Saturday, May 26, 2012

baking healthy - Pumpkin Bread

2 things have inspired me to bake more and bake more healthy and they both go back to Hannah, my toddler

1) baking is a fun different activity for us to do
2) baking offers a snack to have special in the day and making it healthy means that with the limited amount that a toddler eats and knowing how difficult it can be to get all the nutritional value that is ideal for them adding in the extras and knowing what they eat is good!

Here is my latest baking creation I did with Hannah this week

Pumpkin Bread (off season I know, but I felt like it so why not?!)

The recipe comes from my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook that I love!

Ingredients as in cookbook
3 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup water
1 15 oz can of pumpkin

Changes I made to ingredients 
- cut sugar to just 2 1/2 with 2 cups being regular sugar and a half of brown sugar (mostly because I ran out of regular sugar)
- cut the regular flour to 2 cups and added 1 cup of Oat Bran and 1/2 cup of ground flax

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides (I used non-stick so omitted this step), use either 2 regular loaf pans, 3 smaller ones or 4 mini ones and set them aside. In an extra-large mixing bowl beat together the sugar and oil on medium speed. Add eggs and beat well; set sugar mixture aside.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to sugar mixture (Hannah loved this part), beating on low speed after each addition (I didnt use an electic mixture and just stirred by hand well and it turned out just fine) until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 55-65 minutes (I baked for 62 I think...pumpkin looks more soft and undone that it actually its so go with what they say next and it will turn out great) or until wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (since we made it for something we had that morning we did not wait as recommended and not letting it cool 100% did make it kind of fall apart, the second loaf we waited until it was full cool and served at something later that afternoon and although not overnight it turned out much better, however still a little crumbly so maybe thats the secret for overnight waiting...)

It really is easy to make, it turned out great - friends loved it, I loved it, Hannah loved it...Matt didn't but he doesn't like baked pumpkin at all so I knew before trying it he would hate it and thats okay!

The best part was that it makes 2 loaves which means you can serve one and keep one, or eat one now and freeze one for later or just eat it all week long!

ps I know it has a lot of sugar, but a lot of things do and with a sweet tooth baby at least I knew she was getting some other good stuff in there too! Its all about balance!


  1. I've stopped using oil/butter in baking and substitute it with either non-sweetened apple sauce or mushed bananas...1 cup oil = 1 cup apple sauce or 1 cup banana...or 1/2 and 1/2! :) I'm happy with the results...and the bananas don't overpower the taste they way you might think they could.

    1. Oh I love using applesauce although applesauce I find I can usually taste and for this one I didnt know if it would be a good combo or not. And its true with the bananas the first one I ever tried I was so scared it would be really strong tasting, but I hear the trick is ripe bananas = no taste, but brown bananas give you the banana taste for banana bread and the like!