Holidays can be challenging when it comes to eating healthy, especially when you consider dessert. Pumpkin pie for example seems healthy- it’s made from a vegetable, right? However with that flaky crust and rich pumpkin filling even this “healthy” choice has 260 calories and 11 grams of fat (for a small 1/6 of a frozen pie, 4.4oz). Add to that a little whipped topping (25 calories and 1.5g of fat- if you only use 2 TBSP) and you realize that it might put you over your calorie budget (if you have one)… especially if you have to try “just a bite” of all of the other dessert options.
In addition to nutrition the pomegranate arils add a gratifying “crunch” to this dish… without adding as much fat as nuts or other options.
Pumpkin Pomegranate Parfaits
8oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar plus 2 TBSP packed brown sugar
1 29oz can 100%pure pumpkin
2 cups plain fat free Greek style yogurt
4 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large pomegranates, “cleaned”
For pumpkin layer: Beat cream cheese until smooth, add salt, spices, and sugar. Mix thoroughly and blend in pumpkin.
For cream layer: In a separate bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, and extract.
Open pomegranate and remove “arils” (they look like ruby red corn kernels). It is easiest to clean them in a bowl of water so the arils can sink and the pith will float. In a pretty clear glass bowl or cup place about ¼ cup of the pumpkin, then 2 TBSP of the yogurt, then a layer of pomegranate arils. Repeat the layers one more time and chill covered until ready to serve. If you prefer you can also layer everything in one large clear glass bowl. Serves 8.