Food + Wine

For Realz Healthy Pumpkin Bread

It’s pumpkin season! Although if you’re involved in anything online you would be under the impression that it’s been pumpkin season for two months now…and that Christmas could very well be tomorrow.  (I’m thinking the Easter Bunny will be here in no time.)
It’s my favorite time of year, Fall. I love everything about it. I find my happiness and my peace in the cool weather, when the wind makes the leaves dance and the air smells of burning wood. I love opening the windows in my house and putting on thick socks because my toes are cold for the first time in 6 months. And I love baking again.

I went into the kitchen today (a.k.a. my office) to make a healthier version of my Pumpkin Apple Bread.(
I’ve been in a major health kick lately so I’m really into transforming my older recipes into super healthy ones if it works. And by healthy I mean wheat free, butter and vegetable oil free, and as dairy free as I can get it because I love a good challenge. But I refuse to sacrifice flavor, so I’m pretty picky about the process.  I love when I can use oats in my baked goods because #1) They’re so nutritious, #2) They’re easy to find and #3) Most ‘diets’ allow them. I also love using coconut flour and coconut oil in my quick breads because the flavor is so great and it’s high in good fat and nutrition. So all of those things led me to writing this recipe.
The batter came out really well, the consistency is exactly what I was looking for, and it tasted excellent raw so I was feeling pretty good about my new project! I put it in the oven and waited for my house to smell like happiness.
If this were like the old days, I would have had the time to sit around and wait for the bread to be done. But since I’m now officially a crazy lady with barely time to breathe, I had to pull my loaf out early to go pick up my son from school and put it back in once we returned. No problem, right? Well when we returned, it was now time to finish cooking our dinner, have food ready for the clients who were picking it up in 20 minutes, bathe the kids, pack a school lunch, feed the animals AND finish baking the Pumpkin Bread. (I miss the old days.)
I did my juggling, as I’m so used to doing, keeping all my balls in the air…pets were fed…kids were clean and dinner was finishing in the oven as the bread was firming up. And it smelled heavenly. (Awesome!) Once the bread was done, I reached in to pull it out and as it was hovering in the air somewhere between oven rack and counter top, I felt my grip loosen. I saw it happen, you see, I saw the glass pan slowly, and yet simultaneously so quickly, slip from my oven-mitted fingers and fall face down into the floor of my hot oven while hitting the door and the under-broiler area before it landed. I just sat there and stared at it. Oven door open, pumpkin bread splattered and frying before my eyes and I didn’t know how to react. If you’ve ever tried to clean up an oven mess in the oven while it’s hot, you know how very hard it is to do. There were spatulas involved, lots of paper towels, I think I pulled out some sort of spray cleaner product, and lots of words were spoken through gritted teeth that I choose to keep between me and that oven. When my husband walked in the door I was on hands and knees halfway inside the broiler.
My house went from smelling like yummy pumpkin bread to burnt crap very quickly.  So, needless to say, I don’t have a loaf of yummy pumpkin bread to share with you. I have a crumbly mess of large and small pieces of what used to be yummy pumpkin bread to share with you. 
But you know what? It’s still tastes damn good. One might even call it yummy. And it’s still Fall! The leaves are still dancing, my windows are still open, (although instead of smelling burning wood in the air, I’m smelling burning pumpkin bread), my toes are delightfully cool and I will be more than happy to have a fistful of this bread for breakfast tomorrow morning on the couch with my thick socks on. 
*A Healthier Pumpkin Bread
(Yields 1 large loaf…or 1 large mess)
-2 cups oat flour*
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1 TB baking powder
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-a good pinch of ground nutmeg, ground cardamom, and ground allspice 
-2 large eggs, room temp
-3 TB coconut oil
-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1/2 cup light agave nectar 
-1 cup plain pumpkin purée (1/2 a can)
-1 cup coconut milk**
Using a whisk, beat your room temperature eggs with the coconut oil (this is so the oil doesn’t harden up due to the chill of the eggs), the applesauce, agave and coconut milk until well combined. (Be sure that the coconut oil isn’t in hard chunks.).
Add in all your dry ingredients and using the whisk, beat until fully combined but be sure not to over-beat. 
Pour your batter into a greased loaf pan, (a glass one is best…although slippery) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. It’s done when the edges are golden and have pulled away from the sides of the pan, and the center doesn’t jiggle when you shake it. 
Allow to cool on a rack until it’s easy to handle, then remove it from the pan. 
Serve warm alone or with some cream cheese. 
(*to make oat flour just take your rolled oats and process them in a clean coffee grinder or food processor until it becomes a flour.)
(**This can be made with the true, full-fat coconut milk found in the cans but the recipe above was made with the refrigerated kind that has stabilizers and cane sugar added b/c it’s just what I had open for cereal!  So feel free to adjust the agave to your liking if you use the unsweetened kind.)
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