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4 Crustless Pumpkin Treats That Are 200 Calories or Less

4 Crustless pumpkin treats that are 175 calories or less!

I’m obsessed with pumpkin pie. Confession: I once ate an entire pumpkin pie by myself in one sitting. For breakfast.

Apparently, I’m not the only person obsessed with pumpkin pie. Libby’s (the largest pumpkin grower in the U.S.) estimates that 50 million pumpkin pies are consumed in the U.S. each year. What really impresses me is that over 10,000 slices of pumpkin pie were tracked onMyPlate, LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker during this week last November. Logging in on the holidays to input your holiday dessert indulgences shows your commitment.

If you are among the people tracking your food on Thanksgiving and other holidays, I applaud you! (Since the American Council on Exercise reports that the average American consumes 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat in the Thanksgiving Day meal, being mindful and tracking what you eat is a great way to keep your calories at a more sensible level and avoid holiday weight gain.)
Though it’s true that pumpkin is a healthy food choice (pumpkins and canned pumpkin are loaded with vitamin A and fiber, and they are fairly low in calories on their own), the items that are often combined with pumpkin in seasonal recipes (graham cracker crusts! whipped cream! sugar!) are precisely the types of foods I aim to avoid putting into my mouth.

If my relationship with pumpkin pie was described in Facebook terms, this Thanksgiving I would probably need to update our relationship status to the ever-popular “It’s complicated.” The reason? I fought hard to lose 20 pounds (see my “Before” and “After” photos), and I don’t want to gain the weight all back by attaching pumpkin pies to my thighs!

Like the aforementioned pumpkin pie that I once ate for breakfast, seasonal pumpkin-flavored foods are also not quite as low in calories as the pumpkin itself. Just look into the the caloric and macronutrient and sugars contained in the popular pumpkin flavored items popping up on menus and in stores everywhere.

From Trader Joe’s Greek Nonfat Pumpkin Yogurt (190 calories, 29 grams of carbs and 23 grams of sugar) to Pumpkin Spice Gelato (220 calories and 20 grams of sugar), to the sugar-laden Starbucks Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte (310 calories and 50 g rams of sugar!), we’re all just one pumpkin latte a day away from gaining 4-5 pounds in the 40 days left of 2015.

In the interest of indulging in some pumpkin desserts this Thanksgiving without transforming my body into the shape of a pumpkin, I’ve created four pumpkin recipes that are 175 calories or less and cut down on the sugar. One recipe adds protein (for those of you who are always aiming to add more protein to your diets) and another recipe removes the dairy entirely, because vegans (and their friends) should be able to enjoy pumpkin desserts unadulterated by dairy products or gelatin!

These four pumpkin treats have no crust because who needs crust, really, when you have pumpkin?! A bite of crust is a bite of wasted calories because I’d really rather have another bite of pumpkin goodness.

My pumpkin pie pudding

My pumpkin pie pudding / PHOTO: Christopher Strimbu

This is a healthier pumpkin dessert with 171 calories, 2 grams of fat, 13 grams of sugar, 21 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein. It’s lower in sugar than your average pumpkin pie. And it’s just as delicious. The sweetness of the pumpkin won’t disappoint.

View the recipe LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: Approximately 6 ounces

* 2 cups milk
* 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 2 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
* 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Whisk milk, sugar, and cornstarch in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
2. Boil three minutes, whisking constantly.
3. Beat eggs with a whisk in a large bowl.
4. Gradually add half the hot milk mixture to the beaten eggs. Return milk-egg mixture to pan.
5. Cook over medium heat three minutes, or until thick, whisking constantly.
6. Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice.
7. Spoon evenly into six (6-ounce) custard cups. Let cool, and chill for about 30 minutes, or until pudding is set.

Protein pumpkin pie

Protein pumpkin pie

If you’re looking to triple your protein intake in your dessert course, choose this version, which is a high-protein, low sugar, low fat version of pumpkin pie. One serving has 161 calories, 2 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein, and 17 grams of sugar. It’s not overly sweet, doesn’t have a crust, and should definitely not be confused with a sinful high-calorie slice of regular pumpkin pie.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 70 minutes
Serves: 6
Yield: 1 8×8 pan

* 15 ounces organic pumpkin pumpkin
* 4 tablespoons light agave nectar
* 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
* 8 ounces organic silken lite extra firm tofu
* 1/2 cup egg whites
* 1 jumbo egg
* 1 teaspoon coconut oil
* 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon cloves

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and grease 8-by-8 Pyrex pan with coconut oil.
2. Mix all ingredients together in blender until smooth.
3. Pour into pan and spread evenly.
4. Cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees and cook for another 55 minutes.
5. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Pumpkin custard

It’s only fair that vegans (and their friends) should be able to enjoy pumpkin desserts unadulterated by dairy products or gelatin. One serving contains 146 calories, 7 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, and 13 grams of sugar. (If you want to remove two grams of fat, don’t add the walnuts on top.)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Serves: 8
Serving Size: Approximately 6 ounces

* 3 cups coconut milk
* 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
* 1/4 cup light agave syrup
* 8 large half walnuts
* 2 1/2 tablespoons organic dark brown sugar
* 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 teaspoons agar agar flakes (agar is found in the Asian foods section of the grocery store, near other sea vegetables such as wakame)
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger (ground)
* 1/4 teaspoon cloves
* Dash of salt

1. Whisk all ingredients (except walnuts) together in a medium-sized pan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes.
3. Divide mixture between eight (6-ounce) custard cups.
4. Place walnuts on top
5. Cool in refrigerator at least two hours before serving.


Spicy Pumpkin yogurt

Spicy Pumpkin yogurt

Since there are 23 grams of sugar in Trader Joe’s pumpkin yogurt, I figured I might be able to “create” my own version that is more spicy and that tastes better and is lower in sugar. And I succeeded! This version is delicious, and has only 147 calories, 3 grams of fat (0 grams of fat if you choose to remove the walnuts on top), 24 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, and 16 grams of sugar.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1
Serving Size: Approximately 6 ounces

* 1 6 ounce container plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I chose The Greek Gods yogurt)
* 1 tablespoon pumpkin butter
* 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon cloves

1. Mix the pumpkin butter in with your yogurt.
2. Sprinkle walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves on top.
3. Enjoy!

If you love pumpkin as much as I do, be sure to check out these other recipes:

Gluten-Free 2-Minute Paleo Pumpkin Microwave Muffins
125-Calorie Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte


Readers — Do you love pumpkin spiced treats too? Have you tried any of these recipes? How did they turn out? Do you have other favorite pumpkin recipes? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Jess Barron is LIVESTRONG.COM’s Editor-in-Chief. Read some of her other health and fitness articles here. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer’s Market food, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. Some of her favorite workout routines include running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, STRONGER and mixed martial arts. Jess’s writing can also be found at Poprocks.com. She has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Most,” ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on Wired.com and Yahoo!

Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdandy. Also, you can add her on Google+, and follow her on Pinterest.

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