While we are on the tail end of what I call “pumpkin season”, it’s still so heart-warming to bake with pumpkin. I am all about pumpkin throughout the fall. I dollop pumpkin puree into plain Greek-style yogurt and drizzle it with honey, stir into oatmeal with raisins and pistachios or add it to a pot of chili for an extra dose of rich color and vitamin A - an antioxidant that can help keep your cells healthy and defend agains various diseases.
For today’s recipe, I was inspired by a blog, COOKIE + kate, and adapted this recipe from her, Healthy Pumpkin Bread. I am all about using minimal, whole food ingredients. This recipe fits that bill. I like using honey as a sweetener since it’s pure, natural and made from bees. However, be aware that it does have the same glycemic effect as any other sugar - and it contains just as many calories. So using smaller amounts of honey (and any sugar or sweetener) is a good rule of thumb.
This batter creates a moist and rich end-product whether you are pouring into muffin tins, bundt or loaf pans. Be sure to use unsweetened pureed pumpkin so that your batter is not too sweet. The pumpkin soaks in the honey very well.
Add a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg (I’ve use a gingerbread spice blend, too). I love roasted cinnamon (if you never had roasted cinnamon, I highly recommend it!) You can purchase it a regular grocery store where herbs and spices are sold. Roasted cinnamon has a robust aroma and imparts a delicate, rich flavor.
To add whole grain goodness, use white whole wheat flour. One of the brands I love is King Arthur Flour. It tastes like the white stuff, but it’s really whole grain. Since the whole grain is intact it provides more fiber, iron, magnesium and B-vitamins than the refined stuff.
Simple Pumpkin Bundt Cakes
Makes 6 mini bundt cakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup honey
2 whole eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree, unsweetened
1/4 cup milk, cow’s, soy milk, almond, coconut or hazelnut
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (roasted) cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
For candied walnut topping (optional):
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 325 degree F.
Spray a mini bundt pan with cooking spray (I use an expeller-pressed grape seed oil spray).
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, eggs, pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Once combined, add cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and flour. Mix together well with a spatula.
In a small bowl, with a fork, toss together walnuts and honey just until coated.
Spread a teaspoon or two of the candied walnuts into the bottom of each of the bundt pans. Spoon in the batter and fill to the top. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Check with a clean toothpick or small knife. If not done, place back in for 5 minutes and check again. Remove from oven when top is golden brown and toothpick or knife comes out clean.
**If you make this recipe snap a photo and post on Instragram or Twitter and tag me @vsrnutrition. I’d love to see it!**
Enjoy the rest of pumpkin and holiday season!