Sunday, November 17, 2013

Healthy Living: Low Calorie Holiday Pumpkin Cookies

One of the most difficult seasons for fitness buffs is the holidays. It is the period between Thanksgiving and New Years that causes all of the troubles. The calories beckon at each social event. Egg Nog, peanut butter balls, taffy, chocolate…the list goes on. Not only is there less time to work out but the eating might pull you in a completely different direction. It takes more than will power to keep those sweets where they belong.

The good news is that there are healthy alternatives for those who are willing to get a little creative with their cooking. Pumpkin cookies fit within the holiday spirit and have fewer calories than some of the crackers you might buy from the store. The taste is soft and light and can double as coffee cakes in the morning. With a total of 41 calories, a gram of fat, and 9 grams of carbohydrates and a single gram of protein you are on the right track.

Let us compare some alternatives. A bar of fudge will set you back 170 calories, chocolate covered peanut butter balls another 120, a cup of Egg Nog 400, peanut brittle 480 and pumpkin pie a whopping 500. Healthy eating is about finding alternatives to commonly enjoyed offerings. Sometimes it is helpful to cook those alternatives and leave out some of the most damaging ingredients.

Preparation Time: 5-8 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15-19 Minutes
Amount: 30+ Cookies depending on size.

1 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract
1 cup of canned or pumpkin

The process of making these cookies is relatively easy. Preheat oven to about 350 degrees. Grease two cookie pans using either a spray or olive oil. Mix the sugars, apple sauce, pumpkin, and extract together. Mix it well as to not leave clumps. Work in the rest of the ingredients. It should have the consistency of cookie dough.

Each cookie sheet should hold about 12-15 cookies. Since this recipe makes around 30+ two cookies the sheets should work fine. Simply use a tablespoon and place clumps accordingly. They will spread out a little as they cook. Once completed, put the cookie sheet into the oven and check at 15 minutes. Cook until a slight discoloration of the edges occurs. Take out and place on a cooking rack for 15 minutes. 

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