Pumpkin bread is the perfect fall food with its warm cinnamon undertones and comforting soft texture. Since I'm relatively new to Paleo, this is my first year creating holiday baked goods with anything besides the usual traditional ingredients.
For years, I've made a great pumpkin bread recipe that I give to family and friends as gifts at Christmas time. Everyone loves it but it's full of vegetable oil and white flour. I've always thought about swapping out the recipe for a healthy pumpkin bread but it's scary messing with a hit. Baking healthier versions of favorite holiday treats can take time and effort to get the flavors and textures right, so I put it off.
Luckily it is possible and not all that difficult to make a fantastic grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free moist pumpkin bread so you can enjoy fall foods and the holiday season while continuing along on your AIP diet. My son shared this with his friends at school and said they loved it. I figure if kids love it, that's a pretty good seal of approval.
There are a lot of dates in this recipe but don't let that scare you; They add natural sweetness and cohesion to the bread. This actually happened by accident- I had some of my caramel sauce (which contains dates) that I had made earlier in the day and actually tried adding the caramel sauce right to the recipe. I loved how it turned out, so I stuck with it.
If you have really moist, fresh dates you may not need to soak them. However, if they're dry, it will help to soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes so they blend smoothly with the other ingredients.
This flour is very similar to white flour in its texture and how it behaves so it's great for most baked goods. I usually use Otto's brand because it's really good quality and doesn't have clumps like some other brands. I normally can't find cassava flour in my local grocery stores (I don't live near any "health food" stores), so I was really excited to find it at my Kroger store this week. I know it wasn't there before because I've looked multiple times. It's Bob's Red Mill which, of course, is a pretty solid brand. It's super fine with no clumps which is what we want.
Coconut flour can be a little finicky to use but in the right amounts, it adds a wonderful soft texture to whatever you're baking.
Maple syrup adds sweetness, moisture, and important minerals and antioxidants to the bread.
Coconut milk adds some fat to the bread which is important for moisture and flavor. This is why you don't see oil in this recipe.
This is just 1 tbsp of gelatin mixed into 2 tbsp of warm water and then added to the other ingredients. It makes a big difference in the texture of the final product.
Baking soda is a leavener so it helps the bread to rise. Salt is very important because it helps to activate the baking soda. Omitting salt could result in a flatter bread. While this tastes good whether warm or cold, I recommend eating it warm because it lightens the texture significantly and brings out the flavor.
I hope you enjoy the recipe. If you made it, please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!
Spiced Pumpkin Bread (Paleo, AIP, Gluten-Free)
- Food Processor or high-speed blender
- loaf pan
- 1 tbsp gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
- Soak dates in very hot water for at least 15 minutes. *If dates are moist and fresh, to begin with, you may not need to soak them.
- Drain water from dates, remove pits and add dates to food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse a few times then add all other wet ingredients except water.
- Scrape mixture out of food processor/blender and into a bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine gelatin and water to make a gelatin egg. Add to wet ingredients.
- In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients, mix, then add to wet ingredients. Stir until well-combined.
- Pour mixture into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- While this is good hot or cold, I recommend eating it warm as the texture is lighter and flavor is better.
- This will keep fresh in the fridge for at least 4-5 days in a tightly sealed container.