Girlfriends Fitclub is a women's gym in West Michigan. Located in Holland, MI, we offer a variety of health and fitness facilities to service all women.
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I’m Karen Neuman.  Many of you who work out early in the day know me since I am at GFFC on the average of five days per week.  I am a wife, mother of two college-age children, frequent traveler, retired caterer, former employee trainer/new product tester/recipe developer for Trader Joe’s, former freelance newspaper writer and former restaurant critic.  Basically I know food.  In this semi-regular blog post I will address various food-related topics hopefully of interest to all of us trying to be healthy starting with pumpkin spice!

Admit it – we all love the flavors of fall in spite of the clichés.  But how to enjoy without breaking the calorie bank?  The quintessential Starbucks 16 oz. Pumpkin Spice Latte clocks in at a hopping 380 calories and 13 grams of fat.  As a pumpkin lover myself I’ve got some alternative suggestions!

If you’ve just got to have that latte, both Biggby and Joe-2-Go offer lower calorie versions.  But I stay home and enjoy the sugar-free pumpkin spice Coffeemate in my coffee with only 15 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving.

Lastly, cook with pumpkin!  As a member of the squash family it is actually good for you and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.  I include a couple of my favorites below.

Baked Pumpkin Pudding

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. cooked or canned pumpkin
  • ¾ c. Splenda
  • 1 T. sugar-free maple syrup
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground ginger
  • ¼ t. ground cloves
  • 1 ½ c. fat-free evaporated milk
  • 5 T. reduced-fat whipped topping

In a bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin, sugar (or stevia), maple syrup and spices until well blended.  Gradually beat in milk.  Pour into 5 eight-ounce ramekins coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Place in a 15x10x1” baking pan.  Bake, uncovered, to 425 degrees for 10 min. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 30-35 min. longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or cold.  Garnish with whipped topping.  Store in the refrigerator.

Southwestern Pumpkin Dip

  • 1 c. mashed cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 c. nonfat mayonnaise
  • 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 t. ground cumin
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • Dash of ground red pepper

Position knife blade in food processor bowl.  Add all ingredients, and process until mixture is smooth.  Serve pumpkin dip with baked tortilla chips and/or raw vegetables.  Serving size = 1 T.

Talk again soon,