Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Plantain and Pumpkin Quick Bread

I should call this 2Ps Quick Bread! Many recipes for Pumpkin bread have far more sugar than I have used. You will see that I have used very little sugar in the recipe as I relied more on the sweetness of the Plantain, Pumpkin, and dried fruit to sweeten it. I added a touch of Maple Syrup because that was what I had on hand but honey or golden syrup could also be used. This is a very fiber rich bread due to the oatmeal, flax meal and shredded coconut. I tend to cut thick slices, then cut those in half. I ended up with 22 pieces that go well with cheese or your favorite jam or jelly. Don't be in a hurry to eat it on the first day. It gets even more moist and flavorful the next day!


1 cup bread flour
½ cup Flax meal
½ cup oatmeal or ground oats
1/3 cup sweetened, dry or grated coconut (freshly grated is best and there is no need to sweeten that)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Zest of small orange
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup OR Honey OR Maple Syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups grated fresh pumpkin (use fine holes on grater)
3/4 cups grated ripe plantain (use fine holes on grater)
½ cup dried fruit of your choice (I use dates but any combination may be used)
¼ cup water


1.      Set oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
2.      Line the bottom of a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan. Grease and flour the sides
3.      Mix dry ingredients, and dry spices (including salt) together
4.      Grate the pumpkin and plantain. Add the grated ginger, lime juice and orange zest to this
5.      Bring the water to a boil and pour over the chopped dried fruit. Allow them to soak in the water.
6.      Beat (whisk) the eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt and vanilla until light brown in color, and thickens slightly
7.      Add the grated plantain and pumpkin mixture to this, then add the dried fruit that has been soaking
8.      Add the flour mixture all at once to the wet ingredients and mix until just moistened, and batter comes together.
9.      Pour into loaf pan and bake for 60-75 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in loaf pan on a rack for 10-15 minutes before turning out the bread. Cool the loaf on a rack. Cut in slices when completely cool.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Carrot Chayote Spice Bread

The inspiration for this bread comes from traditional American carrot and zucchini bread. I have changed this concept around to utilize another variety of squash. Because I like to experiment with more tropical varieties of fruits and vegetables for baking, this is why I have used Chayote squash (see note in previous recipe) or Cho-Cho as it is called in Jamaica. Because Chayote is not exactly like Zucchini in texture or taste, I have also had to significantly modify other ingredients and spices. In Jamaican Patois this would be a Carrot Cho-Cho Spice Bread. Naturally, the use of a food processor to grate the vegetables, and a stand mixer with a whisk and paddle attachment, makes the process easy but the recipe can still be made without these “helpers”. Just requires a bit more manual labor! The bread is not very sweet, but is very soft and moist with delicate spice notes. If you wish to make it sweeter, increase the sugar to ¾ cup, and use white sugar instead of brown. 

As a serving suggestion, the bread goes well with  a slice of Cheddar or Wensleydale cheese, topped with orange marmalade or fruit preserve of your choice!


  • 1 cup bread flour
  • ½ cup of whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup oatmeal
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 cup grated chayote, loosely packed with its liquid
  • 1 cup of grated carrots, loosely packed
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup of brown sugar (I like to use coconut sugar for its taste. If you like a very sweet bread, increase the sugar to ¾ cup)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon or large lime
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9”x5” loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.
  3. In a small bowl, mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. Peel and grate the chayote (there will be a small amount of liquid formed from the grated chayote. Keep this with the mixture. Peel and grate carrot. Use small holes on grater for both Add to this, the zest and juice of the lemon/lime and the grated ginger. Mix and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat 2 eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and yogurt until well blended. This will be for about 2 minutes.  (it turns a pale brown color, and thickens a bit). If you are using a stand mixer, change the whisk attachment to a paddle attachment.
  6. Next, add all of the grated chayote and carrot mixture, stirring until combined.
  7. Add all of the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix at low speed until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared greased loaf 9”x5” pan.
  8. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer or cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  9. Let pan cool for 5-10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. When completely cool, cut into slices