Pumpkin Raisin Bread & Muffins

It is mid October, and I for one am fully stocked for seasonal baking!  New bottle of vanilla – check!  Multiple cans of pure pumpkin puree – check!  Bulk supply of almond meal and pumpkin pie spice – check!  Yep, I am ready to play the most fabulous hostess and have an array of harvesty type baked goods at our disposal.

 

 

So, Let’s Talk About Seasonal Eating

 

Maybe there’s more to it than just advertisements and sales from a commercial standpoint?  What I mean is…I have noticed, as many of you may have, I tend to indulge quite a bit over the “holiday” period or Fall season.  This is a pretty common thing.  Do you think it is because the commercials tell us to do so?  Do you think it has something to do with the multiple bulks and stack-outs of pumpkins and gourds that get us into that Autumn groove?  Maybe.  Or do you think that genetically we are just engineered to crave/desire higher carbohydrate options this time of year?  Maybe it’s something we can’t help?  I would like to believe in the latter — hell, if that mindset makes me feel good about a nightly cup of hot apple cider or a spiced squash pie to eat on through out the week I’ll go with it!!

According to an article featured on Mark’s Daily Apple titled, “Fall Foods: Why Seasonal Eating Primes the Body for Fat Burning” – there are deep inert reasons as to why we have the desire to eat differently throughout the year.  I can speak with personal experience that I typically put on a few pounds over the holiday season, but the key is that maybe this is normal and not a down-side in any way to your overall health?  What if gaining a little bit of weight actually helped maintain your fat loss overtime?  The theory is that “fat gain in the Fall has always been normal and essential throughout the history of mankind.”  Even though our modern-day society has created safer places to dwell during the winter, our addiction and cravings of these foods is very much intact.  Constant weight loss is not a favorable thing.  Over time you will experience a plateau – there will be a time where your body has had enough and just wants to maintain.  It could be that putting on a healthy layer over the Fall season, while it isn’t necessary to protect you from a harsh winter anymore, is still beneficial in priming you for excellent metabolic function.

When you think of Fall what kinds of foods come to mind?  I think of pumpkins, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, apples, figs, and dates.  What do all of these have in common?  They are primarily carbs — ones that are higher in sugar and starch.  (Oddly enough all of those ingredients are superstars in the paleo baker’s posse!)  Yeah, these foods that are known to make the Thanksgiving menu are higher in sugar and are definitely addictive but they are also so incredibly nutritious.

So I say, feel free!  Indulge in whatever holiday treats you desire.  Keep it reasonable in that you don’t want to deal with any belly aches…but for the most part, you know what you can handle.  I feel that it’s nice to have ups and downs.  What I mean is – it is humanistic to get bored with the same routine…to get to the point where you feel deprived or tired of being so good all the time.  Maybe I am speaking for myself, but there’s something nice about starting new.  From a seasonal aspect — why do you think it’s so common to have a New Year’s resolution?  Is there any meaning behind why that usually takes place in January…after the harsh winter has moved on and Spring is on its way?  A fresh start.

Ready for an indulgence tonight?  Here’s a recipe I use for pumpkin baked goods — you can use it across the board.  It will work for a bread loaf, muffins, and I’ve even used a similar line-up of ingredients for cookies.

I like to spread a little bit of full-fat butter on the bread and muffins — excellent for a dessert or even a quick breakfast on the side of some bacon or sausage.  Yum!!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 c. almond meal
  • 1/8 c. coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 c. pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. coconut nectar or pure Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. raisins, optional

 

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat eggs along with pumpkin, nectar and vanilla in a smaller bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and blend well with a hand mixer.

For bread – bake in a 5×7 loaf pan (greased lightly with coconut oil) for around 45 minutes.

For muffins – use muffin liners and bake about half the time — 20-25 minutes.

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Pumpkin Raisin Bread & Muffins”

  1. […] the holidays around –  it is so easy to fall off the wagon.  I wrote a post before that talked about the ups and downs of your diet, and how the seasonal fluctuations are […]

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