I wouldn’t call myself a baker, mostly because when I was in culinary school I majored in Culinary Arts (Savory) rather than Baking & Patisserie. While I absolutely love all baked goods and I enjoy making really good well tested recipes, actually testing out my own recipes is a frustrating feat.
In savory cooking when you are not dealing with measurements and exact science it is easier to imagine and create fabulous meals. But if I have an idea for a baking recipe, I just anticipate weeks and weeks of tweaking and wasting ingredients if they come out to flat, burnt, dense, soggy, or just wrong. This struggle gets even harder when you give yourself the obstacle of not using extremely processed fats and oils. Finding the right proportion and substitutes using whole foods like chia seeds, flax seeds, mashed fruit, and fruit juices can be daunting.
But lucky for you, I was in an experimenting kind mood the last 3 weeks. In my giddy anticipation for fall I wanted to make a sweet bread that was super moist, packed with fall flavor that was made with more wholesome ingredients than your standard loaf.Rather than margarine or oil, I utilized the natural moisture of pureed roasted pumpkin and maple syrup. Instead of using eggs as a binder, I experimented with ground chia seeds to “gel” the liquids with the dry ingredients. And to boost the nutrition and fiber just a little more I decided to use whole grain spelt flour and mineral rich coconut sugar. The loaf was great on its own but I wanted to add a bit of color and tang, so adding whole tart cranberries brought the perfect balance and festive holiday color!
This loaf came out better than I could have ever imagined and it’s SO SIMPLE TO MAKE!
This loaf is
- perfectly spiced
- bursting with tart berries
- low fat
- and packed with fiber!
I hope you make this recipe to share with your friends and family this holiday season. This would make a great gift, if you are into giving foods rather than booze. But first make it for yourself so you can snatch a slice anytime you have a hankering for some fall spirit.
Spiced Pumpkin Loaf with Cranberries
Ultra moist, and festive whole grain pumpkin bread filled with warming spices and speckled with bright tart cranberries. The ultimate holiday bread perfect for gift giving, and it's LOW-FAT!
- 2 2/3 c. spelt flour
- 1/2 c. coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1.5 c. pumpkin puree
- 2/3 c. unsweetened plant milk (I like soy)
- 1/2 c. pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. frozen or fresh cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lined two loaf pans ( or 3-4 mini loaf pans) with parchment paper. You can also use silicone or non-stick loaf pans.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, chia seeds, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and baking soda, whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, plant milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, whisk to combine. Add in the cranberries.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a spatula fold the mixture until the flour is mostly absorbed and combined.
Pour the batter equally into each loaf pan and tap the pan to get rid of any large air bubbles. Bake on the middle rack for 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and set loaf pans on a wire rack, let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Then remove from the pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
Slice and serve or wrap in plastic wrap, then seal in freezer bags to store in the freezer for later.
This will make 2 regular loaves or 3-4 mini loaves(depending on how tall or shallow you want them). I like using mini loaf pans , so I can have one on the counter and others wrapped in the freezer. Making mini loaves is also great for gift giving!