Monday, July 19, 2010

Pumpkin-Applesauce-Flax Bread?

Okay at first glance that may sound gross.

But this is what happens during No Spend Month. You get creative.

I had a can of organic pumpkin that I really wanted to use, so I pulled up a pumpkin bread recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, From Portland's Palate: A Collection of Recipes from the City of Roses.  This was a gift from Matt's aunt and uncle for our wedding, and I have used the heck out of it!

I love cookbooks...I even tried to pare down my collection during our last move when we uncluttered a bunch, and I still have 15 cookbooks and a handful of pamphlets I've picked up traveling. I love being able to take the flavor of a place with me.  Like this one from Scotland:

I love the pictures in it, even though I'll probably never try to make Tripe Stew or some of the other more daring recipes in there.

The charcoal sketches make me want to stoke a fire and eat a bannock.

Or this one I picked up on an east coast trip with my parents and Matt. We were in Vermont and overnight the leaves brightened so drastically it look like God had used Photoshop.

This little pamphlet is chock full of little drawings and quotes from New England poets and authors.

Back to the Pumpkin bread.

It being No Spend Month I had run out of vegetable oil. It was a lazy Sunday morning and we weren't wanting to have to go to the store for any. 

That morning I had already made blueberry pancakes with flaxseed meal in place of oil. That was on a smaller scale, though. 

FYI, if you want to use flaxseed meal instead of oil the ratio is 1:3. For one tablespoon of oil you can substitute 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal. The first time I tried it I was expecting it to be dry and coarse, but instead it was still moist and fluffy! The pancakes needed a bit more milk, but once you get the consistency right its all good from there!

The recipe for pumpkin bread called for 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.  That's 8 tablespoons of oil, or what would be 24 Tbl of flaxseed meal...that's a lot!

Then I remembered we had applesauce, too. Replacing applesauce for oil is a 1:1 ratio, but sometimes that can come out dry.

So for this I did part applesauce, part flaxseed meal and the result was delicious! We're running low on unbleached flour and whole wheat flour so I used a cup of each.

That doesn't look too dry now, does it? A little dollop of butter and a cup of coffee and it was de-lish! (Not that it needed either, but they completed Dorothy completed Jerry Maguire)

I would have taken a picture of the top of the bread but I had already eaten it...

There are a lot of benefits to flaxseed. Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal has just as much fiber as 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal! It can also lower bad LDL cholesterol and packs a lot of omega-3. 

So here is my modified Pumpkin Bread recipe, should you want to try it out.

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used evaporated cane juice and it worked well)
1 cup canned pumpkin (I used a can)
9 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
5 tablespoons of applesauce
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup water (I just realized I forgot this...maybe the extra pumpkin made up for one's perfect, right?)

1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine sugars, pumpkin, flaxseed meal, applesauce and eggs. Beat until well blended.

In a separate large bowl, sift together flours, soda, salt and spices. Add the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in water, raisins and nuts if using.

Turn into prepared pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Spread with luscious butter and make yourself a Morning Cup and you're ready!

For more tips on eating for cheap, check out my article on Frugal Fine Dining.

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