Friday, July 16, 2010

Hare Krishna Bread

This year Calista was in the Boise Fourth of July parade with her drill team. It was a lot of fun and just the right length. It was also fun because friends and family got to "march" along with the girls. It was neat to be able to walk down the street past the Capitol building.

There were lots of interesting entries in the parade, and one of the best were the Hare Krishnas. Of course, they had a very colorful "float" and beautiful costumes. As they walked down the street, they passed out little packages of sunflower seeds and raisins to everyone. Our family ended up with several little packages.

I was interested to know if the little packages had any significance, so I tried to research it. I didn't do a very good job, but I think I found out that these little "gifts" are called prasadam. Supposedly, worshippers give a treat to the gods at their temple, and then the worshippers are given a treat back. This treat is then shared with everyone. Many times the treats are made with some kind of nuts and fruits. (This may be entirely wrong, but that's the closest thing I could figure out.)

Anyway, we ended up with these little bags and, while they were OK to eat plain, nobody was that enthusiastic about eating them. I wondered if I could come up with a way to use all the little packets. They were interesting because the raisins and seeds were flavored with some sort of spice and some salt. I remembered a recipe I had made a long time ago from Bon Appetit for some pumpkin/sunflower seed bread and thought maybe that would work.

I found the recipe and realized that the recipe already called for some spices, so the already-flavored seeds and raisins just might work. I think the family was a little skeptical of my "Hare Krishna" bread until they tasted it. It was DELICIOUS!!! The bread was very moist and flavorful, and the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds added just the right amount of texture and crunch. Guess we'll have to catch the parade next year, too.

For those of you who don't have Hare Krishna packets, I'll post the recipe and you can just use sunflower seeds. OK? OK!!

Pumpkin Sunflower Seed Bread (Makes 2 loaves)

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans. Combine all the ingredients (batter will be thick). Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for about 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes then turn out on to a rack to cool completely.