My daughter Elizabeth and I are both early birds and this Saturday morning we were up even before the worms. After a quiet cup of coffee, I was ready to make the most of this rare alone time with her. Instead of flipping on cartoons, we flipped open my cookbook. One of my favorite things about fall are pumpkins. It seemed fitting to bake up some pumpkin bread with my own pumpkin.
Today I’m sharing with you a family recipe I made healthier by using whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I cut out a whole cup of unneeded sugar and replaced one of the remaining two cups with honey. With whole wheat flour, less sugar and all the health benefits of pumpkin, you can enjoy an entire slice of this bread instead of picking at it like a bird. Pumpkin is low in calories, yet it is a good source of fiber, vitamin A and iron. My pumpkin bread recipe is quite simple to put together. Here I’ve made one loaf with nuts and one without. You could freeze one loaf and pull it out one night to thaw and serve as breakfast the next morning.
PECAN PUMPKIN BREAD
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup corn oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together. Break eggs into a separate small bowl so that you can fish out shells if needed. Make a well with your fist in the middle of the flour mixture. Add eggs, oil, water and pumpkin. Beat with hand mixer until smooth, about two minutes. Add sugar and honey. Beat another two minutes until smooth.
Spray two 9 x 5″ loaf pans with nonstick spray. Add half the batter to one pan. Add 1/2 cup of pecans to remaining batter and stir to combine. To save time chasing renegade nuts, place them in a Ziploc bag before you chop them up. You’ll spend a lot less time cleaning up afterward too! Pour nut batter into second loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of pecans on top of nut batter. Bake both at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool briefly then run a knife around the around the outside of the pan. Remove bread and cook on rack.
Enjoy the smells and flavors of fall!
My kids love to help me bake and cook. I enjoy teaching them what I know. Cooking together provides an opportunity to encourage them to try new foods and helps them learn about making healthy choices. The girls even put to use some of the math lessons they are learning at school as they count measurements or talk about how many half cups make a whole. Little John practices his motor skills by stirring, scooping and tasting, of course. It’s also a good lesson in helping out and cleaning up. (We need all the help we can get around here teaching that.) But today baking bread was simply a chance to spend quality time, talking and laughing, with my not-so-little pumpkin.