Although the changing of the leaves is not even a consideration here in the District yet, the pumpkin spice lattes are in full force in the Starbucks lines. Let it rain pumpkin, right? I mean, it is almost October. (what?)
As much as I typically deter myself from encompassing that dreaded #basicbitch label, in this instance I can't and won't deny it. Walking down the aisles of Trader Joe's is somewhat torturous for me these days. Pumpkin cookies? No worries, 10 kinds at your finger tips. Pumpkin pancakes? You got it. Coffee? Hell yeah. Beer? 25 varieties. Seriously...
Despite the insurmountable amount of pumpkin baked goods hitting the shelves, this wholesome bread is so worth tossing in the oven in place of those sugar filled, processed varieties. By choosing this bread over the rest, you'll be feeding your body nourishing whole grains, fiber, + satiating protein while skipping the processed, artificial BS that leaves you feeling bloated and actually resembling that muffin top you just ate.
What's so not #basic about this bread?
- Pumpkin puree: Pumpkin itself (no sugar added) is a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Translated, this basically means pumpkin has anti-cancer properties, may help ward off colds, keeps us regular, and actually contains more potassium per cup than a banana! Post work-out pumpkin shake, anyone?
- Flax egg: vegan egg alternative, this helps bind the bread together and also gives a fiber boost!
- Gluten free oats: whole grain, protein + fiber rich.
- Almond Flour: plant-based, gluten free alternative flour.
- Coconut Oil: a medium chain triglyceride; more easily absorbed than long chain triglycerides. Aka less likely to be stored as 'fat' in the body. Good source of fuel. Also contains antimicrobial properties. Smells & tastes delicious!
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): excellent source of protein, fiber, heart-hearthy magnesium, and zinc for immune support. Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin, which in turn gets processed into melatonin (sleep hormone). Hello dreamland.
Have I convinced you yet?
Not Your #basicbitch Pumpkin Bread: GF & Vegan
3/4 C. pumpkin puree (unsweetened, organic)
1.5 Flax eggs (1.5 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 4 Tbsp water)
1/4 C. coconut oil, melted
1/3 small ripe banana, mashed
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1.5-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (depending on flavor preference)
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 C. water
1 & 1/4 C. GF quick oats
1/2 C. almond meal
1/2 C. GF flour (I used Bob's Redmill)
small handful of pepitas
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with a fair amount of coconut oil to prevent bread from sticking. Prepare the flax egg and set aside for about 5 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken. Combine pumpkin puree, flax egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, banana, and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl. Next, add your brown sugar, spices, sea salt, baking soda, water, and mix well. Toss in the oats/flours and combine all ingredients evenly. Spread mixture evenly into loaf pan, then sprinkle pepitas on top.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until top is golden and toothpick can easily slide through clean.
NOTE: You can easily skip the 'gluten free' variation by just replacing the GF oats with regular oats, along with subbing the almond flour + GF flour for 1 C. of white, whole wheat flour instead. I say white, whole wheat for the simple reasoning that it will turn out fluffier than regular whole wheat flour.
And FYI, this probably won't be the last pumpkin recipe of the season ;). Enjoy folks!