Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Bread: Less Fat, More Pumpkin

To me, pumpkin bread is the ultimate in comfort food. But, even when I feel the need for comfort, I avoid making it in summer because to me pumpkins mean autumn--even if here in Southern California, temperatures are registering in the 90's. Whatever the thermometer reading, I felt justified in making pumpkin bread this week.

The recipe I chose is adapted from a reduced-fat and calorie pumpkin pecan bread I found at MyRecipes. Here's my version, with nutritional information and suggested variations at the bottom. I used homemade pumpkin puree, which is very simple to make and I think enhanced the bread's flavor and texture. You can read about how I did it elsewhere on my blog. If you're pressed for time (and who isn't?), use the canned variety. It will be great either way!

Pumpkin Bread With Toasted Pecans

(Two 9x5-inch loaves)


2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup egg whites (from about 4 large eggs, or use egg substitute)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2/3 cup water (or liquid from steamed pumpkin)
15 ounces of pumpkin (2 cups fresh pulp minus 1 ounce--or one 15-ounce can)
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 9x5-inch loaf pans with oil.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Whisk the dry ingredients until well-combined.

Place the sugars, oil, egg whites (or substitute) and buttermilk in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer (or by hand) at medium speed until well blended. Add the pumpkin and water, beating at low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly at low speed, making sure that all ingredients are incorporated but not over-mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle toasted pecans on top.

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, checking toward the end to make sure the loaves aren't browning too quickly. If they are, place some foil loosely on top. The bread will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean.

 After Words

Each loaf makes about 12 generous slices. To reduce the calories even further, cut them in half! The bread keeps for 2 or 3 days at room temperature and freezes well (for about a month) when wrapped tightly in a double thickness of saran, then placed inside a deflated plastic bag. Warmed in the microwave for a few seconds, it tastes as if it just popped out of the oven!

Nutritional Info (1 3/4" slice)

Calories: 183
Fat: 6 grams
Carbs: 31 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 5 grams

Weight Watchers points: 5

Variations & Enhancements

1. Mix toasted, chopped pecans with 2-3 additional tablespoons of brown sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the loaves before baking.

2. Allergic to nuts? Substitute lightly toasted rolled oats for above.

3. Fold in 1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chopped dried apricots--or 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger--just before pouring the batter into the loaf pans.

4. Use chopped walnuts or mixed nuts instead of the pecans. Incorporate the nuts in the batter, then sprinkle a few more on top.

5. Add the grated zest of an orange to the wet ingredients, substituting orange juice (preferably fresh) for the water.

6. Spread the bread with cream cheese, pumpkin butter--or both--for a decadent treat.

7. Serve heated with a scoop of pumpkin or vanilla ice cream for dessert.

No comments:

Post a Comment