Thursday, December 11, 2014

Holiday Gifts: Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread

I love, love, love the holidays.  The Christmas carols, the decorating, the parties, the food.  All of it makes me happy.  This time of year truly symbolizes the essence of Nourish—people gathering with their loved ones around the table, nourishing each other with good food and time spent together.

As you’re gathering together with your family and friends, instead of buying gifts, why not make something from your heart? Everyone loves a homemade gift, especially if it’s edible!  Our granola is a great choice, or our Whole Grain Almond Pancake Mix.  But this year, I’m likely to give this Pumpkin Gingerbread.

My Mom made this Pumpkin Gingerbread over Thanksgiving from a recipe she got at the Community Food Co-op.  I adapted the recipe slightly, using all whole wheat pastry flour for added fiber and nutrition, reducing the sugar by ½ cup, replacing the canola oil with olive oil and adding a little dried mustard for added spice.  The original recipe was delicious, but this slightly healthier version is just as good, if not better!  Moist and spicy, this Gingerbread keeps well for several days, well wrapped.  And it freezes beautifully.  I love it toasted, with a little bit of cultured butter and a cup of coffee. 

We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite homemade gifts to give?

Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread

Makes 2 loaves

Butter, for greasing pans
3 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground gingr
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 ½ cups coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
½ cup olive oil
1 cup applesauce
½ cup blackstrap molasses
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with butter.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and rest of the wet ingredients (olive oil through pumpkin puree).  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold together until completely combined.  Pour the batter evenly into the loaf pans.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted int o the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the loaf pan and place on the rack to cool.  Let cool completely.

Enjoy, preferably with someone you love!  

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