Pumpkin-Red Pepper ‘Hummus’

This is a really neat alternative to regular hummus, especially in the fall.  It’s pumpkin-y with a hint of red pepper and garlic–very savory!  I like it with multigrain pita chips!

Pumpkin-Red Pepper “Hummus”

(adapted from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade, Sept/Oct 2011)

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

2 red bell peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 C walnuts, toasted

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Place red peppers under the broiler, char until skin on all sides is almost black and wrinkled.  Immediately place both peppers into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside.

Place pumpkin puree, minced garlic, toasted and chopped walnuts and salt into a blender or food processor.  Once cooled, peel skin from red peppers and roughly chop.  Place peppers and olive oil into blender or food processor.  Pulse until consistency is smooth and uniform.  Add more olive oil or water if necessary.

Nutritional Information: per 1/4 cup

62 cal, 8.73g fat (.88g sat), 0g cholesterol, 422 mg sodium, 7g carbs, 3.6g fiber, 2.46g protein

‘Made Over’ Banana Bread with Coconut and Walnuts

This is the first recipe I tweaked to make healthier, and I’ve been making it that way ever since!  It caught my eye in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook because of the coconut, but I gasped in horror at the 2 2/3 C oil for just two loaves!  I incorporated my healthiest switch techniques and am more than happy with the results.

Holly’s “made-over” Martha Stewart Banana Bread with Coconut

1.5 C all-purpose flour

1.5 C whole-wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

2 large eggs

3/4 C sugar

2/3 C vegetable oil

2/3 C plain yogurt or unsweetened applesauce

1.5 C mashed banana (about 3)

3/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 C walnuts, toasted

½ C lowfat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 and spray two 8×4 loaf pans with cooking spray.   Whisk flours, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and applesauce (or yogurt).  Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing until just combined. Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, walnuts and buttermilk and mix lightly by hand.

Divide batter between prepared pans and sprinkle the tops with sugar.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from loaf pans to continue cooling.

Makes 2 loaves

24 servings = 200 calories

Half recipe = 12 muffins = 200 calories

*bake 15 minutes, then turn muffin tins and switch racks, bake another 10 minutes

*10 muffins = 240 calories