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The seasonal shift from the hot rainy days of summer to cooler fall mornings is here, which can only mean one thing: the pumpkin obsession has begun! Let’s start the season with a fall classic. This pumpkin bread recipe is easy to make (just one bowl), naturally sweetened (no refined sugars), naturally gluten free, and made with almond flour. It’s quite simply the best pumpkin bread that also happens to be healthy for you.
Why make pumpkin bread with almond flour?
Almond flour is made by grinding sweet almonds. Typically, almond flour that’s used for baking is made from blanched almonds, meaning the skins have been removed before the grinding. Almonds contain less fat than many other nuts, so they can easily be ground into a fine flour that produces moist and slightly nutty-tasting baked goods. Almond flour is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Almonds are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The kids love this bread for an easy weekday breakfast option, and knowing that it’s packed full of protein and healthy fat is a major perk to making a loaf on the weekend and enjoying it all week long.
Almond flour has gained popularity over the last few years as people embrace gluten-free, keto, and paleo diets, but almond meal/flour has been used for many years in making French pastries, macaroons, and cakes. Even though our family eats gluten (I use einkorn as it’s much easier to digest than other grains), I love baking with almond flour. Not only does baking with almond flour offer a change in taste and variety within our diet, but the result of baking with this flour is always pleasant: naturally-sweet and moist baked goods. It’s perfect for making quick breads (like today’s recipe and banana bread) and chocolate chip cookies.
How to use almond flour for fall baking
Almond flour can not be subbed 1:1 in recipes calling for wheat (and vice versa). The fat content and weight of this gluten-free, paleo, and keto friendly flour greatly differs from wheat flour. And, of course, the lack of gluten in almond flour can cause issues if you’re trying to use nut-based flour instead of a gluten flour in a specific recipe. Only use this flour in recipes that specifically call for it. Here are more tips to keep in mind…
- When baking with almond flour, too much liquid in a recipe will cause almond flour to produce a soggy baked good that sinks in the center. Adding a small amount of coconut flour (a flour that absorbs liquid very effectively) or starch (such as arrowroot) can help balance a recipe to create that “just right” texture. In this pumpkin bread recipe, we use arrowroot flour. I also recommend weighing the ingredients if you have a scale so you don’t over do the liquid to dry ingredient ratio.
- Over-baking almond flour recipes can be an easy mistake to make since bread and muffins may appear undercooked. But don’t overcook bread and muffin recipes as nut flours easily burn! Baked goods should not be raw once fully cooked, but they often require of a bit resting time after baking to firm up for handling and slicing. Almond flour baked goods may be moist and even a bit on the denser side<–one of the characteristics I love about this recipe!
Where can I buy almond flour to make this pumpkin bread recipe & how should I store it?
There are several companies that produce and sell this flour. Bob’s Red Mill is easy to find in most stores or on Amazon. Anthony’s brand is another great option on Amazon. I purchase this flour from Costco (my list of go-to Costco foods and products here) with the price being around $7 for a 3lb bag! I always stock up and store the extra in the freezer when the flour goes on sale.
There are two types of almond flour available: “meal” and “flour.” Almond flour is finely milled and light. Flour is made from blanched almonds (no skins). Almond meal on the other hand is more coarse as it’s made from whole almonds (including skins). The difference is important to note as using the two interchangeably can affect the texture of baked goods. Almond “meal” is generally best used for breading and a replacement for bread crumbs, making pie crust, and cookies. Almond “flour” is best used for light baking, such as: muffins, coarser cakes, quick breads, and cookies. The majority of almond flour on store shelves is made from blanched almonds, but it’s important to know the difference if you ever have the choice between the two varieties.
Nut flours are best kept in the fridge or freezer since nuts can go rancid when left at room temperature or in a warm environment. Using flour directly from the freezer requires a bit of defrosting time to prevent clumps. Allow frozen flour to sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature to prevent clumping.
What other healthy recipes can I make with almond flour?
Let’s talk about other ways to use this flour (after you make today’s pumpkin bread recipe). Each of the recipes below are easy-to-make, healthy (AKA: made with real food ingredients), and call for almond flour as the main flour.
- Best Almond Flour Banana Bread from Live Simply
- Miracle Chocolate Chip Cookies from Live Simply (If you make nothing else from this list, you must make these cookies!!)
- Chicken Tenders from Live Simply
- Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins from Live Simply
- Almond Flour Carrot Cake Muffins from Live Simply
- Banana Almond Chocolate Cake from Green Kitchen Stories
- Grain-Free Oatmeal Cookies from The Nourishing Home
Healthy Almond Flour Pumpkin Bread
The best healthy pumpkin bread recipe made with almond flour and naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. A protein-rich fall treat that's perfect for breakfast, snack, or a dessert.
- 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (260g)
- 1/4 cup arrowroot flour starch (34g)
- 1 TB pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey (134g)
- 1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt or dairy-free yogurt (58g)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (222 grams)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 TB pumpkin seeds optional for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a bread pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, except the pumpkin seeds: almond flour, arrowroot flour starch, arrowroot, pumpkin pie spice (you can buy this or make your own), cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients: eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract. Stir to combine the ingredients to form a thick batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. You can test the bread by inserting a toothpick or chopstick in the center. If the toothpick is clean, the bread is done baking. Optional: Halfway through the baking, sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the top of the bread.
Allow the bread to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The longer the bread rests (cools), the easier it will be to cut into slices. I recommend serving this bread with a homemade pumpkin spice latte--perfection!!
If you don't want to use almond flour, and prefer a gluten based flour, I recommend making almond flour pumpkin muffins that are made with ancient einkorn flour.