Pumpkin Bread

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t cooked a single meal in the last few days. Dinners have included leftovers, pub fare, Chinese take-out, and Indian food from our favorite restaurant. My excuse is the Adirondack Sports and Fitness Winter Sports and Healthy Living Expo we participated in this weekend in Saratoga Springs. All that time prepping for our Cloud Nine Hooping booth took me away from cooking–even from shopping for food to make cooking possible.

I sure hope all the hooping I did this weekend offsets the extra calories because let’s face it: restaurants, even the best ones, tend to put a whole lot more of the not-so-great for us stuff in their food. Vastly more fat, sugar, and salt than we’d ever pour into our own cooking vessels ends up in our entrees.

Eating my tasty and likely not-so-healthy leftovers reminds me of a conversation with a friend recently about financial planning. She said she felt like she wasn’t paying her financial adviser because she didn’t have to write him a check. The percentage of her investments going straight into his pocket was completely invisible to her, the same way I can ignore the cups of oil, cream and salt being dumped into my food behind the closed doors of the kitchen.

What does all this ruminating about restaurant food have to do with today’s recipe? In honor of Thanksgiving, a day often filled with eating food prepared by other people, I am sharing Wayne’s recipe for pumpkin bread. It’s seasonal, sweet, and desserty, without the hidden bad stuff in many traditional desserts. This half-whole wheat flour bread fills your house with a delightful Thanksgiving-redolent smell. And it’s easy enough to make so that if you’re really lucky, your husband will make it while you are still slaving away over your computer.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Whole Wheat-Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup rum-soaked golden raisins (1/2 cup raisins and enough spiced rum to cover them–preferably soaked overnight in the fridge)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Sift or stir together flour, salt, baking soda and spices; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, pumpkin, oil and eggs. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined–don’t over stir.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes. Then remove loaf from the pan and cool on a rack completely.

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