FN's Top Recipes, Lightened Up: #4 Paula's Pumpkin Bars

by in Healthy Recipes, Meal Makeovers, January 18, 2010

Paula's Pumpkin Bars
These delectable bars were number four on Food Network’s Top 50 Recipes of 2009. Here are a few simple tips to slim them down without using lower-fat ingredients (seriously!).

Guiltless Pleasure
This fan favorite recipe uses canned pumpkin, which adds moisture and flavor without much fat. Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene and the antioxidant lutein, which keep your eyes, skin and heart healthy.

Our Tips For A Lighter Version
For the bars, swap in canola oil instead of vegetable oil to make the fat more heart healthy.

For the icing, you could turn to low-fat cream cheese. Yes, this will skim off about 10 calories and a few grams of fat per bar, but to slim these babies down even more, there are two other options:

1. Simply half the icing recipe — this will save you about 50 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates and 10 milligrams of cholesterol per bar (based on 24 bars).


2. Save the same amount of calories as above by decreasing portions — make 48 bars (instead of 24).

Get the original recipe »

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Comments (15)

  1. Sarah says:

    what about replacing some of the whole eggs with egg whites?

  2. Kiersti says:

    I usually replace oil in my baking with applesauce and get better results that the original. My bakery items are more moist and the applesauce adds to the sweetness of the dish. I bet replacing a full CUP of oil in this recipe with applesauce would "healthy-up" this recipe significantly. Shoot – even replacing just half the oil with applesauce would make a huge impact.

  3. Sarah says:

    Good ideas but the post says how to "slim them down without using lower-fat ingredients ." Egg whites and apple sauce would be lower-fat ingredients.

  4. Bon says:

    The post also says you can swap regular regular cream cheese for low fat cream cheese in the icing. So the writer even subtituted low fat ingredients for higher fat ones. Unless you eat smaller portions or omit ingredients you kind of have to do substitutions to alter the fat and calories.

  5. DJbaker says:

    My concern is that is a lot of sugar, it says 1 & 2/3's cup of granulated sugar. When I make this I will cut it back to 1 cup at least.

  6. Florida girl says:

    I understood the "without using lower fat ingredients" to mean not reduced fat copies of original ingredients (like low fat or fat free cream cheese), I don't consider replacing oil with applesauce to be the same, it's not artificial, just smarter.

  7. Kris says:

    you can use Agave syrup for the sugar, 1/4c syrup = 1c sugar :) you all need too lighten up! if you really want to cut the fat etc. don't make them!

  8. Brett Hoger says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.Keep working ,great job!

  9. Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it’s not a much.

  10. Whereas this subject could be very touchy for most people, my opinion is that there must be a middle or common floor that all of us can find. I do admire that youve added relevant and clever commentary right here though.

  11. tamidor says:

    Hi Sarah,
    If you're looking to cut the cholesterol, I find that egg substitute work better than egg whites in these type of recipes. You would use 1/4 cup of egg substitute for each large egg. Let us know how it turns out. Enjoy!

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