It’s Pumpkin Season, Charlie Brown!

The first day of fall has arrived – the air is crisp, the trees are shedding their leaves and for many the change of season is an inspiration to let go, to bring on new growth and to embrace the inevitable change. For me, it means a return to the kitchen because pumpkin season is here!

From pumpkin cupcakes to pumpkin milkshakes to cookies and scones – I love treats filled with the ultimate symbol of Halloween.

Pumpkins are an autumn favorite for Americans. The United States produces over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin every year. A relative of watermelons and cucumbers, pumpkins are a type of squash. There are a ton of varieties, like “Oz,” “Spooktacular,” and “Baby Boo.” The best for carving are “Autumn Golds” or Hobbits” due to their size and beautiful golden-orange color. My favorites are the small sugar pumpkins and the white pumpkins as they have a smooth flesh and get sweeter the longer they sit, making them perfect for baking.

I must admit: I hate carving pumpkins. Well, to be clear, I am totally disgusted by the slimy, smelly pumpkin innards that must be scraped, scooped and strained out. So, I was very skeptical the first time I tried a pumpkin filled treat. But, I was an instant fan and now I look forward to heading to the local pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect sugar pumpkin for my homemade puree to go in my pumpkin crisp, pumpkin cookies and, my favorite, pumpkin bread.

I stole this pumpkin bread recipe from my sister. It can be altered for gluten-free (my favorite), low-sugar and no dairy. And it’s perfect for mini “gift” loaves. This recipe is so good it deserves its own show!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Prep Your Pumpkin

Clean your Sugar Pumpkin. Quarter and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cut off and discard the outer shell and puree the pumpkin.

Get Your Ingredients

2 cups Pamela’s Baking Mix (substitute regular flour if you don’t want gluten-free)

1 ½ cups Pamela’s Gluten-Free Flour (substitute regular flour if you don’t want gluten-free)

2 teaspoons Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

2 teaspoons Nutmeg

½ to ¾ cup Sugar (you decide how sweet)

½ teaspoon Cloves

1 cup Applesauce

2/3 cup Water

4 Eggs

2 cups Pumpkin Puree

Mix & Bake

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl

Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl

Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; Stir well

Bake in greased pans at 350 degrees for 55 minutes