I was on a mission like no other. To take my sweet girls apple picking at an organic apple orchard and not have to spend the day in the car. This, my friends, is a tall order in my neck of the woods.
Unfortunately, every orchard sprays something, some more than others. While I do have my D-I-Y fruit and veggie wash to help to remove pesticides and wax residue in my back pocket for emergency “OMG it’s not organic” moments, it’s not a guarantee that pesticides won’t enter my little ones’ system. I know, I’m a nut. Try living with me.
You see I love apples. For good reason, as I gushed about here. Plus, I wanted to stock up on these local gems for my apple-eating and baking adventures throughout the winter, this Simple Crock Pot Apple Pumpkin Butter, for starters.
So after a Facebook plea in search the aforementioned organic apple orchard, to my nearest and dearest foodies, I was gifted with a response from a friend that was only an hour drive away. Yes, I had to leave my beloved zip code, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Elwood Orchard was the answer to my apple-loving prayers.
Located in scenic North Scituate, Rhode Island, it’s a small, quaint little orchard that also has a (real) pumpkin patch, pear picking, and P.Y.O flower garden.
After collecting our goods, we had a nice little picnic while we watched the animals graze.
Then we spotted then cider. I’m not a big cider gal. Ok, maybe I am, but only having it in short spurts once a year helps me to forget how delicious the stuff is. Organic to boot. One taste, a little small talk with the incredibly nice owner, and we were sold. As if the Universe knew I had to bake something insanely delicious that weekend, I stumbled upon an apple cider pumpkin bread recipe that our cider was destined for (after we got a few good swigs in, of course). With a few modifications, additions, and subtractions, this bread was born.
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (make your own or (buy here)
- 2 large pastured eggs
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted (buy here)
- ⅓ cup organic Grade B maple syrup (buy here)
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tsp. real vanilla extract (buy here)
- 1 ½ cups sprouted wheat flour (buy here)
- ½ cup ground flaxseed (buy here)
- 2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder (buy here)
- ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt (buy here)
- ¼ tsp. baking soda (buy here)
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (buy here)
- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (buy here)
- ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- In a saucepan, boil the cider until it is reduced to about ¼ cup and let cool. Note: this step can be done ahead of time and the reduced cider can be refrigerated or frozen until you need it.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan (like this one) with coconut oil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla, and reduced cider.
- Add the flour, flax, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices. Mix well and add the pecans and cranberries until just combined.
- Transfer batter into greased loaf pan and baked in the middle of the oven for one hour, or until tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan, slice, and devour.
- This bread freezes great. After slicing, I like to flash freeze it on my Silpat baking mat (buy here) to avoid sticking so I can pull out each slice and thaw individually when the mood strikes.
Have you ever traveled long distances to purchase healthy food? I’d love to hear. Please leave a comment below.