Healthier Pumpkin Quick Bread
Put down that box of pumpkin quick bread mix from TJs. No, I'm not kidding. It's loaded with sugar, which gives the bread moisture but also hides most of the pumpkin flavor and sends you into a sugar high if you eat the bread for breakfast. Instead try the recipe below. It incorporates whole grain flour, a reasonable amount of sugar, and is quite moist from the pumpkin. Plus the pumpkin flavor isn't hidden beneath a mound of sugar. The bread actually tastes like pumpkin--surprise! I opt for topping the bread with pecans, which toast up sweet and fragrant while the bread bakes, rather than folding the nuts into the batter. Just beware of kitchen elves who will try to steal the crunchy nuts off the top of the baked bread. The bread is great for breakfast as well as dessert--assuming the elves don't eat it all. Unfortunately, the elves got to the bread--they said it was good!-- before I could take a picture of the whole loaf. Hungry, hungry elves!
Healthier Pumpkin Quick Bread -- Makes 1 Loaf
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of canola oil
2/3 cup of low-fat milk
2/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3/4 cup of white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 of pecan halves or pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with foil and spray the foil. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, oil, milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla well. Add the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and stir everything with a spoon until all the ingredients are just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle on the pecans, pressing them into the batter just a little to settle them. Bake the bread for about an hour or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove it.