Optional – 2/3 cup nuts, cranberries, chocolate chips, raisins – go wild!!!!
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs & vanilla.
Combine the remaining dry ingredients.
Stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended.
Optional – Add chocolate chips, dried cranberries, nuts or raisins to batter.
Place into two greased and floured loaf pans – or canning jars (see below)
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.
Canning Jar Cooking:
Grease & flour insides of 8 (1 pint) straight sided, wide mouth canning jars. (or use Baker’s JoyTM cooking spray
Fill each jar 1/2 full of batter. I use a funnel recycled from the top of a 2 liter soda bottle to fill the jars. The overturned bottle top fits perfectly in the jar and helps keep the sides of the jar free of batter.
The rims of the jars must be perfectly clean so they will seal properly after baking. Therefore, wipe off any batter that gets on the rims before placing in the oven.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes
When done, remove from oven and put on lid and ring
The jars will “ping” as the heat creates the airtight seal.
When cool, press on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t move, it’s sealed.
Decorate the tops with ribbons & fabric for holiday gifts.