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my favorite pumpkin bread (shhhh…it’s whole wheat!)

October29

Pumpkin Bread

I know what you’re thinking…”another pumpkin recipe? c’mon already.” Well, yes. No excuses, except I love this pumpkin bread. I’d rather not tell you how much of it I’ve eaten in the last 3 days. If that’s not what you’re thinking, it might be something like, “eeewww, whole wheat?” And that’s where you would be wrong, very wrong.

Have you heard of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour? If not, this might just rock your world right now. Whole wheat pastry flour is a 100% whole grain flour, that’s made of a soft white wheat. It has a protein content of 9% which lands it in the middle of cake flour and regular all purpose flour. All that means is that it’s a whole grain flour, that you can use in place of regular all-purpose flour, without hardly noticing a difference. I’ve started to use it as a replacement for all purpose flour in our house. I am sure that there are instances where you couldn’t sub it with exact results like the original recipe, but I’ve been really happy with what I’ve tried so far. I love when I can incorporate whole grains without feeling like I’m making a sacrifice of flavor or texture.

Now, back to this pumpkin bread. I originally got this recipe from my friend Courtney that I used to work with, back when I used to work at a large format printer company, of all places. I have loved that recipe and made that recipe time and time again. It’s always a winner, it freezes well(if for some strange reason you don’t just eat it all at once), and it comes together quickly. The other day, I realized I hadn’t made a batch, this fall, and knew that MUST be remedied at once.

When I pulled up the recipe, to see if I had all the ingredients it required, I was struck by how much granulated sugar it had, and that it called for vegetable oil. I’ve been trying to cut back on how much refined sugar we eat in our house, especially in something like this that I would gladly eat for breakfast, which means I would have to let Liam have some with breakfast too. In order to feel a little bit better about having this bread for breakfast, instead of the 3 cups of white granulated sugar, I cut it back to 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of real maple syrup. That also meant cutting back on the water in the recipe, as well as upping the amount of baking soda in the recipe. A little googling is how I found suggestions on how much to adjust everything. Vegetable & Canola oil are things we’ve cut out of our kitchen, the best that we can, because of how refined, processed, and genetically modified they are. An easy swap for the vegetable oil was butter, because of course. When I’m making decisions about food in our house, I’m generally not focusing as much on calorie content but more on the “realness” of it. So, butter is going to win over vegetable oils, shortening, margarine, etc. And of course, I swapped out the all purpose flour in this recipe for my new bff whole wheat pastry flour.

Pumpkin Bread

makes 2 standard size loaves

3 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 3/4 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup Butter, at room temperature (I always use salted)
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 cups Maple Syrup (the REAL stuff)
4 Eggs1/3 cup Water
1 15oz. can of Pumpkin Puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Butter and flour 2 standard loaf pans.

3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together(that’s my version of sifting) and set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and granulated sugar for about a minute or 2 on medium speed.

5. Add the maple syrup, mix, on low, until thoroughly combined.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing, on low, until combined, between each addition.

7. Add the water, mix, on low, until combined.

8. Turn off the mixer, add about a third of the flour mixture, combine on low. Add the rest of the flour in 2 more additions, in the same way.  Do not overmix. You just want to get it combined.

9. Last, but absolutely not least, add your pumpkin puree, and combine with a spatula.

10. Divide evenly, into the 2 loaf pans, they should be about 3/4 full.

IMG_0324

11. Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs. I usually start checking mine around 50 minutes in.

12. Once you pull it out of the oven, allow to cool completely before cutting into it. I usually let mine cool in the pans.

13. If you want to freeze it, once it is completely cooled, wrap it well in a layer of plastic wrap, and then a couple layers of foil before stashing it away.

IMG_0320

 

This recipe was a fun experiment, especially since it was a success! I’m always hesitant to make big changes in baking, because I know it is such a science, and I’m still learning about how it all connects and works together, but I have to say, I’m quite proud of this one. I love this bread just as much as the original recipe, and I feel a little less guilty when I eat it for breakfast.

love and butter,
amy

pumpkin pie overnight oats

October13

Just the other day, I shared a recipe for chocolate peanut butter overnight oats. They’re super yummy, but ever since the weather has hinted at fall, I’ve been itching to try a version with pumpkin. Well, here it is, and it’s good, really good. They’re less rich than the chocolate version, which is nice if you want something that feels a little lighter in the morning.

With my chocolate version, I didn’t lay out a super exact recipe, and the same goes for these. I apologize if that makes you twitchy, but I promise, these don’t have to be precise. And who wants to complicate an easy, quick breakfast prep, with something silly like measuring spoons?

I’ll give you the run-down below, but if you don’t want to read any further, the only differences from the chocolate peanut butter oats are cutting the cocoa powder & peanut butter and then adding in canned pumpkin (NOT THE PIE FILLING) & a little pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Rolled Oats
Chia Seeds
Greek Yogurt (or any non-dairy yogurt you like)
Maple Syrup (the REAL stuff)
Canned Pumpkin Puree (if you’re super ambitious, you can make your own, it’s actually quite simple)
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Milk (I use whole milk, any non-dairy milk would work also)

Grab a pint-sized mason jar and add rolled oats to about 1/4 to 1/3 full.

Add a spoonful of chia seeds.

Next is a big spoonful of greek yogurt.

To sweeten it a bit, I add a splash of maple syrup.

When it comes to the pumpkin, I added a couple of good spoonfuls, around a 1/2 cup probably. I wanted it to actually taste like pumpkin.

I added a big pinch of pumpkin pie spice, initially, but ended up added more once it was all shaken up, at the end. I think I used around a 1/4 teaspoon, but you could definitely use more/less depending on your preferences.

Then, just fill it up with milk, put the lid on, shake up really well, and stick it in the fridge until morning.

pumpkin oats

So that’s that. Just another fulfillment of my pumpkin obsession.

love and butter,
amy

posted under breakfast | 2 Comments »

chocolate peanut butter overnight oats

October11

When I started this blog, I didn’t set any serious expectations for myself, but I did have some hopes of getting something posted once a week, if not more. Obviously, I’ve been nowhere near that, but I’m still here, and still hoping to keep sharing what’s coming out of my kitchen with all 5 of you that follow along.

There are some women out there that work full time jobs, cook every night, have impossibly clean houses, home school their children, grow all their own fruits & vegetables, raise chickens for eggs, volunteer at the local pet shelter, AND blog everyday. I mean, jeez. I am so not one of those women. I’ve loved this blog, but some things will take priority over it, like showering.

Now, to get to business, let’s talk breakfast. If you remember the recipe I shared for slow cooker overnight steel cut oatmeal, you’ll remember that I’m all about fast & easy in the mornings. I’ve seen recipes for overnight oats all over pinterest for awhile now, but was usually pretty skeptical. The whole concept of cold, not actually cooked oatmeal? I know, believe me, I know. But you guys, this is pretty great, and so easy, which counts for bonus points. Also, if you follow me on instagram, facebook, or twitter, you might recall that I just broke my crock pot the other morning. So, until I get that replaced, these are the only overnight oats we’ll be eating. I’ll be taking donations for the crock pot replacement fund.

Now here’s the thing. There are lots of very specific recipes around the internet for overnight oats. This is not one of those. Remember? These are supposed to be easy. I’m going to tell you what I put in them, about how much I use, and how I make them happen. That’s it. There are lots of ways to customize, and it’s definitely hard to mess them up. So, give them a chance.

Chocolate Peanut Butter
Overnight Oats

Rolled Oats
Chia Seeds (yes, like a chia pet)
Greek Yogurt (or any non-dairy yogurt you like)
Maple Syrup (the REAL stuff)
Cocoa Powder (I used dutch process, it’s a darker/richer flavor, and just what I keep on hand)
Peanut Butter (or any other nut butter)
Milk (I use whole milk, Tim likes his with almond milk)

I always make mine in a pint sized mason jar, and use the one-piece lids, to make it easier. I love those lids for making salad dressing too. Sometimes liquids are a pain in mason jars if you’re using the two-piece lid with the ring.

Overnight Oats_empty jar

So I start by dumping in rolled oats, about 1/4 to maybe 1/3 of the jar.

In goes a spoonful of chia seeds.

Next is a couple big spoonfuls of yogurt.

Then I add cocoa powder, a spoonful for Liam, a couple spoonfuls for Tim, just depends on how chocolatey you want it.

I usually add about 1 spoonful of peanut or almond butter. A note on this, it will likely stay in a clump or a few clumps, so rather than being a super evenly disbursed flavor, every once in awhile you’ll get a bite of nut butter, which I love. Anytime I’ve just about emptied a jar of nut butter, I like to make my oats in that jar. Then I can scrape up the little bits of what’s left of the nut butter as I eat.

Then, to sweeten it a bit, I add a splash of maple syrup, maybe a tablespoon, at most. Start with just a little and you can always add more once you shake it all up.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Then I fill the jar with milk, about to the top, screw the lid on tight, shake everything up, and stick it in the fridge until morning.

Overnight Oats

I’m usually in a hurry on the mornings we have this for breakfast, but if I had the time, some sliced banana or even some raw nuts would be a yummy addition. You also might find that you prefer a thicker mixture and decide to add more oats, but you’ll never know until you try.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oats

I keep thinking that these would be great in a pumpkin variety, because it is October, of course. So, when I get around to trying that out, I’ll share, if they’re any good. In the meantime, give these a try, and if you come up with any great combinations, I want to hear about them.

love and butter,
amy

posted under breakfast | 3 Comments »