Pumpkin Gingerbread

Guess who just ate half a loaf of pumpkin gingerbread.  I’ll give you a hint:  it was me.  Cat’s out of the bag!

My good friend Ashley was in town yesterday after two years away in Texas with hubby and baby.  After eating brunch, trying on ugly dresses at the mall, and discussing Greek philosophy, we decided to bake this gingerbread.  I only managed to eat half the loaf because Ashley took home the other half.  This is her chopping candied ginger in my un-photogenic kitchen.  Mmmm, candied ginger…

I wasn’t sure if I even liked this gingerbread right out of the oven.  However, after dubiously letting it sit on my counter for a day, I found it really came into its own and it was delicious on the second day.  Dense, moist and full of vitamin A. (Fun fact: polar bear livers are also very high in vitamin A, so much so that if you eat one you could overdose.  Lesson?  Eat winter squash and not polar bears.)

Pumpkin Gingerbread (adapted from Simply Recipes)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 (heaping) teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted*
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, raisins and/or cranberries
*I bet you could even mess with the butter and applesauce more (the original recipe just called for a half cup of butter).  You could up the applesauce, but I’d actually try just two tablespoons of butter and a quarter cup of applesauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a standard loaf pan.  Mix together your flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the pumpkin, butter/applesauce, sugar, molasses, candied ginger, eggs and water.  Once combined, stir together the wet and dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Add in the nuts and/or fruits, if you want.

Pour into the greased bread pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let it rest for about 15 minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool completely. And remember, it tastes better the next day.

I had about a half cup or so of leftover pumpkin puree.  I’m definitely going to be baking more pumpkin treats (and sweet potato treats!), but I actually used these leftovers mixed in with a can of lentil soup (Amy’s low-sodium lentil vegetable soup, to be specific) and it was ridiculously amazing.  I also threw in some leftover veggies (onion, carrot and zucchini) I chopped and sauteed in the soup pan, and spiced it up with garlic salt, red pepper flakes and a ton of paprika.  And can I say: budgeting/healthy eating/creative sort-of-homemade indie improvisation WIN.  The smoky paprika went so well with the pumpkin I think I might have to play with these flavors in a savory dish later.

So you might have that to look forward to.  I’ll also be posting about some holiday crafts and holiday parties, easy breakfast ideas, sweet potato cookies, and, of course, THANKSGIVING (for vegetarians…duh).  Stay tuned!

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