Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

It's October.

That can only mean one thing.

It's time for pumpkin-flavored things! All the many delicious pumpkin breads and pies and drinks and smoothies and soups and stews and side dishes. Yum. Yum. Yum. It's a little-known fact that the 10th month of the year was named October because it is the primary month of pumpkin-picking season, and the capital "O" looks exactly like a pumpkin (I totally made that up).

We are a family of pumpkin super-fans. CaveBoy would eat pumpkin pie every single night if we had it in the house. He's been known to claim an entire pumpkin pie for himself on Thanksgiving morning (and hold us to that claim). And my sister and I spent our childhood fighting over my aunt's pumpkin bread.

Even though we now follow an anti-inflammation eating plan, our tastes haven't changed. We still love pumpkin-flavored things. So I've been working hard to develop paleo versions of our favorite recipes. Many of you might think, "oh, it's the holidays! It's just one time a year! Consider it a cheat and eat the real thing!" And you'd have a point... Except... I can't... I'm straight-up allergic to wheat. Too much sugar makes me feel awful. And I don't tolerate even the tiniest bit of dairy (yep. I know. I'm a mess.).

The good part about all that is I'm super-motivated to develop delicious, health-promoting versions of my favorite treats. And it means that you can take advantage of these recipes, to nourish yourself and enjoy the season, without declaring every day a cheat day.

This recipe took me four tries before I was happy. The first version was based on the batter for my Banana Cream Cake. The banana version was so amazing I figured it would be easy to make it into a pumpkin bread. Unfortunately, the bread turned out super dense (whereas the banana cake was light and airy). It tasted amazing. But it wasn't quite worthy of comparison with my aunt's traditional recipe.

Then I found a recipe for Naturally Red Velvet Cupcakes. These little babies look so delicious I just know they will be one of my go-to birthday treats. I also was attracted to the "velvety" texture for my pumpkin bread. So, I took note of the wet-to-dry ratios and started working on a pumpkin version.

While I stuck pretty true to her recipe (besides my addition of all the right seasonings), I did reduce the sweetener quite a bit. I find that most paleo treat recipes are overloaded with honey or maple syrup (at what point are they no longer paleo?), and they leave a funny taste in my mouth. I prefer to taste the pumpkin and the spices instead of just sweet. If you have more of a sweet tooth than I do, you might want to double the maple syrup (or try it my way first and see why I like it so much...).

Pumpkin Bread

So delicious, you won't want to share.


3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup tapioca flour (starch)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup grass fed butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional, but recommended)
2 tablespoons orange juice (or apple cider)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, cinnamon, all spice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt). Make sure spices and baking powder are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and maple syrup. Add eggs, orange juice, vanilla, and pumpkin. Whisk to combine.

Slowly add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Whisk to fully combine.

Grease two small loaf pans with coconut oil spray. Pour in batter and smooth into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are brown, the center is firm, and the pumpkin bread passes the toothpick test. About 35 to 45 minutes.

You also could use this same recipe to make 12 pumpkin muffins. Just reduce the baking time to 30 to 35 minutes.

How pretty are these?

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