It's not easy being the child of a healthy food blogger. Just ask my kids… Honestly, they get plenty of goodies and I don't consider myself that hardcore but when the world is constantly offering up treats and you're the one saying "no" things can become fraught. Esme complains that every kid except her gets a juice box in their school lunch. I doubt that's true but she is always going to get a stainless steel bottle full of water. Then last week she was bitter that hers was the only lunch box not full of Halloween candy. Again, I really don't think so. But it wasn't happening in our home as we offered the kid a new toy for Halloween candy swap and they both went for it.
So when I can come up with something home made, healthy but impressive to include in Esme's lunch, I'm pretty happy. I've been wanting to add to my pretty feeble baking roster and this is it. It's a really simple recipe and it comes together quickly. I love the way the tart cranberries pop against the creamy sweetness of the pumpkin bread. Think of this as the fall version of your old standby banana bread. The smell that kicks out of the oven as you're baking this is reason alone to spend the time baking it. And the days I sent a piece wrapped up in Esme's lunch? No complaints, people, no complaints.
photos by Maya Visnyei
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
1 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh cranberries (you could use frozen crans, just thaw them first)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
In another large bowl, mix the sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, oil and juice with an electric mixer until they are well combined. Shake the dry ingredients into the wet in three additions, mixing between each addition. Once it's combined, stir in the cranberries.
Prepare your loaf tin lightly with butter. Pour the batter in and use a spatula to smooth out the top a bit. Pop into a hot oven and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool for about 15 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.