Over the past 6 months I have completely been off eating eggs. Removing this food entirely that was such a huge staple in my diet for quite some time was initially very difficult for me. I still sometimes think of how much I miss soft poaching a couple of eggs and serving them so simply over a bed of seasonal greens. There is something incredibly satisfying about watching a rich golden yolk run over your plate.
Not being able to use eggs has made baking quite challenging for me since I also follow a grain free diet. Without one or the other, achieving baked goods that are moist but hold their form is not so easy. Additionally, baking is not something I have a knack for. You'd think maybe that having a mother who used to own a cake making business would have somehow rubbed a little skill off on me. I however, was usually more preoccupied with licking clean bowls of icing and cake batter to pay any attention to the ingredients or method to her baking.
A few weeks back I was watching Danielle Walker's Instagram stories; the talented recipe developer behind the blog Against All Grain - she mentions that for some people who can't tolerate chicken eggs, duck eggs can sometimes be a good alternative. I've also since learned that duck eggs contain more protein than chicken eggs, are higher in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids and yield fluffier more moist baked goods.
The thought of having soft poached eggs in the mornings or runny fried egg tacos again got me so excited, so I stopped by the Granville Island Market and bought 4 ducks eggs the next day. To my delight there was no upset stomach, digestive discomfort or uncomfortable visits to the bathroom that day or the days following trying them out for the first time!
So now I needed to test if duck eggs could be the solution to my baking dilemma. Before this discovery I tried using flax eggs, chia seeds, psyllium husk powder, bananas...you name it. They just never worked well enough to properly bake but those duck eggs...boy did they deliver!
I should mention briefly that I respect and appreciate that for many, using plant-based alternatives to eggs is necessary whether it be because of dietary or ethical reasons. So if you try out this recipe and substitute the duck eggs for an alternative please let me know, I would be interested to see how it turns out!
As I always do when I develop recipes, I stood there in my kitchen thinking how could I make this bread primarily from local ingredients. Then I remembered once overhearing a coworker say that she used to make the most moist cakes using duck fat. Well...why not give it a shot? I had just enough for the recipe from a jar my mother gifted me several months back. Just like the eggs, using duck fat in this recipe made the softest, most decadent pumpkin loaf!
- 3 organic duck eggs
- 2 tbsp duck fat - you can substitute with coconut oil or ghee
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp local raw honey
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 tbsp flax seeds ground
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk powder
- 1 tsp true cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice ground
- Fresh grated ginger
- A dash of nutmeg
- A pinch of Himalayan salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Handful of chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x5 inch baking pan with parchment paper. I use the If You Care brand as it is unbleached, chlorine free and okay to compost.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.
3. In another bowl combine the pumpkin puree (if you're using canned I suggest the Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin as the cans are BPA free and the only ingredient is organic pumpkin), duck fat, honey and freshly grated ginger (use your best judgement).
4. Slowly whisk in the beaten eggs until an even silky mixture is achieved.
5. In another bowl combine all dry ingredients including spices.
6. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until a you have a thick even batter.
7. Pour into baking pan lined with parchment and top with crumbled walnuts.
8. Bake in oven for 45 minutes and let cool before serving.