Chia-fy: Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin (Chia) Bread

So it’s been pretty cold lately, like it’s still winter, which always makes me want to smell something warm and spicy baking in the oven; something like a nice pumpkin bread.  Since we discovered the chia seed flour and started baking with it, pumpkin bread has been our go-to low carb treat.  It has also been the most forgiving when it comes to switching things up and the least likely to get noticed as a gluten-free or low-carb recipe by unsuspecting guests.

This recipe, though, is a little different: it’s made with 100% ground chia seed instead of the chia and brown rice flour blend that I’ve been used to using.  Really trying to keep the carbs down I thought it would be a good time to experiment (when isn’t a good time to experiment?!) and go with chia-only.  After the cutting out the fiber and xylitol carbs, the carb came down A LOT and makes this virtually guilt free if you’re trying to stay in ketosis or just keeping those nasty little sugar spiking carbs out of your diet.

So why pumpkin bread?  The moistness of the pumpkin puree (I love making my own every year in the fall and then freezing it to have throughout the winter) works really well in alternative flour breads, especially those that tend to dry out.  Well, the opposite is true of chia; it tends to hold in the moisture and keep things dense and gooey.  You can see that here in the final product picture:

12 - slice with butter csrbDon’t get me wrong.  It was delicious, full of pecans and fresh cranberries, but it was quite a shock to have this dense of a cake after seeing this in the oven:

11 - in the oven csrbIt was so big and beautiful, only to lose about a third of it’s height once it cooled down.  If I decide to go with all chia agian, I’m definitely going to cut down on the baking soda which makes it brown “better” (or in this case too quickly) and probably drop the temperature a bit and extend the baking time.  Chia seed flour baked goods won’t dry out a easily as others so it’s probably ok to err on the side of letting them cook a little longer.

This loaf had the texture of the center of a slightly under-cooked banana bread (you know what I’m talking about right?) but it was a touch underdone even for my tastes.  You, however, will have the benefit of my knowledge and I’ve adjusted the printable recipe to have a better measure of baking soda as well as adjusted time and temperature.  So do not fear!

As a side note, I did one other thing this time that was out of the norm.  I sprinkled a bit of stevia powder onto the cranberries after I had chopped them and before adding them to the batter.  E loves the tartness of the fresh cranberries, but sometimes I like things a little sweeter.

2 - chop and sweeten cranberries


I think it worked quite well and will be continuing the practice in future breads.  I also might add a few more cranberries (or maybe soak them in bourbon for a bit if I’m feeling frisky!) since I love my pumpkin bread full of goodies.

So bring the fall back to winter and go bake up some super low-carb chia seed pumpkin bread!

Oh and here’s the link to the printable recipe.

Low Carb Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Nutrition Label

Nuchia 100% Chia Seed Gluten Free Flour Original Chia Seed -16oz.

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