The Great Pumpkin

Even Charlie Brown knew the importance of the great pumpkin.

But if you believe the media, the power of pumpkin has taken over the food world. Brought to stardom by Starbucks and the famous pumpkin spice latte, the pumpkin industry has bloomed 80% since 2011 to become a $360 million dollar industry. (Click here for the full Washington Post story.) Look around the store and you can find the shelves overflowing with pumpkin in some strange foods like pet food, baby food, hummus, kale chips, yogurt, cereals, beer, tortilla chips, vodka, even chewing gum and more.

If the media is poo-pooing pumpkin because of the ubiquitous corporate pumpkin flavorings (made by chemicals and additives) added to everything in the industrialized food world, I must agree. Ever wondered what exactly goes into a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte? Click here.

But if the pumpkin pessimists are specifically referring to turning a freshly roasted pumpkin into an utterly creamy and delectable dessert or a freshly baked loaf of bread, then I must beg to differ because I have years of catching up to do with pumpkin.

While pumpkin is healthy, it's really not that tasty on its own. Incorporated into a recipe and it becomes distinctly different and delicious which has helped lift it's inherent status.

For more than 40 years, I said "no, thank you" to pumpkin pie, so I am delighted now to say "yes, please" to pumpkin bars, pumpkin chiffon pie, pumpkin pie smoothies, pumpkin pudding and more. And as soon as the weather officially turns chilly, I intend to tweak our favorite Paleo pancake recipe so we can enjoy pumpkin pancakes.

Yes, I am that into pumpkin. It's fall in South Texas I am cheerfully diving into pounds of freshly roasted sugar pie pumpkin and butternut squash. Though they can be used interchangeably, I prefer pumpkins for sweet recipes and butternut squash for savory.

With the last cup of this season's first organic roasted pumpkin in my fridge, this pumpkin bread recipe from The Spunky Coconut commanded my immediate attention. Firm yet moist, a touch of sweetness from raisins mingling with a sprinkle of coconut sugar, this bread is a stand-out. And if you're all about using ingredients when they are in season, the walnuts could easily be replaced with pecans.

If my dog's reaction to this delightful recipe is any indication (Guero was barking for more and more and more), no one will be disappointed with this pumpkin bread.

Buen provecho!
Paleo Pumpkin Bread
The Cowgirl Gourmet thanks The Spunky Coconut for sharing this recipe

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Recipes that use only one bowl for the entire thing to come together are a life-saver. Less dishes and more action. Grab a big bowl and your freshly roasted pumpkin, a few eggs, coconut flour and arrowroot powder and some spices and you are well on your way to a big smile. The best part? The bread has texture and density while the delightful flavors of fall dance on your tongue. The recipe calls for raisins, but I am thinking cranberries would be equally fabulous. And seasonally appropriate.

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup freshly roasted pumpkin puree
4 eggs (let the eggs come to room temperature or else cold eggs will harden the coconut oil)
1/3 cup coconut sugar
3 Tablespoons liquefied coconut oil or ghee
1/4 teaspoon vanilla creme liquid stevia
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted (and the sifting makes such a difference)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup raisins or cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of the ingredients into a big bowl and beat with an electric mixer or use a standing mixer.

Carefully grease the sides of the loaf pan with coconut oil and then line the bottom of the loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper. Scoop batter into the loaf pan and place in the oven for about 50 minutes.
After it bakes, remove it from the oven and let cool in pan. Use a butter knife to run around the edges to release the bread from the sides of the pan. Flip the bread over and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

When cooled, slice the bread. Smother with cream cheese, eat it as is or enjoy it toasted with butter.

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