Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Simple and Delicious Family Cooking: Wholesome, Healthy Pumpkin Bread

I wish I had a photo of this bread before slicing; it comes out with the most gorgeous 
shape and a domed top that cracks into the perfect tender-yet-crusty crown. Truly.

You know I'm a muffin addict: they're so packable, so portable. I bake them all the time. But sometimes you just want to make a nice, hefty, gorgeous loaf of bread.

My friend Tracy asked me for my "healthier" pumpkin bread recipe the other day, so I thought I'd put it up here for you all, too. This recipe is based on one from Good Housekeeping magazine a few years back; I've tweaked it a little here and there and it's my new favorite pumpkin bread recipe for sure.

This bread boasts vitamin-rich pumpkin, unsaturated (read: good for you) fat in the form of canola oil (you could also use coconut oil, melted to liquid consistency; if you do this, make sure the rest of your ingredients are at ROOM TEMPERATURE rather than cold), plain yogurt for protein, and whole-grain flour for fiber. If you use egg whites instead of a whole egg, you'll have a cholesterol-free loaf, too. Either way, you've got a tasty, wholesome, moist and yummy treat that's great for breakfast, after-school snack, or even packed in a lunchbox.

*Note: you could likely reduce the sugar amount here to 2/3 cup; I have not tried it, because I've already reduced it down from 1 cup in the original recipe. But if you try it, be sure to let me know how it turns out. Usually a modification like that is just fine.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread
16 slices


3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large egg whites OR 1 whole large egg
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling); if I'm using canned, I just use 1/2 the can and  don't bother measuring
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose white OR Ultragrain all-purpose flour (I like to use the Ultragain to get more whole grains in there; check your supermarket)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a standard-sized loaf pan with nonstick baking spray (the kind with flour inside works best).

In a large bowl, use a wire whisk to combine the brown sugar and egg whites or whole egg. Add pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla and beat with wooden spoon to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add this flour mixture to the wet mixture; stir just until combined and do not over-mix. Pour batter into greased pan.

Bake for 30 minutes; then check to see if the top is getting really brown. If it is, and it probably will be, tent a sheet of foil over the pan to prevent further browning, and bake bread for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack, then invert bread out of the pan onto the rack to cool completely.

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