Alright, MoFo‘ers, recipe number three features the all-time Fall favorite: pumpkin. I went through hell and high water to get my hands on canned pumpkin just to make this. It begs the question, is there a shortage of pumpkin this year? The stores were wiped clean! I had to seek out this golden gem from a small, relatively unfrequented natural foods store. I know what you’re thinking. “Buy a pumpkin and make your own damned puree!” I would, but I just don’t have the patience to cut and especially peel my own pumpkin. I’m going to have to get over it if I’m going to want to make use of this fabulous gourd.
Ok, so let’s talk quickbreads! We only need to say that they’re like cake without the frosting. And for me, that’s pretty much heaven. Up until I had pumpkin bread, I didn’t think I’d ever love anything more than banana bread. I think it has to do with the fact that pumpkin spices are just crazy delicious and, at least for me, they evoke a certain sort of longing for and comfort from Autumn. I think that’s why a lot of places exploit ‘pumpkin spice this’ and ‘pumpkin spice that’ around this time of year. Doesn’t it just make you want to throw on a flannel and go for a foliage hike? Is that just a New England thing? Maybe.
Anyway, this quickbread is all sorts of fabulous. It’s easy to make, it’s moist, but not too soft and cake-like, as a quickbread should be. And it’s heavy on the pumpkin flavor (just like I like it). It also features the almighty chocolate chip, which only heightens its awesomeness by giving it a sweet chocolate crunch. I like the way the orange color and chocolate chips contrast one another — it’s very Halloween-y. This bread went over so well with my family that there was barely any left for me. My only regret is not having made two loaves!
makes one 9 inch loaf
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda (cruelty free, please!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter (any vegan margarine)
1 and 1/2 cups organic/vegan sugar
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seeds + 6 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cups vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 inch x 5 inch bread pan and set it aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax seeds and water until you get a thick consistency. Set aside.
In a medium to large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until you have a consistency that looks like lumpy sand. Add in the flax eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add in the canned pumpkin and almond milk and beat again until thoroughly combined. Add in the flour and spices mixture in 3 parts, beating well in between each addition. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared bread pan and bake for 60 – 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan, on a wire rack, for about 10 minutes. Then, very carefully invert the bread pan on to your hand and place it on the wire rack. Allow to cool for an additional 10 minutes.