Kitchen

Pumpkin Fluff ~ A Healthy Dessert!

Written by Kaiti George

Written By:  Kaiti George @ Nebraska Beef Council

A healthy dessert?  Is that an oxymoron?  Of course not!!!  Entering the holiday season, there tends to be a sweet treat tempting you around every corner you turn. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite desserts.  Pumpkin Fluff!!!

If you are a fan of pumpkin pie, but aren’t a fan of the extreme calories and fat in a slice of the pie, I have the dessert for you! This pumpkin fluff takes only a few minutes to prepare with simple ingredients you may even find in your pantry, and with around 100 calories per one cup serving, there is zero guilt involved.

In addition to the low calories, the bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. Not only is this fruit nutrient dense (yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit due to the fact that is comes from a flower and has seeds), it can help protect against cancer, heart disease and is packed with fiber, other antioxidant vitamins, C and E, B-vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium and phosphorous, all of which are needed by the body to maintain health.  Sounds like a win-win to me! This recipe is so delightful!!

Ingredients:

2 packages vanilla sugar free instant pudding
2 1/4 cups skim or 1% milk
16 ounce can of pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounce tub of fat free cool whip

A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

Directions:

1. Whisk together vanilla pudding and milk until thick (about a minute or so).

2. Add (to the pudding/milk mixture) pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and fold in cool whip.

Cook’s tips:

  1. While it’s great on its own (maybe even with a little extra Cool Whip on top), it also serves as the perfect dip for some graham cracker stick, apple slices or Vanilla Wafers.
  2. Like many recipes, I think it tastes better after it refrigerates overnight!

What’s one of your favorite (healthy) treats during the holidays? Please share!

About the author

Kaiti George

Kaiti George is a Registered Dietitian and fitness enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in both fields. She is a Registered Dietitian at Hy-Vee in Kearney and also teaches a variety of group exercise classes at the Kearney YMCA. Kaiti is the proud mom of twins, Jenna and Collin. Kaiti is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a Licensed Medical Nutrition therapist through the State of Nebraska. She and her husband Tom live in Kearney with their two dogs, Joe and Murphy. Kaiti prides herself on living an active healthy lifestyle and hopes to give readers great tips and recipes to do the same!