October is my favorite month for many reasons: crisp fall weather, apple picking, and delicious pumpkin-flavored recipes! It's also the month I met my fiance and the month we got engaged three years later (in the same pumpkin patch as one of our first dates), so October holds a very special place in my heart 🙂
Every year I like to experiment in the kitchen with fall-flavored recipes. Call me basic, but I like using pumpkin/pumpkin spice in my fall recipes because it's such a good flavor and pumpkin is actually a nutrient powerhouse! Pureed pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A (great for skin & eye health) and fiber (nature's laxative--besides coffee). Pumpkin seeds contain healthy fats, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and copper--which are involved in hormonal health and can help with PMS symptoms.
This year I made one of my best fall recipes yet and I'm super excited to share it with you. It uses whole wheat flour, and maple syrup for sweetness. Due to the moisture content, I didn’t add oil.
To step up the decadent factor, I added dark chocolate chunks--but if you prefer to keep this pumpkin flavored recipe more traditional, you can omit the chocolate chunks. Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think!
Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Spice Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used Whole Foods Market 365 brand)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice mix (a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc.)--I found this at Whole Foods Market
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp. ground flax + 3 tbsp. warm water (to make a flax "egg")
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks (I used Whole Foods market 365 brand, which according to the label, contains no animal products)
- Measure out all ingredients
- Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
- Lightly grease a 9x9 pan, or use parchment paper if you prefer
- To make a flax "egg", combine ground flax + warm water; mix and set aside
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices) in a large bowl
- Combine wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, maple syrup) in another bowl, mix well, and then add the flax "egg" into the mixture. Mix.
- Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until the mixture is uniform
- Pour mixture into the pan and bake at 350º for 40-50 minutes
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes
- Cut into squares and enjoy!