Pumpkin season is in full swing for me. While I’ll admit that I like to indulge in the occasional pumpkin spice latte, I generally find that pumpkin is underappreciated and underutilized.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A (1 cup has nearly twice the recommended daily value), and low in calories (if you don’t add a ton of sugar to it)! While you can roast and puree your own pumpkin, the canned pumpkin puree, not to be confused with the canned pumpkin pie filling, is consistent in moisture content, and readily available nearly everywhere these days.
While I do love the versatility of pumpkin for savory applications like pasta, and even pizza (think white pizza, mix the pumpkin into the ricotta with some fresh sage!), there’s something about pumpkin bread that gets me every time. My mom used to bake pumpkin bread in a coffee can (funny the things you remember 30 years later) and give it as gifts at the holiday, so I used to reserve making Pumpkin Date Nut bread for October through December, but let’s be honest, it tastes delicious any time of year!
Considering that this quick bread even convinced my fiancé that pumpkin could be delicious, I’m confident that it’s a crowd pleaser and perfect for any gathering. If you can make it last long enough to have leftovers, I think it would also make an incredible French toast. It’s simple to put together and would make a fun afternoon of baking with the kids too. You can certainly omit the nuts for any haters (like my dad), or allergies out there.
Pumpkin Date Nut Bread
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
15 oz (typically one can) pumpkin puree
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt (I like using our Chopping Block fine salt!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray or grease loaf pans – depending on the size you use, you may get one large loaf or several mini loaves.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking power.
5. Gradually stir in dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (pumpkin mixture).
6. Fold in chopped dates and nuts.
7. Fill loaf pans with batter.
8. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of your pan (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when done).
9. Let cool for at least 30 min before slicing.
If you’re ready to give this a try and are wondering what to pair with it, come check out our Homemade Butter, Conserves, and Jams class at the Mart on Saturday, December 21 at 11am. The cranberry orange conserve we make in this class is the perfect pairing for this pumpkin bread!
We’ll also be doing some quick bread demos during the One of a Kind Holiday Show in our store, so be sure to stop by during the show which runs Thursday, December 5 through Sunday, December 8.
Another of my favorite baking classes at The Chopping Block are our Holiday Treats Exchanges at the Mart on Sunday, December 15 and Sunday, December 22. Grab your friends, or make new ones in class, and get our kitchens dirty instead of yours! You’ll leave with a variety of delicious treats that will be the perfect compliment to any holiday gathering or a Hallmark Christmas movie binge.
Our retail store is stocked for this baking season with everything from vanilla bean paste, to loaf pans, sheet trays, cooling racks, cupcake liners, icing, sprinkles, decorating sugars, pie dishes and more. Happy baking!