“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.”I love pumpkin, and if you haven't had much experience with it...well, 'tis the season. You know, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and all that. People joke about everything being pumpkin spiced this time of year. If you are like me and you love pumpkin, you should be encouraged to know it is a true superfood.
― Sarah Addison Allen,
But if you don't like pumpkin, this pumpkin bread recipe doesn't have to include pumpkin. It can be made using apples or carrots or even butternut squash instead of pumpkin. A combination of apples and butternut squash is your healthiest replacement for pumpkin. Butternut squash is so filled with fiber and nutrients and I have not yet found a way to incorporate it into a dish I like. But what's not to like about a Butternut Apple Loaf. It's fall and 'tis the season for winter squashes, root vegetables and apple picking, so improvise.
This recipe is super-nutritious, packed with sprouted ancient grains and seeds, healthy fats, healthy sweeteners.
Healthy sweeteners? Yes, I use two of them in this recipe. The most healthy one is blackstrap molasses. Read my post on organic blackstrap molasses. It is a superfood in its own right. It's a tremendous source of magnesium and calcium and in the right ratio. My second sweetener is basically sugar, but it's a much healthier sugar than the white granular stuff you buy at the store. Sucanat looks like brown sugar but it is evaporated organic whole cane juice, filled with nutrients. It's basically what sugar is before all the processing. It's not as sweet as sugar though, but you can puree organic raisins, dates, figs or prunes to add sweetener
Keep in mind most recipes call for 2-3 cups of sugar to 3 cups of flour in a pumpkin bread recipe, but mine only uses 1 cup of succanat and 6 tbsp of the blackstrap molasses. I put twice (or more) the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in my recipe, and spices make it satisfying to me in spite of the mild sweet taste. But by adding pureed fruits to taste, you can make it sweet to taste and you'll be adding whole food and fiber to your pumpkin bread/muffins instead of empty sugar calories.
All of the grains and seeds used in this recipe are sprouted and organic. You can sprout them yourself or buy them already sprouted. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you links for purchasing organic sprouted nuts and flours.
Gluten-Free Ancient Grain Pumpkin Bread
Soak your flax seeds overnight before using (or a minimum of four hours), then add the rest of your wet ingredients and blend it all together with an immersion blender:
1/3 cup fresh ground soaked whole organic flaxseeds
6 tbsp organic blackstrap molasses
6 figs (or prunes or dates) or three mini-boxes of organic raisins (remember this will be pureed)
1/4 cup grass-fed butter
*vegans can double up on the coconut oil and leave the butter out or replace butter with avocado oil for savory flavor
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice (aka sucanat)
*sucanat is dry but you want to blend it into your wet ingredients before folding in your other dry ingredients
3 pastured or organic eggs
*some recipes call for 4 eggs, but soaked flaxseeds are an egg substitute, so use 3 or 2 or 1 or if you are vegan none, your preference, just be sure to add 2 tbsp of soaked flaxseed for every egg you omit
2 tsp vanilla
15-18 oz mashed cooked pumpkin or canned organic pumpkin puree (can substitute with two cans of mashed carrots, two cups of mashed cooked butternut squash, mashed fresh-cooked carrots or mashed cooked apples)
Combine all of these ingredients together in one "dry" bowl and sift and mix well:
3.25 cups organic gluten-free ancient grain flour mix
*see mix below
1 1/2 tsp Bob's Red Mill baking soda (the brand makes a difference)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh ground cloves
6 tsp ceylon cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped organic sprouted walnuts
You can mix and match sprouted gluten-free flours however you like but this is how I make my "Organic gluten-free ancient grain flour mix" and it gives me an amazing mix of proteins and nutrients in a simple morning muffin--and it turns out perfect every time:
1/4 cup sprouted buckwheat flour
1/4 cup sprouted amaranth flour
1/4 cup sprouted quinoa flour
1/4 cup potato starch (or arrowroot)
1/2 cup sprouted sorghum flour
1/4 cup sprouted brown rice flour
1/2 cup sprouted oat flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
3 tbsp ground psyllium husks
All my sprouted flours are organic. Email me for my latest "best source" for these organic, sprouted flours.
Gradually pour dry ingredients into wet bowl until mixed well. Pour into two loaf pans and bake for 40-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for one hour before slicing.
Remember, all the varieties have different cooking times. The thin cake may take only 20 minutes, muffins may take 25-40, depending on how big you make them, and the bundt pan will take 40 minutes to cook a pumpkin bread.
I like pumpkin loaf to eat that night and pumpkin muffins to eat the next few days (and freeze) and this recipe makes 1 pumpkin loaf and 12 small-medium muffins.
Remember, overcooking your muffins can make them too dry and hard the next day, too many eggs can make them rubbery, and overmixing or leaving out the baking powder can make them lose their fluffiness. You don't want pumpkin rocks, you want pumpkin muffins.
My pumpkin bread and muffins are truly not very sweet, but when I bring some to my daughter who insists on super sweet pumpkin bread, instead of adding sweetener, I prefer to make a healthy icing with organic cream cheese slowly melted in a pan with virgin coconut oil, then mixed with organic raw honey after allowing it to cool some (you don't want to overheat raw honey and lose its benefits). The coconut oil and cream cheese both will stiffen as they cool and become harder to mix, so don't wait too long to add in the honey, but it will give you a stiffer icing without having to use powdered sugar or cornstarch. If you slather it onto the top of your warm pumpkin loaf, it will slightly melt into the loaf and then stiffen back up as the loaf cools.