Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pumpkin Puree = Thoughtful Present

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And to everyone who braved Black Friday, I hope you've recovered, too!

Now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone, many people are making two realizations. One, they have many presents to get without much time to do it. Two, they have random leftover canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree and they have no clue what to do with it.

Why not kill two birds with one stone and make pumpkin bread as a holiday gift? I made pumpkin bread for the first time a few years ago based on a Greg request. I poked around on the internet, found a winner recipe on (which I promptly futzed around with), and I've faithfully made it every year since. Pumpkin bread is something that is always appreciated, very tasty and appropriate with the season, and for some reason, it seems to be overlooked as a pastry item that people bake. I love whipping up this stuff; you can make it in big loaves or lots of little loaves, and you can mix in all kinds of things, like chocolate, raisins, coconut, or nuts, to make it your own, or just leave it as is. It also freezes like a dream and is super easy to ship.

One problem with my old recipe, though - although dairy-free because I use applesauce (which makes it very low fat, too!), my recipe had eggs. I had some thoughts for veganizing the recipe, and then I ran across the pumpkin muffin recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance. I borrowed some tips from that recipe, combined them with the old recipe, and bam - a new vegan treat that still is low in fat!

Pumpkin Bread
Yields: 1 regular loaf

1 1/4 c. raw sugar
1 c. canned or pureed pumpkin
1/2 c. soy milk
1/2 c. applesauce
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 3/4 c. flour (all-purpose or whole wheat or a mixture)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice

1) Combine sugar, pumpkin, soy milk, applesauce, and molasses. Let sit for about a minute so sugar crystals dissolve.
2) Slowly add remaining ingredients until batter just comes together.
3) If desired, stir in mix-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, flaxseed, or coconut would be great.
4) Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, and then turn down temperature and bake an additional 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
5) Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove loaf from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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