I can’t believe a whole ‘nother month went by already! I am so sorry I haven’t been very present, but I promise promise I will make it up to you! My work load has lightened up considerably, and I have so much to tell you all about! My job, recipes, MY RACE that I just did yesterday! aaahhhh!! So please accept this fall deliciousness as an apology for my unintentional blogging break, and give a big thank you to Recipe Redeux for giving me the kick I needed to get my butt back in the kitchen!!!
This month’s Recipe ReDux was all about slowing down for fall….
The No-Casserole Crock Pot: Some of us grew up on casseroles out of a slow cooker – but now home cooks are using that same slow cooker to roast a chicken, bake bread, make homemade yogurt and for other creative dishes. Show us how you are using the slow cooker to craft a new healthy recipe. And if you don’t have a slow cooker, borrow one from your neighbor or pick one up at a second hand store!
I can’t even tell you how long it took me to decide on a recipe to create. I thought about oatmeal, but its been done too many times by now (I also already have a recipe for desserty crock pot oats).. I also thought about apple sauce (or pear sauce), but thats too easy.
Then I thought about chili, soup, and other warm dishes. Too mainstream. I want to be different and put pumpkin into something like everyone else! 😉 (…also while I had my eye on main dishes, my mom insisted on a dessert and that sounded like more of a challenge!)
So I decided to make pumpkin bread, in the slow cooker, because why not? Its not like I didn’t already have two batches of pumpkin bread/muffins in the fridge already. This would be different!
And it would have icing. Like, ohmygollyguys this icing. Like, I thought I made too much (and I probably did) but all was well and fine and delicious and you can eat it with a spoon and I even ate carrots dipped in this icing. Yeah. Keep an eye out for more things topped with this frosting (like pancakes)…
It was my first time ever ‘baking’ in a slow cooker and I have to say, I had a little anxiety over the fact that I was baking but the oven wasn’t on. (the same thing happens when I use the dehydrator). But after a little while, the aromas kicked in and all was well in kitchen world!
I wasn’t quite sure how it would come out, bread like, cake like, fluffy or rubbery. But huzzah! It came out like a super dense bread, almost bread pudding like in texture. You know when you bake a loaf of banana bread and the bottom part stays all gooey and delicious? Yeah, like that. mmmmm….
Its pumpkiny and spiced-y and has these little bursts of sweetness from the raisins (which I usually hate but I’m so glad my mom persuaded me to add them because they plumped up and actually got delicious). Almost like pumpkin spice cinnamon raisin bread. Sooo good.
So anyway, I think I’m going to have to start ‘baking’ in the slow cooker more often, since all you have to do is mix up the batter and pour it in and forget about it. Its more forgiving than the oven, when it comes to cook time! And, despite being called a ‘slow cooker’, its actually pretty easy and quick to make, which is a good thing since there are only 3 people in my house and this didn’t even last two days.
Pumpkin Pudding Bread with Cinnamon Caramel Icing
- 2 C. whole spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 T. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 7 dates, pitted and softened*
- 1/3 C. unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 C. pumpkin puree
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp maple extract (optional)
- 3/4 C. baking stevia
- 1 TB ground flax seeds
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 C. raisins
- Optional: Try adding other dried fruit, nuts or even chocolate chips!
- *to soften the dates, I like to stick them in a mug, cover them with water, and microwave them for a minute or so, then leave them to quick soak while i get everything else ready. Then just drain out the water and put the softened dates in your blender!
Line your slow cooker with foil (i.e. lay one large piece one way, and another crossed over, so that you can lift the cake out) and spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix flour through cloves. In a blender or food processor, blend dates through cider vinegar for a minute or so, until smooth. Mix the wet ingredients into the flour blend, mix well, and then stir in raisins. Pour into the foil lined slow cooker and cover. Cook, covered on high for 3 hours, its done when a tooth pick comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the sides.
- 1 C. dates, pitted
- 1 C. unsweetened almond milk
- 3 T. almond butter
- 1/2 TB Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- dash of salt
In a mug, put the dates and almond milk together and microwave for 2 minutes. Put in blender along with almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust salt/cinnamon to your preference. Try to save some for the cake 😉
See that gooey pumpkin bread deliciousness? I can’t decide if I like it better warm or cold out of the fridge, or with the icing warm or cold either. It really is delicious all four ways (CC, WW, WC, CW -I’m in AP Statistics.) And the bread itself isn’t too sweet (the frosting is, but in a good-no tummy ache kind of way, more in an addicting, eat it every which way sort of way). This can be a snack, dessert, breakfast, breakfast-dessert……
I couldn’t even restrain myself during the photo shoot guys. You just can’t take me anywhere (or let me eat on nice (white) table cloths). Oops 😉
Go check out the other awesome slow cooker recipes this month, and fill your house with delicious smells!!