Get Well Soon Bread

I’m on vacation. Thanksgiving vacation: ain’t nothin’ better. This week I will be trying out a couple new recipes for Thursday’s meal, including pumpkin gnocchi with sage brown butter and maple chocolate chip shortbread. I am looking forward to the latter because I just got my hands on some maple sugar from the Union Square Green Market last week and I can’t wait to use it! As for the former, pumpkin + sage + butter = alright in my book. I’m also excited to share these cider caramels I picked up over the weekend at the Bedford Cheese Shop with the folks at home.

But before all that, I have one important thing to bake. 

For going on 4 weeks now, my dear, dear Grandma has been in the hospital at NYU. She is quite a trooper. Lucky for us, Granny is scheduled to come home on Wednesday! And on Thursday, we will be able to celebrate and give thanks for another year with this special woman who has cared for us, cooked for us, given generously to us, made the world wonderful for us – and continues to do so each day.

On my visit last week I brought this bread made with applesauce and 3 very ripe bananas my Pop gave me. Granny enjoyed it so that I thought I’d make it again for her to have throughout the last days of her stay at the hospital. It is the very least I can do for my lady. 

This time around I did not have readily-ripe bananas, but I did have half a can of pumpkin puree left from my oatmeal breakfast. So with pumpkin and spices subbed in for the ‘nanners, I came up with this Thanksgiving-week-appropriate bread. I hope she likes it! 

A one-bowl operation

Sugar-free Quick Bread made with Applesauce
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups flour, I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 1 cup (or more) pumpkin puree, I used about 3/4 of a 15 oz. can. Bananas also work well. You want something that will contribute some moistness.
1/2 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts, or any nut of your choosing
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Grease your loaf pan.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until they come together. 
4. Pour into your greased loaf pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

And voila! Quick and easy. Not your average pumpkin bread, it’s fluffier and less sweet, but still super tasty. Have a slice or two with a cup of tea, just the way Granny does.


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