Surviving a hurricane with spelt and squash

Over the last few days, hurricane Sandy has roared through our area.  It was the biggest and longest storm I have ever rode out and it was a little unnerving.  Whenever we have a big storm hit the area, I prepare by using up whatever fresh food we have in the house.  I try to turn what I can into easy to eat, grab and go type food.  This serves two purposes: 1) it uses up what is in my fridge lest we lose power and the food spoil, and 2) if I cannot cook because we have lost power, we have some ready to eat food at our fingertips.  Muffins and quick breads are some of the things that I usually make.

When I am in survival mode, I am not at all concerned about carb content or the health benefits of what I am feeding the family.  This isn't to say that I don't care about what we eat, rather I am more concerned THAT we eat.  If I can manage a healthy twist on whatever I make, that is a bonus.  Saturday, when I was preparing for Sandy to hit, I was able to make something healthy and delicious and I wanted to share it with you.

I started with a recipe for Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread which I found on All Recipes.  Since I was working with groceries on hand, I decided I could sub out the butternut squash puree for the pumpkin.  I cooked up my squash (bake, uncovered, for 75 minutes until it was fork tender) and sat down with the recipe to see what else I could do to low carbify the mix.

I recently picked up a bag of spelt sprouted flour at the organic market.  The flour is high in fiber and low in carbs so it sounded promising and almost too good to be true.  The makers claim that it can be substituted one for one with regular whole wheat flour.  The spelt flour has a slight bean-y smell to it, but since this bread is so full of spices, I thought this would be a good choice.  Not being totally sold on the sprouted spelt, I decided to use some almond meal too.  I had some walnuts in the cupboard, which I thought would add a nice crunch, so I pulled those out to work with.  I also had just enough coconut oil in the pantry to replace the vegetable oil in the mix.  Finally, I noted that there was a fair amount of water which I could eliminate and instead use agave as my sweetener.  With these changes in mind, I set about to make the bread.  I was a little dubious about making so many changes, but I had a whole cooked squash to use, so I decided to jump in with both feet and just went with it.
Image my delight when these loaves not only came out looking amazing but tasting amazing too.  The texture, which is always a problem with you use alternative flour or agave, was spot on and the taste is to die for.  The loaves are moist and tender and being filled with all kinds of spicy goodness, have a deep, rich, autumnal flavor that I just adore.  I have eaten this three days running smeared with cream cheese in the morning.  That paired with a steamy cup of coffee have made the perfect breakfast for these stormy, cold days.
Sprouted Spelt and Squash Quick Bread
Makes 2 large loaves
2 c butternut squash puree
4 eggs
1 c coconut oil (we have no cholesterol problems here - if that is an issue, sub vegetable oil)
2 c agave syrup
2 c spelt sprouted flour
1 3/4 c almond meal
1 c walnut pieces (optional)
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two large loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together squash puree, eggs, oil, and agave until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, nuts, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
A good healthy slice of this bread (enough for a decent breakfast serving) comes out at around 250 calories and has 0.7 g of sugar and 2 g of fiber.  It is also rich in in vitamin A and it yummmmmmy!


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