Pumpkin Roasted-Banana Quick Bread

I wish I could tell you fall has finally nestled in rather than merely toying with us as a cat bats around a ball before aloofly prancing off for something more interesting.  I’m still anticipating wooly sweater and my collection of knee-high boots that seem to be my cold weather uniform.  Never wishing to rush time, I’m taking in what the days bring, despite secretly wishing for a more lasting temperature plunge!

Winter squash has just begun to show up at my farm CSA (Cure Organic Farm for Colorado locals).  A few years ago I had no idea what to do with them.  I never really had them when I was growing up and as an adult struggled with the density of flavor often coupled with further sweetening ingredients like brown sugar.

Everything took a turn for me when I naively realized you can roast them to make your own puree, great for so many dishes.  I’m not sure why I did not connect the stuff in the can with the actual squash and in the case of pumpkin I equated the whole squash with carving for Halloween only.

As the weather cools even momentarily, I pull out an imaginary t-shirt with the slogan ‘Born to Bake’.  Years ago I had a friend studying hibernating properties in humans for a PhD who told me the angle of the sun coaxes humans into a more sedentary burrowing/nesting behavior in the cooler months.  I definitely think that is true for me.  I’m dying to cook and it makes me feel much more grounded, versus the summer when I can’t stand to be indoors or sit still for long.

I picked up a pumpkin this week at our CSA, now confident of what to do with it just needing to commit to a recipe.  I dug up an old recipe that I had not ever tried, torn from a magazine now gone by the wayside as have so many print publications:  Pumpkin Banana Bread.  I’ve taken to roasting bananas for baking too which both quickly force ripens them but offers a fuller flavor.  It seemed a perfect addition to make this autumnal bread rustic and satisfying.  It is dense, moist and deeply flavorful.  If you have not yet gotten in the mood for fall, this will surely deliver you!

If you decide to roast your own pumpkin, you must roast the seeds through this method eliminating all the slimy attempts at separating the seeds from the goop!  Promise.  The seeds come out fantastic every time.

 

Pumpkin Roasted Banana Bread

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 standard size loaves

This simple, moist quick bread sings 'fall' with roasted pumpkin, roasted banana, autumn spices and cranberries (or toasted nuts). It can be made ahead and frozen for later use or devoured on the spot!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour (I used King Arthur's Gluten Free blend)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2/3 cup Apple Cider (preferably fresh)
  • 15 ounces of Pumpkin Puree (either one can or click here for instructions on roasting)
  • 1 medium (1/2 cup yield) Roasted Banana (click here for roasting instructions)
  • 6 ounces Dried Cranberries OR toasted, chopped Nuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 standard loaf/bread pans and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl using a mixer (or with stand alone mixer) combine the sugars and vegetable oil. Beat on medium speed to combine.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each one to fully combine. Set aside.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and apple cider to the sugar-oil mixture; beating on low speed after each addition to combine.
  6. Beat in pumpkin and banana. Stir in cranberries or nuts.
  7. Spoon batter evenly in the two loaf pans. Bake for 50-60 minutes (or until toothpick inserted comes out clean). NOTE: at 45 minutes add a sheet of foil over the top of each loaf to avoid overbrowning.
  8. Cool pans on cooling racks for 15 minutes. Turn out loaves onto cooling racks and allow to fully cool prior to slicing.
  9. NOTE: Bread can be frozen for later use by storing in an airtight freezer bag or container for up to 6 months. To defrost: Allow to warm at room temperature for 6 hours.

Notes

Adapted from Country Home magazine

http://boulderlocavore.com/2012/09/pumpkin-roasted-banana-quick-bread.html

 

Comments

  1. says

    Love your photos in this post! BTW, I always cook all of my random yellow winter squashes (except spaghetti squash) from my CSA farm together when I get the, being largely unable to distinguish much flavor difference from one to the other. I package the pulp in freezer bags or containers in smaller quantities to use throughout the coming months in soups, sauces, or baked goods. Seems to be a pretty good system that’s working well for me!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Thank you Michele both for the kind comment on the pics but the great tip! I find I do well to have freezing ideas in mind with my CSA as it is sometimes hard to make it through everything before the next week. I’ve frozen pumpkin puree and will definitely try this. I love Butternut squash but there are some others I am not as adept at using so this will be perfect!

  2. says

    I am SO making this! Even though I love pumpkin in pie and baked goods, I have to admit that I’m not overly fond of its cousins in sweetened form. Maybe it’s just the way I grew up.

    I’m definitely in the fall mood as well. It’s 59 degrees here so I have a sweater on; even though it’s supposed to get up to 80-something today. I WANT fall! (I’m missing my regular reads tremendously, but I got selected to sit on a jury and duty calls.)

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      And you will SO not be disappointed. I too feel my learning curve wih winter squash is directly tied to my upbringing and really not eating it (or having it in a way that was unappealing such as boiling summer squash for 30 minutes until transluscent then gagging it down).

      We are having the same fall temp situation. It’s been raining now since yesterday so DOES feel like fall; thank goodness. So sorry for jury duty but I’m stuggling to keep up with reads too. Fortunately I get YOU on my phone via email subscription so I can read but have been slow to comment!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      You know Meeling I’m a firm believer in making food your own and getting your kids to eat is huge! I wanted to try it with cranberries, loving the seasonal addition, but if they like nuts I’m sure it would be wonderful with those too. OR leave them both out. Make it how your family would eat it I think!

  3. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb says

    I wouldnt know either what to do with the squash, now at least I have seen a couple of recipes online, so I have an idea what it might taste like. In fact I have never seen a real squash. lol sounds weird right? We have only lots of pumpkin and zucchini growing in our humus in europe, so those are our primary autumn vegetables.

    You recipe sounds magnificient! I like spices and autumn spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg especially. I can imagine the ginger will give your pumpkin banana bread another dimension. I really should start baking more breads! thanks for sharing! =D

  4. says

    Toni, thanks for helping out. I was on the look out for a new pumpkin bread recipe. Do you think I could substitute the banana (allergies) with more pumpkin puree? I would assume so, right? I totally agree with Michele, the pictures are gorgeous. I want that cutting board!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Hi Kirsten. I do think you should try substituting more pumpkin for the banana. It will probably make the pumpkin flavor more dense but has a similar consistency so I would not think you’d have to add other ingredients to counter the substitution. Let me know how it goes!

      Thanks for the photo ‘nod’!

  5. says

    Never tried pumpkin and banana combination….Have to Have to try this :) these days baking is furious in my kitchen….going to surely try this :)

  6. says

    Really nice recipe! My wife has been playing around with recipes similar to this lately (she’s the baker; I’m in charge of the main courses and cocktails). Such great flavor. We usually use canned pumpkin – don’t know why we’ve not made our own, because it’s simple. We rarely get bananas that are ripe (brown) enough to use in breads and such, so often roast them. You can also peel them and “roast” them in the microwave – works quite well.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      What a perfect pair you and your wife are John! I’m fortunate that my husband enjoys cooking too. Keeps it fun when one person is not doing everything for a household. I’m sure all of your wife’s experimentation has been delicious! I feel pumpkin is so versatile. On the ‘make your own’ thing, as you gathered that was an ‘ah ha’ moment for me too. I think when you are used to it coming from a can maybe we don’t realize it came from the squash before that! Always appreciate you reading and commenting.

  7. says

    Hi! Can’t wait to try the roasted pumpkin/banana bread. Salivating over pics and just roasted my pumpkin! Went to learn about your “best pumpkin seeds ever,” but seems the link is gone ;-( May you please point me in the right direction?
    Thanks!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Hi Cindy! I’m so sorry about the link! I’m not sure what happened but I’ve reloaded and tested it. Do try it because it was life changing for me. I could never get all of the goop out of the seeds anyway I tried it until this method. Happy Fall to you and family and thanks for reading!

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