Don’t be scared – These Pumpkin Halloween Cookies won’t give you a Calorie Fright!

Halloween is in only six days, which means six spooky days of Halloween treats and goodies!

I will post six healthy Halloween recipes, one each day until Halloween! Also, don’t forget to buy Guilt-Free Cupcakes: Indulge without the bulge for more healthy Halloween recipes! You can buy the book for only $3.99 on the Kindle or download as an ebook directly on my website! Just click “Add to my cart” in the right column!  It will also be available in the iBook store and Nook next week!


Halloween can be a scary time, not just because of ghosts and goblins, but also because of the calories in your favorite holiday goodies!


I read an article today on SparkPeople that called out the top five surprisingly high calories Halloween treats.


I knew that fun sized candy bars weren’t exactly “fun” for the waistline and that candy apples aren’t considered a health food, but to find out that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has 410 calories – that is enough to make me scream in fright! If I am going to consume over 400 calories, it better be in the form of a hot fudge brownie sundae!


Pumpkin breads, cookies and scones also made the list, but I have an easy solution to that problem….make your own!


I made my own recipe for a chocolate chip pumpkin cookie and they are not only delicious, but healthy too! These cookies are chockfull of pumpkin, which provides antioxidants, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. One cup of pumpkin has only 26 calories, but has 246 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A, 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber. Pumpkin is also an excellent source of zeaxanthin, which is an antioxidant that helps the eyes. Pumpkin is also rich in minerals, including copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.


I recently joined Weight Watchers and I created this recipe in the “My Recipe” builder tool and calculated only 3 points per serving! Not too bad for a deliciously decadent cookie!


Stacy’s Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Cookies



  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Sucanat
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • ½ cup walnuts



  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line with silpat.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and Greek yogurt in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add pumpkin and mix until just combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture, being careful not to over mix. Gently stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.


Let me know if you try these and if you like them!



Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Are you looking for a quick and easy breakfast idea that will fit into a raw and vegan lifestyle? Then you’ve got to try these Vegan Oatmeal Cookies that I made yesterday! I was running low on groceries this week and I don’t have time to make it to the store, so I raided my pantry for a quick and easy breakfast for my kids before summer camp. I found one lone bag of dates, a couple of overripe bananas, a bit of applesauce left in a jar in the back of the fridge and oatmeal. I blended it all together in my food processor and the result is delicious! These are completely vegan and will fit into a raw food diet. I did not add any sugar, yet they taste sweet. Dates are naturally sweet and are known as nature’s candy. My kids love them and I threw a few in their lunch for camp today. Chock-full of fiber, this sweet treat is actually good for them!

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think:

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free applesauce

Process the oats in a food processor until it turns into a fine powder. Add the remainder of the ingredients and process until combined. Drop heaping teaspoons of the mixture on a baking sheet at bake at 350 for 11 minutes.


For more vegan and raw recipes, visit fellow mommy bloggger, Samantha Gibbs at ColorWheel Meals. Do we have any vegans reading this blog? Can you share some vegan recipes?

Dreamy Creamy Healthy Banana Spilt

A heat wave is taking the country by storm, but no need to succumb to high calorie, fat-laden ice cream to cool off. Indulge in this decadent banana spilt to satisfy your sweet tooth and beat the heat. At the risk of being called blasphemous for creating a banana spilt ice cream without true “ice cream,” I think this banana spilt hits the spot. I replaced the ice cream with nonfat Greek yogurt for a creamy, lower-calore, lower-sugar, protein packed dessert! Top it off with fresh produce from the farmer’s market and you have a dessert worthy to take a seat at the breakfast table. I created this recipe for my new cookbook, Culinary Duct Tape: The Magic of Greek Yogurt, which will I will offer as an e-book very soon! Let me know if you are interested in ordering a copy and I’ll put you on the pre-order waiting list.

Banana Split

•1 banana

•3 Tablespoons Greek nonfat yogurt

•3 of each raspberries, blueberries and cherries

•2 teaspoons sugar-free chocolate syrup


Slice banana in half lengthwise. Place in dish and top with three tablespoons of greek yogurt. Top each scoop of yogurt with berries. Drizzle with sugar-free chocolate syrup.


My kids absolutely loved this and felt extra special eating it from a banana spilt dessert dish. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Healthy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

This weekend my home town, Fort Mill, celebrated with their 2nd annual strawberry festival. My son sang with the school choir at the festival (well, actually he lip synched because he felt embarrassed) and my daughter had her picture in The Herald while petting a sheep at the petting zoo.

Between the strawberry recipe contest and the fresh strawberries sold on site, the focus of the event is all about the strawberries. Fort Mill is home to Springs Farm, which has the BEST strawberries. I feel so lucky that we have a strawberry field right across the street from our neighborhood. This weekend we plan to “pick-our-own” strawberries, and I will blog about the experience, but today I wanted to provide you guys with an amazing homemade strawberry ice cream recipe.

We picked up a gallon of freshly picked strawberries and set out to make our own homemade ice cream. I love ice cream, but most store-bought ice cream is either full of fat, calories or chemicals. They get their flavor from extracts rather than fresh fruit, so their nutritional value is minimal.

My homemade strawberry ice cream recipe is extremely simple with only four ingredients and the focus is on the fruit

And when you hear the health benefits of strawberries, you will want the focus to be on the fruit. Strawberries have the 3rd highest level of antioxidants among all U.S. foods, including spices, fruits and vegetables (based on common serving sizes.)  The polyphenols in strawberries also play a major role in regulating blood sugar. Strawberries also have anti-inflammatory properties, which contributes towards their role in lowering one’s risk of developing heart disease and cancer. One cup of strawberries has only 43 calories, 136% of daily value for vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber. Give this delicious recipe and try and let me know what you think.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 4 cups strawberries
  • 1 can fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract


Freeze the ice cream canister for several hours prior to preparing the ice cream. Hull the strawberries and puree with a hand blender. Combine milks, strawberry puree and vanilla extract. Pour into ice cream canister and prepare according to your manufacturer’s instructions.

Save time and calories – Healthy Slow Cooker Carrot Cake

I know, I know, slow cooker carrot cake doesn’t exactly sound mouth-watering, but trust me, this cake is one of the most delicious, moist, decadent cakes I’ve had in a long time. The best part – it’s healthy, low in calories & take mere minutes to make. 

This clean eating approved carrot cake is a great way to sneak vegetables into your kid’s diet. The typical store-bought carrot cake is NOT a good source of vegetables, vitamins or minerals. Rather they are filled with sugar, dehydrated carrot pieces (in very small amounts), trans fat and refined flour. This cleaned up version has one cup of freshly grated carrots, sugar-free applesauce, flaxseed and spelt flour. Parents can quickly throw these ingredients in the morning and have a delicious, hot cake waiting for them after dinner. 

Whenever I create healthy breads, cakes or treats, I use buttermilk, kefir, sugar-free applesauce or Greek yogurt to replace the fat. I also like to add flaxseed for added fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. 

Healthy Slow Cooker Carrot Cake 


  • 1 cup freshly shredded carrot
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 ¼ cups spelt flour
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup raw organic honey
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup strawberry kefir
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt 

Topping Ingredients

  • Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey 


  1. Spray a small crock-pot with non-fat cooking spray
  2. Mix flour, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, & salt in a bowl.
  3. Combine egg white, flaxseed mixed with water – Mix well.
  4. Add raw honey, applesauce, kefir and vanilla and stir until blended.
  5. Combine flour mixture and applesauce mixture, fold in carrots and raisins. Add pecans.
  6. Pour mixture into slow cooker and cover with four squares of paper towels, Bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours on low.
  7. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey

Birthday Cake Smack down

Yesterday was my birthday and I wanted to make my favorite cake: Coconut Cake. I’ve been dying to try out Tosca Reno’s Clean Eating “healthy” birthday cake recipe, but I also wanted to try out this great recipe I saw in Southern Living magazine for a Sour Cream cake with coconut frosting. What’s a girl to do? Hmmm…time for a birthday cake smackdown. Healthy/Clean-Eating Cupcakes vs. Decadent Sour Cream Cake. Who will win?

The Clean Eating cupcake used whole wheat flour, agave nectar, lemon zest, and, get this – cooked pureed carrots. The Southern Living version used a Duncan Hines white cake mix with sour cream in the mixture.

The winner is….

Clean-Eating Coconut Cupcake

Surprised? I was too! I actually cut a generous slice of the Southern Living Coconut Cake for myself and had a cupcake (hey, it’s my birthday, OK?) and I was fully expecting the Southern Living Coconut Cake to blow the Clean-Eating cupcakes out of the water. But, using a side-by-side comparison, the cake had a chemical after-taste and was too sweet. The clean-eating cupcake had a wonderful hint of lemon flavor and the carrots actually provided a delicious sweetness and texture.

In full disclosure the frosting that I used for both was not exactly “clean” BUT it was definitely healthier than the typical buttercream.  Try out the recipes and let me know what YOU think.

Clean Eating Cupcake


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cooked pureed sweet carrot
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder  


  • Preheat oven to 350°F Line a muffin tin with liners
  • In a large bowl combine egg whites, sea salt and lemon juice
  • Beat on high for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form
  • Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Add egg white mixture and fold in
  • Bake for 15 minutes

Southern Living Sour Cream Cake


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups water


  • Prepare as directed on the back of the box, except add sour cream instead of oil.
  • Pour into two cake pans and bake 10 minutes less than the directions call for (due to lack of fat,  you do not want to over bake.)

Coconut Frosting


  • 1 container light sour cream
  • 1 7 oz. bag coconut
  • ½ container fat-free cool whip
  • 1 ½ cups sugar


  • Mix sour cream, sugar and coconut together until blended well. Fold in the cool whip until combined. Refrigerate for 1 ½ hours.