Spelt and whole wheat pumpkin bread (vegan, naturally sweetened)

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Today was chilly, gray, and dismal for October. The kind of weather that can be dreary on the one hand, but something of a relief on the other, a cue to breathe deeply, move more slowly, and decompress. What's dull outdoors is countered by warm and cheery indoor bustle. It's perfect, when you can make it happen, for crafts, books, board games and baking...or in this case, writing about baking. Because this comforting, aromatic, just-right spiced and lightly naturally sweetened pumpkin bread was actually baked over a week ago, on a sunny afternoon, for my friend Kristin's birthday. Only I haven't had time to post the recipe, and today reminded me of how yummy it is. We've had a theme going on recently of Lost and Found. One momentous instance and near crisis--this weekend we nearly lost Lil' Monk, also known as Monkey (a favorite stuffed toy monkey, lest there be any doubt) at a local pumpkin patch. Monkey is the star among a rousing group of loyal buddies, affectionately known as "the boys" and sometimes "the girls". They cook with us every morning and visit Dr. Felix every afternoon, where they are ruthlessly subjected to fierce shots. Sunday afternoon, we had plans for something of a pumpkin patch tour around town, and  at a new pumpkin patch number 2 we realized somehow Lil' Monk had been left behind. Horrors! Really! "I canna believe it," Little Chef kept murmuring to us and himself, shaking his head and eyeing the ground sadly. It goes without saying we tore back to the pumpkin patch, where we found some lovely person had perched Lil' Monk safely in view in the parking lot. Relief can be exhilarating.


But, back to this bread. New work and play schedules mean we're getting the most out of our moments but with little wiggle room to spare. While I haven't had as much creativity for the moment as I'd like exploring new recipe ideas, there's been delicious inspiration in digging up old recipes and recipe concepts and fitting them to the way we're eating today. But it comes to pumpkin bread--I couldn't believe something I love (pretty much all things pumpkin) could be so lacking in the go-to favorites department. I think once I had a pumpkin recipe that was a solid standby, but it was probably loaded with sugar and for whatever reason has been discarded. I so need to update so many recipes listed on this blog, but there are too many involved in that task to create a real action plan for just now. At least I could happily take action with satisfaction in finally getting go-to pumpkin bread/muffins down.

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Pumpkin wows me with how comforting and versatile it is. How little sweetener, or indeed added ingredients, is required to concoct something yummy and wholesome too. For this recipe I used a mix of sprouted spelt flour and sprouted whole wheat flour, but I'm sure all whole wheat, or a gluten-free blend, would work beautifully, too. I tested both vegan and the egg-inclusive versions on Dave and a friend; Dave pronounced the vegan "even better", and friend proclaimed a tie. Fun part is testing for yourself, switching everything up, swapping in...and hopefully letting me know how it goes! Happy pumpkin-ing. :)


Spelt and whole wheat pumpkin bread (vegan)

  • 1 cup spelt flour (I used One Degree Organics sprouted spelt)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used One Degree Organics sprouted whole wheat)
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (pumpkin only)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or create your own mix of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup dark maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 flax eggs (2.5 tablespoons flax meal in 5 tablespoons water) or 2 eggs for non vegan
  • Optional: chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts, dried cranberries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and coat a loaf tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, maple syrup, orange juice and vanilla.
  4. Pour into loaf tin. Bake approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.