Anyone else noticed the pumpkin spice backlash over these past few weeks? First it was all about the early release of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte (in August!), but now it seems that the articles won’t stop coming. People are complaining that pumpkin spice (or pumpkin pie spice as it should be called) is overused and over rated. They are whining that there isn’t even any real pumpkin in this so called pumpkin spice or any of it’s derivative processed food stuffs. Someone, who may or may not be my husband, even went as far to suggest that all this criticism of our favorite fall vegetable is well deserved because pumpkins (and their cousins gourds and squash) are, gasp, infact gross.
Normally, I am a staunch defender of all things pumpkin–pumpkin bread, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie–and I love the cinnamon, clove, nutmeg medley we call pumpkin spice. And I have to say, it’s called pumpkin spice, as in the spice that goes on pumpkin. No one is up in arms about the fact that their favorite steak sauce doesn’t have any steak in it. However, today I was at Target and saw pumpkin spice m&ms and pringles. Blech. Even I must concede that we may have taken things too far.
So, if we’re breaking up with pumpkin spice, what will we replace it with? What flavor will hold that special place in our hearts specifically for welcoming in the fall? Might I suggest chai spice? Totally different right? Not even a little bit similar to our old love, pumpkin spice. Ok, they might be a little similar. Ok, chai spice is just basically a spicier version of our ex. Still, the addition of cardamom and black pepper might be irresistible.
This is real bread, made with real squash and real spices. I prefer the flavor and texture of the butternut squash (it’s often denser and less watery) to pumpkin, and find it much easier to locate a manageably sized squash than it’s cousin. This bread is not too sweet, but is kept moist by lots of squash and greek yogurt. It is the perfect accompaniment to a steamy mug of chai tea.
- 1½ cup of cooked butternut squash (mashed)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup oil
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 1¾ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ teaspoon ginger
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Stir together squash, sugar, eggs and oil until well combined.
- Add greek yogurt and stir until combined.
- Add spices, salt and baking soda.
- Stir in flour until just combined.
- Transfer batter to either one greased and floured bread pan, or divide evenly between two. (This will make one really tall loaf or two short ones.)
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.