Recipe & Video: Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits

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The holiday season seems to bring out everyone's sweet tooth. Cookies and pie aren't the only options, though! You can have a sweet treat that satisfies your craving but is also somewhat nutritious and doesn't sabotage your healthy eating goals.

One way to do this is by tweaking some of your favorite holiday recipes (like this pumpkin pie recipe) to lighten up the calories and fat. You can also find ways to sneak more fruit, veggies and whole grains into recipes where you can. In this year when so many of our holiday traditions are being upended or modified, why not experiment with new recipes or tinker with old favorites? They may become new traditions you bring back for next year's holiday celebrations.

Managing portions is another way to indulge in holiday desserts without going overboard.

These delicious parfaits feature both of these healthy holiday strategies. We layered sweetened and spiced up pumpkin puree (high in vitamin A) and a creamy vanilla yogurt mixture (high in protein) into individual-sized servings, then topped each with a gingersnap cookie.  Use whatever small glasses, bowls or jars you have -- clear ones showcase the festive layers. You could crumble the cookie up and layer it right into the parfaits as you go, if you prefer. 

Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits

Yield: 6 servings

(Download a printable pdf of this recipe)

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
6 (2-inch diameter) gingersnap cookies

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, add Greek yogurt, cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until evenly combined. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

To serve, alternate spoonfuls of yogurt mixture with pumpkin mixture in serving glasses or small canning jars as desired. Top with remaining whipped yogurt and garnish each with a gingersnap cookie.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 160 calories; 4 grams Fat; 2 grams Saturated fat; 12 mg Cholesterol; 148 mg Sodium; 17 grams Carbohydrates; 0 grams Fiber; 8 grams Protein

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Categories: EatWell