This week, NBC 5 anchors and reporters are sharing some of their favorite holiday recipes and how they make them.
On Wednesday, Alicia Roman showed us all how to make her favorite pumpkin banana bread with chocolate chunks -- and her tutorial comes with a surprise guest appearance (see video above).
Check out the full recipe below.
Simple Pumpkin Puree:
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
1 small baking pumpkin, 4 to 6 pounds
Sea salt, optional
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse and pat dry the pumpkin. Cut the squash from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough). When you’ve cut through the pumpkin, just pull each half apart. We do this in two parts. Cut one side from the stem down to the bottom of the pumpkin. Remove the knife, rotate the pumpkin to the opposite side then do the same. When there is a slit down both halves of the pumpkin, put down the knife and pull the halves apart. They should separate at the stem.
Scoop out the seeds and most of the stringy bits. Lightly season the inside of the pumpkin halves with salt then place cut-side-down onto the baking sheet. Bake until the pumpkin can easily be pierced with a knife in several places and the flesh is pulling away from the skin, 45 to 60 minutes.
Cool until you can safely handle the halves then scoop out the soft flesh into a food processor — depending on how large the pumpkin is, you may need to do this in two batches. Process until very smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
TIPS: If you have any homemade pumpkin puree left over – store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week or 3 months in the freezer
Pumpkin Banana Bread With Chocolate Chunks:
2 cups: Oat Flour
1 tsp: Baking soda
3/4 tsp: Baking powder
3/4 tsp: salt
1/2 tsp: each: cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cup: mashed overripe banana
1/2 cup: pumpkin puree
1/2 cup: pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
2 tbsp: any sweetener of choice (or 1/16 tsp uncut stevia)
1/3 cup: oil OR milk of choice
2 tsp: pure vanilla extract
½ cup: chocolate chunks.
Add chunks to top before putting in oven if you want
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
Whisk all liquid ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour wet into dry and stir to form a batter.
Smooth into the prepared pan. If desired, add some extra chocolate chunks on the top.
Bake on the center rack 30-40 minutes, then do not open the oven door but turn off the heat and leave in the closed oven for 10 additional minutes.
Because ovens may vary, if it's still undercooked after this time then just turn the heat back on and cook–checking every 5 minutes–until firm.
Let cool completely.