Now don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE banana bread. Banana cake, even better. Stephanie Alexander’s recipe is by far the tastiest banana cake I’ve had. Already I’ve gotten side tracked. Banana bread is perhaps the easiest wholesome treat to bake. Mash, mix, bake, slice and freeze. Not to mention perfect for using up those bananas that have been sitting around a little too long in the fruit bowl. But I’ve been keen for a change of flavour, and now with an extra banana eater in the house I no longer find myself with bananas for baking. I must make a mental note to increase my purchasing quantities.
For this loaf I used my faithful banana bread recipe that has evolved from this one over the years. I love how recipes change over time as your taste, nutrition and texture preferences change. I’ve even simplified the method to mix the batter in the food processor. Provided the pumpkin is chopped, I can make this one handed with my baby on my hip. This is the kind of cooking I can manage at present.
Here I’ve roasted pumpkin with cinnamon then added extra spices (nutmeg and ginger) to the batter. I suspect that a tablespoon or so of freshly grated ginger would be a fabulous addition to boost the ginger flavour, I just didn’t have any on hand. I think sweet potato would also work quite well in this loaf but am yet to try that out. I’m also keen to make a savoury version, perhaps with sun-dried tomatoes, feta and pesto swirled through. Yes, that sounds divine, I must try that soon.
600g kent pumpkin, peeled and cut in 1.5cm cubes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 ½ cups spelt flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
walnuts, shaved coconut and pepitas to scatter on top
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Toss the pumpkin with a little olive oil and cinnamon then spread on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Put the roast pumpkin, eggs, oil, maple syrup, milk and vanilla essence in the bowl of a food processor and blend until relatively smooth. A few lumps of pumpkin are fine.
Now add the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and top with walnuts, coconut and pepitas. Press them into the batter just a little otherwise they wont attach to the loaf so well. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Enjoy! It’s delicious served with ricotta and a slice of poached pear.