I’m ridiculously excited about two things at the moment. First, my new camera lens that I purchased in order to take better food pics. (You can see it in action in all of the pics in this post!) Until now, I’ve only been using my iPhone and I knew I needed to get serious about taking better quality photos. Last month I subscribed to Food Blogger Pro where I’ve been learning a lot about food photography, among other things.
So I got an 50mm f/1.8 lens that came highly recommended by everyone in the forums. Though my lighting still needs work, the lens is already making a HUGE difference, providing some much-needed detail and also better depth of field. It will take a little getting used to, but I’m so excited about the process of learning this handy new skill. Over time, I plan on replacing as many of the older photos on this site with new and improved fancy schmancy professional food photography!
Now on to the main point of this post…I was also excited to receive pumpkins in my CSA box this week because I love making pumpkin bread this time of year.
A neighbor and family friend of mine when I was growing up use to make the tastiest pumpkin bread. My mom obtained her recipe and used to make mini loaves out of the dough. I haven’t made any since last year, which was before I went vegan. So this was another fun opportunity to “veganize” a family recipe. The first time I tried to veganize one of my mom’s recipes was when I made banana bread and that turned out amazing as well!
So how did I veganize it? I used Earth Balance instead of dairy-based butter and flax egg instead of chicken’s eggs. I also used a bit of soy milk with a dash of vinegar in it which mimics the flavor and consistency of buttermilk and helps to make the bread rise when combined with baking powder.
Normally, I use canned pumpkin but I’ve always wanted to try making it from scratch with a whole pumpkin so it worked out great to receive an organic Sugar Pie Pumpkin from a local farm. So this recipe will explain how to make vegan pumpkin bread from a whole pumpkin, but you can also use canned if you prefer.
To prepare the pumpkin for the recipe, I cut it in half and removed the seeds. You can save the pumpkin seeds for baking to create a yummy fall time snack or save to plant in your garden next year!
Steaming the pumpkin will cook it until it’s soft enough to scoop out and puree. After steaming, you will want to let it cool before trying to get the skin off. Or you could be a crazy person like me and just use tongs and a spoon and burn yourself occasionally because you’re too impatient to wait.
Preparing the pumpkin takes about 30 minutes so plan to account for that time when making your pumpkin bread. You can do this process ahead of time. For instance, if you want to bake the bread fresh in the morning, you could prepare the pumpkin the night before, that way it doesn’t add a whole 30 minutes to your prep time.
Another fun way to prepare this recipe is to make mini muffins. The recipe will be exactly the same, except you will cook them for a shorter time period. Otherwise they’ll get a little overdone. This Vegan Pumpkin Mini Muffins are perfect bite-size treats to bring to brunches or potlucks.
I’m so happy with the way this vegan version of an old favorite recipe turned out. I brought some mini loaves into the office this week and everyone was pretty pleased. A few co-workers had recently asked about how to make vegan baked goods so it was fun to explain some of the creative tricks I have up my sleeve. And even funner to see how much everyone enjoyed the yummy pumpkin bread. I also explained why I choose not to consume dairy or chicken’s eggs. If you ask me (and hopefully everyone who tried my pumpkin bread), you don’t need animal products to make delicious food. All you really need is love and creativity. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 1 cup oil (canola or coconut)
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 Tbsp water
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 1 Tbsp mild vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
- 2 cups pumpkin (or 1 can)
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Prepare the pumpkin by cutting in half, removing the seeds.
- Place in a large microwave safe bowl with a couple inches of water. Cover with a lid or a large plate and heat for 10 minutes,
- Check to see if the pumpkin is softened. If it needs more time, cook for 5 minute intervals until the flesh is soft and the skin can easily be removed.
- Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, carefully scoop the pumpkin out and discard the skin.
- Puree the pumpkin in a blender, adding just enough water to help it blend.
- If making ahead, place the pumpkin in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the vinegar and soy milk and set aside to curdle. This will mimic a buttermilk texture and flavor.
- Create a "flax egg" by combining the ground flax seeds with add the 2 tablespoons of water. Beat until it has a thick, egg-like texture.
- Mix the sugar and oil in a large bowl.
- Add the pumpkin, flax egg and soy milk mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Prepare mini loaf or mini muffin pans with nonstick spray or brushing with coconut oil.
- Add enough batter in each loaf opening so that it's nearly full. This will give it room to rise.
- If you're making mini loaves, bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
- If you're making mini muffins, bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
- Check to see if they're done by sticking a wooden toothpick or skewer into the thickest part. If it comes out clean, the it's ready. If not, it needs a little more time.
- Once they're done, let them cool for 5 minutes before trying to remove from the pan. With the loaves, you'll need to be careful not to pull the tops off, and letting them cool a little first will help prevent this from happening.
- Once removed from the pan, place on cooling racks.
- Best served warm. If you will be transporting them, let them cool to room temperature before putting them into containers.