It’s pumpkin season — and your favorite fall ingredient shouldn’t be limited to pie — try something new this year!
“Canned pumpkin puree is an excellent substitute for high-fat dairy products,” says Jackie Newgent, R.D., author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes.
“It adds creaminess but not fat.”
What it does supply: cancer-fighting vitamin A.
Just three tablespoons of pumpkin puree covers your vitamin A needs for the entire day.
Use these tricks to make your fall treats much more diet-friendly.
1. Brownies (340 calories, 18 g fat per piece)
Healthy Trick: Bake a pumpkin version to save more than 135 calories and 15 grams of fat each.
It couldn’t be easier: Simply stir together a 19.5 ounce brownie mix with a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree and bake at 350 F for about a half-hour. (Don’t add the oil, water and egg to brownie mix.)
They’ll be fudgier and a little denser than a typical brownie — but oh so good.
On the Cookies & Cups blog, you can see how delish they’ll look.
For other great ways to make brownies healthier, click here.
2. Broccoli Cheese Soup (580 calories, 47 g fat per 1½ cups)
Healthy Trick: You can get away with a lot less butter and high-fat dairy by whisking ¾ cup pumpkin puree for every 2 cups of vegetable broth, says Newgent.
Check out the full recipe, which slashes 380 calories and 34 grams of fat.
3. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino (280 calories, 2 g fat for a small without whipped cream).
Healthy Trick: Whip up a pumpkin smoothie in your blender.
Follow this recipe from Whole Foods Market, and your drink will be about 120 calories lighter.
4. Baked Mac and Cheese (639 calories, 39 g fat per cup)
Healthy Trick: You can use about 1/3 less cheese in your favorite recipe if you stir in a cup of pumpkin puree, says Newgent.
Simply mix it in right along with the cheese.
The kids won’t notice a difference (the pumpkin is orange, after all) and they’ll get 60 calories and 6 grams of fat less per serving — a savings that really adds up if your kid (or you) is mac-and-cheese obsessed.
5. Vanilla Ice Cream (230 calories, 14 g fat per 1/2 cup)
Healthy Trick: Make your own pumpkin fro yo!
You don’t even need an ice-cream maker.
To save 150 calories and 13g fat, follow the instructions from Babble’s blogger by simply mixing together 1 cup non-fat or low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
Place the bowl in the freezer and stir every half hour until it reaches the consistency you like.