Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This is Whole Wheat Pumpkin Ginger Loaf…

 …And this is my Pumpkin, Lucy!

Lucy sleeps, eats, and purrs; oh how she purrs.
I just look her way and she begins to purr.
She doesn't ask for much; a roof over her head, food for her belly, and love, lots and lots of love.

Billy finished up his hockey career in Cologne, Germany.  When he played there we would spend the hockey season in Germany, travel for a few weeks, then return to our home in FLA.
When we returned home in May of 2007, Billy was cleaning up the backyard when he called me to come and look at something.  There on one of the chairs was a scrawny, flea ridden, sad looking cat.  She picked her head up to look at me, but she was so weak that her head just plopped right back down.
So we started feeding her; isn’t that how it always starts?  We would look outside, every morning with curiosity and excitement, wondering if Kitty Cat was still there.  She never left the yard. 
We came to discover that the neighbors in behind had moved away and left Kitty Cat to fend for herself.  Considering she was missing half of her teeth and very arthritic, I don’t know how they could expect her to fend for herself. 
I took Kitty Cat to the vet, and we had to give her a name for her file.  Kitty Cat was named Lucy Lindsay! 

We always fancied ourselves “Dog People”; but Lucy, our little gift from God, made us into “Cat People”.  Did God make us into "Cat People", or did Lucy?  Either way we are smitten with her.

Over the summer a radio broadcast position came open with the Florida Panthers.  Billy asked for the job, and they said yes.

We had intended on returning to Germany, so we left our belongings there.  I left to Germany for a week and a half to visit friends and collect our things.  When I returned Lucy had gotten nice and plump.  Billy had been feeding her every time she sat beside her bowl (he’s such a mush).  Lucy’s face had become a big, round, pumpkin shape; Lucy, from then on out was known as the Pumpkin.

These days our feline family includes Sweet Pea the Baby,pictured with Lucy the Pumpkin.
This is a rare instance of togetherness.

Herbie the Love Bug, he got left by the owners of the house that we moved into in the fall of 2008.  Their loss is our gain!

It turns out that Lucy doesn’t like any other cats, but we are a (dysfunctional) family none the less.
Now there’s nothing dysfunctional about the Whole Wheat Pumpkin Ginger Loaf.  Or is there?  I was going to call this Whole Wheat Pumpkin Ginger Bread, but I didn’t want to give the impression that this was ginger bread.  This is pumpkin bread that contains ginger, but not just ginger; crystallized ginger.  YUMMMMY! 
To make this fall treat a little healthier I compromise and use whole wheat flour.  I still add white flour as well, however; so that the loaf won’t be too heavy.  I also replaced half of the oil with Greek yogurt.  Again, if I had used all yogurt the loaf would be too dense, it needs some fat.
Here’s the thing, I adore crystallized ginger; it’s a sugary, spicy, candy.  For me it makes this an extraordinary pumpkin loaf.  It is a strong ginger flavor though, so if it’s not your bag, or you’re making it for little kids, you can leave it out and you will have a delicious Whole Wheat Pumpkin Loaf.  Same goes for the Cream Cheese Icing; it makes the loaf extra special, but if it’s not for you then leave it off.  The loaf has great flavor on its own!
This makes two loaves.  We ate one loaf ourselves, and I gave the other to a friend.  The loaves can also be frozen for a couple of months.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two loaf pans.

Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Whisk all the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.  I know sugar isn’t really a liquid, but it still needs to get mixed in with the wet ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix just until the flour is incorporated. 

The crystallized ginger that I had in my cupboard came in about ½ inch cubes, so I minced the ginger... 

...and mixed it into the batter with along ½ of a cup of chopped pecans (cuz that's all I had).  If you love pecans, you will want to add a whole cup. 

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

 Allow the loaves to cool completely on a rack.

When the loaves have cooled completely, make the Cream Cheese Icing.

If you will be freezing one of the loaves, only make half of the icing.
Start with whisking the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
Whisk in the confectioner sugar.
And the vanilla extract. 

Pile half of the icing on top of a loaf.

Spread the icing over just the top of the loaf.
Put the iced loaf in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 15 minutes.  This allows the icing to get firm, and your slices will be neater. 

Use a serrated knife to slice the loaf. 

Lay the slices on a platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.


Make 2 loaves

2              cups       Whole wheat flour
1              cup         All-purpose flour
2              tsp.        Baking soda
1              tsp.        Baking powder
1              tsp.        Salt
1 ½         tsp.        Cinnamon
½             tsp.        Allspice
¼             tsp.        Ground cloves
¼             tsp.        Nutmeg, preferably freshly grated 

1              can         Pumpkin puree, a can is 15 oz.
2/3         cup         Low fat Greek yogurt
2/3         cup         vegetable or canola oil
2              cups       Granulated sugar
1/3         cup         Water
4                              Eggs 
½             cup         Crystallized ginger, minced; a 3.5 oz. package is about ½ a cup (*optional)
1              cup         Pecans, chopped (*optional) 

1.        Pre heat oven to 350.
2.        Grease and flour two loaf pans.
3.        Put all the DRY INGREDIENTS into a medium bowl.  Use a whisk to blend the ingredients together.
4.       In a large bowl, whisk all the WET INGREDIENTS together, mixing well (sugar is included in the wet ingredients).
5.       Add the DRY INGREDIENTS to the bowl of WET INGREDIENTS; stir until the flour is incorporated.
6.       Stir in the crystallized ginger and, or the chopped pecans.
7.       Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
8.       Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (turn the pans halfway through the baking time); until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean.
9.       Cool in the pans 10 minutes, then turn the loaves out of the pan and cool completely on a baking rack.

For 2 loaves

4              oz.          Cream cheese, softened at room temperature
4              Tbsp.     Butter, softened at room temperature
1 ½         cups       Confectioner sugar
1              tsp.        Vanilla extract
1.       In a small bowl, beat or whisk the cream cheese and butter together; until light and fluffy.
2.       Beat in the confectioner sugar.
3.       Beat in the vanilla.

To ice the pumpkin loaf:
1.       Pour the cream cheese icing over the top of the cooled pumpkin loaf and spread it over the top only. 
2.       Put the iced loaf, uncovered into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
3.       Use a serrated knife to cut the iced loaf into slices.
4.       Lay the slices down on a platter, cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Ginger Loaf is freezable for a couple of months, but do not ice the loaf if you are going to freeze it.

Check out more delicious recipes a:

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  1. This loaf looks unbelievable. Pumpkin is my absolute favorite fall flavor and I must try this. I love the addition of whole wheat to this to lighten it up a bit.

  2. This looks amazing and I can only imagine how wonderful the house would smell as bakes! Oh my yumminess! Have a fabulous weekend!

    1. Part of the reason that I love baking is for the aromas!

  3. hehe. What a cutie! I have to say, I think I am a dog person but at the same time, even though there probably isn't a thing, I'm a bunny person! My little Flatpac needs lotsa love too! This looks super yummy. It would be perfect with a cup of tea right now. Gloomy old day outside unfortunately!

    1. We are really just animal lovers in general. If we didn't like to travel we would have a house full of animals. Cats are easy to look after.
      I've seen the adorable pics of your bunny Flatpac. Super cute!

  4. This is a great, wholesome recipe. Some whole wheat breads are hard like a rock, this is not! It was hearty and full of ginger bites to awaken my palate. The cream cheese frosting provided the perfect balance of sweetness. A healthy twist to an original.

  5. Now I LOVE this recipe, nice and healthy and looks so GOOD! thanks for linking up at Heavenly Treats Sunday Link party!