I’m not done with pumpkin. Maybe you are, and that’s fine, but I’m not. Pumpkin. Is. The best.
I figure January is the last month for pumpkin. February is chocolate month, and then it’s spring. Let’s make some pumpkin bread!
This recipe originally came from Bon Appetit but I healthified it and added a topping. The people who ended up partaking of the bread are lucky to have received it intact; I almost scalped the bread for the topping. I made three mini loaves; I recommend you do this. You can buy little aluminum tins at the store, and they’re much more manageable in small sizes. Who wants an entire loaf of delicious pumpkin bread glaring at them on the counter? In mini loaves you can dole out a few slices per day and it will be gone before it gets stale (or you get fat).
Also, in small loaves you can keep one for yourself, and give two to people you like! There you go, eat baked goods AND make friends. Giving people food makes them like you, it’s a fact. If you don’t want to buy the mini loaf tins, you can use the batter to make muffins! Fill each muffin hole 2/3 of the way full.
This bread is better than your average pumpkin bread because it has whole wheat flour, walnuts, and ground flax seed. All of these things have healthy fats, fiber and protein. If you didn’t know, walnuts are crazy good for you. You should eat a few every day, as nuts are healthy and walnut is the head nut. They ARE high calorie, though, so keep it to a very small handful.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Caramelized Walnut Crunch
Makes 3 5 x2 inch loaves
1 1/2 c. walnuts, divided
1/2 c. ground flax seed
1 c. white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat if that’s all you have)
3/4 c. all purpose flour (white)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. buttermilk
Caramelized Walnut Crunch
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. If your walnuts are toasted, skip this step. If not, place walnuts on cookie sheet and place in preheating oven for 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
4. Take a heaping 1/2 c. of the walnuts and process them in a food processor with the flax seed. Pour mixture into bowl with flour mixture and whisk to combine.
5. In another mixing bowl, beat sugars and pumpkin with electric mixer. Add canola oil slowly with mixer on and beat until combined. Add eggs and beat until combined.
6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or rubber spatula. Add 1/2 of buttermilk and stir. Continue (ending with the dry) to add until combined. You will do dry, wet, dry, wet, dry. This is how cake batters are always made and helps make this bread wonderfully light and fluffy.
7. Divide mixture evenly between loaf pans.
8. To make topping, melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together over high heat. Once butter is melted, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
9. Break up walnuts with hands or roughly chop. Add walnuts to saucepan and remove pan from heat.
10. Divide topping between breads.
11. Bake breads for 45-50 minutes or until you touch the top center with your fingertips and the bread springs back.