Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin-zucchini bread or muffins

Pumpkin loaves
Originally uploaded by love_yellow

I always crave baked goods made with pumpkin at this time of the year. Finally, I think I've nearly perfected a recipe for pumpkin bread that has whole wheat flour, less sugar and less oil.

Baking is tricky because you can't just make straight substitutions without sometimes serious consequences, so it really is a trial and error process. The biggest consequence I usually face is that my baked goods end up being too dry and tasting like cardboard (at least that's what my husband says).

Finally, through several tries and errors I have come up with a healthy recipe that is moist and delicious and doesn't give you the terrible sugar spike. The only part of the recipe that's not perfect is that I've resorted to using Splenda which I don't generally like to do - so I"m still working on how to replace that with stevia without compromising the texture and moistness and taste, of course.

I also added a few extra chopped walnuts because the crunch gives it a nice texture and of course adds other beneficial nutrients. I also like that the nuts add protein and good fat to an otherwise almost all carb bread.

So here's the recipe for 3 loaves (maybe it's 4). Or 2 loaves and about 12 muffins. Sorry I can't remember exactly the quantity - I didn't use standard size loaf pans this last time. You might as well make a big batch because the incremental amount of work to make 4 loaves is not that much. It freezes really well so if you make it soon, you'll have some in your freezer that you can whip out for Thanksgiving.

I used mostly organic ingredients - good ingredients always improves the flavor. I found organic pumpkin puree and organic zucchini at Trader Joe's.

Pumpkin-zucchini bread or muffins

* 1.5 cups Splenda
* 3/4 cup honey
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
* 6 large eggs
* 2 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
* 2 cups shredded zucchini
* 6 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour four 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar, honey, applesauce and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. For medium size muffins it takes about 20 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
If you try it, let me know how it goes.

I made some for my brunch party today.

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