Along with the leaves turning spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red, another sure sign of fall is PUMPKINS.
The pumpkins in the garden are finally mature, and the kids are looking forward to cutting them into Jack-O-Laterns for Halloween.
October & November wouldn't be the same without Pumpkins adorning our doorsteps and cooking in our ovens.
While I must admit Pumpkin Pie is my number one favorite, this incredible Pumpkin Bread is a close second and doesn't last for long around the house.
SUPER MOIST (VEGAN) PUMPKIN BREAD
3 1/2 Cups Organic Un-Bleached Flour
2 Cups packed Dark Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup White Sugar* (I use Raw Sugar)
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Applesauce
2/3 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk*
2/3 Cup flaked coconut (optional)
* If using Sweetened Milk reduce Sugar to 1/3 Cup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, regular sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg & cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, applesauce, milk and mix until all the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut (if using). Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minuted in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (My oven cooks fast and is ready in about an hour...so start checking it around the 50 minute mark)
Remove from oven, and cover loaves tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely.
Not only does pumpkin taste good but it is also good for you.......
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
- It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
- With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
- Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from "age-related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly.
- The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
- It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Pumpkin Seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. For instance, 100 g of pumpkin seeds provide 559 calories, 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%) etc., but no cholesterol. Further, the seeds are an excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain.