Cooking at home saves money and correlates with a healthier diet. A new study found that people who spend more than 1 hour a day preparing food at home:
- Spend significantly less money on food and beverages outside the home compared to folks who spend <1hr/day prepping food ($22 and $15 respectively)
- Ate significantly more fruits and veggies
- Placed a lower importance on convenience foods (which are typically high in sugar, salt, refined grains and saturated fats)
- Had a better overall diet quality
Now we move into the recipe phase. And what better seasonal recipe than pumpkin bread? Made with real pumpkin, I might add.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder*
- 3 eggs
- 1.25 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups of shredded pumpkin**
Preheat oven to 325F (150C)
Lightly grease loaf pan or muffin tins
- Using your favourite mixer (hand or KitchenAid-syle) beat the eggs on medium for ~1 minute
- Slowly add in the sugar and continue to beat on medium for 3-5 minutes until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light yellow, slightly thickened and aerated
- Slowly add in the canola oil and vanilla, continue to beat ~3 more minutes
Folding the shredded pumpkin into the wet crew
- Turn the mixer off and add the shredded pumpkin, incorporate by gently folding the mixture with a spatula
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine
Important note: It's at this point that we mix the dry crew into the wet crew. This recipe is a quick-bread^, so it's important that the wet and dry crews get folded together gently using a spatula until just combined (over-mixing or rigorous mixing deflates the bubbles from the beaten eggs which allow the dough rise).
^Quick-breads use a weak base, in this case baking soda, and a weak acid, the baking powder, to elicit a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide and thus causing the bread to rise without yeast.
6. Place all of the dry crew into the wet crew and gently fold until just combined (see note above)
7. Quickly place batter in designated (lightly greased) baking vessels and into the oven
8. Bake loaf in the center of the oven for 75 minutes (30 minutes if you're making muffins)
9. Remove from oven and cool in loaf pan 15 mins, turn out and cool on rack 1 hour
|Frozen leftover pumpkin|
* If your baking powder is older than 6 months, throw in an extra pinch as it loses its potency
** There are two schools of thought re using Halloween or Jack 'O Lantern pumpkins, if they are stored indoors and not carved, they are safe and fine to use. Bear in mind these pumpkins are grown for size and appearance. I used a leftover, uncarved Halloween pumpkin and lived to tell the tale of a delicious baking venture, so it's up to you. Shred using your favourite food processor. Oh, and you can freeze the shreddings to use at a later date.
Wishing everyone a happy and delicious Turkey Day.