Nutritious treats trick your tastebuds

BALTIMORE - Tomorrow, kids across the region will be stuffing bags, buckets and pillow cases with sugar filled treats. In the coming weeks, with the holiday season approaching, we'll all be indulging in some fall delights.

There are some ways to trick your tastebuds into enjoying some nutritious, good for you treats.

We all love pumpkin pie this time of year and pumpkin has a lot of nutritional benefits.

Registered Dietitian with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, Amanda Agamy says that's pumpkin is for you because it's full of Vitamin A and fiber, low in calories and has a powerful antioxidant.

Don't just think pumpkin pie. You can incorporate pumpkin into recipes like ravioli or oatmeal to make a healthier, year round treat. Canned and pureed pumpkin is just as nutritious as fresh pumpkin.

So how can we avoid all the candy this time of year? "It's unrealistic to think people aren't going to indulge in some candy or pie every once in a while," says Agamy. "Having things like nuts in a trail mix can provide you with unsaturated fats and vitamins that are healthy for your heart."

When working with patients at the CTCA that have issues with malnutrition, taste changes, nausea and mouth sores, Agamy says they try to use symptom management.

Some of these issues may be addressed with diet. That's why the CTCA has issued a new cookbook, Wholesome Temptation to help patients benefit from some tips and new recipes.

Want to try a new recipe for some healthier pumpkin treats? Why not try one of these recipes featured in the new cookbook.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pie Muffins:

1&1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
½ tsp. salt
½ c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 c. unsweetened pumpkin puree
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. ginger
½ c. canola oil
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ c. honey
½ tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 3500. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. Stir together the whole-wheat flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Place eggs, pumpkin, oil and honey in the well. Mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed. Spoon into muffin cups so they are ¾ full. Bake for 18 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan before removing from cups. Makes 12-15 muffins.

Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 180; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Sodium: 130 mg; Carbohydrate: 25g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 2g

Frozen Pumpkin Treats:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 (15 oz) ctn. Frozen yogurt (allow to soften in refrigerator before making treats)
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
18 graham cracker squares

Line a 9x9-inch pan with graham cracker squares. Mix pumpkin with softened frozen yogurt. Add cinnamon and ginger. Spread pumpkin mixture on top of graham cracker squares. Top the mixture with another layer of graham cracker squares. Place in freezer and enjoy when frozen. Makes 9 servings.

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 152; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Sodium: 240mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 3g

To get your copy of the new CTCA cookbook click here .

CTCA also suggests making some easy healthier baking swaps like these.

  • Use vegetable oil for shortening, butter or margarine
  • Replace half the fat with applesauce or mashed banana
  • Use whole-grain flours instead of white flour
  • 2 egg whites = 1 whole egg
  • Frost cake with fat-free marshmallow cream

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