Pumpkin Bread

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It has been officially October for over a week and all I can think about is pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. From picking the perfect pumpkin for a Jack-o-Lantern to finding armloads of mini pumpkins to place all over my house to whipping up our favorite pumpkin recipes, the orange fruit is forefront in my mind.

Of all the pumpkin-related activities that you can do this fall, my favorite thing to do is make pumpkin baked goods. You all know that my absolutely, positively, #1 go-to pumpkin baked good is Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, but today I’m sharing my family’s ultimate pumpkin treat.

Good Old Fashion Pumpkin Bread.

I always notice that around Labor Day, boxed pumpkin bread mix starts appearing on store shelves in anticipation of the holiday baking rush. As much as I love and use boxed bread/muffin/cake/brownie mix, I think that some things taste better when you make them from scratch… and this pumpkin bread is one of those things. Try it once, and you’ll be hooked (promise!).

This bread has three teams of ingredients and comes together very quickly in the stand mixer. You can also use a hand mixer if that’s what you have.

The first team is the dry ingredient team.

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Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Blend those together and set aside while you get the second team together.

The second team is the wet ingredient team.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree. If you have homemade pumpkin puree, you are my hero and please use it here (and can you please send me some?). I always have canned pumpkin puree in my pantry from September thru January, so that’s my go-to. Beat the eggs and pumpkin together until combined.

Then, get together the third team… which is water. Yep, measure out ⅔ cup of water into a measuring cup with a spout.

And now you’re ready to make pumpkin bread (and yes, I may have forgotten to take photos but it’s easy!). With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients and water alternately, starting and ending with the flour.

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Mix the batter until just combined and pour it into two greased loaf pans with a sheet of parchment on the bottom (for easy removal). All that’s left is to bake them at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes.

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Divine!

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All that’s left is to let it cool slightly in the pans, turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, and then slice up for your family to enjoy.

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Or you could keep it all to yourself (I won’t judge!).

 

So, kiddos, what’s your favorite pumpkin baked good?

Your pumpkin obsessed friend,

C

Pumpkin Bread

  • Servings: 20 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

3½ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1-15oz can of pumpkin pureed – about 1⅓ cup homemade pumpkin puree

⅔ cup water

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray and place a rectangle of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan. An easy way to measure a piece of parchment that will fit is to outline the bottom of the loaf pan on the parchment and cut it out.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat together eggs, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients and water alternatively, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and pop the pans into the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information (1 slice):

274 calories Ÿ• 39gm carbohydrates •Ÿ 1gm fiber Ÿ• 4gm protein Ÿ• 12gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 313mg sodium Ÿ• 37mg cholesterol Ÿ• 2mg iron •Ÿ 29mg calcium

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

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Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend?

Did the time change totally throw you?

Oh, good… me too.

Sunday mornings are slightly busy around my house – getting up, feeding The Cat, trying to squeeze in a little exercise, making breakfast, watching my BFF Pioneer Woman on Food Network, getting ready for church, and actually physically get to the car to go to church. Like I said, we’re slightly busy.

Throw in a time change and things get crazy. But we got to church on time (victory!).

With my body still in early morning rotation mode, I woke up in time to whip up a hearty breakfast for my parents before the morning craziness got started.

A quick scan of the fridge revealed half a can of pureed pumpkin that was begging to be used. So I whipped up some pumpkin pancakes – a perfect Fall dish for a Spring (ahead) day!

The dry ingredients are simple.

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Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

The wet ingredients are just as simple.

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Skim milk, an egg, and the pureed pumpkin.

What I love about pancakes are their simplicity.

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Just add wet to dry and mix carefully to JUST combine everything together.

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Stir in some vanilla extract and some melted butter.

And plunk your batter onto a hot griddle.

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Pancake perfection.

My mom and I decided to play off our Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffin recipe and add in some mini chocolate chips.

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This is totally optional, but it added a little sugar to get us moving. Plus, pumpkin and chocolate = BFFs.

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All that’s left is to serve them up with a drizzle (okay, maybe a small river) of pancake syrup and dig in.

Enjoy, everyone.

Your fall-inspired breakfast lovin’, slightly sleep-deprived friend,

C

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1½ cup all-purpose flour

2½ tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg

1¼ cup milk

6 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together to combine.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the egg, milk, and pumpkin puree. Mix well to combine.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together until the batter is just combined. Stir in the vanilla and butter.
  5. Grease the griddle or skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Portion out ¼ cup servings of batter onto the skillet – sprinkle in mini-chocolate chips if desired. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown.

Serve immediately with warm syrup.

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Happy Last Monday of October! Can you believe that Halloween is on Friday? I may need to get more candy… *burp*

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.

Despite to proliferation of candy in my house, Halloween (to me at least) means pumpkin baked goods. And my favorite pumpkin baked good is pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

My parents discovered these nuggets of happiness during a winter festival in our downtown many, many years ago. They loved them so much and actually bought the muffin recipe book so that they could make them for the rest of their lives.

And they have. These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins have become insanely popular amongst our family and friends. They have become fixtures during our elementary school playdates, become a bonding moment with college roommates, and midnight snacks for dietetic interns.

All in all, they are pumpkin perfection. Here’s my adaptation of my favorite holiday treat.

In a skillet heated over medium heat, toast up some sliced almonds. Watch them carefully, or they’ll burn!

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A note about the type of almonds to use. My dad prefers sliced almonds. My mom prefers slivered almonds. My sister prefers no almonds. I prefer whatever gets the muffins into my mouth the fastest… and since I only had sliced almonds, that’s what I used. But feel free to use slivered almonds if you want. Follow your bliss!

In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

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Stir to combine.

Then in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can do this by hand if you want!), dump in some pumpkin puree and two eggs.

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Beat them together until combined.

Please excuse the dark, grainy photo…

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With the mixer on low, pour in some melted butter.

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Then slowly add in the dry ingredients.

When the dry ingredients are just combined, remove the bowl from the mixture and dump in the toasted slivered almonds and some mini chocolate chips.

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Stir to combine and then portion out into mini muffin tins.

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I used a tablespoon but a mini ice cream scooper would be the best to get each one the same size.

Then bake them up!

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And dig in!

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As much as I love them room temperature, they taste even better frozen (but that’s just me!). A spectacular treat for after-school snack, dessert, or midnight snack by the light of the fridge.

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Enjoy the last bit of October, kiddos.

Your pumpkin lovin’ friend,

C

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Servings: 40-48 mini muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

½ cup of raw almonds, slivered or sliced

1⅔ cups of all-purposed flour

1 cup of granulated sugar

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground allspice

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 heaping cup plain pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease 4 mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a skillet heated over medium heat, toss in the almonds and toast until golden brown.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or if you want to work out your arm muscles, you can mix the batter by hand!), add in pumpkin puree and eggs. Beat together until combined.
  5. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter. Stir until combined.
  6. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Remove from stand mixer.
  7. Fold in toasted almonds and mini chocolate chips. Using a tablespoon or a mini ice cream scoop, portion out the batter into the greased mini muffin tins.
  8. Bake the muffins for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool completely before serving… but they taste even better when frozen!

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Muffins by Elizabeth Alston.

Nutrition Information (1 muffin):

94 calories • 13gm carbohydrates • 1gm fiber • 1gm protein • 5gm fat • 2gm saturated fat • 63mg sodium • 17mg cholesterol • 1mg iron • 12mg calcium

Weekend Eating

I ate a lot this weekend.

Well, I normally eat a lot on the weekends, but this weekend was different… somehow.

I think what separated this weekend from the other 51 was that many meals I chose were seasonal and very fall-like. Nothing like celebrating the season with some good food (and good company!).

 

The weekend started with an amazing lunch during my tour of the urban gardens in the Bronx.

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Roasted chicken, sautéed spinach, rice pilaf studded with beans, peas, and corn, and a barley salad full of butternut squash, red bell pepper, and scallions. Delicious, nutritious, and warm – the perfect warm-up break during a soggy day touring through gardens.

Despite my filling lunch, I cannot be in NYC without getting a pretzel.

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No matter what, before I leave, I need to have a pretzel… extra salt, please!

 

Sunday mornings in my house means one thing – a big breakfast. Waffles or pancakes are on the menu, usually studded with chocolate chips. But, in deference to the season, we decided to dive into the world of pumpkin breakfast items.

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These are Smitten Kitchen’s pumpkin waffles. Pumpkin perfection (plus they make the house smell like pumpkin bread)!

I adorned my waffles with the two things that I love to pair with pumpkin – chocolate and almonds.

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Yum!

The best fuel for a morning full of church and a trip to the farmer’s market.

 

My weekend of chowing down culminated in the farm-fresh salads my family made for lunch. We laid out a bunch of salad ingredients and let everyone create their own.

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Mine took a salad niçoise turn… salad greens, tuna, soft-ish boiled eggs, cucumber, and tomatoes. So it’s salad niçoise minus the green beans, olives, capers, and anchovies. Similar? Ehh, maybe not. But it was still a perfect lunch!

 

It was a great weekend full of fall foods, sweet and savory. Now it’s back to reality… PB&J for lunch, anyone?

Your still in a food coma friend,

C