Photo: Ben FinkBy Lynn Andriani
A Smarter Pumpkin Treat
Bread, muffins, whoopie pies: goodies made with this now ubiquitous autumn squash have become so popular that bakeries now carry them all year long. But while pumpkin is a great source of vitamins A, K and E, as well as potassium and magnesium, many desserts that feature it also contain loads of oil and sugar. This recipe for moist, spiced bars from the new cookbook Recipe Rehab uses applesauce in place of oil, Splenda instead of sugar and oat flour for white flour. Each one comes in at less than 200 calories.
Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
There are no tricks to Italian biscotti; no hidden ingredients or low-fat butter substitutes--just pantry staples that aren't necessarily decadent on their own, but when combined, deliver the perfect combination of sweetness and crunch. This recipe from cookbook author Stacy Adimando is totally customizable. Even if you don't tweak it, though, it's a wonderfully simple (and healthy) end-of-the-meal treat.
Get the recipe: Almond Biscotti
Photo: Teri Lyn FisherA Lightened-Up Milkshake
We've been seeing health-minded cooks sneak dates into everything from brownies to cookies lately, but these little nuggets of fiber, potassium and vitamins also do an excellent job sweetening and thickening milkshakes. Chloe Coscarelli, author of Chloe's Vegan Desserts, blends them with soy milk and dairy-free ice cream for a delicious and frothy liquid dessert.
Get the recipe: It's a Date! Shake
Photo: Victor SchragerThe 4-Ingredient Candy Bar
Dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and dried fruit--all rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C--make this bark a great alternative to a candy bar filled with a long list of worrisome, unpronounceable ingredients. Plus, it's a cinch to make: stir pistachios, dried cherries and pumpkin seeds into melted chocolate; spread onto a sheet; let cool and break into pieces.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios, Sweetened Dried Cherries and Pumpkin Seeds
Photo: Ben FinkA Healthy Cookie That Doesn't Taste Like It
Low-fat chocolate chip cookies don't have to have the flavor and texture of sawdust--and this tasty version from Recipe Rehab proves it. Even though these treats are free of butter and oil, they're still soft and chewy--and laced with chocolate, thanks to both a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips and a smidgen of unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 ounces dates, pitted (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
To make the date puree, combine the dates and water in a microwave-safe dish and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high until the dates are very soft, about 5 minutes. Check and stir the dates every minute. Drain the dates and put them into a food processor. Add the vanilla and puree until smooth. You should have about a half-cup.
Scrape the date puree into a mixing bowl. Add the brown and granulated sugars. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the dates and sugars on medium-low speed until creamy. Add the egg white and continue to beat until no grains of sugar remain, about 4 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the creamed date-and-sugar mixture, blending gently but thoroughly until a batter forms. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop the dough by tablespoonsful onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown, about 7 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Per serving (2 cookies):
Total Fat: 4 g (2 g saturated)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 85 mg
Protein: 4 g
Fiber: 3 g
Carbs: 43 g
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