As I explained in Tuesday’s post, sugar is hard on many systems in your body and takes a toll on your overall health when consumed in the amounts we regularly do. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t indulge once in a while – the holiday season is one of those times that you shouldn’t worry about eating a few cookies or a sweetened cocktail or two. However, come January 1st, if you’re one of the many whose resolutions is to eat better, live healthier and lose a few pounds, cutting processed sugar out of your diet should be top of your list. See Tuesday’s article for more information on how processed sugar impacts your body as well as tips on how to effectively cut it out of your diet.
This recipe is one of my favorite no-sugar treats because it doesn’t leave you feeling deprived – like you’ve eaten one thing just to substitute for another thing that you actually would like to be eating. The pumpkin or winter squash and ground dates give it a natural sweetness that you would never guess didn’t come from the processed stuff! This is a good way to use many of the winter squash coming in your Full Circle farm box this time of year too. Make a few loaves when you have the time and keep them in the freezer for up to 4 months.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- 1 ¼ cups pumpkin or other winter squash puree
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole dates, 1 cup roughly chopped, 1 cup pureed into a thick paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease a 9x3x5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In a separate bowl combine the zest, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and pureed dates. Whisk to combine and make sure the date puree is well distributed. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and fold together. Add the roughly chopped dates and fold to incorporate.
- Spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before tipping the loaf out of the pan. Slice and serve warm with good butter.