To be fair, I told you I would do this. I said “I don’t like pumpkin.” Then I continued to tell you I would probably/definitely be making a pumpkin pie. From an actual pie pumpkin that I pureed.
But then I was thinking of all the labor and calories involved and how there’s zero reward for me because, of all the pumpkin things, I think pumpkin pie is the worst.
Chocolate, however……. let’s talk about chocolate. Chocolate I’m on board with. You don’t like oatmeal raisin cookies? Throw some chocolate in there. Don’t love vanilla ice cream? Hot fudge, obviously. Don’t like Mexican food? You’re dumb and need to re-evaluate your life choices. But try some mole.
So the next obvious choice was to make something with that fresh pumpkin puree that included chocolate chips. Chocolate chip pumpkin loaf. Basically banana bread, but starring banana’s understudy, pumpkin. And you get to use all the cinnamon and nutmeg and happy Fall feelings.
I’m not going to include how to puree an actual pie pumpkin in this post. You can find that all over the Internet. And unless you actually have a pie pumpkin lying around from a CSA or your own personal pumpkin patch, it really doesn’t make a difference. Just buy some organic pumpkin puree in the can. We want this to be easy. We want this to be rewarding.
Added bonus: we made this vegan cuz we are morally righteous. And it makes it so moist and amazing. (You can totally make this non-vegan with butter and an egg. But I seriously do think it’s more moist with the flax and oil.)
Disclaimer: This is in no way on the “How to Look Hot in Your Sexy Mouse Costume on Halloween” diet. It’s horrible for you. This is on the “How to Gain Extra Padding for Warmth in the Winter” diet. Bring 3/4 to work and make friends.
This pairs well with the first scarf-worthy Fall day and a cup of warm chai tea with a touch of cinnamon and almond milk.
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
Adapted from Joy the Baker
What you need:
-2 cups all-purpose flour (can probably sub wheat flour, will change texture slightly)
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (pre-mixed or Joy’s instructions)
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbsp finely ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1 cup organic pumpkin puree
-1 cup light packed brown sugar
-1 tsp almond milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3/4 cup chocolate chips (some Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips are vegan, as are Trader Joe’s semi-sweet)
What you do:
1. First thing you’ll want to do is create your flax seed egg. Combine the 1 tbsp of finely ground flax seed with 3 tbsp of water. Set aside. This needs to sit for about 30 minutes to gel a bit.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with margarine (I used Earth balance), line with parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper as well.
3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinammon, nutmeg and salt.
4. In a large bowl, combine your wet ingredients, starting with your flax seed egg, canola oil and pumpkin puree. Mix well, then add brown sugar, almond milk and vanilla.
5. Add your dry ingredients from the medium bowl with your wet ingredients in the large bowl. Mix until very well combined, then you can add your chocolate chips.
6. Spread into your greased loaf pan and then bake for about 50-55 minutes. To ensure the center is cooked, pierce with a wooden skewer. Continue baking in 5 minute increments until the skewer comes out clean or near clean.
7. Let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate or go ahead and serve warm.
UPDATE 10.28.14: I made this again, this time with melted Earth Balance instead of vegetable oil, a sprinkle of baking powder in the flax mixture just before combining with the pumpkin and margarine, and a heaping teaspoon of molasses instead of almond milk and baked for 55 minutes exactly. It was definitely better, the batter was thicker and it gave the bread a better texture overall. Up to you which way you choose!