Sunday, September 23, 2012

Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Autumn may have quietly crept into our San Diego world as we slept a few nights ago, but looking behind me, I see a stretch of claw marks as I do my best to hold on to my beloved summer.  This summer in particular, while it may not be quite as popular with many of the locals, has been a personal favorite of mine with its above average number of hot and somewhat sultry days.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread
Living near the coastline, many of our local homes (ours included) do not include air conditioning, and as such, temps in the mid-80's with humidity to match have many people moaning about the "extreme" weather.  I, however, have been waking with a smile with no jacket required.  I love living the day in tank tops and skirts and then leaving for the evening knowing a chill is not going to set in before I arrive home.

That being said, I'm not opposed to a staple of fall and a family favorite - pumpkin.  Actually, my pantry is stocked year round with cans of Trader Joe's canned pumpkin, and we often enjoy Pumpkin Pancakes or even Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls as treats in mid-July or over Spring Break.

Luckily, though my stash of pumpkin may be dwindling, we had enough to get us through, and.., shopping at TJ's yesterday brought a most welcome sight:

Trader Joe's Pumpkin

I'm still not admitting to the arrival of autumn, but I will admit to becoming just a little addicted to our carpool treat last week - the esteemed Pumpkin Banana Bread.  Filled with generous flavors of cinnamon and pumpkin, the bread follows a somewhat traditional path.  Add in a couple of those over-ripe bananas sitting on your counter, and you have a moist, tender bread that would be perfect as a fall treat if one were considering greeting the season with a welcome.  As we are still celebrating summer though, I'm proclaiming this bread the perfect back to summer school treat, just perfect for the lunchbox.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread

Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread
adapted from King Arthur
Made with whole grain flour along with a touch of ground flax, then combined with vitamin rich pumpkin and banana, this moist bread was a carpool snack for Liv and her girlfriends that I didn't fee guilty serving.  Greeted a few days later with, "Do you have more of that awesome bread?" comments, I'd say it is definetly teenage girl approved.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (we use Greek style yogurt)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs honey (optional... we used it in a few loaves and not in others without notice)
2 large eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin *** (see note below)
1 cup mashed banana
2 Tbs orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbs ground flax meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside  (alternatively, use smaller loaf pans or even muffin tins).

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a medium bowl combine the first 9 ingredients (vegetable oil through vanilla extract).  Whisk vigorously to combine.

In a larger bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Again, whisk to combine.  Sprinkle the walnuts over the top, then add the pumpkin mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, and with a light hand give the mixture about 10 good stirs.   If the mixture seems too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water as necessary, alternatively, if it is too wet, add a tablespoon or two of flour ***(see note below).  Continue stirring until the batter is just barely incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and sprinkle with raw sugar as desired - Liv say more is better, and all of the girls commented on how they loved the "crunch" on the top.

Bake the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 size pan for approximately 55 minutes (keep checking, may require up to 70 min), or until a toothpick tested in the center of the loaf comes out clean and the loaf is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and then the pans, and place on a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy alone, or for an even more tempting treat top with a little whipped butter.

***Liv Life Note:  We made this bread 3 times.  The first attempt was made with a very watery can of pumpkin, and as I followed the recipe exactly, the batter was just slightly thicker than pancake batter... not quite right for a quick loaf and the loaf never baked all the way through before it started burning on the outside.  My fault, as there was just way too much liquid and I didn't adjust. 
On our next attempt, the can of pumpkin had far less liquid, and the texture came out perfectly. 
Hence... the amount of liquid needed will vary based on the how watery your particular cup of pumpkin puree is.  Try to adjust accordingly.  I prefer a batter that is thicker for quick breads as it tends to give me a bit more rise.

Pans - using different pan sizes will require different baking times.  For the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 size loaf pan, we came out at about 1 hour, 3 mini loaf pans required 27-35  min.


  1. These look so moist and yummy Kim. For the first time last week I was starting to get in the mood for pumpkin again. :)

  2. Oh good lord that looks scrumptious. I have all the ingredients at home, may make it tonight. Kim, you have the best recipes. :)

  3. Oh, I am so making this tomorrow. Seriously. I adore pumpkin. I've never had banana and pumpkin together, but I'm willing to give it a go.

    Do you know I'm wearing a sweater right now? While I don't like the fact that autumn means winter's on the way, I revel in sweater weather.

    It's the kind of weather that goes great with pumpkin bread. :)

  4. That bread looks moist and delicious! Can't wait to try it for breakfast!

  5. I have everything to make this yummy loaf. First thing in the morning.

  6. My summer also had a few claw marks on it. :) My now we have plunged fully into fall and the pumpkin puree has emerged from the pantry. Your bread does look so moist and delicious!

  7. This looks fantastic, so moist - and I love the combination of banana and pumpkin in this whole grain quick bread.

  8. Pumpkin and banana? I've never had the combo, I'm intrigued. :)

  9. I made this bread today and it's delicious! It's so moist and chewy, and the crunchy sugar topping is perfect. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I know what you mean about those warm days, Kim. We don't have A/C either but what I'm missing is living so close to the water. I'm jealous of that. :)

    Love this bread. I keep canned pumpkin in stock, too, and I'm happy to start using them. Your bread looks so good!

  11. That looks so moist and like fall perfection! If you'd like to link up on the Photo Friday Blog Hop- you are welcome to add this or any other favorite post.. It's up all weekend. Enjoy! Cheers!

  12. Gorgeous loaves! They look amazing, pinning to make this Fall. Thanks!

  13. Oh my goodness...this bread looks incredible! This is my favorite time of year, just for all the pumpkin recipes! I can't wait to give this one a try! :)

  14. I love pumpkin bread and like your healthier version. I will be making this weekend!
    Readers may also enjoy making easy homemade puree for this recipe instead of using processed puree:

  15. This bread looks amazing! I love the combo of flavors!

  16. @The Rosers! So sorry! A/P stands for All-Purpose flour.

  17. Is it a problem to leave out the flax seed meal? I am currently out of that.

  18. @marineGurl, No problem leaving the flax out, but you will most likely need to increase one of your flours a bit. Try adding an extra 2 Tbs of the All Purpose Flour as a start!

  19. This looks absolutely delicious and even more important, healthy.

  20. Is it ok to skip the orange juice or a substitue for it ?

  21. Anonymous... I haven't tried it without the OJ, but I don't think that would be an issue. I would add an equal amount of water in place.

  22. Kim, I totally share your "habit" of stocking up on pumpkin year round! You never know when a craving will strike. This looks so moist and yummy. I have a banana that I think I'm going to let get too ripe on purpose, just so I can test this out.

  23. This bread never fully baked for me. I've had it in the oven for 1 hr 45 min and it's still pumpkin mush in the middle, burned on top. I did substitute applesauce for the eggs, but that has never been a problem in baking for me in the past.

  24. Thank you Kim, this is absolutely delicious! In fact, I think it's our new favorite (healthy) banana bread! My little 2 1/2 year olds loved it so much that I have another batch in the oven as I type this (this time as muffins). We're using your recipe to make cupcakes (muffins) for their pretend baby's birthday party. Thank you again Kim.

  25. ive never made anything pumpkin before and this was a great recipe to start off with!! it is so delicious and moist, i love it! thank you so much for posting this :)

  26. Merry Christmas Kim! My little ones are now almost five years old and they are about to enjoy another slice of your delicious Pumpkin Banana Nut Bread. They have been eating your bread since they were 2 1/2! They love it, because it's "so yummy". I love it because it's so much healthier than the other pumpkin breads we've tried and it's still delicious. Thank you Kim.

  27. Loved the bread! Baked in mini loaf pan (8) to a pan for 22 minutes. It was perfect. I checked the WW points and it's 4 points for half a loaf which is really good. Girls loved it too!

    1. So, so glad it worked!! These are an all time favorite for us. Enjoy!


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