I thought I was over my baking bug, but today proved me wrong. The oven’s been on most of the afternoon (as is the TV in the living room where Kevin is watching some playoff game or another—we’re both in winter bliss). But instead of Christmas cookies, I’m making some quick breads to freeze for fast breakfasts in the days and weeks to come (the academic semester begins tomorrow, so it’s back on a tighter schedule).
This leads to my proposal.
Since it’s been almost 2 weeks in to my month of vegetables, I decided it was time to suggest a few less traditional ways of getting the goods. My first pitch? Vegetables for breakfast.
Before beginning composition of an email rant, hear me out: you’ve most likely had vegetables at the morning table before now, from zucchini muffins to that fast food breakfast burrito with peppers, onions and salsa. And getting vegetables first thing means you’re on good footing from the beginning of day (i.e. no need to force an iceberg salad on yourself come lunchtime).
And why not make it as delicious as possible? For example, my vegetable breakfast offering #1: a moist, sweet, cinnamon- and maple-scented breakfast bread made with a hearty dose of winter squash—(or canned pumpkin). More vegetable breakfast options abound; I’ll be talking about them in posts to come.
Now about this bread: I can’t pretend to remember my first bite of pumpkin bread, but I am certain I like this rendition best–I’ve been tweaking it for some time to lower the fat without affecting the taste and texture. Make it with frozen squash puree or canned pumpkin–it has plenty of great flavor and good health made with either. It’s also quick and convenient to throw together, is freezable for months, and can be gobbled or savored, whatever your time- frame allows at the given moment of consumption.
Oh, and both adults and children love it (just avoid the words “squash” or “nutritious” at any point in the conversation).Print
- Cinnamon-Maple Winter Squash Bread
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or packed organic light brown sugar
- 2–1/2 tablespoons chilled virgin coconut oil, cut into small pieces
- 1–1/2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or packed organic light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped soft dates (or dried fruit of choice)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 12-ounce package frozen winter squash puree, thawed
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (you can also use honey or agave nectar)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, warmed until liquid OR vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
- Topping: Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly. Refrigerate while making bread.
- Bread: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, dates, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, whisk the squash puree, yogurt, syrup. oil, vanilla and eggs until blended; Add the flour mixture, stirring until just blended.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake at for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf (about 12-16 servings).
Butternut and acorn squash (the winter squash puree is a blend of both) and pumpkin are all rich in complex carbohydrates, low in saturated fat, and good sources of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium. I love the bread with or without the topping (see photo)–simply omit the topping if you prefer a plain-topped bread.
- Category: Bread