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Healthy Maple Pumpkin Bread

THIRA Health / Food & Mood  / Healthy Maple Pumpkin Bread

Healthy Maple Pumpkin Bread

Looking for a healthy but yummy snack going into our holiday season? Pumpkin bread is the perfect food to have on hand morning, noon, or night.  Since it contains ingredients that pack a nutritional punch it is delicious anytime of the day.  Starting out the day with nut butter spread on a slice provides some satiating protein and fiber.  Having a slice mid-afternoon with a chai latte (think boost of Calcium) is a great snack to provide energy to last the afternoon commute.  Or enjoy after a bowl of chili on a cool Fall night to bring a sense of warmth and sweetness.  The ingredients in this recipe are easy to find in the grocery store or you may already have them in your kitchen cupboards.  See below to learn a little more about a few of the nutritional properties of the flavors in this pumpkin bread recipe.

Cinnamon is a spice that dates back as far as ancient Egypt.  It was rare and valuable, and considered to be a gift fit for royalty.  Now cinnamon is cheaply and readily available commonly found in both sweet and savory foods.  There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon which is considered “true” cinnamon; and, Cassia which is more common in grocery stores and as an ingredient.  Cinnamon is thought to be a powerful antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory.  It also may have LDL (the “bad” kind) cholesterol-lowering properties and be beneficial to managing blood glucose for people with diabetes.

Maple syrup comes from sap that is found in sugar maple trees.  Over ¾ of the world’s maple syrup is made is Quebec, Canada, and is commonly added to foods to provide sweetness (think pancakes and waffles).  It’s important to read labels when purchasing maple syrup as there are many brands that are actually maple-flavored syrups and not 100% pure.  It might surprise you to learn that maple syrup contains a high amount of zinc (helps the immune system) and manganese (an essential mineral that are crucial for brain and nervous system function).  Maple syrup also contains antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and iron.  Despite its nutritional properties and delicious taste, it’s important to remember that maple syrup is very high in sugar and should be used to moderation.

Pumpkin is a type of winter squash and is often thought to be a vegetable but is technically considered a fruit because it contains seeds.  It’s a versatile superfood that can be used in food and beverages, cosmetics, and pet food!  This is because pumpkin contains a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including: fiber, vitamin A and C, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E.  It is also high in antioxidants and can contribute to a healthy heart, healthy skin, and healthy eyes.   Pumpkin can be added to both sweet and savory foods and is available fresh and canned.  It also makes an excellent canvas for pumpkin art at Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups spelt flour (can sub gluten-free flour , regular flour, or whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 eggs (use flax eggs for vegan)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • /3 up coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼  crushed pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8×4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, orange juice, maple syrup and vanilla together.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix-together until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan and sprinkle with crushed pecans.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

This recipe was found at https://choosingchia.com/healthy-maple-pumpkin-bread/

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