The other week, I found myself longingly staring into the bakery case of one of my favorite local coffeeshops, until the barista snapped me out of my dream-like haze. Totally caught staring. At some pumpkin olive oil bread. I think I was staring at it as closely as my picture right underneath here...
It took me quite a bit of self-control to order my coffee without asking for a side of, I don't know, the entire pumpkin olive oil loaf, to go, for one please. I managed to console myself by vowing to make a better and healthier recipe at home.
I'm back at avoiding gluten for my autoimmune issues, as they seem to want to flare up during these changing of seasons, so this was going to be a new challenge- because I've never made gluten-free bread before. Only cookies and pancakes. But bread and pie are a bit trickier of a task. It's all about getting the quantities right.
Anyway, onto the important stuff. About how this bread captures the true essence of fall, made my studio apartment smell like the Queen of Thanksgivings was arriving, and totally fulfilled my olive oil bread cravings. While I can't quite justify this as a legitimate breakfast (not that that won't happen eventually), this bread is quite heavenly with a freshly French-pressed cup of coffee on a chilly morning.
So my most important point.
Boyfriend has a pumpkin/squash aversion (much to my dismay), so I didn't tell him what I was feeding him at first. Although, I do tend to do this a lot, as Midwestern boy has discovered a whole new realm of wholesome health foods with me-- I call him my picky toddler, as I try to sneak in veggies wherever I can into the food I make for him. Anyhow, he actually gave me a "wow, this is really good!" Then I told him it was pumpkin and he felt duped. Oops. But he kept eating the bread, so we both win.
This goodness is gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan. By the way, the egg in the photos was just for show-- I decided to go full vegan with this bread, to get some more nutrients from the flax seeds. But you egg-lovers, go for it instead if you want!
Pumpkin Olive Oil Banana Bread
(Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-free)
*makes 1 standard 9x5 inch loaf
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (I used canned)
1/2 medium Banana, mashed
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Flax Egg (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 5 tbsp water, mixed and refrigerated for 15 min)
1/4 cup Water
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (I used my homemade blend, but storebought will do)
*you can also use regular flour- I've used Einkorn flour and it works great, but slowly add in flour because you may need less than 2 cups
1/4 cup Oat Flour (just blend rolled oats)
1/2 cup raw rolled Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tbsp of Pepitas and 1 tbsp Oats to top loaf
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and lightly grease a standard 9x5" bread pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, banana, and olive oil with a whisk. Add in flax eggs, water, maple syrup, and brown sugar, stirring well after each addition.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oat flour, raw rolled oats, salt, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon. Use spatula to thoroughly mix.
4. Using spatula, add dry ingredients into large mixing bowl of wet ingredients, in two parts.
*If using gluten-free bread, feel free to stir until well combined. If using regular flour, combine with spatula just until no dry flour is visible.
5. Pour mixture into prepared bread pan. Sprinkle pepitas and oats on top. Place pan in the oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until deeply golden and toothpick comes out of the center cleanly.
6. Remove pan from oven and let bread cool down in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then carefully transfer onto a wire cooling rack to fully cool.
7. Make sure to cool 100% completely before slicing, otherwise the gluten-free bread can crumble a bit.
8. For storage: I like to wrap mine in plastic wrap and then put it in an airtight container- for up to 2-3 days. If storing for longer, individually wrap slices in plastic wrap, put in an airtight container and put in the freezer for 4-6 weeks.