By 9 o’clock yesterday morning, I wanted to press the rewind button and return to the previous night when we fed our son L his first meatball. His lactose intolerant stomach was upset by a little Parmesan cheese rolled into the meat.

Just a tiny bit of cheese, we thought, maybe he’s outgrown it. Tiny or not, cheese matters and none of us slept more than 2 hours at a time. By 5 am, L tore off his diaper in bed and left some of the smeary contents on his legs and linens. Sorry L. Rewind. No meatballs plus a long nap, for everyone.

Earlier in the week, I asked L to pick out a sugar pumpkin so that I could bake a loaf of tea bread. Actually, he picked out about a dozen or so bright orange fruits, but we left the farm with only one.

pumpkin top

I baked the pumpkin and then pureed it while L wandered around the kitchen picking books off the shelf: The Tawny Scrawny Lion, Bookbinding, Another Way of Telling, and The Art of War. He ate a few pear slices, leafed through the books, and then got up and danced to Willie Dixon. I mixed the batter and placed the loaf in the oven.

cut sugar pumpkin

After the pumpkin bread cooled, I cut L a small slice. He ran into the living room, danced around, and then returned for more. Maybe you will too.

pumpkin bread

White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

(printable recipe)

Yield 1 loaf (9 x 5 x 3-inch pan), 8 to 10 slices
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almonds (ground fine with a food processor or coffee grinder)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cooked pumpkin or sweet winter squash puree
1/4 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (plus extra for brushing on the loaf)
1/4 cup milk (cow or soy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts (toasted and chopped)
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper and brush the sides with oil.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk wet ingredients together. Stir wet ingredients into dry just until the batter is smooth. Fold in the walnuts and white chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and gently smooth the top. Bake until loaf tests done, is risen and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 33 to 35 minutes. Brush the loaf with maple syrup and bake for another 6 minutes.

Cool loaf on a wire rack for 10 minutes then turn loaf out to cool completely.

(This recipe is inspired by several different pumpkin tea breads: Christina Pirello’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Whole Foods but Were Afraid to Ask, Meredith McCarthy’s Sweet and Natural, and Fran Costigan’s More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts).


  1. Cate O'Malley says

    Mmm, perfect for the season. I've made Strawberry Bread, Banana Bread, even Lemon Poppyseed, but not yet Pumpkin…

  2. nikki says

    Cate – So true, I'm cooking up pumpkin and other winter squashes into every imaginable recipe. Next up, a winter squash galette…

  3. Nancy Yos says

    I hear you, on the lactose-intolerant front. Luckily my daughter didn't develop her problem at the diaper stage, but later. Now she's thrilled to be able to drink soy milk "again," if you know what we mean.

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