26 October 2011

whole wheat pumpkin bread

Food is complicated.

We (we, as in relatively wealthy western citizens of the world) live in a climate of endless options. Don't feel like the ham-and-cheese sandwich you packed for lunch? There's a Subway, and a Pizza Hut, and a sushi joint down the street. You want pasta? Skinny, thick, tubular, pocket-shaped, or alphabet? Experimenting with alternative flours? Try spelt, coconut, almond, quinoa, brown rice or millet.

I have been sifting through a lot of information over the past few months in an effort to bring our eating- and shopping- habits into a place of sustainable and healthy choices. There are so many issues with our North American "food" industry that this overhaul is utterly overwhelming. Over the summer I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and became all for home-growing vegetables, eating only grass-fed local meats and eggs, and freezing and canning as much summer produce as we can. Then I realized that I'm too busy to garden much and too poor to buy much meat at all in Canada, much less organic.

Then the hubs read part of Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and shared a lot with me... basically, the unsettling truth is that we know very, very little about where our food comes from and the way our continent produces enough food to feed us all is destroying our land. This summer I tried to combat this for a while by visiting a farmer's market regularly and buying our produce from local, organic growers, but alas, our grocery budget became too stretched to do this every week, and it's hard to stay motivated as one person out of millions trying to change the system.

Simultaneously, I've been on a quest for a while to eat more whole foods and consume a diet of primarily plant foods, with minimal sugar and fat and refined flour. There are so many nutrients our bodies are lacking because we don't eat enough of a variety of plant foods. It started to seem that having a food blog dedicated to deliciousness and keeping a healthy diet have seemed mutually exclusive...

But I guess if I'm changing, the blog will just have to change with me.

Expect to see the evidence of this change sprinkled throughout my posts as I figure out what it means to eat healthfully and sustainably while still enjoying delicious food and staying on a budget. Delicious food, like autumn-y pumpkin bread made with 100 % whole wheat flour and half the sugar! You'll be surprised how good it still tastes!

Whole wheat pumpkin bread
{adapted, very loosely, from Smitten Kitchen}

3  cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/4 cup honey 
2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice or allspice
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare 2 bread pans with oil or butter.

Blend the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients except cinnamon and 1 Tbsp of sugar together in a medium bowl,  then stir into wet ingredients until combined. Divide batter into bread pans. Toss remaining sugar with cinnamon, and sprinkle tops of loaves with walnuts and cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake, turning after 25 minutes, until a tester comes out fairly clean, 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack, about an hour, or slice and serve warm. Keep tightly covered up to 3 days, and reheat slices in the microwave for best results.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Kate- As I am sure your hubs told you, "Omnivore's Dilemma" is not exactly a get home from a long day of work, get cozy in bed, and read type of book. "Food Rules" is sort of a summary of what to do with all that you learn from "Omnivore's Dilemma," you should check it out. "In Defense of Food" is also a good follow-up, but is just a long. Love you! Here's to healthy eating (mostly)!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...