LifestyleThe Hungry Skier: Pumpkin Pie Alternatives

Brainspiral BrainspiralNovember 18, 2014
Lightened-Up Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse (Photo: POPSUGAR)
Lightened-Up Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse (Photo: POPSUGAR)

Love the idea of pumpkin, but want to try something new — maybe with fewer calories and more of the good stuff, like fiber and protein? Check out the following ideas from POPSUGAR for festive fall desserts.

Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake Mousse

  • 1 cup low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tbs sugar-free instant butterscotch (or vanilla) dry pudding mix
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-6 packets stevia, or to taste (or sweetener of choice to taste)

Optional toppings:

  • gingersnaps
  • light whip cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place everything in a blender, and blend until smooth. Serve immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator until chilled — at least one hour. Top with light whip cream and/or crushed gingersnap cookies if desired!

***

Pumpkin-Carrot Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting: low in calories while remaining full of flavor, these pumpkin bars make a great dessert — perfect for potlucks (much easier to share with large groups than pies) and relatively guilt-free. The bit of cream cheese frosting adds a deceptive element of decadence, but a single serving only contains 71 calories and 1.7 grams of fat. These bars are high in vitamin A — and trust me, you cannot even taste the shredded carrot. With nutritional stats like that, it's OK to go back for seconds.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting: “Low in calories while remaining full of flavor, these pumpkin bars make a great dessert — perfect for potlucks (much easier to share with large groups than pies) and relatively guilt-free. The bit of cream cheese frosting adds a deceptive element of decadence, but a single serving only contains 71 calories and 1.7 grams of fat. These bars are high in vitamin A — and trust me, you cannot even taste the shredded carrot. With nutritional stats like that, it’s OK to go back for seconds.” — POPSUGAR’s Susi May
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
  • 2/3 cup finely shredded carrot

Cream cheese topping:

  • 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar, brown sugar, and Earth Balance until crumbly. Add the eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie filling, and carrots. Beat until well blended.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread onto greased pan.
  5. To prepare cream cheese topping, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and milk until thoroughly blended.
  6. Drop teaspoons full of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl and cut mixture into batter with a butter knife.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.

Makes 48 squares.

***

Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins (Vegan)

Vegan Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins (Photo: POPSUGAR)
Vegan Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins (Photo: POPSUGAR)

NOTES: If your batter is too dry, add a splash or two more of almond milk until it reaches a batter-like consistency. You can use any sweetener you like — I used agave syrup, but you can also try one of these sugar substitutes.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, line a standard 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, almond milk, pumpkin purée, agave syrup, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

***

Vegan and Grain-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix until a smooth batter is formed. If adding the dark chocolate chips, then fold them in now.
  3. Using a spoon, drop the batter onto the lined baking sheet almost like you’re making pancakes.
  4. Bake at 350° F for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden.
  5. Allow to cool completely before using a spatula to remove from the baking sheet. Enjoy immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container (they’ll become softer and cake-like).

Makes two dozen cookies.

***

For more recipes, visit POPSUGAR.com.

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