This October, as we prepared to host our first-ever Halloween party as Reno 911’s Lt. Dangle and Hollywood darling Marilyn Monroe, Marc and I realized we had forgotten the most important party decoration of all: a pumpkin. With minutes to spare before guests arrived, he rushed to our local neighborhood market and lugged home a monster gourd. It was impressive, if not half the size of our apartment. And so, after Halloween came to its usual sad end, we were left with a whole lotta pumpkin. Six pounds of it, to be exact. This melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin banana bread was our first foray into cooking with fresh pumpkin. Suffice it to say, now we’re totally hooked.
Can you blame us? I mean, could this recipe sound any more
like a Starbucks holiday drink delicious? The answer, of course, is no. Sticky-sweet golden honey, pure maple syrup, fresh pumpkin, silky-smooth bananas…and yes, it tastes just as delicious as it sounds. I wouldn’t joke around about this sort of thing, so you can trust me.
Not only is this cinnamon-scented bread incredibly moist, but it’s also 100% gluten-free and paleo. If you’re like me—with some friends who avoid gluten, some who eat totally paleo, and others who balk at the idea of pretentious health nuts messing with their favorite foods—then you’ll want to add this crowd-pleasing pumpkin banana bread to your comfort-food rotation. But shhh…your grain-loving friends won’t be able to tell it’s grain-free, and they never have to know.
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup canned pumpkin puree OR ½ cup fresh pumpkin puree (see recipe below instructions)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 4 eggs
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease one large loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. Whisk together until any lumps are gone.
- In another bowl, combine eggs, melted butter, honey, maple syrup, mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Mix with a whisk or hand-mixer until smooth.
- Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not overmix!
- Pour batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown and slightly crisp around the edges.
- Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes (yeah right, like you're going to wait) and then enjoy!
If you’re reading this recipe after making an ill-conceived purchase of a mammoth pumpkin, you’ll want to use fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned. The difference is slightly noticeable (a nuttier, earthier, fresher taste comes from using the fresh pumpkin) but the bread turns out well either way. If you’re up for tackling that pumpkin of yours and putting it all to good use, get ready for a slimy, messy, and ultimately scrumptious pumpkin extravaganza.
- Pumpkin...that's it!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut your pumpkin in half with a very sharp knife.
- Using a combination of your hands, a spoon, and a small knife, remove the innards of the pumpkin: seeds, stringy flesh, and slimy guts. Sounds like Halloween's not over quite yet.
- Once you've cleared out all the gunk inside, cut your pumpkin into wedges about 4 inches wide.
- Lay the wedges on the parchment-lined baking sheet, skin-side down.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until pumpkin flesh can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Let pumpkin wedges cool for about 10 minutes.
- Once pumpkin is cool enough to handle, gently peel the skin away from the flesh, discarding the skin.
- Working in batches, transfer baked pumpkin to a food processor and puree until smooth.
- For the pumpkin banana bread, reserve ½ a cup of pumpkin puree.
- Freeze the rest of the pumpkin puree for future use in standard freezer bags.
So there you have it: Our first and favorite recipe made from fresh pumpkin. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…all five times we ate it, since that’s how many loaves we made.
Like I said, six pounds of pumpkin. Six. Pounds.
Let us know in the comments if you enjoyed this paleo pumpkin banana bread, and check back soon for another forthcoming fresh pumpkin recipe: Homemade Velvety Pumpkin Soup.