Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread for Fall.


Pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins have long been an obsession of mine come fall. But finding a pumpkin loaf "around town" that is vegan and guilt-free is not an easy task. So in these desperate times, most vegans find that matters must be taken into their own hands. Into the kitchen we go!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread. This dreamy, filling, golden pumpkin loaf is packed with real pumpkin flavor and accented with warm spices like cinnamon, plus a touch of earthy nutmeg and ginger and dreamy coconut oil, citrus zest and vanilla bean too. Get my recipe plus a Nelly update..







Nice without the vegan butter slathering too..


Pumpkin bread in fall. It is a must. (But healthy vegan pumpkin bread, not so easy to find.)

Can I Get Some Pump-Pump-Pumpkin Bread Please? One classic "pumpkin bread" example can be found at everyone's favorite mass chain coffee shop: Starbucks. Even if you've never tasted it, I know you've seen it. You've passed it as you dart through airports at 6am, or as you grab a quick soy-something on a busy workday. Those thick, spongy slices all huddled together behind the shiny, glossy bakery glass, lined up in perfect piles between the "banana loaf" and "iced lemon pound cake." Those golden slices smiling at the pumpkin spice latte toting patrons. But no pumpkin spice latte for us vegans (yet?) and no pumpkin loaf either. You sigh feeling kinda left out of the #PSL, Pumpkin Bread frenzy, the sound of those crinkling brown Starbucks bakery bags following you out the door and down the street.

Like most traditional pumpkin breads, the popular Starbucks version is not vegan. And not terribly healthy. Lets just take a looksie.. "Pumpkin Bread ingredients a la Starbucks: sugar, pumpkin, wheat flour, enriched (wheat flour malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), egg, soybean oil, water, pepitas (pepitas, safflower oil, salt), food starch - modified, salt, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), baking soda, spices, pan spray (soy lecithin, may contain canola oil, palm oil, soybean oil, natural flavor, mineral oil). " 390 calories per slice, 14g fat, 2g fiber, 38g sugar/61g carbs.

But hold up! Before you crumble into a pouting mess of pumpkin depression, take a bite of this!..



So lets try this again...

Indulge. My Oatmeal Pumpkin Loaf is not only delicious, but LOADED with whole food goodness from rolled oats, pumpkin puree, healthier sweeteners like maple syrup, ground seeds and non-dairy almond milk. So good for you that you can easily eat it for breakfast, paired with a giant steamy latte or your favorite fruit smoothie or green juice recipe. The main healthy ingredient upgrade involves my flour. Instead of pre-processed "flour" I use homemade oat flour. My homemade oat flour is easily made in a blender or food processor in just a few minutes.

If you split one loaf into 8 slices, each slice looks like this (estimate via caloriecount.com):


Not too shabby. Less sugar/carbs. More fiber. Less fat. More whole foods. Fat is from organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. Tip! If you want to boost the protein content of you bread, substitute 1/2 cup of the pumpkin with silken tofu. Or keep the recipe as is and add in a scoop of your fave protein powder. Or take a tip from Starbucks and add in some nutrient-rich ground pepitas! Yum.

Oat Flour Loaf. Since this is a hearty, truly oatmeal-infused loaf, it has a dense, rich pumpkin texture and flavor - rather than an ultra fluffy texture you might find from pumpkin bread using refined wheat flours. I love oat flour baked goods, they remind me of bran muffins, but silkier. Tip: I used chia seeds because I was out of flax seeds. But I have found that using flax seeds usually gives vegan baked goods a bit more "fluff" in the density.

Breakfast, afternoon snack or bedtime nibble.. pull your leftover bread from the fridge, slice, warm for a few seconds in the microwave or toaster oven and add a slather of Earth Balance. Instant pumpkin-cloud heaven.



Oatmeal Pumpkin Loaf
vegan, makes 1 "standard loaf pan" (9x5") loaf - makes 8 generous slices

dry:
2 cups oat flour (homemade form rolled oats - see directions)
3/4 tsp salt
1 heaping Tbsp baking powder
spices: 3/4 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ginger powder + 1/8 tsp nutmeg + pinch cayenne (optional)
*If you only have cinnamon spice on hand that is fine too!

wet:
1 cup almond milk (room temperature, or slightly warm)
3 tsp ground flax seeds (or substitute with chia seeds)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (organic)
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar (orange juice or lemon juice is an acceptable substitute)
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave syrup OR 1/2 cup sugar (organic turbino, raw cane sugar tested)
1/4 tsp fresh orange zest (lemon zest works too)

topping: sprinkle of sugar + oats + zest

notes:
* If your pumpkin puree is on the "wet" side, add another 3 Tbsp of puree and only use about 3/4 cup almond milk. Pumpkin puree cans will vary greatly in "wetness." A "dry" puree hold its shape in a gel-like scoop, while a wet puree is soft almost like a thick applesauce.

* Sweetener: I made the bread once using 3/4 cup dry sugar and once using 1/2 cup maple syrup. Both worked well. I think I liked the maple syrup hint a bit more, and it was a bit smoother of a sweetness. But both were wonderful. Agave syrup could also be used. For a sweeter loaf, use 3/4 cup sweetener. But you should be fine using just 1/2 cup.

* Fluffy Factor: If you want a less dense loaf, feel free to use half homemade oat flour and half a lighter flour like a basic store-bought wheat flour or gluten-free flour alternative

* Wet Mix: You want to warm your liquid ingredients so they combine smoothly. If there is a chilled ingredient the coconut oil will solidify making the mixture clumpy. The easy solution is the warm up anything that is chilled, like the almond milk.


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.

2. Make your oat flour by grinding whole rolled oats in a food processor or blender until a fine powder texture is reached.

3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

4. Combine all wet ingredients in a bender and process for a few minutes on lowest setting. This will help activate the flax seeds as an "egg replacer."

5. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until a thick, wet batter is formed.

6. Grease your loaf pan very well using coconut oil or coconut oil spray. Pour batter into pan.

7. Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 395 and bake for an additional 25 minutes. About 40-50 minutes total should be about right. You can check to see if you bread is done by using the toothpick test.

8. Cool for a good 30 minutes before removing from pan. You may be able to slice while the loaf is still warm, however slice carefully since the bread will be delicate. You will notice that the dense pumpkin texture will firm up as it cools and the oats continue to absorb the moisture of the cooling bread.

Serve with a slather of Earth Balance vegan butter!





A few things:

1) THANK YOU to everyone who has joined Team Gobble and donated to Farm Sanctuary's What Did You Do campaign! You guys have exceeded my expectations and I am beaming with pride and happiness to have such generous readers. Details in this post.

2) Nelly Update! Updates from this post and this post. Sorry I've been MIA in updating you on Nelly. Here is the latest. And overall I'm ecstatic that she is acting like my normal Nellster and seemingly exceeding the grim expectations communicated by her multiple doctors.

Last Friday we went down to the cancer center to get Nelly's follow-up chest X-ray. Big scary day. This X-ray would tell us how aggressive her cancer is and how much the cancer lesions in her lungs have grown or multiplied. (Nelly's cancer started in her liver and spread to her lungs.) And you may remember the original estimate by one doctor was that Nelly had 2-3 months left to live. (That was in late August.)

The results: In about 3 1/2 weeks Nelly's lung lesions DID NOT CHANGE. At all. They are still there, but for some reason they have stayed the same. So maybe we are doing something right! This is literally the FIRST bit of good news Nelly has received in this cancer journey, so I am just going to soak in all this positive energy.

Now the bad news is that she still has a large tumor on her liver and her liver blood results are still slightly elevated. (Although her ALT went down a bit.) And she is still about two pounds underweight for her "norm" weight. Trust me, I am feeding her day and night - I think I am beginning to annoy her with all the feeding sessions going on.

So honestly I have no idea what this means, I guess I am still in shock that we had a tiny bit of good news come our way with all the vets telling us Nelly's cancer is aggressive, terminal and untreatable. Praying that they are all wrong! (Yes, that is my in-denial voice chiming in again.) We have a follow-up chat with Dr. Bittan, our alternative medicine doctor, so I am anxious to see what he thinks. We have been giving Nelly a few meds he prescribed, so maybe they are working!

Or maybe Nelly seriously felt ALL THE LOVE you guys have been pouring out to her furry little body and she decided that she just did NOT want to leave this planet when so many kind and wonderful people love her. Keep it coming, Nelly likes the vibes you all are sending to her. xoxox





Link Love! More Fall-Approved Bread Recipes:

* Citrus & Spice Banana Tea Bread
* Two L'il Pumpkin Muffins
* Honeycrisp Banana Bread + Almond Butter Drizzle
* Easy A Breakfast Carrot Cake
* Pumpkin Spice Orange Banana Bread Bars
* Sugar 'n Spice Dipped Soft Pumpkin Pretzels with Sweet Orange Glaze.
* Pumpkin-Cranberry Loaf, aka Sugar Plum Fairy Bread

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