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.
Rachel discovered macrobiotics and yoga on the same day in September 2003 and she has been an avid student and practitioner of both since. Rachel is a macrobiotic chef specializing in healing whole foods and remedies and is a lead cooking instructor at The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. Naturalepicurean.com.