FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.
A sweet way to eat a vegetable for breakfast
“Can’t have that with fall coming,” I thought. And apparently so did a lot of other folks, because when I got to the grocery store, they were almost out of cinnamon on the spice shelves.
This is the time of year when cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice become the stars of my spice cabinet.
A lot of stuff sold under the “pumpkin spice” descriptor doesn’t include any actual pumpkin. If your pumpkin spice latte leaves you craving the real thing, I would suggest whipping up a simple batch of pumpkin bread.
I have used many different pumpkin bread recipes, but this simple one, which actually comes from the can of Libby’s brand pumpkin puree, is one of the best I’ve had. The original recipe calls for more sugar than this, but I knocked it down a bit and still found it to be plenty sweet. I also added some whole-grain flours, but you could certainly make this with all white flour or any other flour combination you prefer. You could also probably reduce the amount of oil, or replace some of it with yogurt, to make a lower-fat version.
As for pumpkin, there is nothing wrong with canned pumpkin, in fact it might be better than homemade puree in some instances because it has less water. We got about eight butternut squash in our fall CSA box, so that’s what is going into all of my pumpkin cooking this year.
If you are new to using real pumpkin, I would suggest avoiding the common orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins. These are usually too watery for baking. Instead, opt for butternut, for the smaller “pie pumpkins” sold in grocery stores or for an heirloom variety like Long Island Cheese, which has thicker walls and meatier flesh than carving pumpkins.
Once you’ve baked up a few loaves of this bread, your kitchen will smell so warm and inviting you’ll want to stay there and cook a gourmet meal. This bread beats a big fat orange candle any day.
If you want dried fruit or nuts, add a cup of each as desired. Roasting the nuts ahead of time by popping them in the pre-heated oven on a baking sheet for five minutes or so will add a richer flavor. The red punch of dried cranberries adds a really nice color contrast against the orange-ish bread. If you want to pump up the orange color, add a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric to the dry ingredients.
adapted from Libby’s
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 cups pumpkin (or butternut squash) puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer, if using), beat eggs, then add oil, pumpkin and sugars. Mix until smooth.
Pour dry ingredients into wet, and mix gently until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide batter between two loaf pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out dry.
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