Runs for Cookies: VEGAN RECIPE REVIEW: Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf

Thank you for the feedback on yesterday’s post about the whole-food plant-based diet! I should have clarified that the diet isn’t meant to be low-fat; rather than coming from refined oils, the dietary fat comes from nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, coconut, etc. I like the idea of ​​eating whole foods, but cutting out oils would be *really* tough (which is what prompted yesterday’s post ). The feedback was helpful and kind of validated my own thoughts about the oil and salt; I think I might keep a food log this month just to see where my calories are coming from. With my weight climbing, I want to know what I can do to stop it!

Actually, this post might even answer that question, hahaha. After flipping through the Forks Over Knives cookbook, I settled on this dessert recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf (a quick bread) to review–it just sounded so good, and I happened to have all of the ingredients (except chocolate chips) on hand . So, while I normally review recipes exactly as written, this one will be as written except for the chocolate chips.

This recipe can also be found on the Forks Over Knives site. (I’ll link to it again at the end of the post.) It’s not a healthy recipe per se, but relative to the average quick bread, I’d say it’s healthier. I could have used a better sweetener than plain old sugar, but I’ve been using up what I have at home.

Forgive the lighting on all of these photos. I made this in the evening when it was dark outside, so the artificial light caused shadows and terribly bright highlights.

First, the ingredients:

Applesauce, cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, salt, pumpkin purée, dry sweetener (I used sugar), almond butter, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips (which I did not use) .

I have a good non-stick loaf pan, so there was no need to prep the pan with oil or parchment paper. I set the oven to pre-heat and then started a kettle of water to boil (per the recipe directions). I thought that was a little odd, but intriguing. (I made vegan brownies before from a recipe that had me use boiling water as well, so there must be something to it.)

I have an electric kettle for tea, so I started that.

Then, you combine the apple sauce and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. It makes a very thick paste.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.

Then you measure out 1/3 cup of boiling water and add it to the bowl with the cocoa powder and apple sauce. Quickly stir together so that it makes a smooth chocolate sauce. (But don’t pour out the boiling water from the kettle, because you’ll need it again. I learned this the hard way.)

To the chocolate sauce, you add the pumpkin, sugar, almond butter, and vanilla.

It will look like chocolate cake batter:

Then, you add half of the flour mixture and stir just to incorporate, followed by a tablespoon of boiling water. Then repeat: the other half of the flour mixture and then a tablespoon of boiling water. (You can pour out the boiling water at this point, because you won’t need it anymore.)

After adding all of the flour and water and stirring just until uniform, it will look like this:

This is when you would normally add the chocolate chips if you’re using them. Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 55-60 minutes.

I set my timer for 55 minutes and checked it with a toothpick. It came out clean, so I pulled it out then. It looked delicious!

Jerry and I impatiently waited for it to cool before cutting into it. And it was worth the wait–it tasted just as good as I’d hoped.

From the picture, it looks like it’s on the dry side, but wasn’t dry at all. It was dense and had the texture of your average quick bread. The flavor was exactly as you’d expect from the spices–it had a mild pumpkin bread taste, but chocolatey! I can only imagine how good it would be with chocolate chips (I’m going to be sure to try that next time). But honestly, I think it was really good even without the chocolate chips. I would make it again for sure.

Normally, I like peanut butter on pumpkin bread, but after trying it with this Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf, I found I liked it better without the peanut butter; the peanut butter overpowered the other flavors.

I really liked this (as did the family!) and I’ll definitely make it again. You can find the recipe on the Forks Over Knives website.

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