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Olive Oil Pumpkin, Carrot, and Zucchini Bread

November 1, 2009
by Emily

I have a confession to make.  I. Am. A. Fat. Kid.  It’s true.  And I am completely fine with it.

The situation stems from childhood.  One of my favorite memories growing up is waking up early with Dad on Saturday morning.  We would tip-toe around the house and sneak out before my mom and brother even had the opportunity to stir.  We would hop on our bikes and ride around the neighborhood.  I would trail behind my Dad, pedaling furiously, trying my best to keep up.  Bike riding with Dad is the best!  But secretly it wasn’t JUST the bike riding I loved…  It was our final destination.  Tell you what, I am going to let you in on something I have kept hush-hush for years.  But you have to promise not to tell…  I have been to Heaven.

Some girls loved Barbie, Make Believe, My Little Pony, and Gem & The Rockers.  Don’t get me wrong, I did, too.  However, I realized long before the rest of those Other Girls, that Barbie has never been to Heaven.  Ever.  It is impossible.  Check out those hips!  Looks aside, Barbie did not have a hand-me-down electric blue bike like mine.  Barbie didn’t even ride bikes!  She only did aerobics, horseback riding, and potentially yoga (but that is clearly post 1989).  Come to think of it, did Barbie even have a Dad?!  No matter.  The point is, Barbie has never been to Shipley Donuts.  And I have.  Four million times.  I admit that most people’s versions of Heaven do not include the words “fried,” “sugar,” or “yeswewantthedonutholestoo!”  Again, no matter, this is my memory.

As it turns out, I have come a long way in 20+ years.  While I still have quite a sweet tooth, I have graduated from Shipley Donuts to more sophisticated options such as this fall inspired olive oil bread.  Honestly, I am currently a bit obsessed with pumpkin recipes, and this was a great way to put a portion of  my stockpile of fresh pumpkin puree to good use.  The recipe is flexible, so adjust the fun ingredients to your particular taste.  While it is no Shipley’s, this bread is delicious and secretly relatively healthy.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

Baked pumpkins for the puree.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut pumpkin vertically in 1/2.  Scoop out the insides and separate the stringy pieces from the pumpkin seeds in a colander.  Prepare the pumpkin by scraping the insides with a spoon and throw away any mush.  Place the pumpkin halves face down on a baking sheet and bake for 30-60 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the pumpkin.  Once soft, scoop the flesh from the pumpkin and mash with a fork.  There you have it, Pumpkin Puree.  Freezes well.

Olive Oil Pumpkin, Carrot, and Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 small loaves

2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray pans with Olive Oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the olive oil, water, pumpkin, and sugar and whisk to combine well.

Pour into prepared loaf pans.  Fill about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle nuts on the tops of the loaves.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until cake tester (toothpick!) comes out clean from center.  Let cool in pan and then on cooling rack.  Freezes well.

Bread Batter in pan.

Oven ready after adding some chopped walnuts!

I used the extra batter to make some muffins.

Extra batter used to make some darling muffins.

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