Pumpkin bread brings back many memories for me – most of all, sitting at my desk at work in downtown Manhattan, enjoying a super strong cappuccino and my colleague’s freshly-home-baked pumpkin bread while tapping away at my keyboard and getting things done. Fall for me is a time for new: new goals, crisp cool air, making travel plans, eating hearty vegetables. You wake up from the languid summer ready to go, go, go. Unfortunately for me there’s no real fall or autumn since I moved back to India – it’s pretty much the same weather every day. Instead I just reminisce the good times and good weather and try to recreate them in whatever way possible – which is why I made this healthier pumpkin bread.
It can’t get more pumpkin-y and spicy than this version of healthier pumpkin bread – with a whopping 380g grams of pumpkin puree! As for the spices, if you come within a few feet of the bread once baked, the smell is actually intoxicating. Cinnamon, clove and vanilla are commonly available in India. Allspice and nutmeg aren’t used very much in our cuisine but they’re also available – I found nutmeg by the brand Keya and allspice by Naturesmith’s in a couple of local grocery stores. If you don’t have them or can’t find them, you can skip them. I used a mix of olive oil and grapeseed oil but rice bran oil would also work. For me, the sugar content is just perfect – neither too sweet nor too plain – but if you like your bread a little sweeter you can up the sugar.
Even if you think you’re not into pumpkin I’d encourage you to give this healthier pumpkin bread a shot – it’s seriously delicious and will open up your palate to new flavors. If you do try it, let me know what you think! You can add in chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds or any other add-ins that you like. For more of my musings on pumpkin and a recipe for pumpkin gnocchi and pumpkin spiced chocolate chip cookies, check out my story on India Food Network here.
- 380g pumpkin puree (if you are making your own by baking fresh pumpkin, the puree should be thick - ensure that you don't add any water)
- 2 eggs
- 200g brown sugar
- 2½ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp clove, crushed to a powder
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 90ml grapeseed oil or rice bran oil or olive oil (I used 60ml grapeseed and 30ml olive oil)
- 210g whole wheat flour (you can also use all-purpose flour or a combination of the two)
- 1 heaped tsp baking powder
- 30-40ml milk
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Add the spices and salt to the pumpkin puree and set aside.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together.
- Add the oil(s) and beat once again. Add the spiced pumpkin puree to the mix.
- Add the baking powder into the flour. Sift part of the flour and baking powder mix into the wet mixture and combine. Alternate by adding 1-2 tbsp milk to the mix and repeat. Use up to 40ml milk as needed.
- Bake in a greased 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan at 180C for 65-75 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. After about 45 minutes, check the bread and cover with foil if necessary to avoid burning the top.
- The bread keeps well for 1-2 days.