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Simple substitutions and kid-friendly treats
Healthy twists on fall favorites

Published by , on Oct 19, 2015

by Kelli George, Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Ashley Cappel, Registered Dietitian, CHoR’s Healthy Lifestyles Center

With the fall season comes yummy sweets and Halloween treats. Typically, these themed recipes can easily throw your family’s healthy eating habits way off track. But never fear, you can still enjoy your pumpkin apple spiced caramel goodies without suffering from any ghostly guilt for the rest of the day. When you look in all the right places, it is very possible to still enjoy those holiday-themed recipes without breaking away from the healthy food choices your family has already been making.

First off, look for simple substitutions that you can make to recipes that are already tried and true to you. Here are some ideas:

  • Use rolled oats instead of bread crumbs.

  • Substitute applesauce for half of the butter, margarine, shortening or oil called for in a recipe.

  • Replace half of the all-purpose flour needed in a recipe with whole wheat flour.

  • Use two egg whites for each whole egg needed.

These simple substitutions can lower calories and add more whole grains to your diet, which are important components of a healthy, balanced diet.

bowlStarting from scratch

Starting from scratch with your holiday recipes can be a great idea too! For all of you pumpkin lovers out there, below is a great low-calorie recipe that is sure to be a fall family favorite!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

-2 cups sugar
-2 cups canned pumpkin
-1/2 cup canola oil (substitution option: ¼ cup canola oil + ¼ cup applesauce)
-1/2 cup fat-free vanilla pudding (prepared)
-4 large egg whites
-3 cups all-purpose flour (substitution option: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1 1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into two (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely. 152 calories per slice.

Hands on healthy fun

And when you want a little something scary and fun for the kids that can also get them involved in the kitchen, try some boo-nana pops! They are a sweet and healthy treat that are easy to assemble and fun to eat!

“Boo”nana Pops

-1 medium banana
-1 cup plain Greek yogurt
-8 mini chocolate chips
-4 popsicle sticks

Cut banana in half lengthwise, then in half to make four quarters.

Insert popsicle sticks into bananas, and freeze bananas on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

When the bananas are frozen, fill a coffee mug with yogurt. Dip the bananas one at a time into the yogurt, scraping off the excess from the back of the banana, and again place the bananas on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Add the mini chocolate chips for the eyes, and put the “boo”nana pops back in the freezer to harden. Enjoy frozen.

”Boo”nana’s can also be enjoyed fresh out of the peel by adding dabs of melted chocolate for their ghostly eyes and mouth. (Pictured below.)

Scary halloween banana ghost chocolate faces healthy natural snack recipe. Delicious party decoration on vintage wooden background.

More fall favorites

For a healthy twist on some other fall favorites, check out these dietitian-recommended recipes that maximize the healthful benefits of traditional Thanksgiving dishes – sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and fried turkey.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread adapted from health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000000833355,00.html
“Boo”nana pops adapted from recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2584950


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