Costa Rica,  Creative Cooking

Spicy Pumpkin Bread (It’s Vegan too, but you wouldn’t know it!)

So, a few weeks ago we had a visitor over for lunch who had some very strict dietary needs. He was to not eat lettuce and he could only consume a strictly vegan diet.

What was I to do?!?!? I had never prepared vegan food before, nor did I want to make our guest sick!

So I searched the internet and found three recipes that I thought our guest would enjoy, as well as the 20 other people coming to eat lunch too.

Vegan Vegetable Soup

Mango Quinoa Salad

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

I felt great about each of these dishes, and they all tasted good enough to actually eat and leave our company feeling satisfied. Ironically, our special visitor ended up eating the green salad I had prepared for our other guests, as well as 2 white rolls that contained butter and milk?!?

When I saw this, I was perplexed at first, until I pondered for a moment how our visitor visits a different part of Central America three weekends every month, and during these visits, he must eat meals prepared by varying cultures, economically demographics, as well as varying levels of food preparation education.

The fact that our visitor ate my salad and rolls taught me that he felt comfortable with the food I prepared, so he was able to make those foods an option as well. Plus, my food is very much “United States” food, so he probably knew from experience what he had available to him and took the opportunity to eat it.

Although the experience was a bit stressful, looking back on it now is teaching me that I need to take care of myself as much as this visitor does for themself. I need to be careful with my body and respect it much more than I have been.

My body isn’t invincible, it is very mortal. And if I want to keep using it to its fullest, I need to respect its limits ; especially with waterfalls – right kids? (A story for another day. )

So, here’s to a new year of learning to take care of this 43 year old body of mine! I hope to see many new and positive improvements in my daily choices, as well as increased health, strength, balance, and resilience.

Happy 43rd Birthday Wendi! 🎉 I love and appreciate the person that I am and I look forward to the person that I am yet to become!

I hope that you enjoy the recipes that I found. The one below is my favorite! (with a few changes listed that I made to suit my family’s taste buds).

Happy Thursday,


Moist and deliciously spiced vegan pumpkin bread topped with pumpkin seeds and packed with fall flavors! Perfectly sweet and wonderfully simple.


  • 2 cups (250g) All Purpose Flour
  • (* I use 1 cup wheat and 1 cup white or ground oats)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Brown Sugar
  • (* I substitute both sugars for 3/4 cup raw cane sugar and it is plenty sweet for us)
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
  • (* I use a heaping 1/8 tsp. cloves because 1/4 is a bit too spicy for my taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (337g) Pumpkin Purée (canned or fresh)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Flax Egg
  • (* I totally love the flax egg because of the extra grain power in this bread!)
  • Small Handful (1/2oz/14g) Pumpkin Seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the white and brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt and mix together.
  3. Prepare your flax egg by adding 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal to a bowl and then adding in 3 Tbsp of hot water from the kettle, leave to sit for a minute or so to become gloopy.
  4. Add in the pumpkin purée, olive oil, vanilla and flax egg (and if you like, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips) and mix in. The batter will be very thick, but have patience and mix in carefully and it will combine properly. Mix until just combined and don’t overmix.
  5. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick spray and then line it with parchment paper so that the parchment paper hangs over the sides, so that when the pumpkin bread is baked, you can easily lift it out of the loaf pan using the parchment paper.
  6. Transfer the batter from the mixing bowl to the loaf pan and smooth down evenly.
  7. Sprinkle a handful of pumpkin seeds (or mini chocolate chips) over the top.
  8. Place into the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If it shows any signs of over-browning then tent it with foil* at the 40 minute mark and return to the oven for the remaining 20 minutes.
  9. Lift the pumpkin bread out with the parchment paper and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool before slicing.

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