This holiday-themed bread is easy to prepare for a potluck offering and even makes a welcome gift. The winter squash baked into the loaf provides antioxidants and a grounding, calming effect in the body during the dry and dark vata season (the energy of air and space, according to Ayurveda). Cranberries also have a variety of healthy phytonutrients and nuts are vital brain food. Try fulfilling your New Year’s resolution of having only healthy sweets with this recipe.

Yields: 1 large loaf (9 ½ inch by 5 inch)


Pre- Prep Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F

Spray large loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray


 2 cups spelt flour

½ cup wheat germ

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed winter squash (sugar pumpkin, butternut, or kabocha)

½ cup vegan milk (soy, almond, or ancient grain)

¼ cup safflower or sunflower oil

¼ cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon flax meal + ¼ cup water (mixed together)

¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

½ cup fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon maple sugar (to sprinkle over the top of loaf)


  • Remove skin from squash, cut in half, and scrape out seeds. Cut the squash into medium sized chunks. Place squash in medium sized pot with a steamer insert and enough water to steam the squash. Cook until tender. Remove cooked squash from pot and cool before mashing.
  • Sift into a large bowl the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together cooked squash, milk, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add in the flax egg and stir to combine well.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to combine. Fold in the chopped pecans and fresh cranberries. Mix to incorporate.
  • Fill the loaf pan with the batter then sprinkle the maple sugar over the top.
  • Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 50 minutes, rotating the loaf half way through cooking time to ensure even baking.
  • Test the center of the loaf with a toothpick; it should come out clean.
  • Once loaf is baked, remove from oven and cool in the pan 10 to 15 minutes on a cooling rack before turning it out.