A classic pumpkin bread, made healthier! This version of my healthy pumpkin bread uses white whole wheat flour as a base and is lightly sweetened with maple syrup. It’s completely dairy free, nut free, and refined sugar free.
Can you tell that I really love fall baking? I don’t think I could ever get sick of the warming flavors of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg that make up the base of pumpkin pie spice. Or how good they make my apartment smell. OMGGGGGG.
I’ve made both a paleo pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins with oat flour this year. But, I knew I wanted to recreate my favorite, classic pumpkin bread, in healthy form. Like the kind you get a thick, warm slice of at your favorite coffee shop.
This healthy pumpkin bread reminds me of the loafs of pumpkin bread my mom always made growing up.
She always made two loafs at Thanksgiving time. One would be eaten (quickly) the week of Thanksgiving. The other would go into the freezer for a later time. Once I moved out for college, she would start cutting the loaf in half and sending it back to school with me.
So, this is my take on my mom’s classic pumpkin bread. And while nothing can ever beat mom’s cooking, this healthy pumpkin bread is pretty dang close. It’s perfectly moist, slightly sweet, and pairs perfectly with your morning coffee.
What makes this pumpkin bread healthy?
Often, you’ll find that quick breads (like banana or pumpkin bread) are loaded with sugars and oil. This really makes them end up tasting like cake, minus the frosting. And while I love a good slice of cake, I knew that I wanted this pumpkin bread to be healthy enough for breakfast.
- White white whole wheat flour: Typical pumpkin bread recipes use all-purpose flour. I subbed in white whole wheat flour, which has a much higher fiber content than all-purpose flour. This will keep you feeling fuller longer! To make gluten free, use a 1:1 gluten free baking flour
- Coconut oil: This healthy pumpkin bread uses coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. Coconut oil is considered to be a healthier option by many because the majority of saturated fat found in coconut oil is in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) versus long-chain tryglicerdies (LCTs). MCTs are more easily digested by the body and burned for energy, which can aid in digestion. Be sure to use a refined coconut oil if you don’t want to taste the coconut flavor.
- Maple syrup: You’ll find that many pumpkin bread recipes use over 1 cup of white and/or brown sugar. This recipe uses only 1/2 cup of maple syrup to keep it refined-sugar free!
- Pumpkin (duh): Obviously found in all pumpkin breads, but you can’t ignore the health benefits that this ingredient provides! Pumpkin is a great source of antioxidents, including beta-carotine, which your body converts to Vitamin A, as well as Vitamin C.
- Chopped pecans: Totally option, but I love to add some chopped pecans to my pumpkin bread. In addition to adding a nice crunch, they’re a great source of healthy fats and protein.
How should I serve pumpkin bread?
I love to keep quick breads and muffins on hand. They are great for breakfast, but are also a perfect mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up, or even dessert.
Some of my favorite ways to eat this pumpkin bread are:
- Warmed up and with a cup of coffee
- Slathered with a thick layer of peanut butter (or your favorite almond butter)
- Warmed up with a slab of ghee or butter
- Crumbled over yogurt
- Crumbled over ice cream (because dessert every night!)
Storing your pumpkin bread
This pumpkin bread will stay fresh at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the fridge for 5 days.
Once the bread is cooled, store in an air tight container or ziplop bag. I’d recommend slicing the bread as you go to keep it fresh longer.
This bread also freezes great! To freeze, wrap in aluminum foil and store in an airtight container. If you’d like to freeze individual slices, I’d recommend storing slices between parchment paper to keep them from sticking together. This bread can be frozen for up to six months.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
- Pumpkin oat bars
- Healthy banana bread
- Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- Whole wheat zucchini chocolate chip bread
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
Photos by Moriah Sawtelle and recipe by Erin Antoniak.
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup chocolate chips/chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350F and line bread loaf pan (I used 8×4) with non-stick spray and parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and maple syrup.
- Add in pumpkin puree and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Stir in any mix-ins that are desired, saving a few to sprinkle on top before baking.
- Pour into greased baking dish and place in oven.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
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