By Integrative Nutrition

Fall in the United States has come to mean one thing – pumpkin! While the actual squash itself is incredibly heathy, it can be hard to avoid the sugary, fatty, refined grain-based pumpkin treats that suddenly appear in grocery stores, cafes, and bakeries the instant the leaves begin to change. This simple and satisfying recipe offers a way to enjoy the festivities of the season while still prioritizing your health goals.

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If you’ve never baked with almond flour, don’t worry. This recipe makes using the ingredient nearly foolproof. The flour gets paired with eggs, autumnal spices, and a touch of honey and stevia to create a rich, scrumptious loaf that’s just sweet enough. The recipe makes one tall, handsome mini loaf of chocolate chip-packed pumpkin bread. Feel free to double or triple if you want to make more loaves – they freeze well. The petite slices are perfect for dessert, or pair a couple with a cup of coffee for a breakfast that rivals any found at a coffee shop.

Feel free to use store-bought canned pumpkin puree, or if you’re feeling ambitious, roast your own pumpkin! Home-roasted pumpkin is wonderfully flavorful and easier to prepare than you might think. Simply purchase a pie pumpkin, carefully slice it in half with a sharp chef’s knife, remove the seeds and pulp from the center with a large spoon, and spray the pumpkin flesh with coconut oil baking spray.

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Place the cut side of the pumpkin halves on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 400º F for 1 hour, or until the pumpkin can easily be pierced with a knife. Cool completely, scoop out the flesh, and mash with a potato masher. Tada! The pumpkin is ready to use for anything from this recipe to traditional pumpkin pie. It’s also delicious eaten warm by itself with butter, salt, and pepper. Don’t knock it until you try it!

This bread recipe works with other kinds of fall squash as well, including butternut and acorn. Full of beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and other vital nutrients and minerals, squash are among the world’s healthiest foods. Include some in your diet each day this fall and reap the manifold health benefits they offer. They’ve been shown to decrease cancer risk, control blood pressure, and improve vision and bone growth.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup blanched almond flour

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

½ cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon pure stevia extract

3 eggs

¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips

½ teaspoon arrowroot powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and grease a nonstick mini loaf pan with coconut oil baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Using a food processor, blend together almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice until finely ground and thoroughly combined.
  3. Add pumpkin, honey, stevia, and eggs to food processor bowl and process for two minutes, scraping the bowl halfway through. The mixture will lighten in color and texture.
  4. While batter is blending, place chocolate chips and arrowroot powder in a small lidded jar and shake to coat chips with powder. This will prevent the chips from sinking to the bottom of the loaf during baking.
  5. Once batter is done blending, fold chocolate chips into mixture with a spatula. Scoop batter into prepared pan and tap the pan against the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles and level the top of the loaf.
  6. Place loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake bread for 40-45 minutes, or until it’s golden-brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for an hour, then remove loaf from pan. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator, well-wrapped, for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to two months.

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Notes:

  1. Feel free to substitute chopped nuts, coconut flakes, or dried fruit for the chocolate chips – or omit any add-ins altogether.
  2. For chocolate-chocolate pumpkin bread, replace ¼ cup of the almond flour with cocoa powder.
  3. For a festive fall brunch, this bread makes incredible French toast.

Integrative Nutrition is the world’s largest nutrition school and Health Coach Training Program. Through our innovative, one-year online course, students learn the principles of health coaching, business skills, and over 100 different dietary theories with lectures by the world’s leading experts.

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