Can you read?

My family is filled with great cooks. Actually, that’s a lie, my mom, my brother, and my oldest sister are GREAT cooks. The other three of us kids did not get the gene. My mom always told me, “if you can read, you can cook.” I guess I cannot read, because cooking is a different nature to me. I am great at the things I can make, oatmeal, cookies, and preparing salads is what I do best. For example, a couple weeks ago I was asked to make bruschetta for my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday party. I prepared my bruschetta and asked my sister why it just did not seem right, and what I learned is that when making bruschetta from canned tomatoes, one should drain the can first. Whoops. How was I supposed to know?!? That was not in the directions! All of this being said, cooking or baking is still a fun challenge for me, especially around holidays. I thought it would be fun to post some alternative health conscious desserts for you to try. And like my mom said… if you can read, you can cook.

Sweet Potato Pudding

Makes 4 servings (2/3 cup per serving)
1 1/3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potato
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 teaspoon salt (omit if on a low-sodium diet)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup egg substitute
16 ounces evaporated skim milk
Cooking spray

Combine sweet potato and the next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Add milk; mix well. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° F for 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. (For individual servings, pour 2/3 cup potato mixture into each of 4 custard cups. Bake at 375° F for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.) Let pudding cool. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Everyone’s favorite, but Healthier — Pumpkin Pie


  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water
  • Filling
  • 1 15-ounce can unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. To prepare crust: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling the butter, until it’s light brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. Stir in oil. Slowly stir the butter-oil mixture into the dry ingredients with a fork until the dough is crumbly. Gradually stir in ice water, adding enough so the dough holds together and feels moist. Press the dough into a flattened disk.
  2. Overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface, place the dough in the center and cover with 2 more overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Remove the top sheets and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Remove the remaining plastic wrap. Fold the dough under at the rim and crimp or flute the edge (see Tip).
  3. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
  4. To prepare filling & assemble pie: Whisk pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Add condensed milk and eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  5. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake until the filling is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes more. (Cover the crust edges with foil if they are browning too quickly.) Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

visit and you can find endless healthier alternatives to the Thanksgiving desserts you love!



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