The secret for creating a delicious low-calorie dessert

What if I told you that you could eat a decadent tasting pie that was not only low in calories, but loaded with fiber, antioxidants, potassium and folate?


It may sound too good to be true, but the butternut squash pie that I made this week was delicious and healthy. I was craving something sweet and the Girl Scout cookies I had in my pantry were calling my name. As much as I would like to sit down and eat the entire box of Samoas, bathing suit season is coming up.


I scavenged my pantry, looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth to no avail. I did however see a box of Fiber One Caramel Squares cereal and a frozen block of butternut squash, so I decided to get creative. The secret to losing weight and keeping it off is to create delicious, decadent foods that satisfy you without making you feel deprived. No one can stick to a diet if they feel deprived.


Butternut squash is a staple in my house. After reading every Hungry Girl book, I’m no stranger to the miracle of butternut squash.


Butternut squash has 10,630 IU vitamin A per 100 grams, which is 354 percent of our recommended daily value (RDA.) Butternut squash is also filled with poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. Butternut squash is also loaded with vitamin C, E, K, B6, folate and thiamin. Even though butternut squash as no fat, it has more than 30 micrograms of omega-3 fatty acids and over 22 mcg of omega-6 fatty acids. Butternut squash is an excellent weight loss food because of the high fiber content and low calories.


I used frozen Bird’s Eye Butternut Squash in this recipe, which is great because it is available year-round and it is already pureed for you. Simply heat it up in the microwave for five minutes and you have the perfectlyu pureed butternut squash. Try out this healthy butternut squash pie recipe that I made up and let me know what you think.


Stacy’s Healthy Butternut Squash Pie


Filling Ingredients

  • One 12-ounce box Birds Eye Cooked Winter Squash
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¾ cup Splenda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


Crust Ingredients



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cereal, butter, applesauce and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until combined.


Spray 9-inch pie pan with nonfat cooking spray and press crust mixture in pan.


Combine filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into pie crust and bake for 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with a dollop of fat-free whipped topping.


Let me know if you try out the recipe! For more low-calorie recipes, check out my new book Culinary Duct Tape: Greek Yogurt: Just as versatile, not as tacky, available now on Amazon!

Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip and the Health Benefits of Cloves

This is for all of my friends who asked for this Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip recipe after I posted on Facebook last night. I made one mistake on my Facebook post though – this dip doesn’t have 80 calories a serving, it only has 52 calories a serving! This pumpkin apple spice dip is the BEST dip I’ve ever made. It’s so good that it doesn’t even need to be eaten as a dip, you can just eat it by the spoonful, which I have to admit, I did.

We had friends over last night while we watched the Steelers playoff game and I made this amazing dip as an appetizer. I liked it so much, that when my husband brought out the Apple Brown Betty pie that he bought from Fresh Market, I opted for a spoonful of this dip instead.

Did I mention that not only does this dip taste amazing, but it is chockfull of good-for-you ingredients, including apples, pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves? All for only has 52 calories a serving. I have to give Hungry Girl credit for this amazing recipe. If you haven’t heard of Hungry Girl, go to and sign up for her newsletter – she has the most amazing healthy versions of typically calorie-laden foods.

I want to share the recipe with you, but first I wanted to talk a little about the health benefits of cloves. Cloves made the top 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth list for their medicinal properties. Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. They resemble little nails and their name is actually derived from the Latin word clavus, which means nail. Cloves have been consumed in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Back in 200 BC Chinese men would keep cloves in their mouths to keep their breath fresh when courting women. In Asian medicine cloves are thought to be among the spices that promote energy circulation and increase in metabolic rate.

Cloves are best known for their antiseptic and anesthetic properties. The next time you have a toothache try putting a little dab of clove oil on your gums. The pain dissipates almost immediately and clove oil works better than any over-the-counter product I’ve found. You will also notice clove oil in some over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.

Cloves contain significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which is known to help kill bacteria and viruses. Eugenol is also an anti-inflammatory and contains a variety of flavonoids, kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to cloves’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cloves are also an excellent source of manganese, fiber, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids.

So when you eat this dip you’ll know that you are not only getting the amazing antioxidant power of apples, the potassium and fiber punch from pumpkin, blood sugar stabilizing cinnamon, but also the metabolic boost of cloves. All of that in a Super bowl party snack? Try out this recipe and please post back on this blog and let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear if you love it as much as I do!

Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip (recipe from Hungry Girl 200 under 200 cookbook)


  • One 8-ounce container fat-free cool whip
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 small box sugar-free fat-free instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda
  • 2 teaspoons fat-free caramel dip
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves


  1. Place apples in bowl with ¼ cup water. Microwave for 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, drain water.
  2. Place ½ cup cold water in small saucepan. Add Splenda, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Bring saucepan to medium-high heat, and then add caramel dip. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Then add apples and stir until mixed. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and cloves and remaining vanilla extract into the fat-free cool whip.
  5. In a large bowl, combine sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding with the pumpkin and stir well. Fold in the cool whip until completely blended. Refrigerate.
  6. Once the caramel apples are cold, stir them into the pumpkin mixture.
  7. Serve with sliced apples or cinnamon rice cakes.