Friday, May 28, 2010

Pumpkin bread

Today my workplace held its annual Cancer Council fundraiser/cooking competition morning tea. This year the theme was 'low food miles'. While I always try to be conscious of the distances my ingredients have travelled, this exercise was a reminder that there are some ingredients you just CAN'T produce in or near Canberra. Still, the bulk of the loaf was local! The pumpkin was grown at a market garden in Hall (15 km from my place), the eggs came from Wamboin (37 km) and the olive oil was also produced at Hall (15 km). All of the other ingredients except the vanilla and cinnamon were produced in Australia - the cinnamon came from India, and the label on the vanilla essence (rather unhelpfully) said 'packed in Australia from local and imported ingredients'. Hmmmm. Apparently some vanilla is grown in Australia, but was this? I doubt it. Anyway, the recipe is one I've had for years and 'freelanced' with liberally – it used to contain sugar, more oil, white flour, less pumpkin, etc. etc. I reckon this version is both healthier and better tasting ...

0.25 cup olive oil
50 ml water
1.5 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 cup chopped nuts (optional) *
2 eggs
0.5 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking powder
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated raw pumpkin

Beat oil, eggs, water and vanilla together. Add to sifted dry ingredients, nuts and pumpkin. Bake in a greased loaf tin for 1 to 1.5 hours in a moderate oven (about 180 degrees Celsius).

* in the past I've used pepitas rather than nuts but this week all of the pepitas I could find in shops had been imported. So I used (Australian) pistachios this time.

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