Healthy Pumpkin Bread
I know, I know. I know what you are thinking. “Now she is giving us a Healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe? Where was this two weeks ago, when we were all ‘GIVE ME THE PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!’ Doesn’t she know we’ve moved on?”
The truth is, I became so wrapped up in trying to be more creative with pumpkin this year, I neglected the fundamentals.
On a chilly morning last week, I woke up with an unshakable craving for pumpkin bread, and I realized that, despite the number of cans of pumpkin puree I’d gone through making Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler, Pumpkin Energy Balls, Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Pumpkin Overnight Oats, and Pumpkin Pasta Sauce, I’d yet to take a single bite of my real, honest-to-goodness, absolute favorite way to enjoy pumpkin: Healthy Pumpkin Bread.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread – The Forever Favorite Pumpkin Recipe
Yes, among the pages of assorted pumpkin recipes in my index, healthy pumpkin bread is my favorite.
Only if you consider rich, tender, and supremely spiced slices of pumpkin bliss that also happen to be good for you boring, which I am pleased to say I do not.
Maybe you’ve already eaten your fill of pumpkin bread this year, in which case I hope you’ll file this healthy pumpkin bread recipe away for a more opportune time.
Or, maybe like me, you still have enough of a pumpkin craving to try this recipe, which I am hoping with every ounce of my little squash-loving heart is the case.
This healthy pumpkin recipe only needs one bowl, and chances are you have everything you need to make it in your pantry right now. It’s also naturally sweetened, whole wheat, and freezes like a dream.
I adapted this recipe from my favorite healthy banana bread. Like the banana bread, this pumpkin bread is low in fat and super moist, thanks to Greek yogurt.
I took the recipe a step farther by replacing the brown sugar with honey. Honey and pumpkin are officially new besties and should probably get matching charm bracelets. They are wonderful paired together. After you have baked the healthy banana bread, slather some of Rachel’s Pumpkin Honey Whipped Butter onto a slice. Heaven.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread Mix-Ins
- Millet. The little specs you see in the pumpkin bread are millet, an inexpensive whole grain that adds a pleasing crunch to the pumpkin bread’s soft, springy texture. I picked up the idea of adding millet to my quick breads from Deb and have been hooked since. You can certainly omit the millet if you want.
- Chopped Nuts. Add some crunch with a small handful of chopped pecans and walnuts.
- Chocolate Chips. Mix in some chocolate chips for a tasty, decadent twist. (Or try this Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread.)
- Banana. Follow instructions for my Pumpkin Banana Bread. (Or skip the pumpkin and banana altogether and make this Blueberry Bread instead.)
- To Make Vegan. Check out my Vegan Pumpkin Bread.
- To Make Paleo. Try this delicious Paleo Pumpkin Bread.
Tools Used to Make This Bread
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- 2 tablespoons canola oil - or melted and cooled coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 large egg - at room temperature
- 1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt* - at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree - not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg - freshly grated is an amazing upgrade! Use this zester to grate whole nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves - or allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour*
- 1/4 cup uncooked millet - rinsed and shaken dry (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Light coat an 8x4 inch loaf pan with baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil and honey together. Add the Greek yogurt, beat to combine, then beat in the egg. Make sure the ingredients are smooth and well blended. With the mixer on low, beat in the pumpkin purée and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt over the top, then stir to combine. Sprinkle in the flour, then gently mix, just until the flour disappears. Stir in the millet. Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake the healthy pumpkin bread for 30 minutes, then remove pan and lightly tent with foil to keep the top from becoming too dark. Return the bread to the oven to continue baking for another 25 to 35 minutes (55 to 65 minutes total), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes. Gently transfer to a wire rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
- You can substitute vanilla Greek yogurt for the plain, though the bread will be a bit sweeter. I have not tested the bread with regular yogurt (which is thinner), so I recommend sticking with the Greek.
- For the white whole wheat flour, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, or a blend. Regular whole wheat flour can also be used, though the bread will have a heavier texture and more pronounced wheat taste.
- Store loaves, well-wrapped, in the freezer for up to 2 months or at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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