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Nutty Pumpkin Banana Bread

 Bananas and pumpkin puree are the stars in this addictive and moist quick bread. Simple to make, this is the perfect snack to whip up on cold winter days.

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This past weekend, the kids, my SO and I decided to head to the cottage and do a little ice fishing. All needing a much needed change of scenery and an escape from all the pandemic related frustrations here at home, we packed up the car for a little serenity and self care. My SO's cottage is located in a small town in the Kawarthas, in Ontario. His mom's family immigrated from England in the 1800's and the land has been in the family since then. While the cottage has changed a bit over the last few hundreds of years, it is still a simple a quaint little log cabin. We stayed toasty thanks to the wood stove and enjoyed some time away as a family with little distractions. The weather was on the milder side and we were able to enjoy some time on the ice.

Since I knew we'd be tired and hungry all weekend, I quickly whipped up a few loaves of banana bread to take with us. It's a quick, simple and delicious snack to have on hand. I seem to always have bananas in my freezer. My kids are very unpredictable banana eaters. Either I buy and bunch of bananas and they are gone in 2 days, or they sit on the counter until too ripe, and into the freezer they go. When October rolls around, I always purchase sugar pumpkins, to make and freeze pumpkin puree. It is such a simple undertaking and it allows me to have pumpkin puree ready to go, waiting in the freezer. I wash my pumpkins, cut them in half, remove the seeds and roast them in a 350 degree oven until fork tender. After cooling, I scoop out the pulp and puree it, with the use of my blender. Once pureed I separate the pumpkin into freezer bags, in 1 C portions. They last 6 months in the freezer.

This recipe came about a few years back, when I wanted to make something other than my typical banana bread. I wanted the warm spices of pumpkin loaf, but also needed to use ripe bananas. So I decided to combine the two, to make this sinful and comforting pumpkin banana loaf. The smell while the loaves were baking was intoxicating. So much so that the kids made their way down to the kitchen to see what I was baking. We all anxiously waited for the loaves to cool enough to cut and sample my work. Slathered with melty butter, it was heaven in a bite. The warm winter spices wrap you up and bring comfort to your soul. 

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash. They are a very low calorie food, as they are 94% water. Super high in beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A, it helps boost immunity and fight infection. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene also helps protect the body's cells from free radicals (know to cause certain cancers).

Bananas are a healthy source of potassium, vitamins B and C and fiber. Potassium is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and regulate blood pressure. Green bananas are abundant in starch, which slowly becomes sugars when the banana ripens. While bananas are generally considered healthy, persons with type-2 diabetes should avoid eating high amounts of well- ripened bananas.

Pumpkin seeds are full of antioxidants that might help reduce inflammation and protect against disease. Evidence suggests that pumpkin seeds may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer. Pepitas are packed with magnesium, needed for good bone and heart health. Magnesium along with tryptophan and zinc (also found in pumpkin seeds) help promote good sleep.

Pecans are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which may benefit heart health and brain function. Due to their high fiber content, pecans may help stabilise blood sugars in the body. Pecans are high in calories, therefore eating multiple servings will increase your calorie intake, and may contribute to weight gain.

Cinnamon comes in two forms. Ceylon cinnamon known as "true" cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon, which is typically found in most kitchens around the world. It is high in cinnamaldehyde, which is thought to have great effects on health and metabolism. Loaded with antioxidants cinnamon helps reduce inflammation and may have anti-diabetic effects (lowering fasting blood sugar levels).

How to make pumpkin puree

  1. Wash pumpkins when bringing them home. Smaller pumpkins (also know as sugar pumpkins) are more suited to make pumpkin puree.
  2. Using a sharp chef knife, cut the pumpkins in half, from stem to bottom. 
  3. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and save to roast.
  4. Place cut side down onto a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven until fork tender; about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Once pumpkins are cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp.
  6. Using a blender or food processor, puree the pumpkin pulp until smooth.
  7. Use immediately or place in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze pumpkin puree by portioning into freezer safe food storage bags. Pumpkin puree can be frozen for up to 6 months
Equipment needed to make this recipe
  • 2- 9 inch loaf pans
  • parchment paper (if desired)
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups (dry and wet) and measuring spoons
  • whisk
  • mixing spoon or spatula
  • toothpick or cake tester

Nutty Pumpkin Banana Bread

4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1-1/2 C (about 14 ounces) mashed pumpkin puree    
1-1/2 C (3 to 4 large) ripe mashed bananas
1-1/2 C (12 ounces) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C vegetable oil
4 large eggs
3/4 C granulated white sugar
3/4 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C chopped pecans, optional
1/2 C hulled pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch loaf pans. (I like to line mine with parchment as well)

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and allspice until combined; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, bananas, sour cream, oil, eggs, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the flour mixture, half at a time, and beat until just combined. Fold in pecans and pumpkin seeds (if using).

Divide batter evenly between the 2 loaf pans. Bake for about 1hr; until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan; then remove from the pans and let cool completely to room temperature before slicing to serve.

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Comments

  1. Oh yum! I don't even care if it's March and not technically "pumpkin" season anymore. I NEED this bread!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?1? I hate that everyone expects pumpkin recipes in the fall. I love pumpkin during the cold winter months :)

      Delete
  2. this is what I will make this week, i got some over riped bananas and will top with muesli nuts :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a wonderful topping. I hope you do try it and that you enjoy it as much as we do!

      Delete
  3. I love pumpkin bread and banana bread! Such an interesting combination, but I bet it's so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Anything with warm pumpkin spices is tops in my book!

      Delete
  4. I can only imagine how moist this pumpkin bread is. I feel that the addition of the sour cream gives it that little extra punch that you look for in loafs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most definitely! I bet it would be good by using coconut yogurt as well ;)

      Delete
  5. I love this combination Cindy. Even. the nuts. I always forget how those bring out flavors.
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ! I'm a little late this week but am heading over today!

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness yum! I have never heard of banana pumpkin bread before, but it sounds amazing! Anything with pumpkin pureer is my absolute fav!
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

    ReplyDelete
  7. This turned out so good!!!! My family and I almost devoured the whole thing in one night lol. Will def make again, and want to try in muffin form. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! It is such a great recipe. Thank you so much for trying my recipe :)

      Delete

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