In a couple short weeks, trick or treaters will be knocking on doors, and the season of eating will be upon us. If you’re already dieting in anticipation of your Thanksgiving feast, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your plan.
Fall is the season of squash, pumpkins and fresh apples. Celebrate all this delicious produce with healthy, alternative recipes to the calorie-laden, decadent meals you’re used to gobbling up on special occasions.
Start by making some healthy swaps in your favorite recipes—milk for cream, olive oil for butter, plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to name a few. Include lots of salads and veggie side dishes on your table, and don’t forget dessert!
The Lighter Side of Pumpkin Pie
Dessert in the fall means pumpkin. The good news about pumpkin pie is the star of the dessert is pumpkin, which is rich in vitamin A and dense in nutrients. The bad news? Everything else. But never fear, delicious alternatives abound. Here are a few of our favorite tips:
- Use oat flour or almond flour for a gluten-free crust
- Swap all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour
- Make (or buy) a graham cracker crust
- Swap butter for vegetable or canola oil
Now that you’ve got a delicious, healthy crust for your pie, it’s time to focus on the filling. You can still have a rich, creamy pumpkin pie with heart-healthy ingredients. Here are a few of our favorite swaps:
- Maple syrup is a great alternative to sugar as a natural sweetener
- Going dairy-free? Use coconut milk
- Non-fat Greek yogurt to replace cream
- Use lightly whipped egg whites instead of eggs
Here are a few of our favorite, healthy pumpkin recipes. Just follow the directions and wow your friends and family this fall. (They don’t even need to know they’re eating a healthy dessert!)
- Maple syrup and vanilla almond milk up the flavor profile on this pie.
- This Ultimate Healthy Pumpkin Pie features Greek yogurt and egg whites.
- Not a pie person? Try this healthy Pumpkin Snack Cake.
- Want an excuse to eat pumpkin for breakfast? Try these Healthy Pumpkin Muffins.
Balanced, heart-healthy meals are the goal every day. This fall, pumpkin can be a part of those meals—even in pie form.