You may notice, that I’m not one to go making up new recipes from scratch, but I do love to take someone else’s recipe and take it off on a tangent that I consider healthier or just because I don’t have whatever ingredient is called for – aka improvising. Sometimes it turns out that that’s a good tangent and sometimes, well, not. This time, it turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself! This was originally called Spiced Maple Pecan Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting, and it came from a contest that Organic Valley held a few years ago. I found it in a little Organic Valley newsletter and I also found it on their website later. Since I had an abundance of organic butternut squash from my Gaia’s Greens Organic produce box, I substituted it for the pumpkin. And I didn’t have any maple syrup, so used agave nectar instead. No cream cheese, I took organic greek yogurt and drained it through a coffee filter to make yogurt cheese for the topping. Here’s my version….
Spiced Pecan Butternut Squash Bread with Yogurt Cheese Frosting
First, work on the Yogurt Cheese Frosting
16 oz. Greek Yogurt drained through a coffee filter (put the filter in a collander in the sink or over a bowl to drain)
Let it drain for 30 minutes – 1 hr. – If you don’t have greek yogurt, you can use plain regular yogurt, just let it drain longer. You want the consistency to be thick like cream cheese or thick sour cream.
- Add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 tblsp butter or Earth Balance Buttery Spread, softened
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
Cream all of the ingredients together well. Refrigerate.
- 1/2 cup butter or Earth Balance Buttery Spread, softened
- 1 cup organic agave nectar (or maple syrup)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups shredded butternut squash (or pumpkin)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a loaf pan.
Cream butter, agave (or maple syrup), eggs, butternut squash and vanilla in a large bowl. Us a separate large bowl to whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir in pecans.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until barely incorporated – do not overmx! Spoon batter into loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean – about 1 hour. Cool for 15-20 minutes on wire rack, then remove from the pan to cool the rest of the way. BTW – nobody can ever resist waiting for it to cool, so I recommend that the cook try a little bit just to be sure it’s safe for everyone else!!
I recommend that each slice be served with a dollup of the frosting rather than frosting the whole thing.
We made two of these and the first one went really quick just between the two of us!!