Perfect Pumpkin Bread and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you have never tried Pumpkin Bread, then is the recipe for you! There are always plenty of recipes and ideas for pumpkins and squash, and Pumpkin Bread is one of the best and easy ways I think to enjoy all what pumpkin and squash can bring to this season. Pumpkin Bread is a very versatile quick-bread to enjoy for breakfast with berries or fresh fruit on the side or as a mid-day snack, thickly sliced and slathered with butter or with a chunk of sharp old cheese.  As a dessert or afternoon treat it goes well with a cup of hot steeped tea or fresh-brewed coffee. This bread will always satisfy any company you choose to share it with.  This comfort food reminds me of home and all things earthy; bright warm fall days and cool cozy nights.

If you have a small sugar pie pumpkin, butternut squash, hokkaido or kabocha squash, those cook up deliciously. The spices make this quick-bread quite tasty and reminiscent of pumpkin pie, and the squash helps the loaf stay deliciously moist.

PERFECT PUMPKIN BREAD

To make pumpkin or squash purée, cut the vegetable in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff and lie face down on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh and mash or purée in a food processor. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I use spelt flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.

Pour into a well-buttered two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very middle of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Makes two loaves.

A great way to make use of the seeds is eat them, salted and toasted. I like them with the shells on and if they are toasted properly they are wonderfully crunchy and easy to eat. It helps if you are going to eat them with the shells on that you use seeds from sugar pumpkins, or butternut squash. Boil the seeds in salted water first, and then toast them in the oven.

SIMPLE TOASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

  • One medium-sized pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin or squash and use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.

In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a half tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Smaller pumpkin seeds could toast more quickly. When browned, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool completely before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed or eat whole.

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2 Responses to Perfect Pumpkin Bread and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Pingback: Time to use what’s good! | Theology of the Table

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