Alanna’s Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

Say hello to my new daily breakfast. I’ve made this loaf twice in the last two weeks and have been enjoying a slice in the morning ever since. It’s lightly sweet, nutty, seedy, wonderfully wholesome and dense.

I’ve been craving a dark seedy “bread” like this ever since we spent time in the Netherlands this past summer. So when I flipped through Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new book Alternative Baker, this recipe immediately jumped out to me.

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

There’s a lot going on in this loaf – walnuts, pepitas, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, psyllium husks and pumpkin puree among a few other things. Once I gathered everything, I was surprised how easily this came together. In the headnote, Alana says “At first glance, the recipe seems impossible, as though it shouldn’t work; but mix it all up, let it rest for a few hours and bake it and you’ll soon find yourself as hooked as I am.”

I was definitely praying to the baking gods that I wouldn’t mess this up, but I followed her instructions exactly and it came out great. Both times 🙂

Alternative Baker

If you’re gluten free, this book is a must-have. If you’re like me and enjoy experimenting with funny flours – it’s a must-have for you too. It’s packed with gorgeous baking recipes that use teff, buckwheat, coconut, chestnut and amaranth flours, just to name a few. Although it’s not vegan, there are a few vegan recipes and also some suggested substitutions like how to make pie and tart crusts with coconut oil.

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

The surprising thing about this loaf is that it doesn’t rise – you pack the mixture into a loaf pan and shape it so that it domes on top. Bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until it’s deeply brown. This is best thinly sliced and toasted. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I’ve also frozen individual slices.

I suggest following this recipe exactly as written!

Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf

Next, I have my eye on this vegan Coconut Cream and Raspberry Tart – yum!

Alternative Baker

5.0 from 4 reviews
Alanna's Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf
 
Recipe from Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Reprinted with permission.
Serves: makes 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (175 g) raw walnut halves
  • 1 cup (140 g) raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2¾ cups (250 g) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup (145g) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (90 g) flaxseeds
  • ⅓ cup (30 g) psyllium husks
  • ¼ cup (40 g) chia seeds
  • 2 tsp (9 g) fine sea salt
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 (15-oz) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup water (235 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sunflower oil (or light olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F (165°C). Spread the walnuts and pumpkin seeds on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, shuffling the pan occasionally, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the oats, cranberries, flaxseeds, psyllium husks, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to combine. Stir in the hot walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Add the pumpkin puree, water, maple syrup and sunflower oil and stir well with a sturdy wooden spoon or your hands to make sure the "dough" is moistened throughout and evenly distributed.
  3. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan on all sides with parchment paper and scrape the dough into the prepared pan, packing it in and rounding it slightly on top; it won't rise in the oven. Cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2-8 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the loaf for 1 hour and 15 minutes; it will be deeply bronzed on top and feel firm to the touch. (Note: the first time I made this I took it out a little early - don't do that - let it cook the whole time even thought the outside will be very dark). Let cool completely, at least 2 hours. The bread is best sliced fairly thinly and toasted well. It will keep, refrigerated airtight, for up to 2 weeks.

 


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29 comments

  1. Carol from veganrecipesforhealth.com on said:

    What could I use in place of oil? I usually use applesauce but what in place of that too please?

    • I think this might be to dry without a bit of oil…

      • Elle on said:

        It has oil. Last ingredient.

  2. Natalie from workovereasy.com on said:

    Oooh yum, this looks like such a good autumnal loaf, and a fun way to incorporate pumpkin into a cake without it being wall to wall pumpkin spice

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  3. Peta from 24hoursintoday.com on said:

    oh my goodness!! That looks insanely good, I think I’m going to have to have a go and also get the book! Thank you for sharing lovely.

    Peta x

    http://www.24hoursintoday.com

  4. kristine on said:

    can I use ground psyllium husk? Does it have to be whole?

  5. Adriana on said:

    I wonder about the psyllum husks, I don’t find them where I live. I am no expert but I read some recipes that use them as kind of a binder. Would they do the same here? Would it be a problem to skip them? The loaf looks so good with that amount of nuts and seeds, but I wouldn’t have the psyllum to try it 😕

    • Hi Adriana, yes I they’re necessary here as a binder, I’m thinking this would not work without them. You can always buy them online! (I have this kind: http://amzn.to/2egRlJY). I’ve had my jar stored in my fridge for months.

      • Elle on said:

        Also available at Trader Joe’s.

  6. Steph Peterson on said:

    This looks amazingly delicious! Could I replace the water with milk though? Also I have a tree but allergy so would have to sub something for the walnuts. Would simply more pumpkin seeds work, or is there something else you suggest? (Maybe peanuts or sunflower seeds? What would work best? Any other suggestions would be awesome!!)

    • Hmm… sunflower seeds might work? It’s going to be a very very seedy bread, but I think peanuts might not be the greatest here. I’d just use the water, no need for milk.

  7. Laurel from laurelmcbrine.com on said:

    I have made something similar, but hope to try this version! Psyllium is great for holding gluten-free experiments together.

  8. Caitlin from wandererandwolf.com on said:

    This looks unreal in the very best way! I’m drooling just looking at this post and I can’t wait to give it a try this weekend! I’ve never made a bread recipe with pumpkin seeds before but I love the idea of it!

  9. Becky on said:

    What kind of taste do psyllium husks have? That part does not sound appetizing, but I assume they don’t have much flavor?

    • Hi Becky, you can’t taste them in this bread, they just act as a binder.

  10. Jane on said:

    Is there another binder you might suggest? Psyllium husks can be an irritant to some digestive tracts.
    Thanks!

    • I’m not sure, eggs might work, but I haven’t tried another binder so I can’t say for sure…

  11. Nathalie on said:

    I love it and the kiddos love it 🙂 It’s great that it lasts soo long in the fridge too. Thanks for the recipe.

    • I’m so glad you all loved it! I also froze some individual slices and that worked really well – delicious out of the toaster.

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  13. Shilpa on said:

    So good! Thank you. I made some ghee to go on top and it tasted grand.

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  15. Beth Ann on said:

    This is just incredible! Have gotten many compliments from willing tasters!

    • I’m so glad! I’m pretty smitten with it too 🙂

  16. DENISE on said:

    Do you think I could use fresh cranberries? I’m not fond of the dried ones. I’ve never been able to find them unsweetened.

    • I haven’t tried it so I really can’t say – it might throw off the moisture ratio here.

  17. Chevon on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I love it. I used coconut oil instead of sunflower.

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