If you saw my recent recipe for kabocha squash fritters, then you may recall I promised you a recipe for kabocha squash sweet bread. Were you wondering if I forgot? I didn't. Last week was one of those weeks, sigh...Fortunately for fresh starts, right? I'm all about a good change.
So if you are looking for a good change too, you must try this sweet bread. Utilizing kabocha squash in this recipe brings some great taste as well as a unique quality. After all, kabocha squash isn't as commonly used as butternut, acorn, or delicata varieties. In my opinion, it should be though because it is my absolute favorite! The flavor and texture are superb!
Something cool about this recipe is that you can use either almond or cashew flour! They both taste great and the recipe accommodates these flours equally. I also love the combination of spices used here - cinnamon, ginger, & dried orange peel. Specifically, ginger and orange peel are commonly used in Japan. So it only made sense to use them with kabocha, the Japanese pumpkin.
Check out my list of optional toppings as well. If you are craving some texture to top off this loaf, don't skip this step! You can easily swap the topping ingredients to suit your taste as well. Of course black sesame seeds are another favorite in the Japanese kitchen, so naturally those made my list! If you have trouble finding kabocha squash, or if your heart is set on another squash variety, you can swap the kabocha out too. It pains me to say that though ;) Turning the loaf into muffins is also an option. Those are great for on-the-go days!
2 & 1/4 cups cashew flour (or almond flour)
1/2 cup arrowroot
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp dried orange peel
1 & 1/2 cups grated kabocha squash (use your food processor - much easier), or box grater for an arm workout!)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or nut of choice)
1 Tbs shredded coconut
1 tsp black sesame seeds (or white)
2 Tbs dried currants (or raisins)
1 tsp maple syrup
1. Grate your kabocha by removing the outer skin, scoop out the seeds, and slice it into large chunks. If using your food processor to grate, make sure the chunks are small enough to fit down the shute. Set aside grated kabocha. You can do this in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
2. If you plan on making the topping, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
3. Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the dry ingredients so that there are no lumps. Whisk the eggs, then add the maple syrup, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. After you combine them, stir in the grated kabocha. Mix the dry and wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into your loaf pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the loaf and bake for 50-60 minutes. You can also make muffins if you prefer. This recipe yields about 13 muffins and takes about 25-30 minutes in the oven to bake.
4. Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy!