I’m not a city person. I think this is why I never felt completely at home in Colorado. I had never lived in a city before moving there, and while it was exciting and offered so many things within walking distance (yoga, Whole Paycheck and friends to name a few), I had this tightness in my soul that left me feeling anxious and unsettled. Tightness. Maybe that’s not the word for it. But it definitely wasn’t a hole. It was more like a knot in your core that reminds you that something just isn’t quite right, even if you love a place and are happy. That’s how I felt living in front range cities.
It turns out that that thing that wasn’t quite right went away as soon as we moved to Vermont. I felt like I could breathe deeply again (maybe that’s just the lower altitude…) and settled at once. Everything that felt uneasy in me went away. Sure, we still live in a city, but it’s a wee little city and as soon as you leave its twinkle light embellished downtown you’re surrounded by either trees and mountains or lakes. And less people. Less cars. Less noise.
Less. And less is more, right?
So maybe it’s the city size, maybe its knowing I’m only an afternoon drive away from home, maybe its just being around some freaking green trees and oxygen. Whatever it is, in less than 2 months, Vermont makes me feel more whole than Colorado ever did.
Now let’s talk about this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. Yes, chip. 99% of the time, I’m on team CHOCOLATE CHUNK 4 LIFE, but I find that with pumpkin, having little bits of chocolate throughout every single bite overwhelms the pumpkin flavor. And then you might as well just have chocolate bread, aka chocolate cake. And I don’t know your feelings on this, but I like to think this bread passes for breakfast food, so let’s not chocolate cake-ify it.
So for this recipe, embrace the chips.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup orange juice**
1/4 cup coconut oil***, melted not hot
1/4 cup canola oil***
as many chocolate chips as your heart desires, but I recommend 2/3 cup
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both sugars, pumpkin puree, oils, orange juice, and eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Don’t over mix, but make sure you don’t have lumps. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into lightly greased or parchment lined 9×5 baking tin. Baking at 350° for 60 minutes, but start checking at 45 minutes to see if top is browning too fast. If so, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Check bread at 60 minutes to see if cooked through, if not, bake for another 5-10 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in baking tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I like to store my bread wrapped in plastic and in the fridge. I think the flavors come out best the next day after it’s been sitting in the cool fridge. But you can store at room temperature if you prefer.
* For an even more breakfast passible bread, sub up to 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
** I know what you’re thinking, “orange juice???”. You can sub unsweetened almond milk, but really the orange juice is superior. Trust me.
*** you can just use 1/2 cup of whichever oil you prefer or have on hand, but I like the blend.
**** for vegan variation: sub 2 flax eggs (5 tbsp water + 2 tbsp flax meal)