Weight Watchers Friendly Pumpkin Pie

WWPumpkinPie

Back when I actually had Weight Watchers meetings to lead here in Chapel Hill, I had a tiny, but loyal group of attendees to my meeting.  Among them was an older woman who has been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for a really long time. I admired this woman because she came, without fail, every week, always participated in discussions and had amazing tips and tricks.

One fall day, when I was telling them about my Betty Crocker done better cheat, I decided I’d bring it in as a little treat for them, and this woman decided she’d bring in her crustless pumpkin pie.  Not only did she make the pie, but she made sure I got the recipe.

Read more

Weight Watchers Friendly Pumpkin Spice Muffins

PumpkinSpiceMuffinTitle

 

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  No..not the Christmasy most wonderful time..the pumpkin-y most wonderful time.  Since I’m pretty much obsessed with pumpkin and all things pumpkin/pumpkin spice flavored and scented, I decided that I needed to get a few recipes involving this glorious ingredient out there.

 

Why pumpkin?

Pumpkin is an amazing ingredient in baking.  I have managed to chop the amount of calories in many desserts simply by using pumpkin as a replacement for most of the fatty ingredients, and the results have been amazing

 

First up for your enjoyment: Weight Watchers Friendly Pumpkin Spice Muffins

 

MuffinIngredients

Ingredients

  • One box of spice cake mix
  • One can of 100% Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (to taste, but I used 1 Tbsp)

Seriously, that’s all it takes to make these awesome muffins.

 

Mixingbowl

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven as directed on box (425? I can’t remember exactly, but the box will tell you)
  2. Spray you muffin tins with nonstick spray
  3. Put all 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  4. Blend ingredients.  I used the Kitchen Aid mixer, but you can mix by hand too.  Batter will be thick.
  5. Divide batter evenly making 18 muffins (one whole 12 slot sheet and the middle two rows of another if you don’t have a little 6 muffin pan)
  6. Pans1Use back of spoon to even out the batter in the muffin slots.  You will notice it kind of just sits how it plops because it’s so thick.  It will need a little encouragement to lay down flat.  You don’t necessarily have to do this step, but know that how the batter looks going in the oven is pretty much how it looks coming out, except raised a bit.
  7. Cook for the amount of time recommended on box (I think I did 13 minutes)
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  9. Enjoy these deliciously simple muffins 🙂

Cookedmuffins

That’s it.  They’re that simple.  Now for the Points Plus Value of these delicious muffins.

When you make 18 muffins= 3 PPV for 1 muffin; 5 PPV for 2 muffins!

I also did the math for making 24 muffins (2 PPV for 1; 4 PPV for 2) and for 12 muffins (4 PPV for 1; 8 PPV for 2) using the same amount of batter. I went with 18 muffins because it was a little more PPV friendly when I ate two, saving me a whole point.  That makes a world of difference in my book.

These muffins are amazing when you pop them in the microwave for a few seconds.  Have them for breakfast with a bowl of fruit or have them as dessert or a snack.  I love them with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee or tea.  There’s really not much to feel guilty about when you replace the oil and eggs with a vegetable.  🙂  This keeps my tummy happy, my sweet tooth happy and my waistline happy, all at the same time.

Enjoy!

Slimmed Down Betty Crocker: Part 2

IMG_1740

As you may remember awhile back I posted about how I slimmed down the Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie/Cookie Bars by replacing the butter and eggs in the recipe with unsweetened applesauce (for butter) and Egg Beaters (for eggs).  The result was good, but it was a bit dense and not as fabulous as I would have liked.  I know that with cutting out a bunch of the oil and fat in things will result in some sacrifices in the gooey-ness department, but I was convinced there still had to be a better way.   As you all know by now, I’m slightly obsessed with canned pure pumpkin.  One of my favorite uses is to put it in cake mix and voila, a moist and delicious cake.  That’s when the lightbulb went on:

If I already use pumpkin with cake mix and the result is amazing, why don’t I try using the pumpkin as my butter replacement instead of the unsweetened applesauce?!

Off to the grocery store I went, anxious for take 2 of the Supreme Bar adventure.  I did the exact same thing as before: Follow the directions on the box, but use my substitutions.  THis time I used pumpkin instead of butter and an egg white rather than egg or egg substitute.  The result was fantastic!

IMG_1742

First, you can see how much less runny the cookie dough ended up.  With the applesauce, it practically could be poured on top of the brownies.  With the pumpkin the dough actually came out the consistency of cookie dough. Right off the bat I knew I had to be on to something with this.  It baked well and came out looking like it had more moisture than the old one

IMG_1744IMG_1725

Can you see the amazing difference?  These were taken in same spot on the stove.  The one on the right is my old way with the applesauce, and the left is with the pumpkin.  Clearly the one on the left looks more decadent (and it was).  As you can see, Erik couldn’t wait to give this a try, and all of the sudden I hear “Baby, this is much better than the first time.”

IMG_1746

So the bottom line here is that in baking, canned pure pumpkin is an amazing 0 Point substitute for butter.  Added bonus, you know you’re getting a vegetable in while having your guilt free treat!  4 Points per serving.  Enjoy my friends.