Cooler temps haven’t quite settled in for the winter season, which feels a little late here in Michigan — though I’m not one to complain. We had a few days of snow, which Lycka thoroughly enjoyed. And though the days are short and getting ever shorter, we’re still in this weird transition between fall and winter that makes me just want to wait it out indoors, cozied up in a warm sweater and slippers with a really good book.
And with this pumpkin bread. Can’t forget about that! Talk about cozy. Super moist, fluffy and lightly sweet, it’s perfect topped with tangy maple cream cheese frosting. It makes for the best breakfast on the go, afternoon snack, even dessert. Or all three, because why not?
I’m still hoping for a white Christmas though! It’s hard to believe it’s less than two weeks away. Got to get moving on that shopping list — and get a tree. We’re running a little behind this year. But I’m not stressing because I’ve got this dreamy pumpkin bread to keep me calm and happy, and to fuel the busy weekend ahead.
Today’s recipe is part of my healthy holidays series. Along with some of my favorite winter recipes lightened up a bit, I’m sharing a few tips and tricks for making your holiday recipes a bit healthier — but still as delicious as ever. Because why wait until the new year to start treating yourself well?
Healthy Holiday Tip #2: Replace Vegetable Oil for Greek Yogurt + Coconut Oil in Your Quick Breads and Muffins
Vegetable oils are highly processed and contain high concentrations of polyunsaturated and omega-6 fats that — while they sound like they’d be good for us, they’re not. (Learn more from Wellness Mama, she knows what she’s talking about.) We use vegetable oil in a lot of our quick bread and muffin recipes to add moisture and fat that gives them a wonderful texture and structure. To lose the bad-for-you fats and keep your quick breads and muffins fluffy, airy and super moist, replace vegetable oil with greek yogurt and coconut oil. The greek yogurt is creamy and thick, adding richness to your baked treats, while the coconut oil brings the healthy fats and keeps them really moist.
Healthy Holiday Tip #3: Bake with Whole Wheat Flour
This super moist pumpkin bread recipe kicks up the health factor a few notches by substituting whole wheat flour for the more traditional all purpose flour. Whole wheat flour adds essential fiber to your baked goods that we often lack around the holiday season. The secret to light, fluffy whole wheat baked treats? Vinegar + rest. Get all the details on these simple tricks along with my recipe for addicting and sneakily healthy pistachio cranberry cookies.
And see them in action in today’s Super Moist Spiced Pumpkin Bread recipe. Maybe just go ahead and make a double batch. Wrap up one of your loaves, pre-maple cream cheese frosting, in your favorite holiday tissue paper — I’m loving the little gold polka dots — and spread the healthy holiday cheer with friends and family.
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain, low fat Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1-2 Tbsp milk as needed to thin
- More chopped walnuts for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, maple syrup, brown sugar and vinegar. Add the baking soda and stir to combine -- the baking soda will react with the vinegar causing the mixture to foam and bubble. This is a good thing! Add in the salt, cinnamon and flour stirring until just combined. Fold in the walnuts if using. Pour into your prepared pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Bake in the middle rack for 40-45 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack, leaving the bread in the pan, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on the rack.
Interested in learning how to take beautiful photos of your yummy creations? Grab a copy of the Pinch of Yum Tasty Food Photography eBook! It’s packed with tips, tricks and clever advice for taking your best photos yet.