Don’t overlook the mighty pumpkin after Halloween! They’re in season in the UK until the end of the year, so there’s still time left to enjoy them. We recommend this lightly spiced pumpkin bread for your next baking session…
Stewed or roasted into soups and curries, baked into cakes, muffins and pancakes – pumpkins and squashes are so versatile. They’re also rich in all the good stuff – that bright orange flesh is an indication that they’re high in beta-carone – a powerful antioxidant, which is said to ward off all manner of illnesses.
You’ll need to add in an extra step before making this bread, in order to prepare the pumpkin puree, but we promise it’s easy and worth it. And you can use if for other things too (pumpkin waffles, anyone? We also hear it’s a great baby food). The best way to cook the pumpkin is to heat the oven to 200c, clean the skin, stab it a few times all over with a sharp knife, then bake it whole. It will take around 45-60 depending on the size of your pumpkin. You’ll know it’s ready when the skin is soft and slightly blistered, and you can pierce it easily. Leave it for about 20 minutes or so until it’s cool enough to handle, then cut it in half and scoop out the puree – you’ll get around 1-2 cups. Of course you can also do this step in advance and keep the puree in the fridge for a day or two.
Adapt this bake in the same you would banana bread – adding extra nuts (pecans, walnuts), raisins or dark chocolate chips.
You will need:
- 40g (1/3 cup) quality unsalted butter or coconut oil (We use Lucy Bee)
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) honey
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 200g (1 cup) of home-made pumpkin puree, cooled (see note above)
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) organic milk of choice
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1/2 tsp natural vanilla seeds (optional)
- Spice mix: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice
- 245g (1 3/4 cups) wholegrain spelt flour or wholewheat flour
- 75g (1/2 cup) optional add-ins e.g. roughly chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins, dark chocolate chunks (we used pecans and raisins)
- Line a loaf tray with baking paper, or grease well. Heat the oven to 165°C/325°F/gas 3.
- Gently heat the butter or coconut oil in the microwave or in a pan. Transfer to a large bowl, then add the honey and whisk the together until well combined. Let it cool.
- Add the eggs and whisk for a few seconds, then whisk in the pumpkin puree and milk, then the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla, spices and a large pinch of sea salt, until combined.
- Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon until just combined. Finally stir in any extras (if using).
- Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 mins until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If it browns too much during cooking, cover with foil.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store… in a sealed container in a cool, dark place for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for 5-7 days. This also freezes well, in slices, for up to 3 months.
Don’t worry if you don’t have… nutmeg, allspice or vanilla. Just cinnamon will add enough spice and flavour by itself.
Swap… the honey for brown rice syrup or maple syrup.
Adapt… Don’t have pumpkin at home? Use a cup of ripe, mashed banana instead.
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Recipe adapted from our Easy Banana Bread recipe