I have created this yummy and healthy recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Bread just in time for fall and the autumn holidays. It’s a great holiday treat made with whole grains, it’s low in sugar, and is bursting with cranberries.
I indulge in a couple holiday treats full of the white stuff – white flour and white sugar, but I keep it to a minimum and feed my seasonal holiday dreams with healthier versions of popular treats.
Cranberry Pumpkin Bread to Bring Back Holiday Memories
I enjoyed reading the book Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry Devlin and Wende Devlin when I was a child. It is a cute story about Grandma’s coveted secret recipe for Cranberry Bread. Every year since reading the book, my mom has made Grandma’s Cranberry Bread recipe that is in the book. Even now that my children are older and we live far away, my mom sends loaves of this bread through the mail for us to enjoy.
Wanting to relive the experience of this fall classic but make it lower in sugar, with whole grains, and with healthy pumpkin, I created Cranberry Pumpkin Bread. Is there anything you don’t want to add pumpkin to when the weather chills and the leaves start to change?
Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Ingredients
Olive oil is my go-to choice for this recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Bread, as it is a heart-healthy oil. Coconut oil can also be used.
Pasture-raised eggs are eggs from hens raised outdoors in pastures. Motherearthnews.com created this infographic about the benefits of these eggs.
In the past, I needed to drive to a local farm or head to the farmer’s market to obtain pasture-raised eggs. But now, my nearby grocery store carries them from local farms. I was so excited about this new addition to make weekly shopping easier.
Note: Just last week, my store also started carrying pasture-raised chickens. It is getting easier to find great food, which is so vital to the health of our bodies.
Organic Whole Wheat or Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour
I choose organic when I can afford it and for items known for being high in pesticides.
The recipe calls for whole wheat flour or sprouted whole wheat flour. Either whole grain flour is healthier than refined white flour, which is linked to many ailments.
The fiber and other nutrients in whole grains improve our blood sugar levels. And blood sugar levels are essential to our overall health, as blood sugar spikes negatively affect our organs and nerves.
Also, be on the lookout for my post about sprouted flour to learn more about it.
The spice cinnamon is a traditional flavor for fall treats. It’s one of the spices that can be used in greater quantity without overpowering. And this way, we can reap more of its benefits.
Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory and helps to stabilize blood sugar, among other benefits. So, if you are already trying this lower sugar recipe to assist with stable blood sugar levels, now you’ll get an additional boost (and a reason to go ahead and start baking this bread today)!
This Recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Bread is Chock Full of Fruits and Vegetables
Increasing our levels of vitamin, mineral, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits is a great idea. This Cranberry Pumpkin Bread contains not only cranberries and pumpkins but also apples!
Apples contain fiber and quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory. With all the stress of the holiday season, anything anti-inflammatory is helpful.
Pumpkins contain Vitamin C, which aids the immune system, and beta carotene, which helps eye health. Pumpkin also boots the fiber content of this bread.
Be sure to try my Pumpkin Chai Latte recipe I will also demonstrate when I appear on the Great Day SA morning show on October 24th at 9 am central. You can watch it live here:
Or, if you are reading this post after that date, replays are also available at the above link. Look for Christie Kelemen Cooks 3 Healthy Autumn Recipes.
I am very excited to have been invited back to the show. When I first published my cookbook, SHORTCUT REAL FOOD: 20-minute meal, I was asked to demonstrate recipes from it on air. The video is on my website to view at Christie Kelemen.com/cookbook.
Cranberries are one of the superfoods you’ll want to add to your diet. They are high in antioxidants and health-promoting nutrients that help immunity and blood pressure. Plus, they make me happy with their bright seasonal color.
The Tips and Tricks of Making This Recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Lower in Sugar
To reduce the 1-2 cups of refined sugar in most holiday bread, I substituted the sugar with applesauce and two tablespoons of maple syrup. Just two tablespoons!
As described above, apples contain excellent nutrition, and white sugar contains none. Maple syrup has minimal vitamins and minerals but still more than white sugar. I like to add just a tiny bit of maple syrup for a little added “treat-level” sweetness.
Dried cranberries do contain sugar, but you can find those labeled “50% less sugar”. Another great option is to use fresh cranberries in the same amount – just chop them some before adding.
I use one Tablespoon of vanilla to add the sensation of sweetness without adding sugar.
Once you choose to eat less sugar in your diet, your taste buds will adjust, and recipes such as this will seem satisfyingly sweet. And, if you do indulge in a mainstream sweet treat, you will only need a small amount to feel complete.
How to Make Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Second, butter a loaf pan.
Third, mix the oil, maple syrup, eggs, applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth in a large bowl with a hand mixer.
Fourth, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Fifth, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
Sixth, fold in cranberries by hand just until distributed.
Next, bake for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Lastly, let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing it. Cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before slicing.
For another low-sugar treat, try The Best Low Sugar Recipe for Fudgesicles.
For more fall recipes, check out that Pumpkin Chai Latte recipe mentioned above.
1/2 c Olive Oil
2 T Pure Maple Syrup
2 Large, Pasture-Raised Eggs
1c Organic, Unsweetened Applesauce
1 c Organic Pumpkin Puree
1 T Vanilla (it is Tablespoon, not teaspoon)
2 c Organic Whole Wheat or Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 t Aluminum-Free Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Sea Salt
1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 t Ground Cinnamon
1 c Low Sugar Dried Cranberries (see note below about fresh cranberries)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a loaf pan.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer mix the oil, maple syrup, eggs, apple sauce, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth.
- In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
- Fold in cranberries by hand just until distributed.
- Bake for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let cook in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before slicing.
To lower the sugar content further and enhance the wonderful, tart flavor of the cranberries, substitute the dried cranberries for fresh cranberries. (Chop the fresh cranberries some before adding.)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Holiday
Keywords: cranberry pumpkin bread
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This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner before making any changes.
Also, share your comments below. I’d love to know what you think about this recipe.
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