My daughter Talya just turned 19 months. Anyone who’s a parent knows, it’s a fun age. She’s finally becoming her own little person. She loves petting dogs. She calls to them, “doggie, where are you?” Much to my delight, she enjoys eating her vegetables almost as much as she enjoys ice cream…almost. I’m also struck by her kindness. She hugs other children when they seem upset and is always happy to share toys and snacks. Okay, maybe not always. Cheddar bunnies are still strictly, “mine.” So, with kindness in mind, I decided to try and teach Talya another way to show appreciation.
At her daycare, Talya has a wonderful group of caretakers. There are two in particular that have been taking care of her since she was 3 months old: Dulce and Gloria. I think Dulce reminds her of her older cousins, who happily play with her. As for Gloria, she’s like a grandmother, filling her day with kisses and hugs. So, I thought it would be nice to say thank you for the care they show my daughter every day.
Since I’m a pastry chef, and it’s pumpkin season, the choice seemed obvious. Take them some homemade pumpkin bread! Of course, I’m also known for my Sweet & Skinny recipes. So naturally, I wanted to give it a light and healthy twist. To do that, I decided to increase the amount of pumpkin and decrease the butter. To cut back on the sugar, I decided to use Truvia® Brown Sugar Blend. It’s a combination of stevia and brown sugar. Not only would this allow me to cut down the calories by about 75%, but it would be a nice added touch for Gloria, who is diabetic. I also added pecans. They’ve been shown to help maintain blood sugar levels. Plus, who doesn’t love the quintessential holiday nut? This recipe was the perfect way to show her caregivers that we care about them (and their health!).
Now, as most of you know, I worked closely with Truvia on my first cookbook. Although, I don’t work with the brand as much now, they are always my go-to ingredient for low-sugar baking. So, when they emailed me to tell me about their new “Sweet Matters,” campaign, focused on positivity and kindness, I knew I wanted to include them in this blog post. Part of the campaign includes sweet phrases on their packets, like, “create something every day.” So, with that in mind, Talya and I headed into the kitchen. She happily stirred, said, “thank you,” and deemed herself the official taste tester. When we took the pumpkin bread to her daycare, she wanted to carry it herself. I’m not sure she understood why we were taking it with us, but she was definitely excited to share. I think she’s well on her way to becoming a kind kid.
In case some of you want to make some pumpkin bread to take to your child’s daycare, or, to coworkers (they need kindness, too). Here’s my recipe.
(Makes 3 loaves)
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon clove
7 ounces unsalted butter
2/3 cup whole milk
2 cups Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
1/3 cup molasses
2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups toasted pecans, chopped
Pre heat the oven to 350F. Grease three standard size loaf pans (9”x5”). Toast the pecans in the oven for approximately 5 minutes, until fragrant. Cool and chop.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
In medium size pot, combine the butter, milk, Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and molasses. On medium heat, cook until the butter has melted and the mixture is warm, but not hot. Whisk in the pumpkin. Make sure the mixture is sufficiently cool before you add the eggs. Whisk until the eggs are thoroughly blended in.
Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the pumpkin mix. Whisk well. Fold in the pecans. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pans. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the pumpkin bread comes out clean.
Serve plain, or with a dollop of whipped.