Nana’s pumpkin bread

My great-grandmother had the BEST pumpkin bread recipe. Moist, sweet, full of plump raisins.

Oh. And it’s horrible for you. For two loaves there’s an entire cup of vegetable oil and three cups of sugar. Now I’m not going to advise you to cut oils and sugars out of your diet entirely, but for the love of Pete, don’t eat vegetable oil if you can help it and three cups of sugar is a little on the excessive side. Granted, this was a holiday specialty during my growing up years and nothing says “eat in excess” like Christmas morning am I right? Still. Sometimes you just need some pumpkin bread for breakfast without a side of guilt.

So with that introduction, here’s the original recipe.

Nana’s Pumpkin Bread

Mix together:                                     Mix together:

4 eggs, slightly beaten                      3-1/2 C  flour

2 C pumpkin                                      1 tsp. baking soda

1 C vegetable oil                                ½ tsp.  baking powder

2/3 C water                                        1-1/2 tsp.  salt

3 C sugar                                           1-1/2 tsp.  cinnamon

                                                           ½ tsp.  cloves

                                                           ½ tsp.  nutmeg

1 C chopped walnuts
1 C raisins, partially cooked (cover with water in a microwave-safe container and zap for a minute; drain and rinse)

Stir pumpkin and dry mixtures together. Fold in walnuts and raisins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour batter into greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes,or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean. Makes 2 large loaves or many small loaves. If using small loaf pans, bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

You really can’t go wrong with that recipe!

Now, again, back to my childhood: we used the Betty Crocker banana bread recipe and it was always meh. Kinda dry. It had a whopping 3.5 tablespoons of baking powder per loaf so it tasted metallic. I volunteered to tweak the pumpkin bread recipe to make it banana-bread-worthy, and my mom and sisters tested it out for me. 

And, ok, I made it a little better for your arteries. But I added chocolate chips so don’t be too mad!

Banana Bread

Mix together:                                                  Sift together:

4 eggs, slightly beaten                                    1 ½ C all-purpose flour

2 C mashed ripe banana (about 6 medium)    2 C whole wheat flour

½ C vegetable oil                                            1 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ C sugar                                                     ½ tsp. baking powder

¾ C unsweetened applesauce                         1 ½ tsp. salt

                                                                        1 T cinnamon

1 C chopped pecans
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir banana and dry mixtures together.  Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.  Pour batter into greased loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean.  Makes 2 large loaves or many small loaves.  If using small loaf pans, cook for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  

Now, smear it with butter to ensure that you’re not too obnoxiously healthy, and eat for breakfast with plenty of strong hot coffee.



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