Fall is about cooler weather, football, sweaters and warm, delicious food. It’s about gathering around the table with loved ones to enjoy a snack or meal and making memories that will last a lifetime. As the weather changes, there are few better places to be than the kitchen, whipping up something amazing for all who are gathered.
Like the pecan, which we highlighted last week, pumpkin is native to North America. In the United States, pumpkin refers to an orange type of winter squash. In other parts of the world, such as Australia, pumpkin may refer to any type of winter squash.
While commonly viewed as a vegetable, pumpkin is scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. However, it’s nutritionally more similar to vegetables than fruits.
Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A — one cup of cooked pumpkin contains 245 percent of the Reference Daily Intake, according to healthline.com. It is also relatively low in calories.
Besides being able to cook and eat the fleshy part of the pumpkin, you can roast and eat the seeds.
Every year during the holiday season, my mom makes a few quick breads to freeze and share with friends. Quick breads are breads that don’t require proofing to rise.
Among them are her signature pumpkin bread. My kids, who hate most things pumpkin except jack-o-lanterns, love her bread. It’s alway moist and has a hint of pumpkin spice that isn’t over the top.
This season, when you’re craving something sweet, try these two recipes for pumpkin bread. One is a dairy-free version and the other includes chocolate chips. The base of the second recipe is very similar to what my mom makes every year.
Both recipes take a while to bake. So you can enjoy the fall weather for a while or curl up with your favorite book for a bit, while your oven sends that pumpkin spice smell throughout your house.
These recipes are easy to make and provide an opportunity to get the little ones involved in the kitchen.
DAIRY-FREE PUMPKIN BREAD
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup vanilla almondmilk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
■ Heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
■ Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Add remaining ingredients. Beat on low speed until ingredients are moistened. Beat on medium speed just until creamy. Spread evenly in the pan.
■ Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a cooling rack, about 1 hour. Store in the refrigerator if desired.
PUMPKIN BREAD WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
■ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
■ In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin spice. Set aside.
■ In a medium bowl, combine canned pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir together.
■ Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; mix until combined.
■ Fold in chocolate chips.
■ Pour batter into a loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
■ Cool at least 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.