Pumpkin Loaf with Pecans & Chai Soaked Prunes

Winter is a struggle for me and I'm sure I'm not the only one. The miserable weather, the dark mornings and nights, the lack of sunshine - and the list goes on. Eating nutritious food becomes a struggle too because no longer do I feel like smoothies and salads even though I know my body thrives of fresh and light food. So I came up with this recipe not only because the combination of pumpkin, pecans and prunes is simply delicious but also so I can have a breakfast/snack/meal that I will look forward to and is more grounding and nourishing in the Winter months.

Enjoy it on it's own or pimp it up as a full meal with ricotta and extra pecans, sauteed greens and poached eggs, a drizzle of tahini, honey and some hemp seeds or get creative with other seasonal options.      

Makes 10 slices

Ingredients
1 cup almond/hazelnut meal
1 cup oats (quinoa flakes for GF)
½ buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon psyllium husks
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (steamed pumpkin, pureed)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup rice malt syrup
¼ cup Greek yoghurt
¼ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2-3 chai tea bags
¼ cup pitted prunes

Directions

Boil the kettle and place the chai tea bags in a bowl with the prunes. Pour over boiling water to cover the prunes and allow to soak for at least 20 minutes or overnight. Drain, chop prunes and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C. Grease a loaf pan and line with baking paper and set aside. Bake the pecan nuts for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned and aromatic.

Combine the almond/hazelnut meal, oats, buckwheat flour, psyllium, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs until pale and fluffy. Add to the dry mix along with the pumpkin puree, oil, rice malt syrup and yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Lastly fold through the prunes and pecans.

Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and it’s slightly browned on top.

Cool and slice. This will keep in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month and just toast when serving. If keeping in the freezer slice and place baking paper between each slice