Pumpkin Apple Walnut Bread

As I think more about fall traditions and the first holiday of the season, Halloween, I begin to realize how crazy our American Halloween traditions are.  Most people go out and buy pumpkins for Halloween, which they either carve or set out on the porch as decoration, but almost no one knows how to cook one.  I imagine that thousands of pumpkins end up in the trash every year after being cut up to create some silly toothless face. And then on Halloween, with all the nutritious squash lit up around the neighborhood, kids walk from door to door filling up pillow sacks with sugary processed candy.  Does that seem a little odd to anyone else?     
I may sound like a bit of curmudgeon with this rant, and I admit that I have carved my fair share of pumpkins and eaten plenty of Halloween candy (used to love those Mr. Goodbar minis), but the point I want to make is that pumpkins are food.  If you're not going to cook up your Halloween pumpkins to make your Thanksgiving pumpkin pies instead of buying a can of pre-made pumpkin pie mix and a pre-made crust from the grocery store, at least roast the seeds from the pumpkin when you carve it out to make a jack-o-lantern.  They're so good with a little bit of salt and pumpkin pie spice.  And if you're feeling a little more adventurous and a little less wasteful, try cooking a pumpkin in the oven and making a loaf of this Pumpkin Apple Walnut Bread or the Pumpkin Bread with Banana and Walnuts.
So while I'm generally not one for repeat posts, I decided to buy yet another pumpkin this week and combine it with some of the amazing apples that are available right now (my favorites are the Ginger Gold).  I added one cored apple, peel and all, into the blender mixture, and then peeled, cored, and chopped another apple to add to the batter with the walnuts. 
No disrespect to the Fresh Pumpkin Bread with Banana & Walnuts, but this bread is amazing.  I think I like the combination of pumpkin and apples even more than pumpkin with banana.  And the chopped apple pieces mixed with the walnuts create an amazing texture.  You'll get a little bite of both apple and walnut in just about every bite.  

Pumpkin Apple Walnut Bread Makes 1 loaf with 8-10 slices
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour 
1/4 cup oat bran (optional: substitute 1-2 Tbsp flax meal for 1-2 Tbsp of the bran)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1.5 cups fresh roasted pumpkin* 
2 medium apples 
1/4 cup maple syrup
¼ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
2 Tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts** (measured before chopping)
*How to roast a pumpkin: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a half sheet pan with parchment. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and fibers from pumpkin (save seeds to roast later). Lay each half, cut side down, on the sheet pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a fork can easily go through the pumpkin flesh.  Allow pumpkin to cool enough so that you can handle it with your hands.  Either peel off the pumpkin skin and keep the flesh, or, if you can't get it to peel easily, scoop out the cooked flesh with a spoon and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.  (The pumpkin shown was about 5-6 inches in diameter and yielded exactly 1.5 cups of cooked pumpkin).
**If your walnuts aren't toasted already, you can do it yourself while you're preparing the other ingredients.  Just throw them in the 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes, or until the walnuts become fragrant.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and lay a piece of parchment inside the loaf pan, covering the bottom and longest sides of the pan, so that it makes a sling that will allow you to easily pull the loaf out by holding the parchment.

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. 
2. Core one of the apples, but don't bother peeling it (except for the any bruised parts that you might need to cut off).  In a blender, combine pumpkin, apple pieces, maple syrup, almond milk, yogurt, egg, and vanilla. Blend on high until smooth.  Add the blended mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. 
3.  Peel the other apple, core, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.  Fold the apple pieces and walnuts into the bread.

3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake about 1 hour at 350 degrees, until cooked through and a toothpick or butter knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  

Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan and set aside to let cool completely.

If not serving immediately, wrap the loaf in aluminum foil after it has cooled and store in the refrigerator.  My favorite way to enjoy this bread is to cut a slice and toast it, topped with a little bit of vegetable oil spread and an extra dash of pumpkin pie spice.  

Nutritional facts for one slice of bread, assuming you get 10 total slices: 
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 120 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 38%Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 3%Iron 7%


  1. I found your link to this recipe from Whole Foods site- your version looks awesome (and the calorie content is a lot less!) Thanks for posting this- I'm going to make it!

  2. Thanks! Let me know how it goes - I think it's my favorite holiday bread recipe.