When the leaves start to fade gently to orange and yellow, and the quintessential crisp air of fall greets you every morning, you know it is time to pull out the pumpkin bread recipe. Its spicy-sweet aroma adds coziness to the feeling of fall and makes the season feel complete.

While pumpkin spice everything seems to pop up as the temperatures dip down, finding a treat with this traditional fall flavor that is both nutritious and satisfying (and without added sugars and artificial pumpkin flavors) is sometimes a trick. I’ve solved the seasonal dilemma with my tried and true pumpkin bread recipe, which satisfies Starbucks aficionados as readily as the most discerning foodie.  

My recipe reflects my love of baking with almond flour. It gives baked goods more nutritional punch than wheat flour, provides ample protein and fat to keep you going, and yields moist, cake-like results. I have served this bread to gluten-eating folks and they do not know they are eating subversively gluten-free goods. Serve this for breakfast, snacks, or dessert – it will not disappoint.  

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted

1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 medium eggs

3 cups blanched almond flour

¾ cup arrowroot

¾ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup natural sugar such as rapadura (my favorite) or coconut sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Add-in items of your choice: suggestions include dried cranberries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, currants. About a ½-¾ cup of each is a good guide. Add two if you like (walnuts and cranberries anyone?)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter or coconut oil. Set it aside to cool slightly. Mix the wet ingredients (including the butter) together in a large mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl or dump them all on top of the wet ingredients and gently whisk them together before digging deep and combining them with the wet ingredients (this saves a dish). Fold any add-ins gently into your batter. Pour the batter into one standard loaf pan (10 inches x 6 inches) or 4 mini loaf pans or 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Be sure to grease your loaf pans with butter or coconut oil. Bake for 45-50 minutes (loaf), 30-35 minutes (mini-loaf), or 20-25 minutes (muffins) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.