This Pumpkin Spice Bread Is So Freaking Good You Won't Believe It's Healthy

It's loaded with protein, fiber, and flavor.

October 17, 2017
pumpkin zucchini spice bread

This hearty pumpkin bread has everything you’d hope for in a healthy snack. The addition of zucchini as well as pumpkin guarantee a moist crumb, chopped pecans add richness and crunch (and protein!), and a trio of pie spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove–imbue it with a delicious, warming flavor that goes well with a cup of tea and a book, or with your morning coffee. (Or, ok, it's amazing with a scoop of ice cream—we tried 5 “healthy” ice cream brands—this is the best one.)

But the secret ingredient that makes this a nutritious as well as tasty snack is the use of whole wheat pastry flour, a low-gluten flour that packs all the benefits of whole wheat flour while also yielding a dense-yet-tender loaf. Look for whole wheat pastry flour in the healthy or natural foods section of your grocery store, or order it online.


Related: The 11 Healthiest Whole Grains You Should Be Eating

Because it includes the nutritious germ and bran of the wheat grain (which are removed from the grain to make white flour) it contains valuable vitamins and dietary fiber, but it also spoils more easily, so store leftover flour in the in the refrigerator or freezer and use it up within 3 months. 

(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what's in season.)

Slather this pumpkin bread with homemade butter—it takes just seconds to make using an electric mixer!


Pumpkin Zucchini Spice Bread

Serves 16

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened, plus extra, for greasing the pan
1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup packed brown sugar or ½ cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ cups finely chopped pecans

1. Heat the oven to 350F degrees. Use butter to grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, remaining butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in the zucchini. Stir into the flour mixture just until blended. Fold in the pecans.

4. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.