Healthy Thanksgiving desserts
Chocolate pumpkin cake
For pumpkin and chocolate lovers, this healthier rendition of a decadent cake features whole wheat white flour (look for it in the natural foods section at the supermarket), dark chocolate, and pure pumpkin, which offers a yummy moistness.
- 1-3/4 cups whole wheat white flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk plus
- 1 tablespoon for glaze
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup finely chopped premium dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 12-cup Bundt pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
- In a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend 1 cup buttermilk, pumpkin and brown sugar on low speed. Beat in eggs, oil, corn syrup and vanilla.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients, blending on low until just combined. Stir in chocolate. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together confectioner's sugar and buttermilk to form a glaze. Transfer cake to a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top.
Apple bread pudding
Instead of heavy cream and copious amounts of sugar, this slimmed down apple bread pudding is made with low-fat milk, whole wheat sourdough and just enough sugar to give it a sweet edge.
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat 2% milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 cups cubed, day-old cracked whole wheat sourdough bread
- 1/4 cup currants
- 2 green apples, halved, cored, sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and generously grease a 9-inch baking dish. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat milk, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs and 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in hot milk, vanilla, lemon zest, and spices.
- Add bread and currants to the milk mixture, tossing to combine. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss apples and lemon juice. Heat a medium skillet over low heat until hot. Add butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter.
- Add apples to the skillet and increase heat to medium and cook until apples begin to lightly brown and the sauce thickens. Use a spatula to flip apples over and continue to cook, spooning sauce over, until apples are tender.
- Transfer apple mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging them in a single layer, overlapping if necessary. Transfer bread mixture to baking dish, evenly covering apples, and pressing mixture down. Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan.
- Place baking pan in the oven and carefully add the hot water from the kettle to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour or until bread pudding is set and lightly browned.
- Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen from the dish. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto the platter.
Toasted hazelnut tapioca
For the young ones who love pudding and the adults who remember tapioca from their childhood, this nutty tapioca is a healthier alternative to the more traditional Thanksgiving dessert recipes.
- 4 cups low-fat 2% milk
- 4 eggs, well beaten
- 5 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- Pinch of salt 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup finely chopped premium dark chocolate
- In a large saucepan, combine milk, eggs, tapioca and salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in syrup, spices, and vanilla.
- Divide the pudding between 8 ramekins or custard cups and sprinkle with chocolate and hazelnuts, swirling into the tapioca. Chill in the refrigerator.