This healthy pumpkin bread is moist, tender, and made in one bowl! It’s made with oat flour and naturally sweetened and has less than 150 calories per slice.
There is an unfair stigma that pumpkin desserts are unhealthy and something that must only be enjoyed on special occasions. That is far from the truth and there are tons of options out there.
It needs a fraction of the oil that other recipes have, and it doesn’t need any butter either, but don’t fret- this won’t taste healthy at all.
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Why this recipe works
- No added sugar. This bread is naturally sweetened with nothing refined.
- 100% flourless. By using oat flour, we skip the need for any white or whole wheat flour.
- Low calorie. Pumpkin bread uses an entire 15 oz can of pumpkin puree. This keeps the calories low and minimal fat used.
- Pefect texture and flavor. The texture is super moist and tender, and it has a naturally sweet pumpkin flavor. It’s healthy enough to enjoy a slice for breakfast or a cheeky slice (or two) for dessert (my family does this!).
What I love about this recipe is that, although healthier than any other pumpkin bread out there, it doesn’t need any hard-to-find or odd ingredients!
As mentioned earlier, this low sugar pumpkin bread uses very basic ingredients. You’d likely already have everything on hand.
- Pumpkin puree– Either unsweetened canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree. A fabulous thing about this recipe is that is uses a whole can of pumpkin!
- Coconut oil– Keeps the bread extra moist and tender. Use refined coconut oil to ensure there is no coconut flavor.
- Eggs– room temperature eggs.
- Milk– Use your favorite milk or whatever you have on hand. I like using unsweetened almond milk.
- Coconut sugar– We use just a fraction of the amount of sugar you’ll see in other recipes. Coconut sugar is also a refined sugar-free sweetener. Liquid sweeteners will also work, and I’ve successfully made this with maple syrup and honey.
- Pumpkin pie spice– A must for any recipe that calls for pumpkin! If you don’t have this on hand, use equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
- Oat flour– A healthier alternative to traditional white or wheat flour. Simply grind up your own oats and skip the expensive store-bought kind. If you can’t tolerate oats, use white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour instead.
- Baking powder– Gives the pumpkin bread some rise and fluffiness.
How to make healthy pumpkin bread
Simple is an understatement for this pumpkin oatmeal bread. The prep work is less than two minutes, and the oven handles all the hard work. Ready to whip up a loaf?
Make the batter: Start by whisking together the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl until smooth. Gently mix through the oat flour and baking powder until combined.
Bake the bread: Transfer into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean.
Cool and slice: Let the pumpkin bread cool completely before slicing and serving.
Tips to make the best recipe
- As with all quick bread recipes, do not overbake. The bread will continue cooking as it cools down.
- If you notice the top of the bread browning too quickly, add some foil on top. It will trap the heat, which cooks in the middle part more evenly.
- Always cool the bread on a wire rack or cooling rack, not in the pan. The latter will make the sides soggy.
Dietary swaps and variations
What we love about this healthy pumpkin bread is just how forgiving it is to various diets out there and how easy it is to adapt. Here is what we have tried:
- To make it vegan: For a vegan pumpkin bread, replace the eggs with an egg substitute. I find flax eggs to be the best kind for this particular recipe.
- Gluten-free pumpkin bread: Provided you use gluten-free oat flour, this recipe is gluten-free! Alternatively, you can make almond flour pumpkin bread.
- Protein pumpkin bread: Swap out 1/4 cup of the oat flour with 1/4 cup of your favorite vanilla or plain protein powder. You could also make my protein banana bread and swap out the banana for equal parts pumpkin.
- Cut the sugar: For a sugar free pumpkin bread, replace the coconut sugar with either allulose or a zero-calorie sweetener. I find allulose the best option as it dissolves exactly like sugar does.
- To make muffins: This exact batter works as muffins if that is what you’d prefer. Simply make the batter as instructed, then bake in a 12-count muffin tin for 18-20 minutes at 180C/350F.
- Add mix-ins: Amp up this quick bread by adding some chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, or some raisins.
To store: Leftovers will keep well at room temperature, covered, for up to 5 days. If you’d like the bread to keep longer, store it in the refrigerator and it will keep for at least a week.
To freeze: Place slices of the pumpkin bread in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dry pumpkin bread is a result of overbaking. Once a skewer comes out mostly clean from the center, the bread is done, as it continues to cook as it is cooling down.
Yes, canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are both the same thing. Canned pumpkin can either be unsweetened or as a pumpkin pie filling. If in doubt, ALWAYS choose the former.
The reason for gummy quick bread is due to under-baking. Regularly checking on the loaf to see its doneness can affect the texture. To ensure this doesn’t happen, aim to check on the loaf just once during the baking process or use an instant-read thermometer. Fully cooked pumpkin bread should have an internal temperature of 190F.
More healthy pumpkin recipes to try
- Pumpkin cookies
- Healthy pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin cookie dough
- Pumpkin protein balls
- Pumpkin protein pancakes
Healthy Pumpkin Bread
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 9 x 4-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your pumpkin, coconut oil, eggs, milk, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice and whisk together until creamy and smooth. Add the oat flour and baking powder and mix until combined.
- Transfer the batter into the lined pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan completely, before removing and slicing.
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