Because it’s fall. And suddenly all I want to do is eat stuff with pumpkin in it. Or squash. Or sweet potatoes. I can just see my dad, wrinkling up his nose a little. (Ok, maybe a lot.) Sweet potatoes? Where did I go wrong? It’s cool, Dad! I’m not eating any beets! Yet.
I’ve been working up a list I call “interesting things I want to make this fall/winter”. Things like lamb ragu. Roasted marrow(warning! This link shows a lot of kind of gross raw bones). A veggie cassoulet. A crispy duck. Oh hells yes, crispy duck with an orange sauce and sweet potato rolls. Then, of course, duck fat potatoes. Marmalade. I have an idea for some s’mores brownies kicking around in my head that I want to attempt. Onion jam. I did some onion jam last year and made some sourdough bread and then the Archaeologist ate it and declared that it should be a thing that I did all the time. But it involves slicing 4 pounds of onions and wow. Even with my mandolin it is a lot of onions to slice. Totally worth it, just not something I want to do every week. I have some honey whiskey liqueur hiding in my pantry right now. I can rack it in a week, and let me tell you, I’m already trying not to drink all of it. I have a list of salad combos that I want to try out, something other than just lettuce, carrots, cabbage, celery, dressing. I don’t know, we’ll see how it works out. Anyone have any opinions on fennel? I also have something like 800 million new vegetarian recipes to try. Oh and pie. Sometimes in the next month I’m going to start messing around with pie recipes. (Friends, I will let you know when that day comes, because I am going to need help eating pies.)
All this is a really long-winded way of saying, I have plans. Kind of grand plans, in a way. Things I want to try and taste and see. But none of the above really satisfies my craving for something warm and pumpkin-y. Enter my favorite banana bread. Wait, what? No, you heard me correctly. 10 minute banana bread. It’s fast, it has a short ingredient list and it really lends itself to an open interpretation. I’ve made it with applesauce instead of butter, peanut butter instead of butter, ½ yogurt, ½ butter …. put in add-ins like chocolate chips, dried fruit, you name it. So one day I’m thinking about pumpkin bread. My very favorite pumpkin bread recipe is almost more like pumpkin cake and makes 3 very heavy loaves. This is fine but some times that’s just too much fuss.
Reader, I did what any sane person would do. I googled “3 bananas = how many cups” and discovered that it was 1 cup of banana. And then I subbed some pumpkin in to my banana bread recipe. I use applesauce and 1/2 white whole wheat flour. The good news is, this makes a tasty pumpkin bread that is actually not too terrible for you. I like to take this for a mid-morning snack to have with my coffee, and my husband will eat most of the loaf by himself – when he’s not hoarding it. I appreciate having something that tastes like a treat and is a treat, but is better for me than, say, a cookie or a donut.
As I said above, I use 1/2 white whole wheat. If you decide to use regular whole wheat, you can really only sub about 1/3 c. in to the recipe. More than that and you end up with a very tasty brick. When I feel crazy I mix up my own apple pie/pumpkin pie spice and put that in this as well. Cinnamon is delicious on its own but personally I’d recommend a shake or two of clove to give it a more pumpkin-y spice taste.
1/4 c. applesauce
1 c. pumpkin puree
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix these all together well. In a separate bowl combine:
1 1/3 c. flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Add wet ingredients to this mix and mix until everything is blended. Really. Resist the urge to over-mix. Pour in to a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for ~50 minutes.