Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Flax Meal Pumpkin Bread with Crunch Granola Topping.


I was in the mood for a bit of baking, in need of some distraction. It's too bad more people don't seek out the oven's embrace when they are feeling antsy, sad, angry or frustrated. The oven loves you. It's warm and magical. Taking ingredients you had laying about and transforms them into a moist delicious loaf of quick bread. Quick breads are baking for idiots. Once you follow one recipe you pretty much have it nailed. Bananas, zucchini, carrots, pumpkin, cranberry, blueberry, it's all good as long as its moist. If you like nuts. Great! No? Fine leave them out. I add granola for a bit of crunch on top. I have friends who throw in dried cranberries. I usually do banana bread because my roommate hates a banana the minute it has a few spots on it. SCORE!

Tonight I went for Pumpkin, to use up the puree that has been taking up a corner of our fridge since the ravioli extravaganza. I used a bit for a repeat of the tacos I posted earlier, but still it haunts our shelves, taking up valuable beet salad space. When making quick breads I like to add flax meal for some added nutritional benefits. That way I don't feel as guilty eating the moist slices right after a huge bowl of borscht. It's got fiber ok! I've heard that the best way for your body to get the benefits from flax is for it to be crushed or ground since the seeds alone are pretty much indigestible. Flax is rich in Omega oil, anti-oxidants and fiber so have at it.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease, spray oil or butter the loaf pan.

1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup veg oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon stick
1/4 heaping teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup granola

Sift together the dry ingredients. This allows the baking soda and spices to really mix together. You'll have some flax hulls in the sifter. Just dump them out and mix them in with a fork.

In a separate bowl, mix your wet ingredients. Mix the wet into the dry until mixed and there is no dry flour left. If you over mix you start to develop the gluten and could have a sad bread come out of the oven. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the granola over. Bake for 50-60 min or until a tooth pick comes out of the center clean. Roll the loaf out of the pan, careful not to burn your hands, and cool on a drying rack. Or in my case an upside down veggie grill pan.



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