Well folks, it’s that time of year again. Time when PUMPKIN is the name of the game. When you really think about it, it’s pretty weird how excited we get about flavoring everything (and then some) with a squash. Do a quick experiment and replace the word “pumpkin” with “squash” in a few of your favorite pumpkin treats. Squash Spice Latte, squash beer, squash chocolate chip cookies. See what I mean?
Regardless of how silly it is, I am admittedly a willing participant in the pumpkin craze. One of my favorite fall activities is to browse the aisles of Trader Joe’s in search of all their unique pumpkin treats. My personal favorites this year are the Pumpkin Chai Spice Loaf and the Fall Harvest Salsa. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, go buy them NOW! You can thank me later!
In addition to providing delicious treats, Trader Joe’s is also an excellent source of recipe inspiration. As a novice recipe developer, I am constantly searching for ways to modify and enhance traditional recipes. TJ’s shelves are stocked with interesting flavor combinations and fun concepts that help my creative culinary juices flow. So while I absolutely adore traditional pumpkin bread, TJ’s pumpkin mania inspired me to mix things to mix things up this year. And such is the birth of my healthy pumpkin banana bread.
First and foremost, this bread tastes amazing. The banana and pumpkin blend together seamlessly. So much so that you don’t even realize both flavors are in there- it is just one big delicious flavor smorgasbord.
I particularly love the bananas in this bread because they add moisture and sweetness without the extra oil and processed sugar. My all-time favorite pumpkin bread has three (!) cups of sugar and an entire cup of oil. This recipe, on the other hand, uses 1/2 cup of syrup or honey, 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup of oil. And I promise you, this bread is just as sweet and moist. You can eat a piece for breakfast or an afternoon snack without the added guilt!
This pumpkin banana bread is ridiculously easy to make. Dump of bunch of stuff in a bowl, stir, bake. That’s it! Quick breads can take a while to bake, so make sure that a toothpick comes out clean from the very center of the bread. Depending on your oven, you may need to bake closer to an hour.
If you have your own ideas for other pumpkin bread alternatives, please let me know! Happy baking!
- 2½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 overripe bananas, mashed (the riper the better!)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp real vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a separate bowl, mash banana with a fork or potato masher. Add in pumpkin, eggs, syrup, sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat well.
- Add dry ingredients to banana-pumpkin mixture. Fold in until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is light golden brown and a toothpick comes out of the venter clean.