Pumpkin Cinnamon Sourdough Twist Bread


I love my parents house for a few reasons:

Obviously, because my family is there :)

It’s in the countryside where there’s beautiful green fields, trees, and peace and quiet.

My mom cooks the most amazing food.

They have a wood stove!

With the rain, changing colors, and cooler weather comes warm, cozy fires :) Since Sid and I are driving back to Santa Barbara in just a couple of weeks, I feel like I have to take full advantage of fall while I’m here in Washington. I know we’ve barely finished summer, but I’m already dreaming of pumpkin baked goods and everything that comes with fall! It’s like I have two weeks to soak up fall before I move back to summer in Santa Barbara.

Recently, I came across a photo of a Chocolate Cinnamon Sourdough Twist bread on mydailysourdoughbread.com, and I thought it looked pretty amazing. Unfortunately, I’m trying to stay away from all added sugar for a month. There goes the chocolate cinnamon twist bread… BUT… I can have dates! And you know what’s almost as good as chocolate? Pumpkin.

Let’s do this!!!



  • 1 Tbs. Sourdough starter

  • 100 g. warm water

  • 100 g. whole wheat flour

Bread Dough:

  • 200 g. Levain (all of it)

  • 180 g. warm whole milk (I subbed 100 g. coconut milk + 80 g. water)

  • 180 g. pumpkin puree

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 Tbs. melted butter

  • 390 g. whole wheat flour (or mixture of white/wheat)

  • 6 g. sea salt


  • 12 dates, pitted

  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

  • 2 Tbs. butter

  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon

  1. The night before you make the bread, prepare the levain. Add the starter, water, and flour to a bowl, mix together, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight.

  2. In the morning, combine your levain, the warm milk, melted butter, pumpkin puree and egg yolk. Stir with a spoon until well combined.

  3. Add the flour and salt, and mix together with your hands until there’s no more dry bits of flour.

  4. The dough will be sticky, but do your best to need the dough for 5 minutes.

  5. After you’ve kneaded the dough, let it sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, stretch and fold the dough. To stretch and fold the dough, pick up one side of the dough with wet hands and fold over the rest of the dough. Repeat on all four sides of the dough. You will perform three more sets of this spaced 30 minutes apart for a total of four sets of stretches and folds. After four sets of stretches and folds, let the dough sit for one more hour.

  6. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a food processor, combine the dates, butter, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon. Food process until smooth.


7. Once the dough has finished rising, flour a clean surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 5-10 mm thick.

8. Spoon the filling onto the rectangle of dough, and spread out evenly over the surface all the way to the edges. Picking up the edges on the long side of the rectangle, carefully roll the dough up into a long log.


9. Slick the log all the way down the middle. Open up the two pieces of dough so that the two halves face outward. Carefully twist the two halves over each other to form a braid.


10. Prepare a circular baking pan or a cast iron skillet with a piece of parchment paper smeared with 1-2 tsp. butter. Place the braid in the cast iron so that it forms a circle, and pinch the two ends together. Let rise until almost doubled in size, or about 1.5 hours.


11. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place the bread in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Let it cool before slicing into it!


Gluten-free Zucchini Blueberry Muffins


These are the perfect muffins to bake in August! Sweet, plump blueberries are in season, and it seems like almost everyone has zucchini coming out of their ears. Why does everyone seem to grow so much zucchini year after year? Maybe it's so they have an excuse to make loads of delicious zucchini bread :) That's how I do it at least! So, maybe if your neighbor gives you some massive zucchinis from their garden, you can use this recipe to bless them back with some muffins. Or you could eat them all yourself and no one would know. Whatever floats your boat! 

 GF Zucchini Blueberry Muffins


  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 2 c. gluten free flour
  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-2 c. fresh blueberries, chocolate chips, or both


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grate the zucchini using a food processor or cheese grater. 
  2. Combine the zucchini, nut milk, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, and maple syrup in a bowl.
  3. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in another bowl.
  4. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir together until well combined. Add the blueberries and/or chocolate chips.
  5. Oil two loaf pans or muffin tins, and divide the batter evenly.
  6. Bake the loaf for 50 minutes, stick a knife in the middle and see if it comes out clean. For the muffins, bake for 25-30 minutes, checking to see if done. Enjoy with butter, jam, almond butter and honey, or by themselves :)

GF Apple Carrot Pecan Muffins


I'm currently working at a coffee shop. It's not necessarily what I expected I would be doing post-graduation. There have been many days where I've questioned the purpose of my life while wiping coffee-stained hands onto my blue jeans, picking up yet another pitcher of milk, and watching the bubbles rise and then disappear into the white whirlpool. Michael wants his daily medium latte, and I get to be the one that pours foamy milk into caramel-colored espresso, forms a decent rosetta, and hands it over with a smile.

I know that I won't be here forever. I'm finishing school and a new wedding photography season is coming up. Even though it's short-lived, I don't want to look back on this time as a waste. How can I make these countless interactions and mindless tasks mean more? I'm so much more than what I do, and I want that to be apparent in the way that I live. 

Career, vocation, purpose... It's a lifelong journey. I will admit that I used to think it was an educational one. You get your degree, figure out who you want to be, and the rest just sort of... well... happens? Fortunately, I'm learning that's most definitely not the way it is. If it was, we wouldn't be nearly as strong or our stories nearly as interesting. 

I'm trying to take what I have and where I am, and let it teach me something. Something that is not merely wasted time. Something that will be valuable to who I am now and where I am going. How will we get anywhere if we don't learn from the seemingly insignificant spaces in between the big moments?

I guess the reason I started talking about all of this is because of apple carrot pecan muffins. The chef at the coffeeshop makes them, and this recipe was inspired slightly by her brilliance. I don't know what she puts in hers besides apples, carrots, and pecans, but I wanted to make my own healthy version.


I used gluten free flours, and they are only sweetened with a banana and a small amount of maple syrup. These muffins are guilt-free and full of good things for you. The absolute best part is that they actually. taste. amazing. They're not dry, bland healthy muffins. They are moist, sweet, and flavorful healthy muffins. You have got to try them.



  • 1 1/4 c. oats, blended or food processed into flour
  • 3/4 c. coconut flour (you can sub any regular or gluten free flour for the coconut flour and almond meal)
  • 1/4 c. almond meal
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. oil (I used 1/2 coconut and 1/2 avocado oil)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. almond milk (or any other milk/milk alternative)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the apple and then carrots until finely chopped. Place in a large bowl. Add the mashed banana, egg, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and almond milk. Stir until well combined
  3. In a separate bowl (or the same bowl), add the flours, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and pecans. Stir until well combined.
  4. Scoop into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy plain, with butter, or with a smear of almond butter :)

Pumpkin spice bread (gf)

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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.

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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.

It's gluten-free.

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 :) 

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Time: About 1 hour

Serves: 12

dry ingredients:

  • 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

wet ingredients:

  • 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




  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Beat with a whisk until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts if desired.
  6. If baking in a cake pan, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean when poked in the middle.
  7. If baking muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. If baking bread, bake for 55-60 minutes.
  9. 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.

Carrot Apple Zucchini Loaf

Apples are just starting to ripen on some trees and there's still plenty of fresh summer squash and carrots to be found. This bread is the perfect combination of late summer and fall. It's flavorful, moist, and slightly sweet. My family enjoyed eating it with a slather of butter on top, but it tastes just as good plain. I hope you enjoy!

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  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • ¼ cup greek yogurt

  • ¼ cup almond milk or whole milk

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp. allspice

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. vanilla

  • ½ cup grated apple

  • ½ cup grated carrot

  • ½ cup grated zucchini

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.

  2. In a food processor, grate the apple, carrot, and zucchini so that there is about a 1/2 cup of each.

  3. With a knife or food processor, chop the walnuts into smaller pieces.

  4. Beat the eggs, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup until well combined.

  5. In a large, separate bowl, combine the milk, greek yogurt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and chopped walnuts.

  6. Add the egg mixture, and beat until it's well mixed in.

  7. Add the flour and stir to combine.

  8. Grease a large loaf pan, fill with batter, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.

  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

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