Fall is the unofficial kickoff for getting cozy in the kitchen, with the scent of cinnamon filling the house as the weather gets cool. Family, cooking and love go together in our home. When I went gluten-free for health reasons almost five years ago, my kitchen creations suddenly became frustrating disasters.
Baking clears my head, and is a creative outlet that also makes my family happy (lucky for them!). Pumpkin bread is one of our seasonal favorites. After some experimenting, I’m happy to share my gluten-free version with you. I hope you like it as much as my family does. I promise, you’ll love it, even if you don’t care about avoiding gluten. Try it!
There were lots of promising recipes that turned out to be disappointing as I worked through the challenges of gluten-free baking. There’s a world of difference between the cookies that my husband said are “pretty good for gluten-free” to this pumpkin bread that everyone polished off. It’s simply delicious.
I’m the only one in my family who is gluten-free. When the kids were away at college, they loved coming home to freshly baked treats. It felt like I was letting them down when the house smelled so good, but whatever I baked had that "oh, this is gluten-free, isn't it" kind of result. For awhile, I stopped baking. After a couple of years, though, it was time for me to get back in the kitchen and start playing around again.
Gluten-free flours are not all the same. I learned that with gluten-free baking, cookies tend to dry out quickly and get stale after a day or two. However, moist breads like pumpkin bread have been more successful. Simple substitutions with gluten-free flours didn’t quite do the trick for me. Something tasted off, and the texture wasn’t right either. Often, a bit of nut flour makes a big difference. When I develop recipes, I make other adaptations to improve their nutritional value with fresh and organic ingredients, and reduce sugars and processed ingredients.
I played around with different combinations of flours, sugars and fats. Here’s the winning recipe for the Best Fall Pumpkin Bread:
Best fall pumpkin bread -
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl:
- ½ cup almond flour (I use Honeyville)
- 1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 baking flour
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup raw organic sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder, aluminum free
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¾ - 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp ginger (optional)
- ½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
Mix together with beater:
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 organic eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract (Frontier)
- Grease bottom of loaf pan with coconut oil.
- Pour in batter.
- Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from pan after 10 minutes to cool completely. Slice and serve warm or cool.
- This pumpkin bread stays very moist, and will be moister the next day. Store covered.
What makes this different and better than traditional pumpkin bread recipes? A few changes. I reduced the total amount of sugar, used coconut sugar which has a low glycemic value, switched to a healthy fat, added almond flour and reduced the amount of processed gluten-free flour. I use organic and freshly sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Almond flour gives this recipe a richness and depth of flavor, while increasing the nutritional value.
I use canned pumpkin puree because it's so much quicker and convenient.
Using a combination of organic coconut sugar and organic raw sugar reduces the glycemic value. I will try making this with all coconut sugar. The flavor combination of both sugars works very well.
Replacing GMO vegetable oil with coconut oil adds health benefits and a delicious, subtle flavor.
Using unsweetened coconut is much healthier than sweetened coconut because of it has no added chemicals and sugar. There's no need for the extra sweetness.
Use organic, humanely treated free-range eggs. I use local eggs from an organic farm that grinds their own non-GMO grain and has friendly chickens running around the farm. They look, taste, and cook up so beautifully.
Best Fall Pumpkin bread is on our Thanksgiving dessert menu. I’ll play around with an egg-free version, and if it comes out well, I’ll report back. We’ll also have pumpkin pie (GF) and pumpkin cheesecake with a coconut almond crust (GF), and a most delicious Apple Crisp (GF). Who needs gluten, anyway, with all of this gluten-free goodness!
What gluten-free desserts are you making for Thanksgiving this year? Share your favorite recipes or ideas here!
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Denise Fountain is a Life Transitions Specialist and Certified Professional Coach. She works with women going through transitions to rediscover themselves and create lives that are happy, healthy and whole again. Together with her clients, she explores the connection between stress, health and happiness, and guides her clients to move forward to make lasting and sustainable changes.
Denise is passionate about helping women live their best lives. Denise provides coaching for clients living anywhere by phone or Skype, and is available for speaking engagements and workshops. Sign up for updates. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how Denise can partner with you to create the life you dream of.