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Pumpkin bread – original and healthy makeover

I had leftover canned pumpkin in the fridge, and I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. Since I’m always cooking for 1 (and a mini), I often have leftovers so I’ve learned to love them. I hunted down this recipe for pumpkin bread from My Baking Addition. Her blog is great, lots of things I want to try, like mac n cheese with roasted chicken, goat cheese and rosemary – yum!

So I made a half version of the pumpkin bread recipe exactly as written and it was delicious! Leia ate two big slices and I ate…well, I’m not going to admit how much I polished off because it’s embarrassing. It was even better the next morning with – you guessed it – cranberry sauce on top. If you’re looking for an easy treat to give for holiday gifts or to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, look no further.

The downside? The full recipe has 1 cup of oil and 2 1/2 cups of sugar – yikes. Especially if I wanted to make this for Leia, I really wanted to try a healthier version.

I had two old bananas in the fridge (see, I told you I can’t throw things away), so I thought they would be a good substitute for the oil. Normally when doing a substitute I only do half (so half banana, half oil), but I really wanted to use up both the bananas. Will swapping banana, or any fruit puree for that matter, for oil change the texture of the bread? Yes. Normally I’m picky about texture, especially in cookies and brownies. I’m okay with the changes in a bread. I used less sugar, hoping the sweetness of the banana would come through in that department as well. I used half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. I was out of pumpkin pie spice (gasp!) and nutmeg so I just guess on the amounts of cinnamon and ginger. The measurements are for a half size of the original recipe.

Preheat over to 350. Spray a bread pan with nonstick spray (liberally).

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 really ripe bananas (which measured about 3/4 cup, more than the 1/2 cup of oil required for a half recipe but darn it I’m using all the bananas!)

2/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs (mix in a small bowl separately before adding)

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup all purpose flour (I didn’t level the top, so it’s probably a little more than 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup whole wheat flour (ditto)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp baking soda

I didn’t use a mixer, I just dumped the wet ingredients in a big bowl and folded it together with a spatula then dumped in the dry ingredients and folded until everything was moist. No over mixing here. Bake for 50 or so minutes. I take mine out when it’s still a little wet in the center (a little, not a lot) and let the residual heat cook it through.

It was pretty good! Not as sinfully good as the first round with the oil and more sugar – but definitely good enough to make again. The banana flavor sort of overpowered the pumpkin so I might try it again with 1 banana (or make a full sized recipe). The bread was still moist and sweet.


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