In my twenty-two years of life, Christmas has always been a time of togetherness, warmth, delightful smells, delicious food, cold weather, cozy fires, and searching for snow when we don't have it outside our doors. Unlike the traditions and rhythms of holiday seasons past, this Christmas has been marked by change and newness. It can be hard to find the Christmas spirit when family is far away, fires are raging in our backyard, and suppressing smoke and ash fills the air. I'm learning how to bring the Christmas spirit to life in my heart, apart from the people and environment that I am so used to.
The name "Fresh Roots" has more meaning to me now than I ever thought it would. I created the name because of my belief in a whole food, plant-filled lifestyle, but it holds a much deeper meaning now. Uprooting our lives in Washington and moving to Santa Barbara, I have been learning how to grow my own fresh roots in an entirely new place and community of people. It's a process. A slow one. However, there are things that make me feel grounded and at home in the midst of change. One of those things being food.
The process, the creativity, the smells, the tastes; the whole experience feels welcoming and nourishing to me.
It's something that is always familiar through different seasons.
Food can transport me back to a cherished memory in an instant, and it can create something beautiful around a new table. Around the table is found laughter, conversation, and the sharing of hearts.
Food connects you to the place that you are in and the people around you.
I am slowly sinking fresh roots into this Santa Barbara earth, and food, in its nourishment, joy, and the shared experiences it brings, is helping me grow.
This is one of those recipes that brought me back to old memories. Back to when my mom, sisters and I would spend hours baking cookies and bread for friends and family members as Christmas gifts. I created this pumpkin spice bread in an attempt to bring the smells and tastes of Christmas to my world, but in a healthier and more satisfying way.
It's perfectly sweet, moist, and full of flavor.
AND the only sugar in this recipe comes from real maple syrup.
What I love about this recipe is that you can use it for so many things: pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin bread!
Add dark chocolate chips, add nuts, add grated carrot, or add all three. I chose to put a thin layer of maple cream cheese frosting on mine. Be creative with it :)
Time: About 1 hour
- 1 1/2 c. oat flour
- 1/2 c. almond flour
- 1/2 c. gluten free flour blend
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, cloves, & allspice
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 c. almond milk
- 1/3 c. plain greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. real maple syrup
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
cream cheese frosting:
- cream cheese
- splash of maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Place all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Beat with a whisk until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts if desired.
- If baking in a cake pan, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean when poked in the middle.
- If baking muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes.
- If baking bread, bake for 55-60 minutes.
- To make the frosting, beat the maple syrup and cream cheese with an electric mixture until a smooth consistency. Add maple syrup until desired sweetness.