Pumpkin Banana Mini Loaves

These loaves make the perfect morning or afternoon snack.  They are healthy and made with whole grains, which provide a wholesome energy boost for a hungry tummy.

Pumpkin Banana Mini Loaves (can be adapted for a single loaf)

Ingredients:

1/4 vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

2 eggs

1 cup pureed pumpkin

2 medium bananas, mashed

2 tbsp orange juice or water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

6-8 dates, chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup pepita seeds

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans or an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, honey, eggs, pumpkin, banana, orange juice and vanilla.

In another bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.   Add into pumpkin mixture, stirring to combine. Gently  fold in nuts and dates; do not over mix.

Spoon into prepared loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes if using mini loaf pans or 60 minutes if using standard loaf pan, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove bread from the oven and let cool on wire rack.

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Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

I adore a soft and chewy ginger molasses cookie and this one is extra satisfying and a bit more nutritious with the addition of some pumpkin.  The dough for these cookies can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.  Once baked, these cookies stay fresh for days.

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies (inspiration)

1/2 earth balance butter spread (or butter)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cloves

a pinch of nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

Method:

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for  2 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy as a snack or dessert, these cookies pair well with a mug of coffee (or tea).