Category Archives: Breads

Scott’s Challah Bread

My husband Scott is great in the kitchen. Not only can he follow a recipe, but he can also create some amazing things on his own. He served a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and while there, he and his companion cooked pasta dinners with sauces almost daily for dinner, so he can make some great sauces and he’s amazing at knowing which spices go well together :). Now, I’m not sharing any of his sauce recipes today, but I am going to share a Challah Bread recipe that he has made his own and which we LOVE and have asked him to double so that we can make one loaf into French Toast and snack on the other loaf :). We have breakfast for dinner, once a week, on Sundays, and he will make this recipe one Sunday a month and it’s something we look forward to.

Since we double this recipe to make two loaves, after the dough has risen, we split the dough in half, braid one, then braid the other.

Sometimes Scott will take 2 of the 6 ropes (or 1 of the 3), and rub it with butter and roll it in cinnamon before he braids it. Yum!


Nora brushing the bread with our egg white wash. And normally we’ll fit both loaves on this large cookie sheet.

The Recipe:

Challah Bread
*makes 1 loaf

2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
1 c (8 oz) lukewarm water
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (we use an umbromated white flour)
2 1/2 c whole white wheat or spelt flour
1/8 c granulated sugar
2 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash)
1/4 c softened butter (or oil)

Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl and add a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand until there’s a frothy layer across the top. Set aside. In a standing mixer with dough hook attachments (we use our Bosch), combine 4 cups of flour, sugar and salt. Add the eggs, yolk and softened butter and mix. Pour the yeast over top. Knead with dough hook for 6 minutes(or knead by hand for 10 if you don’t have a stand mixer). If dough is very sticky, add flour, a teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky. The dough is finished kneading when it is soft, smooth and holds a ball shape. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel in a warm area (we wrap a towel under and over and set it on our counter). Let rise until doubled about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate the dough into 3 to 6 equal pieces for braiding. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope, about 1-inch thick and 16 inches long. Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top. Braid the ropes together. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lift the loaf on top. (If you have the time, you can certainly allow this to rise a second time, which you would do right now. But it’s not necessary, we almost never have time to do a second rise and it turns out beautifully, just as pictured). Whisk the egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah. Be sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf. Put in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, challah will be browned. Cool on a cooling rack until just barely warm, slice and eat.

*We like to double this recipe and snack on one and cut the other into thick slices for French Toast.



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Superhero Muffins

These Superhero Muffins are a recipe I lightly adapted from the cook book, Run Fast, East Slow. Shalane, an olympic marathon runner, often enjoys one of these before a long run or as a snack. They are filled with nutrient dense ingredients including zucchini, carrots, almond meal(they’re gluten-free), oats, walnuts and more! Shalane used olive oil in her recipe, but we subbed that out for coconut oil and a little applesauce, but either way works great.

If you’re not sure how to get grated zucchini and carrots, take a look at the picture below. Basically, I grate it on the really small holes on my cheese grater.

We added carob chips to these muffins, but you could also do chocolate chips or raisins, or you can leave them.

I like to line my muffin tins with silicone liners for easy clean up, and so it’s easy for the kids to grab one and take it to school for lunch. Paper liners are great too, I just always have these on hand because they’re reusable. You can also just spray the pan with Pam.


Superhero Muffins– adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow
*makes 15 muffins

1/4 c coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 Tbsp applesauce
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 c zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
1 c grated carrots(about 2 carrots)
3 eggs
2 c almond meal**
1 c rolled oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
(optional) 1/2 c chopped walnuts
(optional) 1/2 c raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate/carob chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper or silicone liners, or spray with Pam. In a medium saucepan or a microwaveable bowl, warm the coconut oil, applesauce and maple syrup until coconut oil is melted(if they’re not warm, the coconut oil will turn into firm clumps). Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the zucchini, carrots and vanilla. Stir in eggs. Add the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt and stir to combine. Add the optional chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Using an ice cream scoop, pour batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes(20-25 for mini muffins).

*these can be frozen in a tupperware or freezer ziploc bags. Pull out in the morning and it’ll be thawed by lunch, or you can defrost in microwave on low power.

**I make my own almond meal in my high power blender by grinding 1 1/2 c raw almonds until they resemble almond meal. I blend for a few seconds, then scrape with my rubber spatula and blend for a few more seconds….don’t over blend as it’ll turn to almond butter.


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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, gluten-free, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers

Broccoli Cheddar Rolls

These broccoli cheddar rolls were inspired from a Lionhouse Pantry cook book. I made these Cheddar Broccoli rolls to go with our traditional ‘breakfast for dinner’ a couple of Sundays ago and it was AMAZING! Okay, Scott and I thought they were amazing, but the kids mostly wouldn’t even touch them because they had green broccoli sticking out of the top. But that was okay with us because Scott and I devoured them, and happily ate the leftovers the next two days. The leftovers were also fabulous, I just warmed them up for about 10 seconds in my microwave and then ate in on the side of a salad or whatever else I was having.


The dough for this bread is the same whole wheat bread dough I use for our cinnamon rolls. You can grab that recipe here. As a side note, I doubled that recipe when I made these so that I could also make a batch of cinnamon rolls :).

I forgot to take a picture of the dough rolled up, but here’s an older one I took that works just as well. I just want you to see a few things here: I roll out a rectangle onto my floured counter, and then I take my floss (I keep an unscented floss in my kitchen for this very reason) and mark where I’m going to cut, and then I go back with my floss, get it under the dough, and then I use the floss to come up and around the dough and cut it. They make beautiful cuts and they don’t smoosh the dough at all.


Our son, Chef Charles here, loves to help me in the kitchen which I love! Cooking is so fun when we do it with those we love.


You could cover it with saran wrap and stick it in the fridge, or leave it out on your counter, if you’re not going to bake it for a little while. They should be great to bake the next morning if you wanted to make it as an overnight roll, and you’d follow the same instructions on the ‘cinnamon roll’ recipe post for that.


Slather them with melted butter,


And then bake them for 10ish minutes until some of the edges are light golden, and they’re done!



Broccoli Cheddar Rolls
*makes about 20 rolls

1 recipe dough for my whole wheat cinnamon rolls
1 c chopped broccoli (or 1, 10 0z frozen bag chopped broccoli thawed and drained)
1 c grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c dried minced onions
1 egg
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. After dough has completed rising, turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 21 inches by 16 inches.  Mix broccoli, cheddar cheese, onions, egg, salt, Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Spread broccoli mixture over dough. Tightly roll up the dough, jelly roll style. Cut dough into 20 slices. Place slices in cavities of a muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray, or on a greased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter.  Place in preheated oven and  cook 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Makes 20 rolls.

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Muffins are a nice grab-and-go food to throw in lunches, take on the road or have as an after school snack. And I LOVE when we find an awesome one that the whole family loves and it’s whole grain AND it doesn’t have any refined sugar, which is what you’re getting here! These peanut butter and banana muffins were a huge hit in our house. These muffins are fast(about 10 min of prep time, then 18 minutes to bake) and easy to whip up so give them a try!







Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins lightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
*makes about 18 muffins

1 1/2 c mashed banana (3 large bananas)
1/3 c honey
1/4 c applesauce (or melted coconut oil)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c creamy natural peanut butter
1/3 c milk (almond, cows, they all work)
2 c whole white wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 silicone liners (or paper liners or just grease with spray/oil) in a muffin tin. In your Bosch (or with a handmixer and large mixing bowl), combine the bananas, honey, applesauce, egg, vanilla, peanut butter and milk and mix together on low speed. Add the flour, powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix again and then using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into each muffin cup (about 2 Tbsp; filled about 3/4 full). Bake about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a tupperware.

*These can be frozen either in a tupperware or ziploc bag. We pull one out of the freezer in the morning, stick it in a sandwich bag to bring with us, and it’s thawed by lunch.


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Honey Sweetened Poppy Seed Bread

Christmas is only five days away! We have Scott’s parents coming in town today from North Carolina, Thursday the kids get to play Christmas songs on a grand piano at a local grocery store, Saturday we will act out the nativity and sing lots of Christmas songs, and Sunday after stockings and gifts, we’ll go to church for an hour where Scott, me and Elisabeth will be performing (our church will do all musical numbers with a little narration on Christmas Sunday; no actual classes), and then we’ll come home and have a brunch with cinnamon rolls and egg casserole! So it’ll be a full and joyful week! And I cannot tell you how long I have been dreaming about having cinnamon rolls. I only make them a couple of times a year because 1) they’re time consuming and 2) (and most importantly) I love them SO much that I always eat too many .  Here is my overnight cinnamon roll recipe(who wants to be making dough Christmas morning? not me) if you want to give them a try; they’re all whole grain and SUPER soft and delicious.

We made a couple of different foods to give away as neighbor/teacher gifts, a chex mix and this poppy seed bread which is made with half whole wheat flour and is sweetened with honey and apple sauce. We kept a loaf for our family and gave away three mini loaves and the next day my kids begged me to make more, and this time a double batch because it “wasn’t enough” :)! We love poppy seed bread at Christmas, and all the time!







Honey Sweetened Poppy Seed Bread
*Makes 2 8×4 inch loaves, or 6 mini loaves

1 c butter, melted
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 c warm mlk
2 eggs
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole white wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2, 8×4 inch loaf pans (or 6 mini loaves, or a combo of the two) and set aside. Cream butter, applesauce, oil, eggs, milk, honey, and extracts. Add remaining ingredients and cream until blended but not over mixed. Bake loaf pans 45 minutes (edges browning, tooth pick comes out clean), mini loaves 35 minutes.

*Always check pan five minutes before timer goes off because different ovens cook differently so it may need a little less or a little more time.

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Filed under Breads, christmas, Desserts

Whole Wheat Gingerbread

A couple of weeks ago, Scott baked a new gingerbread recipe for the family on a Sunday afternoon, and it was gone by the next morning. I loved it so much that I made it again that same week, and I made a double batch so I could share some with my book club.


This whole wheat gingerbread is super moist and so yummy. For book club, I  layered the gingerbread with a pumpkin mixture and some whipped cream.  I served it in 1 -cup glass mason jars which was great for individual portions and it looked so pretty!  I will post the trifle recipe next week so be sure to check back for the rest of that recipe. In the meantime, let’s make some gingerbread sweet bread, which will also make your house smell amazing!


Here are your ingredients. Be sure to use a molasses like this Grandma’s one pictured below that is NOT blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is not sweet. You can tell if it’s blackstrap molasses by reading the ingredients on the jar; it’ll say ‘blackstrap molasses’.


You can either bake it in a 9×13 pan or a large bread loaf pan. I’ve used both, and the bake times are pretty close.


The bottom of your bread will look a bit crumbly like this if you forget to line your pan with parchment(like I did). But if you forget, no worries, it tastes the same and once you flip it over right side up, you can’t even tell.







Whole Wheat Gingerbread

1/2 c organic cane sugar (or any granulated sugar)
1/2 c butter, softened
1 egg
1 c molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
2 1/2 c whole white wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 c hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a large bread loaf pan( a 9×13 works too) with parchment paper and then spray with Pam with flour. Set aside.

In your Bosch or large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg. Add molasses and applesauce and mix. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and mix. Add in the hot water and mix again. Pour into your prepared pan.

Bake about 45 minutes to an hour in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing from the bread loaf pan to cool completely on a cooling rack. (To get bread out of loaf pan, take a bread knife around the edges, then put a cooling rack or cutting board on top of bread, flip it over so the bread is now on top of the rack, and then gently remove the pan, knocking on the bottom of the pan if it’s sticking slightly.). If you made the bread in a 9×13, it can cool in the pan completely and you can serve it straight out of the pan. Top with a little whipped cream and it’s perfect! I love it with this easy to make coconut whipped cream. 


Filed under Breads, Desserts

Applesauce Muffins with Streusel Topping

I frequently read recipe books and magazines; these applesauce muffins are a recipe I lightly adapted from the most recent Costco magazine, and they are so good! My husband ate 3 the day I made them, and he is not a big guy and doesn’t eat a whole lot. I love that the original recipe used applesauce and honey for the sweetener and fat/oil. I substituted half spelt and half whole wheat flour for the white flour in this recipe, but really you could do any combination.


My tip for speeding up the muffin making process and for more even size muffins, is to use an ice cream scoop to divy out the batter.


If you want to make any mini muffins, you can use a cookie dough scoop.


This recipe makes about a dozen muffins, which doesn’t seem worth the time and effort for my family of 7, so I double it which made 24 regular sized muffins plus half a dozen mini muffins.


I use coconut sugar for the streusel, which is an unrefined sugar, and it’s amazing!



Applesauce Muffins with Streusel Topping

*makes 1 dozen muffins; can easily be doubled

Streusel Topping:

1/3 c coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter, melted


2 c flour (I use 1 c whole white wheat flour and 1 c spelt flour)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/3 c honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 count muffin tin or line with paper/silicone muffin liners. Mix the streusel ingredients together until small clumps form; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, egg and honey until combined. Add in the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, salt and baking powder and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle streusel topping over the batter and bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle, comes out clean. Carefully remove muffins to cooling rack (may need a knife or fork to help loosen muffin from around edges).

*If you want to make some mini muffins, decrease the baking time to 10 minutes, and I use a cookie scoop to fill those mini muffin cups.

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Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins

Anyone else out there love reading cook books? We are regulars at our community library and I’ll often come home with a stack of cook books :).  Some recent favorites have been the China Study companion cook book, a couple of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook books, and three of Kimberly Snyder’s books(Beauty Detox Solution) which have recipes in the back. This vegan sweet potato muffin recipe is one I adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s, “It’s All Good” cook book and it’s one that my family loves!

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There are no eggs in this recipe because it is vegan, so just know that it’s not a misprint :). Prick your sweet potato a few times with the tines of a fork, place it in a pan and bake it at 400 degrees for about an hour. Once it’s done set it aside to cool (you can do this step a day or two ahead if you prefer, and then wrap with foil or saran wrap and store in your fridge). Keep your oven at 400 degrees. Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off your sweet potato using your hands or with a knife, and put it in your Bosch or large mixing bowl with mixer, and mix until it’s more of a puree; I usually have some tiny chunks which is fine, my kids just don’t like big chunks. Add in the oil, milk, honey, maple syrup and vanilla and mix to combine.

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Next add in your dry ingredients so your flour, soda, powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix to combine.

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The consistency should be gooey, but not liquidy, with some tiny chunks from the sweet potato; about like this:

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This recipe makes 24 muffins so get out your muffin tins and line them with muffin liners or you can just put the batter right into the pan(I’ve greased and not greased and both turn out fine..liners are nice because you don’t have to wash the pans :)). Using an ice cream scoop and  a spoon, scoop batter into each muffin cup. Bake at 400 degrees for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. As soon as they come out, brush them with a little pure maple syrup.

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Allow them to cool before you bite in; they are hot!

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Store in an airtight container, or you can freeze them in a bag or tupperware container for later. We like to eat some right away and freeze some so that Scott and the kids can pull one out in the morning to pack with their lunch, and by lunch time it has thawed and is ready to be eaten!

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Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins (adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s, It’s All Good cookbook)
*makes about 2 dozen

1 large sweet potato (ends up being about 2 cups of pureed sweet potato)
1/2 cup oil (I like to do half melted coconut oil, and half olive oil)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (warmed in microwave 20 seconds or at room temp)
1/4 c maple syrup, plus 2 extra tablespoons for brushing the muffins
1/2 c raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole white wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1 TBSP Chinese five spice)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400F. Prick the sweet potato a few times with tines of a fork. Bake until soft and liquid beginning to come out of holes made from fork, about 1 hour. Set the sweet potato aside until its completely cool.

Peel the sweet potato, discard the skin and place in a large mixing bowl (I do this in my Bosch). Mix until blended up with no large chunks.  Add in the oil, milk, sweeteners and vanilla and mix together. Add in the dry ingredients and mix. Line two  12-cup muffin tins with  liners, or you can just put the batter right into the pan(I’ve greased and not greased and both turn out fine..liners are nice because you don’t have to wash the pans :)).  Using an ice cream scoop and  a spoon, scoop batter into each muffin cup; I like to use a scoop so they’re all even. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 or until a toothpick comes out clean. Brush the tops with extra maple syrup as soon as you pull them out of the oven. Let the muffins cool before serving.

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Filed under Breads, vegan


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We’ve gotten about 2 feet of snow here over the past 24 hours and it has been chilly for quite a few weeks now, which means we’ve been eating lots of soups and chili. Last week when I made my usual cornbread recipe, I went to this blog recipe index to look it up and realized I had yet to post it on here! So today, I am going to share our cornbread recipe which is nutritious and delicious. All the ingredients are things you most likely have on hand, except maybe cornmeal…I always have cornmeal on hand because we make homemade pizza every week, but I’m not sure that others do :).

Here’s my only little trick I want to share for this recipe, and the rest is pretty easy and straightforward so just follow what I’ve typed up below: You can either use buttermilk, or you can make buttermilk using whole milk and lemon juice. To do that you measure 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and put it in a measuring dish and then fill it with milk until you reach 1 cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow it to curdle, and you’ve got buttermilk.
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*Serves 9

1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 c cornmeal
1 egg
1 c buttermilk or unsweetened almond milk (can make own using 1 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and then add milk to it until you reach 1 c; let stand 5 minutes to curdle)
1/4 c butter, softened (or melted coconut oil or applesauce)
1-2 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir together flour, salt and powder. Add cornmeal. Add egg, milk, butter and honey. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Bake in greased 8 inch square pan for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with butter (or butter and honey!).

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Filed under Breads, sides, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers

Honey Pumpkin Bread

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This is a recipe I came up with using my honey banana bread recipe as a guide. This recipe makes two, 8×4 inch loaves, though most of the time, I double this recipe and make 3, 8×4  loaves(or lots of mini loaves) and 24 muffins… we’ll usually give a loaf away, freeze the muffins so the family can later have a grab-and-go snack, and we’ll eat the other two loaves within a couple of days. We LOVE this bread, it’s moist and wonderful and it’s gone super fast.

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In a large mixing bowl you’ll combine all your wet ingredients, whisk together, add your dry ingredients, mix until combined and then dump in your chocolate chips and stir to combine. Pour this batter into your loaf pan (or muffin tin) and bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for about an hour for the large loaf pan, and half that for muffins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Honey Pumpkin Bread
*makes 2, 8×4 inch bread loaves

3/4 c coconut oil, melted (or applesauce or butter)
1 c honey
4 eggs
2 c pumpkin puree
4 1/2 c whole white wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin spice (translates to: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp all spice, 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
Optional: 1 c carob chips or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix oil, honey, eggs, and pumpkin puree together with whisk in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix together until combined. Pour into two greased 8×4 inch loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes (or you can make some muffins and some smaller loaves. Just change baking time. Muffins cook about 20 minutes and mini loafs about 30 minutes) or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before taking it out of pan and allowing it cool on a rack.

*I like to double this recipe and make 24 muffins and 3 loaves.

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