Thursday, September 11, 2014

Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


Before I talk about today's recipe I want to remember 9/11.  Today is September 11, a date in history our country will never forget. Even 13 years after the tragic event most people can remember exactly where they were on the dreadful day in 2001.

I was sitting in a college classroom at Oklahoma State University for my sophomore year of college when we first heard the news of the plane striking the building in downtown New York City.  I remember walking back from class and going to my apartment to watch the newscast broadcast in my apartment with my roommates.  At that time I was across the United States from New York (in fact had never even been to New York) and not sure I completely understood what was going on in New York City. My only direct connection to the tragedy was my older brother resided in NYC. It took hours for my family to get in touch with him, but we finally learned that both he and my sister-in-law were safe at home.

At the time of September 11, 2001 I never imagined my future connection to the devastating site. Fast forward to 2003 and 2004, my first visit to New York City and the year I decided to move there.  Actually I did not only move to New York City, but I moved to the financial district, only blocks away from the historic site. Not until I first visited and moved to NYC did I realize the magnitude of 9/11.  Each year on 9/11, while I resided in the neighborhood, I would walk by the events and displays set up to remember the lives lost on this day. Viewing the destructed site, hearing first hand stories, and seeing the remembrance of the lives lost was beyond heartbreaking.

While I no longer live in NYC, I will never forgot 9/11.  Prior to my departure from the "Big Apple" I was apple to visit the site and have shared the pictures below.

In honor of September 11, I am thrilled to share today's recipe of Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.  I came across a similar recipe on Pinterest from Justapinch.com and decided to try it out (with a few modifications) for some friends we had over for dinner.  This delicious recipe is a perfect way to enjoy a pumpkin flavored sweet treat for fewer calories.  Not only is the recipe low in calories and nearly fat free, but is super simple to prepare.


The original recipe is not terribly sweet so I added a bit of confectioners sugar, but if you are trying to save every last calorie you could certainly skip this ingredient.  If you are not a huge fan of angel food cake flavoring (you can certainly taste the flavor) consider using a yellow cake mix + egg instead.  I plan on also trying that version and will let you know!


The pumpkin recipes are only starting!

Enjoy!
Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith

Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients (12 squares)
  • 1 box angel food cake mix (you could also try a box of yellow cake mix + egg)
  • 1- 15oz can Pumpkin
  • 3/4 Cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz non fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (optional, can make without depending how sweet you want to make it)
  • 2 teaspoons water or enough water to make yogurt mixture able to drizzle
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit; spray a 9" x 13" glass dish with non-stick spray
2. In a small bowl cream together the cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners sugar, and 2 teaspoons water
3. In a separate medium bowl mix together cake mix, pumpkin, water (3/4 cup), cinnamon, pumpkin spice
4. Add half of the cake mixture to the glass dish and smooth with a rubber spatula; drizzle half of the cream cheese over the top and use another spatula to smooth over top; add remaining cake-pumpkin mixture and smooth again with spatula; drizzle remaining cream cheese mixture; using a sharp knife gently swirl through batter to form a marble design.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Nutrition:
Serving size: 1/12 • Servings: 12 • Calories: 187.8 kcal • Protein: 4.1 g • Carbs: 39.1 g • Fat: 1.8 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 27.5 g • Sodium: 341.5 mg
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