The fall and winter seasons bring thoughts of warm spices and sweet pumpkin treats.
While just about everyone loves pumpkin pie, it can be a tad time-consuming to make, as well as loaded with sugar and fat. But if you want to enjoy the spicy goodness of pumpkin pie without all the fuss and calories, this healthier version of pumpkin-ginger bread is the way to go. It is just as flavorful and just as pretty too.
Fresh pumpkin is best for this recipe as it adds loads of fresh flavor, nutrition and moistness to the sweetbread, but if you are short on time, canned pumpkin works just fine. Along with the typical pumpkin spices of cinnamon and allspice, this recipe goes one step further and adds ginger and a secret ingredient, the healthy Indian spice cardamom. It also includes nuts (as an option of course) for added protein and good fats.
If you want to cook your own pumpkin, just cut the pumpkin, remove the seeds and membrane and shell from the meat, and then chop and cook the meat in boiling water for about 40 minutes. Simply mash with a fork or potato masher. (You can do this ahead of time and keep the pumpkin in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.) Cool before adding to the mixture.
This recipe makes two small loaves or one 5×9 inch loaf. Simply double the ingredients to make more bread.
What you will need:
4 tbsp. melted butter
2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 c flax seed meal
2 organic eggs
2/3 cup milk (may need less if using fresh cooked pumpkin)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 c organic sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups fresh cooked (or one 16 oz. can) pumpkin, tightly packed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease loaf pan or pans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, honey, vanilla, butter and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add milk and blend well. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until ingredients are combined. Fold in pecans or walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter between two small loaf pans or in single 5×9 pan. Bake about 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool out of pan for an additional 10-15 minutes. Slice and enjoy … or freeze for later.