Reading other food blogs over the past couple of weeks has made me think a little about how being vegan has influenced my gift-giving. While lots of cooks, vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike, merrily bake and pack up goodies to give as gifts, I’ve become a little hesitant about giving gifts of food. It’s not that I don’t think that vegan food can be as tasty as non-vegan—I’ve had plenty of people ask me for recipes, not even realizing that the dish in question was vegan. It’s just that being vegan has made me see that we all have different food preferences, restrictions, and needs and that what might be a treat for me could be a disappointing reminder of something they can’t eat to people who have, for instance, diabetes or celiac disease. I’ve been on the receiving end of many gifts of goodies that I don’t eat, and while I’m happy to pass them along to someone who will appreciate them, I would hate to give a gift that resulted in someone else being disappointed.
On the other hand, there’s just something about a homemade gift of food that is so much more personal than anything you can buy. So, when I saw these cute ceramic loaf pans at Michael’s, I decided to put my concerns aside and make little loaves of pumpkin bread, one of my favorite recipes, for my daughter’s teachers and bus driver. I put them into baskets, along with a few Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Squares* and some candy canes:
I’m just going to hope that none of the recipients are following low-carb, gluten-free, or sugar-free diets or are allergic to pecans or pumpkin. But I figure that even if they have to pass the edibles along to someone else, at least they’ll have the little loaf pan and basket to enjoy or re-use .
Pumpkin Spice Bread
When cooking this for other people, I usually use a little oil, as noted in the recipe below. It makes the loaf lighter and less likely to sink or be gummy in the middle. But you can make it completely fat-free and still have a tasty treat.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup apple sauce (you can use half canola oil if you want)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed well with 4 tablespoons water
1 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil 1 regular sized loaf pan or 4 small ( approximately 3 1/2 X 5 1/2-inch) loaf pans or a dozen muffin cups. (Or use silicon pans or cups.)
- Combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry, and stir well. Stir in the nuts, if desired. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and place on the center rack of oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean–about 15 minutes for muffins, 35 minutes for small loaf pans, and 60-70 minutes for one large loaf. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Makes 8 servings.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Each serving, without oil or nuts, contains: 239 Calories (kcal); trace Total Fat; (0% calories from fat); 3 g Protein; 58 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 237 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber.
Each serving, with oil and 1/4 cup pecans, contains: 318 Calories (kcal); 10 g Total Fat; (26% calories from fat); 3 g Protein; 57 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 237 mg Sodium; 1 g Fiber.
Each serving, without oil and with 1/4 cup pecans, contains: 264 Calories (kcal); 3 g Total Fat; (8% calories from fat); 3 g Protein; 59 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 237 mg Sodium; 2 g Fiber.
I’m sorry I don’t have a gluten-free version, but if any of you gluten-free bakers out there have any suggestions, I’d love to give them a try.
* Lindt Excellence chocolate is non-dairy, though made on equipment used to process products containing milk.