Naturally sweetened and low-sugar pumpkin bread is full of flavor without the guilt.
America’s Test Kitchen has a new cookbook out, and I’m so excited about it. The book is called Naturally Sweet and it is going to change your baking. The first two chapters in the book are all about sweeteners in all forms, what they are, how they are processed, and how they work in baking. One of the reasons I like America’s Test Kitchen (ATK from here on out) so much is because they take the time to teach you what they did, why it works, and how you can make it work in your own kitchen too. Their recipes are fool-proof and delicious. ATK went on to pick five natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, Sucanat, date sugar, and coconut sugar) and told you why they did. They then reduced the amount of sugar in a bunch of awesome dessert recipes, and used natural sweeteners in place of traditional white sugar. Here’s the best part though: every recipe calls for what they felt was the best natural sweetener to use, but then it also gives you the second best option (and how it will change the recipes) AND how much white sugar to use. You don’t even have to use natural sweeteners to get low-sugar baked goods, the book is that well-written. There’s so much learning and science in this book that it would be worth getting it just to be more informed on natural sweeteners. I loved reading it.
I decided to make this lovely naturally sweetened low-sugar pumpkin bread from the book for my review today. This recipe has an amazing texture, the color is bright, the spices are just right, and it tastes great. It’s not your traditional sweet-as-cake pumpkin bread, but it’s still delicious. I wouldn’t think twice about giving this to my kids in the morning for breakfast. For this recipe, you cook the canned pumpkin puree and the spices a bit on the stove top. This reduces the pumpkin to bring out its natural sweetness, and it blooms the spices, which makes their flavor even better. Isn’t that a neat idea?! The best part is you just make the rest of the sweet bread batter in the pan you cooked the pumpkin in, so there is no mixing bowl to wash. The toasted walnuts were also really great in this bread and I wouldn’t leave them out. Because it’s not over-the-top sweet, you really can taste the different elements like spices, pumpkin, and walnuts, so be sure to add them. If you are make this low-sugar pumpkin bread and decide you are wanting it to be a little more sweet, you could always serve it with a whipped honey butter or make a glaze to go over the top.