pumpkin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Latte Bread

Before reading any further, please note there is nothing healthy about this recipe. If there is any time to indulge, its certainly on a holiday, so I baked Pumpkin Spice Latte Chocolate Chip Bread and Muffins.  The original recipe was for bread, but is also the perfect batter for muffins. Pumpkin puree was a great addition to the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for its nutritional value, but here, pumpkin puree serves as an ingredient that will make the bread (or muffins) incredibly moist.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Latte Muffins and Bread from Mindful Glutton
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Latte Muffins and Bread from Mindful Glutton

The first time I made the recipe was in preparation of our annual camping trip to Lake Winnepesauke. My husband, along with the other couple we go with are a little picky so I wasn't sure how they'd like "pumpkin" bread. I warmed a few of the muffins up by the camp fire so when you broke them apart the chocolate chips were gooey again. They were a huge hit. Unfortunately we had an accident with the loaf of bread, and it got soaked with water in the cooler and we had to throw it away.

I've been baking a lot less this year. Its one of the ways I've been watching what I eat. So when I do bake, I invest in the best quality ingredients. The last time I made this recipe we were still getting fresh local organic eggs from our farm share. The taste and quality rival what you can find in a grocery store. With that, I've decided to stick with organic eggs.

I'm also using organic flour, sugar and pumpkin puree. I read and hear a lot of dialog about the pros/cons (or more so contesting of the cons) of organic. Those against organic usually say its too expensive and that any "risks" of non-organic are minimal or over exaggerated. I don't exclusively buy organic, but when I'm presented both options, I usually go towards organic. I'd like to address the argument that organic "is too expensive", it isn't necessarily. I find Trader Joe's has a lot of great organic products at reasonable prices. I also buy little, if any,8 packaged or junk food. If you want to save money at the grocery store, shop the perimeter (fruits, veggies, dairy) - its also healthier. I'm glad to sacrifice the 10 for $10 dollar special on Cheeze-Its for a bag of organic flour. Secondly, even if the pesticides and chemicals in non-organic are so trace to present a threat, why would I want to eat just a little of it? All I know, is that between having a better diet, which consists of more organic food, and working out, my body feels great.

This recipe has been slightly adapted from one I saw on a blog called Two Peas In a Pod. I've tweaked the recipe ever so slightly. I substituted some of the white sugar for brown sugar (just a half of a cup), and I've also substitute water for coffee to get that "latte" flavor.

The original also calls for a cup of canola oil. Canola oil is extremely processed and goes rancid really easy and can act as a carcinogen. I'm still learning ways to substitute out icky products like these with other ingredients so I wasn't able to get rid of it completely. However I found a way to use Greek yogurt to replace some of it. You can use the following method in any of your baking. First, cut the amount of oil in half. Then replace each cup of oil you remove with 3/4 cup greek yogurt. There is only a cup of oil in this recipe, so if I cut that in half, I'd add 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs of the yogurt.

 The recipe itself comes together very quickly. Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients plus sugar in another. Combine, and stir in the chocolate chips. The original recipe says the batter is enough for 3 loafs of bread, but I believe it would most likely make 2. Today I used the batter to make a dozen muffins plus one good size loaf of bread. I can't decide which one I like better. Fresh out of the oven the muffins develop a beautiful caramelized crust (thanks to the brown sugar) and are perfect with a cup of coffee. But the loaf of bread seems to retain its moistness a bit longer than the muffins and can be enjoyed throughout the week (if it lasts that long). I like baking this, having a slice or two, and leaving it at work or with friends so I'm not tempted to eat the entire loaf. Its truly a favorite of mine.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2.5 cups granulated sugar
  • .5 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs non fat greek yogurt (if you dont have greek yogurt, just use a full cup of canola oil)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 11oz bags of milk or semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Spray the inside of your bread pan with cooking spray and sprinkle some flour on the inside. Shake to distribute the flour (so it sticks to the bottom and sides) and shake out the excess. If you are making muffins you can do the same thing with your muffin tin or line with paper cups.
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin puree, canola oil, water, coffee, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the entire bag of chocolate chips :)
  • For a loaf of bread, bake 55-60 mins, or until its browned and a toothpick comes out clean. For muffins, bake time is 30-35 mins.
  • Let rest for at least 15 mins before removing from the bread pan.

Nutritional Information

One serving (either one muffin or about a 1-inch slice of the bread): Calories: 301, Carbs: 50, Fat: 11g, Proteins 5g, Sugars: 35g

*Calculated with MyFitnessPal - I weighed a single muffin and slice and determined between the muffins and bread loaf I had 22 servings and divided total calories by that.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m up bright and early to whip up a few things for my family’s Thanksgiving gathering. I sometimes wonder why I even bother because whether we are at my aunt’s house or my mother-in-law’s there is always an abundance, or more accurately, an EXCESS of food. Knowing that the day will consist of overeating and drinking I like to start off days like this with a healthy breakfast. Inspired by the holiday I’ve whipped up a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie that is light in calories (285 to be exact) but will keep you full until your Thanksgiving feast starts!

Pumpkin is much more than the “flavor of the month”, it's an incredible superfood. The orange hue in pumpkin (as well as sweet potatoes and carrots) is beta-carotene, a powerful provitamin known for its supporting eye-health and the immune system.

Another great thing about pumpkin is that its is high in fiber which is great for digestion, but also for helping you feel full longer. One cup of puree has 7 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein – and only has 80 calories!

You can find pumpkin puree in the baking section of your grocery store in cans or pouches like this one. Be careful not to buy “pumpkin pie filling”.

mindfulglutton-2933.jpg

I really want something that will hold me over until the afternoon so I'm not craving as many appetizers before the main meal so I'm also including oatmeal and banana. I also add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Flaxseed has a lot of fiber as well as Omega-3. I add it to almost all my breakfast smoothies for extra health benefits.

mindfulglutton-2938.jpg

A mindful smoothie should always be sweetened naturally, so I'll add a half of a pear. Apples also come to mind when I think of autumn dishes, but I thought it would be too tart for this recipe. I recommend keeping the skin on. The smoothie may be a bit more “pulpy” with it, but studies show the skin of pears contain 3-4 times as many phytonutrients as the flesh. I also add a teaspoon of agave for a little more sweetness.

mindfulglutton-2946.jpg

The recipe calls for a cup of unsweetened almond milk. If you haven't tried it already, I recommend you do. Compared to regular milk, almond milk is much higher in nutrients and calcium, and much lower in calories. A cup of unsweetened almond milk is just 30-45 calories depending on the brand and flavor. Vanilla flavored almond milk would be perfect for this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, but I usually buy unflavored. A drop or two of vanilla extract will give me the flavor I'm looking for.

Add ice (or freeze the banana) before blending.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/2 pear, with skin
  • 1/2 banana, preferably frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy)
  • 1 tbs ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp agave or honey
  • .5 tsp vanilla extract (optional, if you use vanilla flavored almond milk you do not need to add vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup ice

Instructions

  • Put all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend!

Nutritional Information*

One serving: Calories: 285, Carbs: 51g, Fat: 7g, Protien: 8g, Sugars: 23g