Frugal Foodie Mama: Pumpkin Banana Bread with Pepitas & Dried Cranberries

Friday, October 21, 2022

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Pepitas & Dried Cranberries

 Crunchy pepitas & dried cranberries lend a little crunch and tart sweetness to this moist (and healthy-ish!) Pumpkin Banana Bread...

My most favorite time of the year has finally arrived here in Erie, Pennsylvania- fall!  I have to admit that when we first decided to move here a couple of months ago, I had a few reservations about living here.

Yes- my fiance, my daughter, and I would be hours from our hometowns and families. And we would have to adjust from life in our small hometown to living close to a bigger city (which actually wasn't all that difficult to do! ;) ). 

But one thing that caused me a bit more apprehension than maybe it would the average person was this question- what would the autumn season be like this much further north? Would I still get to see and enjoy the fall colors, crisp weather, and fun fall activities that I had come to love in my home state of West Virginia?

And let me be the first to tell you all- the fall foliage here is simply amazing! And the weather? It definitely has its moments (like the 3-4 days straight of non-stop downpours when it rains- yay, lake effect!), but all in all, I have been enjoying the cooler temps here since I get to don my favorite fall sweaters, hoodies, and boots just a little earlier than normal.

In celebration of the fall season (and all things pumpkin!), I decided to come up with a pumpkin version of one of my favorite banana bread recipes. I actually used the base for my Healthy Carrot Cake Banana Bread recipe for the Pumpkin Banana Bread with Pepitas & Dried Cranberries recipe I am sharing with you all today.

The pumpkin puree & yogurt naturally lend so much moisture to this banana bread recipe that there isn't much of a need to use a lot of butter or oils in this. And the pepitas add a little bit of crunch to this bread while the cranberries give it a touch of sweet tartness.

Here are a few notes & tips about this recipe:

  • Be sure to use canned pumpkin puree in this recipe and not the canned pumpkin pie mix. They are not the same thing, folks.
  • If you would like to up the protein in this banana bread slightly, then use Greek vanilla yogurt instead of regular vanilla yogurt.
  • You may be wondering if you could substitute regular pumpkin seeds for pepitas. While they are both technically pumpkin seeds, they are not actually the same thing. Pepitas come from a Spanish variety of pumpkins that produce hull-less seeds unlike the regular jack-o-lantern pumpkins we are used to here in the United States. If you can't find pepitas, shelled sunflower seeds would make a great swap for them.
  • If you prefer to add more whole grains to this banana bread, then use a combination of 3/4 cup whole whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour in this recipe.
  • I chose to use olive oil in this banana bread because my fiance and I are moving towards a more Mediterranean diet presently. You could certainly use canola or vegetable oil in this recipe instead though.

If you loved this pumpkin recipe, then you might also like my: