Thursday, November 17, 2011

Healthy, Delicious Pumpkin Bread!

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I am totally loving all things pumpkin this season!  I carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and decorate my house with them until it's time to break out the Christmas Tree.  And of course, what's Thanksgiving without home made pumpkin pie?

There's so much more you can do with pumpkins.  I add it to stews, bean dishes, bread, muffins.  Mashed pumpkin with salt, pepper and a pat of vegan margarine is delicious instead of mashed potatoes. To satisfy a sweet craving, mash up cooked pumpkin and add cinnamon, nutmeg and very light drizzle of organic maple syrup.  I roast peeled, cubed pumpkin in the oven, too. Just toss them with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I even throw cubes of cooked pumpkin in my tossed green salads.

If you're not cooking with pumpkin, you should be!  IT'S LOW IN CALORIES, HAS VIRTUALLY NO FAT, AND IS LOADED WITH VITAMINS AND MINERALS.  Here's a little info on the health benefits of pumpkin: Eat Pumpkin For Health and Weightloss.

Pumpkin: buy it, cook it, and eat it.

Those are just a few ideas on what to do with pumpkin for every day eating. Now, let's get into the "sweeter side" of pumpkin!

It doesn't get sweeter than this: Pumpkin Bread from Veg News. This is a bit of a splurge but it's a healthy splurge. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and so begins The Season of Eating. It's time to gather with family and friends and indulge a bit. I don't believe in starvation or deprivation when it comes to weight loss and good health. But I do believe if we're gonna indulge, we need to make it count! This bread is perfect! Sweet, satisfying and loaded with good stuff: sunflower and pumpkin seeds (good fat), cranberries, a little fresh orange juice, and course, pumpkin. Slice it up and serve it warm to guests instead of cake or pie. It's really good for breakfast, too. Just be sure to skip the butter or cream cheese. If you want, toast the bread lightly and top it with a bit of applesauce.

Makes one loaf
What You Need:
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup Sucanat
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin purée
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for oiling pan
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
What You Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a loaf pan and toast for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer seeds to a small bowl. When pan is cool, lightly oil with olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, Sucanat, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add pumpkin purée, orange juice and zest, water, and oil, and stir gently to combine all ingredients.
  3. Stir in cranberries, ginger, and 2/3 of the toasted seeds. Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with remaining seeds and press into top of loaf. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
If you are interested in more pumpkin dishes, check out these other Cynfully Good recipes:

Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters
Pumpkin Curry

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