Are you one of those people, who is obsessed with cookbooks? Do you ever think why we buy cookbooks while there are a gazillion recipes readily available on the internet? Is it because we feel as though we are closer to the author?
I do not know the answers to these questions. However, what I do know is that I am crazy about cookbooks. If I could have my way, I would buy every cookbook that was ever published. Okay, that is a little exaggerated, but still, I wish I could have more. I get tremendous satisfaction from turning the pages of a cookbook, reading through carefully written recipes all the while admiring the beautifully styled photographs.
During the reading process, I find myself thinking, “Oh how gorgeous does this dish look?” and “Why didn’t think of that?” A lot of admiration and a bit of jealousy, embarrassing to admit, but true. My admiration of a fellow food blogger grows whenever they release a cookbook because I know, first hand, how much work it takes to maintain a food blog let alone write an entire cookbook.
For all those reasons, when I finally held Alana’s brand new cookbook – Alternative Baker – in my hands, the level of awe and inspiration I felt was no surprise. As a fan of Bojon Gourmet for over 2 years now, I knew something great was coming. What I didn’t know was that it would exceed all my expectations and that it would help me make all kinds of baked goods using flours made from corn, chestnut, millet, teff, sweet rice flour, buckwheat, etc. As someone who has tried and failed more gluten-free recipes than I care to say, I am so happy to have such a resource to learn and bake from.
About this Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Loaf Recipe:
This pumpkin cranberry nut loaf recipe is the first of a few recipes from Alana’s book that I plan on sharing for this holiday season. The seasonal ingredients, like pumpkin and cranberry, are the flavoring agents in the recipe. They compliment the other ingredients without overpowering the whole loaf. For that reason, I think this recipe is wonderful to make year round. In addition, the hands-on time to put it all together is no more than 20 minutes. Once your batter is ready, you need to place it in your loaf pan and let it sit at room temperature for 2 to 8 hours. To make the time go by fast, I mixed it all up at the night before and baked it first thing in the morning. As you can imagine, a warm slice of nut bread spread with a thin layer of cream cheese and served with a fresh cup of coffee was not a bad way to start the day.
If you are a regular baker, you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. There might be one exception and that is the psyllium husks. I had to go out and buy it. If this is the first time you are hearing about pysllium husks, you can read this Millet and Buckwheat recipe’s blog post to learn more. Don’t let the name deter you from giving this recipe a try as nowadays most supermarkets carry pysllium husks in their healthy food section.
The only change I made to Alana’s original recipe was to sprinkle the loaf with a tablespoon of sesame seeds purely because it would add a nice contrast to the photos. Though as a sesame seed lover, I thought it was a great addition to the recipe.
Finally, if you keep this loaf in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks. Though if you are anything like my husband and me, it won’t last that long. Guaranteed.
A Few Other Recipes from Alternative Baker Published by Fellow Food Blogger Friends
Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Honey Roasted Figs and Hazelnuts – Snixy Kitchen
Teff Oatmeal Cookies with Whiskey Currants – Vanilla and Bean
Coconut Vanilla Chiffon Cake – Betty Liu
Buckwheat Orange Double Chocolate Cookies – Fix Feast Flair
Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Loaf
- 1 ½ cups (175) g raw walnut halves
- 1 cup (140 g) raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 2 ¾ cups (250gr) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (145 gr) dried cranberries
- ½ cup (90gr) flaxseeds
- 1/3 cup (30gr) psyllium husks
- ¼ cup (40gr) chia seeds
- 2 teaspoon (9gr) fine sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 (15-oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 cup (235) ml water
- ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60ml) sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 F (165 C) degrees. Spread the walnuts and pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan and toast until golden, shuffling the pan occasionally, 10-15 minutes. Take it out of the oven and set aside.
- Mix together the rolled oats, cranberries, flaxseeds, psyllium husks, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the warm walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
- Add the pumpkin puree, water, maple syrup, and oil. Using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir well to make sure that the all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the dough is moistened through.
- Line a 9X5 (23cm X 13cm) loaf pan on all sides with parchment paper. Gently scrape the dough into the pan. Gently pack it into the pan while rounding it slightly on top. Cover it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and let it sit in room temperature, 2-8 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the loaf for 1 hour 15 minutes. The top of the loaf will be deeply bronzed.
- Let it cool completely.
- As long as it is kept in an airtight container in the fridge, this loaf will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks. When ready to eat, make sure to toast it in your toaster before serving.
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This recipe is adapted (with almost no changes) Alana Taylor-Robins cookbook – Alternative Baker.