Just recently, I was concerned about what kind of pumpkin crop we were going to have this fall. With all the rainfall we had over the summer, I wondered if this would harm our crop in order for us to have pumpkins this fall. I'm happy to say that there are pumpkins out there! The summer weather didn't seem to bother the pumpkins at all, so if you would like to get one to cook, you can!
When choosing a pumpkin for cooking, look for the ones marked as "pie pumpkins". This is a special variety of pumpkin that produces the best pies and other baked items that contain pumpkin. Regular pumpkins work fine, but they seem to lack something in terms of flavor. To cook a fresh pumpkin, I gave some directions a couple of years ago on how to do just that. It also contains a recipe for "Walnut Pumpkin Pie", too. Follow this link to get the directions:
Now that we have some pumpkin, let's bake something! The recipe I'm sharing is for "Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread". This is a unique pumpkin bread in that it contains two interesting ingredients: whole wheat flour and molasses! This is almost "health food", but it's really delicious. This makes one 8x4 inch loaf, but you could also use the miniature bread pans and bake the bread in those to give to family and friends.
In looking at the recipe, you'll see that it starts with 1/2 cup of oil. As an experiment, I made this recipe with only 1/4 cup of oil and the bread was still just as moist and flavorful. Use your judgement about how much you'd like to use according to how rich you would like your bread. Also, it calls for 1 cup molasses. An easy trick when measuring molasses: measure the oil first into your mixing bowl, then measure the molasses. Since the oil greases the measuring cup, the molasses will glide right out into the bowl.
This bread also uses a number of spices, as well as raisins. For the pumpkin, you can use 2 cups of prepared pumpkin or a 15-ounce can of pumpkin. If you use the canned, DO NOT use pumpkin pie filling. This is an entirely different product and won't produce the same results. So, look for canned pumpkin that has no other added ingredients and you'll be in good shape.
If you're looking for a healthy, yet good-tasting baked treat, this pumpkin bread will the very solution!
WHOLE WHEAT PUMPKIN BREAD
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup light molasses
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (NOT PIE FILLING)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x4 inch baking pan. Beat together the oil and molasses. Add the eggs and pumpkin and blend thoroughly. Combine the remaining ingredients except for the raisins and add gradually to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins. Place batter in prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center tests done. (After the first 45 minutes, if bread appears to be browning too fast, reduce temperature to 300 degrees for the remaining 25 minutes). Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf
Note: Store bread in the refrigerator if any bread is left after 1 day.