 ½ or 9 x 5) and bake at 350 for 60 to 80 minutes. The loaves are done when a toothpick or butter knife stuck into the middle comes out clean. We used mini-loaf pans and reduced the cooking time to 50 minutes. Bake muffins for 25 – 30 minutes. (Watch them closely, they will cook differently in different types of pans; silicone, stoneware, metal, glass.)

* Use organic canola oil and organic sugar if you want to avoid GMOs. Canola and sugar beet crops have been widely taken over by genetic modification and that means they’re grown with pesticides. Some believe these GMO foods could be harmful because the seeds have been engineered to resist pesticides, altering the crop plant. The science is not settled.