There is literally nothing that makes me happier than the smell of pumpkin bread baking in the oven. It reminds me of crisp Fall days from my childhood, the changing of colors on the trees, and the sign that the holiday season is around the corner.
When I dug out my pumpkin bread recipe last week, I noticed that it wasn’t exactly as healthy as I would like it to be. Those of you who follow my posts know that I’ve been trying to eat healthier, which included the difficult but rewarding Whole 30 challenge, as well as taking an overall more wholesome approach to our family meals.
Well, we all know that we need to make exceptions in life, otherwise it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or enjoyable, which is why we make delicious things like pumpkin bread! But while I was scanning the ingredient list, which included plain white flour, lots of sugar, and vegetable oil, I thought to myself, There must be a way to make this a little bit healthier, while still tasting just as delicious…
So I decided to experiment, and I’m happy to say that the results were fantastic! My kids still loved the pumpkin bread, and my husband had no clue it was made with almond flour and apple sauce. Hehehe. Those are my best success stories, when the family can’t even tell I made some healthy substitutions. <insert evil laugh here>
I will say, the recipe calls for a lot of sugar. I am not one to use sugar substitutes or sweeteners, but I’m sure you could try that. Honestly, I think you could easily decrease the amount of sugar by at least 1/2 C and have it still taste really good; in fact, I will likely try that with the next batch.
So here’s my recipe: Try it, bake it, and tweak it for your own personal tastes. If you find something you like even better, be sure to share it with us on our Facebook page!
Slightly Healthier Pumpkin Bread
Makes Two loaves
2.5 C whole wheat flour
1 C almond flour
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
2 C coconut sugar
1C cane sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 C fresh pumpkin (or 16 oz of canned pumpkin)
2/3 C water (if pumpkin is canned) OR ½ C water (if pumpkin is fresh/frozen)
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C apple sauce
1 C chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray/butter two 9×5” loaf pans
- Combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in a large mixing bowl
- Add eggs, water, oil, applesauce, and pumpkin
- Stir until blended
- Add nuts and mix well (optional)
- Pour batter into loaf pans
- Bake for 1 hour
- Cool slightly and take out of pans to let cool on a rack
- Enjoy! Tastes best with a smidge of butter and a warm mug of coffee ☺
This tastes even better if you wrap the loaves, refrigerate them, and wait a day to eat slice. It keeps well in the refrigerator and can be frozen.
Editor’s note: This article originally published on October 19,2017, and was lightly edited prior to republishing.