Preheat the oven to 350°degrees Fahrenheit, and line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (Or use a non-stick silicon pan.)
In a small bowl, whisk the ground flaxseed and warm water together, and set aside to thicken for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
Soften the chopped dates by placing them in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water, and microwaving on high for 30 seconds.
Add the softened dates (with any liquid) and the plant milk to a food processor or blender. Process on high until it forms a thin date paste. (It's okay if small bits of date remain.)
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, date mixture, flax eggs, applesauce, almond butter, vinegar and vanilla), and stir until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir to fully combine. Don't overmix.
Add the chocolate chips, and gently fold them into the batter.
Use a rubber scraper to spoon the batter into the loaf pan. If desired, add a few more chocolate chips to the top.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
I like to use 85% cacao chips, as they contain healthy cacao and not much added sweetener. Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips are also a good option.
Please note, while chocolate chips are fine for some of us as an occasional treat, chocolate contains cocoa butter, which has saturated fat and can raise cholesterol levels. If this is a concern for you, please enjoy this bread without the chocolate chips.