It’s almost Fall and I don’t know about you but I’m ready for Pumpkin EVERYTHING! I know pumpkin is not everyone’s favorite thing BUT when it’s the perfect mix of sweet & spicy, it can be SO GOOD…especially when you add a little chocolate! This Paleo Pumpkin Bread is the perfect recipe. It’s EASY, (#1 priority for me) healthy, low-carb, gluten and dairy free. Instead of sugar I used maple syrup, vanilla and spices. It’s so delicious and kid approved…which is always the true test, let’s face it. If you’re craving something sweet with minimal guilt you’re going to have to try it!
Benefits of Pumpkin:
- Boosts Vision: A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, according to researchers from Harvard. Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
- Sleep Better: Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood.
- Healthy for Your Man: Pumpkins, especially the seeds, are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties and pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health. When young men in a Wayne State University study restricted their dietary zinc intake, they had significantly lower levels of testosterone after 20 weeks.
- Heart Healthy: Pumpkin, especially seeds and puree has a lot of fiber. That fiber can also help protect your heart, research shows.
Paleo Pumpkin Bread
Yield: 1 (8×4) loaf
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Total Time:1 hr 30 mins
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Simply Organic Five Spice Powder
4 large eggs
3/4 cup Canned Pumpkin Purée — NOT pumpkin pie filling
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Up to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips — be sure to use dairy free, Paleo-friendly chocolate chips if necessary.
Coconut oil – enough to generously coat your baking pan.
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a 8×4-inch loaf pan with coconut oil (spread it on waxed paper and rub on your pan.)
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, kosher salt, baking soda, spice powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, maple syrup, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet. Gently stir, just until combined and the flour disappears. Fold in any desired mix-ins. I used mini chocolate chips.
Scrape into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Add a pinch or two of mini chocolate chips on top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool 30 minutes. Gently take out the bread and place it on the rack to finish cooling completely. Slice and enjoy!
If you try this recipe, please let me know! I’d love to hear about how you liked it!
Maria McKendry, Buffalo Barre Owner