Friday, September 28, 2007

It's the Great Light Pumpkin Bread, Charlie Brown!

New York Septembers are a tease. Football season’s commenced, the leaves are turning ever-so-slightly, and officially it’s autumn, but the summery temperatures and lingering humidity don’t want to jump the train to Miami yet. It leaves us panting in anxious anticipation, mostly for less-sweaty subway stations, but also for warmer, hardier foods like chili, roasted root vegetables, and pumpkin bread.

While pumpkin-flavored anything catches my fancy, pumpkin bread is a special breed. It has all the benefits of cake (moist, chewy, filling) with none of the drawbacks (sugary over-sweetness, cheap raspberry filling, misspelled “congradulashuns” wishes). Paired with a cup of hazelnut coffee (breakfast), a cold banana (lunch) or a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff (snack time!), each slice is an October aficionado’s dream food. If The Boyfriend would let me, I’d replace the counters with it, and bite off hunks all autumn long. (Please, Honey?)

This recipe comes from Words to Eat By, hands down, one of the best food blogs out there (featuring, of course, THE CUTEST BABY EVER). A Weight Watchers veteran, Debbie modified the original three-cups-of-vegetable-oil recipe to include six egg whites, a 20-oz can of pumpkin and only ½ cup of Wesson. It’s not very sweet, but that’s not the point. Instead, it’s the warmest-flavored, moist-est, most soothing bread I’ve ever had. It’s Norah Jones in loaf form.

Please note that pecans, the nuts of the gods (hee), are fatty and prohibitively expensive in my ‘hood, so I cut them out. If neither factor matters to you, go ahead and slug ‘em back in, and add a cup of Craisins for good measure.

(P.S. I forgot to upload my pumpkin bread picture, so this lovely University of Arizona photo is a placeholder 'til then.)

Low-Fat Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves – 12 slices each
Adapted from Words to Eat By.

Butter or cooking spray, for greasing pans
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
6 egg whites
20 oz pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup water

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9x5 loaf pans with cooking spray.

2) In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves together.

3) In a separate large mixing bowl (or using a stand mixer), cream oil and sugars. Pour in egg whites, pumpkin puree, and vanilla and mix. "Add to pumpkin mixture alternately with water, mixing well after each addition."

4) Pour mix into loaf pans and bake for around 60 to 75 minutes (55-65 minutes if you're doing one at a time), switching pan placement in the oven about halfway through. Loaves are fully baked when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
181 calories, 5 g fat, $0.24

Cooking Spray: negligible fat and calories, $0.09
1 cup sugar: 774 calories, 0 g fat, $0.29
1 cup dark brown sugar: 688 calories, 0 g fat, $0.38
½ cup vegetable oil: 990 calories, 112 g fat, $0.34
6 egg whites: 103 calories, 0.3 g fat, $1.54
20 oz pumpkin: 193 calories, 1.6 g fat, $1.89
1 t. vanilla: 12 calories, 0 g fat, $0.13
3 ½ cups flour: 1593 calories, 4.3 g fat, $0.20
2 t. baking soda: negligible fat and calories, $0.04
1 t. baking powder: negligible fat and calories, $0.03
2 t. salt: negligible fat and calories, $0.03
1 t. nutmeg: negligible fat and calories, $0.12
1 t. allspice: negligible fat and calories, $0.71
1 t. cinnamon: negligible fat and calories, $0.03
½ t. cloves: negligible fat and calories, $0.05
2/3 cup water: negligible fat and calories, free
TOTAL: 4353 calories, 118.2 g fat, $5.87
PER SERVING (TOTAL/24): 181 calories, 5 g fat, $0.24

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paidtwice said...

Yum! Oh I love pumpkin ANYTHING!

I bet you can't make pumpkin donuts low fat, huh? lol

I love pumpkin.

And by the way, that baby is cute, but mine is cuter ;). Not that I am biased...

photographic evidence:

SAHMmy Says said...

I usually bypass any recipe with "lowfat" in the title--but I'll take your word for the moist factor :) Love anything pumpkin, though husband hates it. So I'm introducing my kiddos to various pumpkiny delights, hoping they'll grow to share my taste thereby giving me an excuse to bake it up!

Heather said...

It is in the oven now! I can't wait! There might be a mistake, though - the cooking directions mention butter, but there is no butter in the list of ingredients.

Thanks for the great foods! I've loved everything I've made with your help!

Kris said...

@Heather: Sorry about that. It should say "oil." Will change!