As usual, this holiday season has been a busy one! How is it that we manage to love the season so much despite the running around like chickens with our heads cut off -baking, shopping, getting work done before vacation and trying to get in at least one workout a week so we can feel ok about that “one small Christmas cookie” we ate yesterday. Ok two. Alright three, but who’s counting??
I too fall victim to the treat explosion that seems to take over this time of year, but luckily, as always, I’m here with some healthier goods that will satisfy those cravings while still offering your body some much needed nutritional love and energy to power you through the chaos without emerging depleted! And this week’s recipe is proof.
This amazing Gingerbread Pumpkin Loaf is naturally sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup (so it’s super low in sugar), and made with light buckwheat flour, which is gluten-free. It’s so moist and fluffy, no one will ever guess it’s healthy! You can even make it vegan for those animal/planet-loving friends. Merry Christmas to all!!
The Natural Blonde
P.s. If you are feeling like sweatpants are your only comfortable option at the moment, don’t beat yourself up over it. There’s always the trustee January detox promise you can tell yourself to feel better – and I just may help you keep it this year. 😉
Gingerbread Pumpkin Loaf
• ½ cup melted coconut oil
• ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
• ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (preferably organic)
• 2 eggs*
• 1 cup pumpkin purée (preferably organic, BPA free can)
• 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice blend (or ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg, and ¼ tsp. cloves)
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ¾ cups light buckwheat flour (or sub gluten-free flour of choice – oat would likely work fine)
• Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, or raisins)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients except the oil (sometimes the coconut oil will re-solidify when touching colder ingredients and you don’t want this so I always put it in last when baking if possible).
In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients then add them to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Lastly, add in the coconut oil and combine (if adding in nuts or raisins do that now, too).
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve and enjoy! Keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
*Make it vegan by replacing with 2 flax eggs