October 26, 2009

Three Things: Pumpkin Snacks

Pumpkin ain't just for pie. It's packed with nutrients; 1/2 cup of the canned good gives you 300% of your daily vitamin A and vitamin C for only 40 calories. And when mixed with the right things, it maintains the nutty-orange-veggie flavor that you love about pumpkin desserts (I prefer bread or cake) yet makes for a healthier snack.

I opened a can this week and played around with various recipes I found online. All these recipes are approximations; play around with the measurements and make it your own.

1. Pumpkin Pie Dip
Sweet enough to be pie but simpler to make. Dip graham cracker and ginger snaps for full-out dessert or apples to for a fruity flavor that's a little more healthy.
Mix 1 can pumpkin, an 8-oz. block of softened [reduced fat] cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. orange juice, and 1 tsp. cinnamon.

2. Pumpkin-Banana Smoothie
A filling breakfast that just tastes like fall with a hint of banana.
Mix in blender 1 banana, 1/3 cup canned pumpkin, 6 ice cubes, 1/3 plain or vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla (if use plain yogurt) and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.

3. Pumpkin Spread
It might sound strange, but once bit will convince you it's tasty. I first used it as spread but now make pumpkin-peanut butter sandwiches almost weekly this time of year.
Mix 1/3 cup pumpkin, 3 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. cinnamon (I usually just guess on the measurements though)

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