FD: Dixie Burmeister Column October 15, 2008

Celebrate Halloween with tasty, healthy treats

Ghosts, goblins, witches and all those other scary and not-so-scary characters of all ages will be celebrating Halloween big time Oct. 31 because it’s on a Friday this year.

The pumpkins will be glowing and the sugar flowing, so be sure to sneak in the trick of — dare I say —  nutrition.  No one will ever suspect.

A 1/2 cup serving of pumpkin equals a serving of veggies with more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, 80 percent “beta-carotene,” an antioxidant. It has 40 calories, 5 grams dietary fiber, 9 carbohydrates and is gluten-free, low in fat and sodium.

Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone when you serve these delicious dishes on Halloween. What they don’t know is
good for them.

But first a note:

Visit my booth at the Senior Fair at Two Rivers Convention Center on Oct. 23, taste my new pumpkin/apple recipe and get a fall drink sample.

Enter our contest “What can you put in a Ball/Kerr jar?” with food and non-food categories.

Bring recipes cards with recipes or facial mixes or whatever other unique ideas you may have for filling a jar. Include your name and phone number.

Drop entries off in the big Ball/Kerr jar. The prize winners will be in my next column.

These recipes are printed with permission from VeryBestBaking.com, 2008 Nestlé.

Pick-Me-Up Pumpkin Latte

Makes two, 8-ounce servings.

The pumpkin melts right into the coffee and adds body and natural flavor. Creamy fat free evaporated milk adds richness and calcium, without adding extra fat.

1 cup strong coffee

2/3 cup (5-ounce can) Nestlé Carnation evaporated fat free milk

1/4 cup Libby’s 100 percent pure pumpkin

1 to 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon

Combine coffee, evaporated milk, pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in 2-cup microwave-safe glass measure cup or small saucepan. Heat until hot (if using stove, use medium-low heat, stirring occasionally). Carefully pour into mugs.

Tip: For a foamy top to your latte like your favorite coffee house, carefully transfer hot mixture into blender container. Cover with lid and then hold down lid with folded towel or pot holder blend for 1 minute.


Hint of Honey Pumpkin Spread

Preparation: 5 minutes. Yield: 10 servings (2 tablespoons each)

Add a touch of pumpkin to any party with this creamy spread. This light and airy variation of a cream cheese spread is subtly sweet with a delicate hint of honey, which makes it perfect for both sweet and savory uses with veggies, crackers or fruit.

1 8-ounce package 1/3 less fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature

1/2 cup Libby’s 100 percent pure pumpkin

2 tablespoons honey

1 pinch ground cinnamon

Stir cream cheese, pumpkin, honey and cinnamon in medium bowl for 1 minute until smooth. Serve or refrigerate in tightly covered container up to 4 days. Makes about 1 1/3 cups. Serve with apple slices or whole-wheat crackers. Makes about ten 2 tablespoon servings.


Puffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Halloween breakfast or dinner. Makes 6 servings, 12 pancakes.

2 cups complete pancake mix (such as Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete)

1 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup Libby’s 100 percent pure pumpkin

Nonstick cooking spray

Lite pancake syrup, if desired

Combine pancake mix, water and pumpkin in medium bowl. Stir just until moistened. Batter may be lumpy.

Heat griddle or large skillet over medium heat; spray with nonstick spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; cook until batter bubbles begin to burst. Turn and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Repeat. Serve with syrup.


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