I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fabulous Low(er) Fat Desserts

Everyone loves this part of the holiday meal: Dessert! Even if you're working hard to watch your weight, you can have dessert. Just a smaller portion than you'd normally have when you're "indulging". And choose something you really want, instead of something that is just there. If nothing thrills you, pass.

Although I guarantee if you try any one of these desserts, you won't want to pass.

First up is a change on an old favorite. We all know and love (at least I do) pumpkin pie. But if you want to make it from scratch and not used canned pumpkin, it takes forever, and is not a fun experience. This version uses butternut squash instead. Same texture, great flavor, much less work.

Butternut Squash Pie

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 50 mins
Extra Time: 30 mins (for pre-cooking squash)

Yield: 8 (1/8") pie slices


1 cup cooked mashed butternut squash (Cook by cutting in half, scooping seeds, peeling, cutting in to chunks, then boiling in 1/2C water 7-9 minutes, or until soft.)

3/4 cup fat-free milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/8 tsp salt

1 store-bought pie crust


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In blender, purée squash, milk, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt until completely mixed. Pour into graham cracker crust and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the pie is set in the center.


This next dessert is definitely different. Instead of the heavy, thick crusted traditional cheesecake, you actually use yogurt to make part of your own! I think this sounds like a fun thing to try. And thought it's not a full crust on the bottom, I think the little crunch from what graham crackers are used would be nice. (And although it will change the caloric content, etc. I would add a few more tablespoons of crumbs! LOL) You can find Neufchatel cheese in the same place in your supermarket as cream cheese. It's less fat, AND less expensive. Yum!

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

Yield: 16 servings

• Yogurt Cheese (recipe below)
• 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

• 1 - 8 oz. pkg. Neufchatel cheese
• 1 - 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 container (8 oz.) egg substitute
• 1/4 cup cocoa
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Prepare Yogurt Cheese the night before. Heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom of 8 or 9 inch springform pan with vegetable cooking spray. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on bottom of pan. In large mixer bowl, beat Yogurt Cheese, Neufchatel cheese and vanilla on medium speed of electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and cornstarch; beat just until well blended. Gradually add egg substitute, beating on low speed until blended. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to medium bowl; add cocoa. Beat until well blended. Stir almond extract into vanilla batter. Alternately spoon vanilla and chocolate batters into prepared pan. With knife, cut through batters to marble.

Bake 35 minutes for 8 inch pan; 40 minutes for 9 inch pan or until edge is set. With knife, loosen cheesecake from side of pan. Garnish as desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake.

Yogurt Cheese: Use one 16-ounce container plain low fat yogurt, no gelatin added. Line plastic colander with large piece of double thick cheesecloth; place colander over deep bowl. Spoon yogurt into prepared colander; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until liquid no longer drains from yogurt, about 24 hours. Remove yogurt from cheesecloth and place in separate bowl; discard liquid.

Per Serving: 100 Calories
4g Fat
4g Protein
12g Carbohydrate
trace Dietary Fiber
10mg Cholesterol
90mg Sodium

This last dessert is for those of us who like cake. And also to fill out the fruit end of the dessert spectrum. I love poppy seed stuff. This cake is moist and yummy! And making it in a bundt pan leaves for endless presentation possibilities. Hope you try it!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Yield: 16 servings

• 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
• 1/2 cup fat-free milk
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
• 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
• 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 large egg
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
• 1-1/8 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 large egg whites
• 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
• Confectioners' sugar for garnish

Grind poppy seeds in spice mill, coffee grinder or blender, scraping sides, until ground fine. Transfer to small saucepan with milk and lemon peel. Bring just to boil over high heat, stirring once. Remove from heat and let stand at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 8-cup Bundt pan with vegetable cooking spray or Bakers Secret (flour is included). Coat with flour if you used the cooking spray; tap out excess.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the oil, yogurt, applesauce, whole egg, vanilla and poppy-seed mixture in large bowl. Do not stir. Set aside.

Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar to stiff peaks.

Beat poppy-seed mixture until blended. At low speed, gradually beat in dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites. Spoon into prepared pan.

Bake cake 45 minutes for Bundt pan, 60 minutes for tube pan or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Sift confectioners' sugar on top.

Per Serving: 185 Calories
6g Fat, 1g saturated fat
3g Protein
30g Carbohydrate
14mg Cholesterol
144mg Sodium

I'm thinking any one of these would be a stellar addition to your holiday table. Especially since you'll know you're contributing a healthier choice for yourself and others. And when enjoyed as part of an over-all healthy meal, (or just healthy portioning) it can really top off your holiday eating experience. Give one a try!


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