Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

I actually made this dish over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when Jamison’s family was here. I normally make a gluten free lasagna with meat for the guys (or more aptly Jamison who only wants sauce, meat, cheese and noodles in his lasagna) and a vegetable variation for the girls or for anyone other that Jamison who is interested. Jamison’s mom has developed an intolerance to tomato sauce so this let me be able to experiment with other options…And you know how I love to experiment!! ;oP

I often see recipes that call for spinach in lasagna and I have to admit I wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea. I usually don’t pair spinach and tomato sauce. I don’t know why, but I’m just not that big of a fan of the combo. But it did make me start thinking it might be interesting to make a lasagna using an Alfredo sauce in place of the tomato sauce and I really liked the result. If you’re a fan of spinach and Alfredo then this is the lasagna for you!

What You’ll Need:
1 large package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 bottle of your favorite Alfredo sauce (Note: I have yet to experiment with making my own. I plan to, but just never seem to get around to it. Just look for a good bottled version, but be careful…Some of them have high fructose corn syrup in them! Why??? Alfredo isn’t supposed to be sweet!)
Uncooked lasagna noodles (Note: I like these because they are the perfect length for an 8 X 8 inch dish without having to break them! But any lasagna noodles will work.)
Mozzarella, shredded
Parmesan, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 F.

So basically you’re just doing you basic lasagna layering operation….

First spray or coat an 8 X 8 inch dish with non-stick spray or olive oil. Next add a layer of lasagna noodles. (Note: There is no need to cook them beforehand. They will cook as the lasagna does! The only time that I actually cook lasagna noodles is when the dish isn’t going to be baked immediately. Any type of lasagna noodle will cook while baking, the box doesn’t even have to say that they are “oven ready”!) Top with a thin layer of Alfredo sauce. Place a thin layer of spinach on top of the Alfredo and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat process until you run out of sauce/spinach or you reach the top of your baking dish. (Note: On the very top layer you just want mozzarella and Parmesan. Omit the spinach and Alfredo sauce.)

Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

Cover your dish with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes or until noodles stick done. Remove cover for the last 5-10 minutes to let it brown slightly. Take the dish out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: It’s nearly impossible to get a decent picture of lasagna, but trust me this is delicious! You could also add in cooked onions and/or mushrooms along with the spinach if you liked. A layer of ricotta would be great too. I would add it directly to the noodles before the Alfredo layer.

Make Your Own: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Do It Yourself Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

I have to say I’m just not feeling winter this year. I mean I’m usually the winter is awesome girl, but this year not so much! If it would snow and actually stick around for a day or two, I might change my mind, but so far we’ve just had bitterly cold weather and a lot of ice. We’re supposed to have some convincing snow over the next day or so, but who knows.It’s snowing now and seems to be sticking around but for the most par it has just been super duper well, cold! And I’m just not feeling it! I’d love some spring like or fall like weather if it’s not going to snow, but you can keep summer and you can keep this bitter cold!

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I really can’t stay – Baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away – Baby it’s cold outside
 

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Oh sorry…I got distracted there for a minute! Am I the only one that breaks out into song? Digressing again…Let’s talk some hot chocolate shall we?

The other day on Twitter FaceBook I posed the question wondering if I was the only one who frequented Starbucks who did not order coffee. Most of the time when I go I order an unsweet green iced tea. If I don’t go with the iced tea, I sometimes go with hot tea if I’m cold. Occasionally however I just want something hot that isn’t in the tea family, especially when it’s so bitterly cold outside as it has been as of late. When I’m feeling the non-tea hot drink call I normally get a Caramel Apple Spice (which I’ve created at home too, but haven’t blogged about…I’ll have to do that sometime in the future!) because I had tried Starbucks’ normal hot chocolate and wasn’t all that impressed or now that there is a choice I’ll sometimes get a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, which I do like.

When Starbucks came out with their Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate this year I was immediately intrigued, even though as I mentioned above I wasn’t a fan of their regular hot chocolate and I tried one the next time Miss G and I took a spin through one of their locations. I loved it! The Barista that made it for me compared it to a melted Snickers bar in a cup and that pretty much summed it up! And I have ordered a few more over the next few months as the winter has worn on. Only once was it not that great, but for the most part I was highly impressed and my mind started working on how to make something similar at home. This is what resulted and trust me…It’s good!

Do It Yourself Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: Hot Chocolate

What You’ll Need for the Hot Chocolate:
4 cups of milk or dairy (Note: I used skim milk, but you could use any type of milk that you liked or even half and half or heavy cream if you just wanted to go all out!)
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of cocoa (Note: This is the stuff like you bake with.)

In a medium sized pot whisk together milk, sugar and cocoa until completely incorporated. This may take a minute or two. Heat over medium heat until steaming, but not boiling, stirring occasionally.

Proceed to the step to bring it all together below.

Do It Yourself Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: Totally Cheating "Caramel"

What You’ll Need for the Totally Cheating “Caramel”:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (Note: You can use regular or fat free.)
1 cup of natural brown sugar

(Note: This makes a very quick, very dulche de leche type caramel. But trust me you’re the only really who will know!)

In a small pot over medium heat, melt brown sugar in sweetened condensed milk until smooth, stirring frequently. You can do this while the hot chocolate is heating…It’s that fast!

What You’ll Need to Put Together the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate:
Hot Chocolate (See above)
Totally Cheating “Caramel” (See above)
Marshmallows (Note: I chose to use marshmallows instead of whipped cream as Starbucks does, but you can use whipped cream instead if you prefer. The marshmallows were really fabulous though!)
Sea salt

In a cup add about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of hot chocolate. Top with 2-4 large marshmallows or a handful of mini-marshmallows. Drizzle some warm caramel over the top and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately.

How easy is that?

Notes: If you aren’t a fan of caramel you could drizzle it with hot fudge or melted chocolate instead for a double chocolate punch.

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m a huge fan of blueberries and white chocolate. Remember the White Chocolate Blueberry Fudge? A few weeks ago we had a “Cookie Sunday” at church. Basically one Sunday school class brings in cookies and pastries and then everyone comes in to share! How cool is that? Cookies before lunch! ;oP

I knew I wanted to make a gluten free alternative for Jamison so I whipped up a batch of gluten free peanut butter cookies, but I wanted to do something completely different for the other cookies we would take. I also ended up sending a couple of loaves of banana bread too.

For a while I tossed around a white chocolate/macadamia nut/key lime combo, but decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to go. I also thought about doing some sort of cookie bar, but decided I didn’t want to go that route either. I finally got the idea to put some dried blueberries into the cookie batter as you would a raisin and these lovely little gems were born! If you like white chocolate and blueberries then this is the cookie for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of natural brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 – 11 ounce bag of white chocolate chips
2 cups of dried blueberries

Mix together butter, organic cane sugar, brown sugar and eggs until creamy. Add baking soda and salt and mix until just incorporated. Slowly add flour and mix until dough forms. Stir in white chocolate chips and blueberries and chill dough for at least 4 hours.

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Dough

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place scoops of dough onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Your scoops should be roughly 1 tablespoon per scoop. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 3-4 minutes and then place cookies on a rack to cool completely. Repeat until you run out of dough.

(Note: When you are not scooping the dough place it back in the fridge so the butter won’t get too warm. Cookies with butter bake better when the dough is completely chilled.)

Makes 4 1/2 to 5 dozen cookies.

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies: A Peak Inside

Notes: You could use dried cherries or goji berries in place of the blueberries if you liked. Or a mix of dried fruit would be good as well.

Macaroni and Cheese

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t like a cheesy, ooey, warm macaroni and cheese? It’s the very epitome of comfort food and a childhood staple for many. For a while now I’ve been looking for a good homemade mac and cheese and I’ve been largely disappointed until this creation! I made this on Christmas Eve and knew I was on to something when Jamison looked at it and said “That looks good!” He’s never shown any interest in homemade mac and cheese before. Sadly though he couldn’t taste it because it wasn’t gluten free, though I want to try a gluten free version in the near future for him! Then I took a bite and oh my! So good! This is definitely one to pull out when you want to wow them!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 16 ounce package of pasta (Note: You can use any kind that you like…shells, macaroni, twists, penne, etc. I used chiocciole, which are like big macaroni noodles.)
4 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups of milk (Note: You can use any type of milk you like. I used skim.)
1 teaspoon of onion powder
A small pinch of sea salt (Note: Cheese is sometimes salty so go easy on the salt.)
A generous pinch of black pepper
8 ounces of Fontina, shredded
5 ounces of cheddar, shredded (Note: You can use whatever level of cheddar that you like. I used extra sharp.)
5 ounces of Swiss, shredded
1 cup of Parmesan, grated
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs

(Note: You really need a kitchen scale for this recipe. It’s best to weight the amount of cheese. It can be a little over or a little under the weight (0.1 or 0.2 ounces here or there) it doesn’t have to be completely exact, but a kitchen scale is a nice tool to have for this.)

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Preheat your broiler.

In a large pot melt butter and then add flour and stir to mix. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds to a minute, but do NOT let it brown! Add milk, onion powder, salt and pepper and stir until mixture thickens slightly (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat when the mixture is slightly thickened and add cheeses and stir until completely melted.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir gently until pasta is completely coated. Pour mixture into a 3 or 4 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni with panko and Parmesan and broil for 3-4 minutes until top is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

Notes: There are all sort of variations you could do with this. You could add cayenne pepper instead of black. You could add in some salsa for a Mexican variety. You could play around with the cheeses. The possibilities are endless!

Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn

Some time late last year I mentioned on Twitter that I had made some kettle corn and I got a lot of DMs asking me how I made it. Well ask and you shall receive…Even if it is a few months late! ;oP

Kettle Corn is really simple to make. You get a nice sweet corn, with even a few bits of caramel type corn from the bottom here and there. If you’ve had Kettle Corn at the fair and wondered how to make then you’ve come to the right place! So sit back, grab a cuppa something warm (it’s cold out there!) and in no time you’ll see how easy it is to make your own!

What You’ll Need:
A large stock pot with a lid
2 heavy pot holders
1/4 cup of a light oil (Note: Sometimes I use light olive oil and sometimes I use safflower. Vegetable oil would probably work, though I’ll readily admit I’m not a fan.)
1 cup of popcorn kernels
1/3 cup of organic cane sugar
Sea salt

In a large pot add your oil and 3 popcorn kernels, place the lid on top and turn the heat to medium/high. Place on the lid and listen for the kernels to pop.

While you’re waiting for the kernels to pop in a small bowl mix popcorn and sugar. Set aside.

When the kernels pop you will know that it is time to add the popcorn/sugar mixture. The 3 test kernels usually pop within a minute of each other. If two of them have popped and roughly a minute later the 3rd one hasn’t then it’s probably dud. Proceed to the next step.

Once the test kernels have popped, quickly poor the sugar/popcorn mixture into the pot and recover the pot. Give it a quick shake using both pot holders to mix everything up and then wait for it to begin popping.

Shake the pot from time to time to ensure that it is heating through properly, especially after it starts popping. When the popping slows to no more than two or three pops every 5 seconds or more remove from heat and let sit for a minute to ensure that the popping has actually stopped.

Once you’re sure the popping has stopped remove lid and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Pour into a glass bowl and enjoy!

Notes: I’ve often thought it would be fun to add in some honey roasted peanuts to the process, but I never think about it until after the fact.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars

I like to send in treats with Jamison to work now and then, and sadly lately I’ve been very lax about that! I decided I wanted to make something stellar to send since it had been a while. The month of December was just a madhouse and I didn’t get around to it! I actually baked exactly one thing during the month December and that was cookies for Santa! Sheesh! I don’t know how long it’s been since I haven’t baked almost anything in a month!

There I go digressing again…Where was I? Oh yes….

At some point during the month of December I was at the grocery store and I saw a dessert similar to this in a magazine. Of course it called for a boxed brownie mix, which is fine, but I rather like putting together my own mix. I think it tastes better and then I know for sure what is in the final outcome. So I filed the idea into my head and kept thinking I’d get around to making them sometime during the month, but never did. I did however get around to making them on New Year’s Day to send to work with Jamison the next day.

I really liked how these turned out…They were delicious and it’s a good thing I sent them to work with Jamison because I would have ended up eating more than the one I sampled before I sent them to work with him. I mean chocolate and peanut butter? What’s not to like?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars: Crust Baked

What You’ll Need for the “Crust”:
1 sleeve of graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1/2 a stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Crush graham crackers in your food processor or with the bottom of a glass in a bowl. Add sugar and butter and stir to mix. Press into a 13 X 9 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 7-10 minutes until crust is slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on and proceed to mix brownies. (See below).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars: Brownie Layer Baked

What You’ll Need for the Brownie Layer:
2 sticks of butter, melted
2 1/2 cups of organic cane sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Mix melted butter with sugar and eggs until sugar is completely wet. Stir cocoa into the butter/sugar mixture and mix until completely incorporated. Stir in baking powder and vanilla until mixed. Add flour and mix until batter is fudgy and flour is completely mixed.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars: Brownie Layer Ready to Bake

Spread the mixture out on top of the baked graham cracker crust (see above) using wet hands to help push the batter out. Bake for 25-30 minutes until brownies are done, but still fudgy. Remove from oven and let cool completely and the proceed to the peanut butter mousse (see below).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars: Ready to Top

What You’ll Need for the Peanut Butter Mousse:
1 cup of heavy cream, whipped
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of peanut butter (Note: You can use creamy or crunchy, I used creamy.)
1 cup of powdered sugar

In the bowl of your mixer whip heavy cream until whipped cream forms. Remove from mixer bowl and place in a large glass bowl.

Return mixer bowl to your mixer and beat cream cheese until completely smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until completely incorporated. Slowly and gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter/sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

Spread peanut butter mousse mixture out on top of the cooled brownie layer. Chill for at least 45 minutes in the fridge and then proceed to the toppings. (See below).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars: Ready to Slice

What You’ll Need for the Topping:
1 cup of chocolate chips (Note: You can use semi-sweet, dark, milk, whatever you prefer…I used semi-sweet since Jamison couldn’t eat this. He’s all about the milk chocolate as I’ve mentioned before.)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of honey roasted peanuts
12 mini chocolate peanut butter cups, chopped

Over low heat melt the chocolate chips in the heavy cream until completely smooth. Pour/drizzle over the chilled peanut butter mousse layer. Sprinkle with honey roasted peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups.

Chill for at least another 45 minutes and then slice into small pieces. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Notes: Obviously this is not low-fat in any shape of form. It’s good though, but it’s very rich! A little definitely goes a long way.

Better Bites: Zucchini Lasagna

Vegetable "Lasagna"

First of let me just say that I’m not a fan of “low carb” anything and in fact I didn’t take the noodles out of this dish to make it that. To be completely honest when I hear the term “low-carb” I cringe. Any “diet” (also another word I’m not that fond of…Focus on healthy eating not starving yourself to death on some “diet”!) that tells you it’s ok to eat a slice of fatty bacon over an apple has more than a few issues! All things in moderation and if you want a piece of bacon, then plan for it, but all of that to say I can’t tell you the carb content of the dish…I could figure it out if I wanted to, but I won’t. I can however tell you my way of thinking…I believe in good carbs (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) versus bad carbs (refined sugars, flours, etc.). In fact you can make a perfectly healthy pasta dish using whole grain pastas just as easily, but I thought it would be fun to shake things up a bit.

Second, let’s touch on the subject of dairy. Most fat free dairy is just nasty. It tastes like cardboard. The exceptions to this are skim milk, ricotta and some cottage cheeses. Low-fat dairy on the other hand isn’t half bad and in some cases you can’t even tell the difference. It’s still something you want to use in moderation, but then again the key to these sort of things to begin with is moderation.

This dish pairs low-fat dairy, with zucchini to take lasagna to a whole new level. Who says you can’t have “lasagna” when you’re trying to eat right? This is just the dish for you!

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What You’ll Need:
1 – 16 or 18 ounce jar of marinara sauce (Note: Read the label. You want something that is made of tomatoes, perhaps some garlic and some herbs. If it has sugar, or god forbid high fructose corn syrup, put it back!)
3-4 large zucchini, cut in half and then cut into long slices roughly 1/4 of an inch thick
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of sliced mushrooms (Note: I usually slice them myself, but you can buy them sliced if you like.)
1 red onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 a small container of fat-free ricotta
8 ounces of part skim mozzarella, shredded or sliced thing (Note: I buy a 16 ounce package and cut it in half and then shred or slice thin. Lately I’ve been slicing it.)
6 ounces of freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Vegetable "Lasagna": Vegetables

In a large skillet sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

(Note: This next step you can follow as written, BUT the next time I make this I am going to roast the zucchini FIRST. When you cook zucchini, as with most vegetables, they let off moisture, so it made the dish a bit most overall. It won’t affect taste, but for presentation value it would be nice to roast it first. To do that you would simply pan “fry” or roast in the oven until tender and then cut the cooking time for the “lasagna” to 15-20 minute to just heat through and cheese is melted.)

Now to assemble the “lasagna”…

Spray an 8 X 8 inch dish with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. Layer it with a single layer of zucchini slices:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Ricotta

Next add some ricotta:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Marinara

Then a layer of marinara:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Vegetables

Next add the sautéed vegetables:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for Cheese

Next add a little mozzarella and Parmesan:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready for the Next Layer

Repeat this process two more times and the top the top of the “lasagna” with the remaining cheese:

Vegetable "Lasagna": Ready to Bake

(Note: I like to go sparingly on the Parmesan on the in between layers and put the majority of it on the top.)

Bake covered for 35-40 minutes if you didn’t cook the zucchini first or 15-20 if you did. In the last five minutes of cooking take off the cover so it can brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes: You could add in herbs if you like, but the marinara sauce that I used was nicely herbed to start with. You could also make your own sauce. As with anything, even though this is lighter than the original dish, it’s still something to be eaten in moderation, but it’s much lighter than other versions! This is also gluten free.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie Tart

Today is our last rewind recipe from Thanksgiving! And what’s Thanksgiving without some sort of pumpkin pie type deal? This recipe takes the aspects of a pumpkin pie and bakes them in a tart pan. It’s a bit creamier than your standard pumpkin pie, but oh so delicious none the less! This tart is also sinfully easy and what’s not to like about that? If you want something just a little bit different, all while sticking with the “traditional” and making things easy on yourself themes then this is the dish for you!

What You’ll Need:
1 pie crust (Note: You can make your own or buy one ready to go, your choice.)
1 – 15 ounce can of pumpkin (Note: Not pumpkin pie mix.)
3 eggs
1 cup of natural brown sugar
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cloves

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Press pie crust into a 9 inch tart pan and set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer mix together pumpkin, eggs, natural brown sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until completely incorporated.

Pour pumpkin mixture into the crust in the tart pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until pie is set. (Note: You don’t want it to be really browned, just set. Pumpkin pie tends to get darker as it bakes due to the ingredients and that is fine, but you don’t want it to be too browned.) Cool to room temperature and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Pumpkin Pie Tart

Note: If you want to use a gingersnap or graham cracker crust in place of the pie crust you could. You could use 15 ounces of freshly cooked pumpkin if you liked.

Gluten Free Fudgy Pie

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

I made this for Thanksgiving because Jamison normally has chocolate pie for dessert, but his usual pie I knew wouldn’t cut the muster now that he can’t have gluten. This really is such a cheating sort of pie, but who cares? The end result is fabulous and all with no gluten, because it is “crustless”. I don’t think Jamison even ended up eating any of this since I made also made him a gluten free cake so he’d have something to eat if he didn’t care for this. He’s not in the least a “Let’s try new things!” kind of guy so I don’t remember him tasting it, but Alexis loved it and so did I! If you like fudge, then this is the “pie” for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 – 11.5 ounce bags of chocolate chips (Note: I used milk chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet, bittersweet or even white if you like!)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla (optional)

Gluten Free Fudgy "Pie"

In a double boiler melt chocolate chips with the heavy cream until smooth. Turn off heat and slowly stir in sweetened condensed milk and sea salt and stir until completely mixed. Next add vanilla and stir to incorporate.

Pour chocolate mixture into a pie plate that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let sit at room temperature until firm (this could take thirty minutes to several hours depending on temperature and humidity and such) and then serve.

Notes: You could use peppermint extract instead of vanilla to make a minty pie. Or how about a little Irish Cream instead? You could also add in nuts if you liked.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Today we’re going to take a walk down the path of life backward, all the way back to Thanksgiving! Why the journey back in time? Because I haven’t really blogged new recipes since this was made and this one was just too good not to share! In fact the recipes over the next few days will all be Thanksgiving throw backs, but trust me…You’ll want to try them! Who says it has to be Thanksgiving to have a little dessert?

I’m a huge pumpkin fan. I have been for as long as I can remember. I look forward to the time of year when it’s “acceptable” to pull out the pumpkin, though these days you can buy it in the can year round (and in fact this bread was actually made with the canned variety), or you could even make up some pumpkin and freeze it when pumpkin is in season to pull out for later use. Heck you could even make the actual bread and freeze it for later use! What’s not to like about that?

The special touch to this bread is walnut oil and maple syrup. Both of the elements give the bread and very lovely undertone. This bread is perfect warm or even at room temperature. I love it for breakfast or a snack. I also think it would be neat to take it and make a French toast casserole, but I haven’t put that idea to the test yet. For now let’s get on with things and a get a little pumpkin bread baking!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 29 ounce can of pumpkin (Note: NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
4 eggs
1 cup of natural brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 cup of roasted walnut oil
1/4 cup of maple syrup
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Pumpkin Bread: Ready to Bake

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl cream together pumpkin, eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Next stir in nutmeg, cinnamon, sea salt and baking powder until completely incorporated. Add oil and maple syrup and stir to mix. Last add flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter evenly between two loaf pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake in a preheated oven for one hour or until bread sticks done.

Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 15-20 minutes and then turn out onto a cotton towel and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Notes: If you are making this for someone with nut allergies obviously the walnut oil is a no no. You could substitute safflower or light olive oil instead. If you aren’t dealing with nut allergies you could add in a cup of chopped walnuts too.