I am one of those people that is ready for fall by the middle of June. There is something about that crisp fall air that evokes a feeling of relaxation in my life. Living in ND, winters are long, summers are short, but spring and fall are so fast they are over before you know it. So when September 1st hits, even if it’s 80 degrees with 95% humidity, I am cuddled up on my couch with a pumpkin drink and a fall candle lit with my fireplace on.
When fall is finally here, not only am I drinking pumpkin drinks but I also have my mind set on baking as many pumpkin things as possible. The way my house smells when something pumpkin is in the oven makes my heart happy. Ah, the simple things in life!
Although baking is one of my favorite things, baking (especially fall goodies) is hard to do when it doesn’t help me with my weight loss goals. One thing that helps is giving most of my baking away to friends and family, but I of course have to taste test before it goes out the door! Enter my healthier pumpkin cream cheese chocolate chip bread! You don’t need to give this one away 😉
Now, I say healthier versus healthy because of the cream cheese and chocolate chips. These can be easily omitted or substituted for healthier ingredients, but a little chocolate and cream cheese won’t derail my entire meal plan. For this recipe I used 1/3 fat cream cheese versus full fat cream cheese, substituted white flour for white whole wheat flour, cut half the sugar and substituted baking truvia instead of white processed sugar, and used applesauce and greek yogurt instead of oil. Again, you could make even healthier substitutions by getting rid of the baking truvia all together. But be warned, if you use a liquid sweetener alternative then your ratio of liquid ingredients to dry ingredients will need to be adjusted. I would recommend trying the recipe through once and adjust from there.
With this recipe, because it has half the sugar of regular pumpkin bread it will not be overly sweet. It is still delicious and full of yummy pumpkin flavor, and the chocolate chips and cream cheese swirl make it so yummy, I doubt you will miss all the sugar I took out. Enjoy!
Healthier Pumpkin Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Bread
2 1/4 C white whole wheat flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 C baking Truvia
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 C plain greek yogurt
1/4 C applesauce
1 C pumpkin
1 C mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift white whole wheat flour, and from sifted flour measure out 2 1/4 cup. In the bowl with the measured flour, add the baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Whisk all dry ingredients together, and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix together the baking Truvia, maple syrup, plain greek yogurt, applesauce, pumpkin, and eggs. Scrape the sides as needed. (Now, when you get done whisking the wet ingredients, it will look like pumpkin baby food and not at all appetizing. Bare with me).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix this, I normally stop when 95% of the flour is incorporated and then stop.
Removing the whisk attachment, gently fold in the cup of chocolate chips with a spatula.
Cream Cheese Swirl Recipe
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking truvia
1 tsp vanilla
Cream all ingredients in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand mixer. Once it is creamy and smooth it is done, around 2 minutes.
Layer half of the pumpkin bread batter into a bottom of a greased loaf pan, followed by all of the cream cheese mixture, then layer the other half of the pumpkin bread batter on top.
Bake bread covered with tin foil for 60 minutes. Check for doneness, and if necessary continue baking uncovered checking the bread in 5 minute intervals. Let cool before serving.
A few notes from testing this recipe a few times through:
1) I baked this covered for the majority of baking because this bread darkened very easily around the edges but would take longer to cook through in the middle. If you choose to bake uncovered, be warned it browns quickly!
2) In total this bread baked for 75 minutes, but will totally depend on your oven.
3) When I uncovered the bread at minute 60, I kept tin foil on the outside edges to avoid burning the edges. I think it turned out perfectly!
I hope you try this recipe and love it just as much as I do! If you do try it, I would love to hear from you in the comments! What is your favorite fall recipe?