Fall is here; a season of change. Soon crunchy leaves will cover the sidewalks, the days will become shorter and the nights longer, and the temperature will begin to steadily decline. Soon, we will be celebrating a marathon of holidays enjoying great food with good friends and family.
This is by far my favorite season. My apartment is always buzzing with friends coming over for get-togethers and the oven and stove working overtime. The aroma of cinnamon and cloves fills my apartment. As the season becomes colder, I plan on making my first batch of Pumpkin Soup; I will let you know how it goes.
My favorite part of the fall is that pumpkins are back in the supermarkets, pie pumpkins to be exact. There are many things that people do with pumpkins, from carving jack o’ lanterns and indoor decor to sweet desserts and scrumptious entrées. I prefer to cook it.
It is important to mention one thing. DO NOT use your old jack o’ lantern to cook anything with. When you carve the pumpkin and set it out for the Halloween holiday, that is the end of the road for it. As it sits there, bacteria forms where the pumpkin has been cut and the bacteria infects the meat of the pumpkin. At this point, it is no longer safe for human consumption.
The recipe I am sharing today is for exceptional Pumpkin Bread. I stumbled across this recipe on allrecipes.com last year and I have used it already this year…it was delicious! The introduction of pumpkins back into the produce section and canned pumpkin purée are key ingredients to any pumpkin dessert recipe.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
*To make your own pumpkin purée, cut a pie pumpkin in half vertically, scoop out the seeds and pith. Place cut sides down on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Peel the skin off and let cool. Blend in a blender or food processor and voila!*
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil (your choice)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice (This one is not readily available. If you do not have this spice substitute with 1/4 tsp ground ginger.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but recommended)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.
2. Mix in the pumpkin purée, oil, water, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice (or ginger) and nuts. Do not over mix.
3. Pour into a buttered loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted through the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rake and enjoy!