Fall weather brings with it an abundance of produce such as apples and pumpkins. Visions of pumpkins and apples quickly turn to thoughts of favorite fall desserts such as pumpkin pie, caramel apples and warm apple crisp. But, those desserts are typically loaded with refined sugar, fat and calories. Try these healthier options that retain all the taste of your fall favorites with fewer calories.
This revamp of a traditional fall-favorite ditches the popsicle stick and all the refined sugar. It relies on the natural caramel flavor of dates to produce a creamy caramel topping that provides the perfect contrast to a tart, crisp apple. You won't even miss the popsicle stick!
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
Soak the dates in the water overnight. Blend the dates, soaking water, and almond milk until smooth. At this point, you can strain the mixture through a fine sieve or cheesecloth for a smoother caramel. If you don't mind small pieces of date in your caramel, you can skip this step. Pour the mixture into a small sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Boil until reduced to a thick sauce, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let the caramel sauce cool. Core the apples and slice in half. Spread the caramel sauce evenly over the apple halves and sprinkle with nuts if desired. Makes four servings. *Nutrition information (without nuts): 111 calories, .5 g fat, 19 mg sodium, 247 mg potassium, 3.8 g fiber.
This recipe has the creamy flavor of pumpkin pie without all the added calories of the piecrust and eggs. It is ready in just minutes using your microwave. If you can't find medjool dates, you can substitute two to four tablespoons of chopped, pitted dates.
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 medjool dates
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon honey
Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for one minute and stir. Cook for two additional minutes, stirring at one-minute intervals. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and enjoy warm. Makes four servings. *Nutrition information: 85 calories, .8 g fat, 41 mg sodium, 257 mg potassium, 2.8 g fiber.
A healthier version of a fall favorite, this recipe replaces the refined sugar with natural maple syrup and features the sweetness of the apples. Use a super-sweet honeycrisp apple for a real treat. Another bonus--this recipe is ready in minutes using your microwave. You can even eat this dessert for breakfast without feeling guilty.
1 medium apple
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup water
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Core and chop the apple into one-inch pieces. Combine all the ingredients, except the nuts, in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for one minute and stir. Cook for two additional minutes or until the apples are just soft. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Serve warm and sprinkle with nuts if desired. Makes two servings. *Nutrition information (without nuts): 130 calories, .9 g fat, 1.8 mg sodium, 120 mg potassium, 2.9 g fiber.
*Nutrition information estimated using SparkRecipes.com.