November 01, 2011

As soon as the weather begins to turn cold, I immediately start craving comfort foods. I absolutely love fall foods—apple crisp, sweet potato pie, pumpkin-spice lattes, turkey stuffing, and thick, creamy soups—but I don’t love the extra calories that come with them. I can't bear to cut these recipes out of my diet, so I've slimmed down some of my fall favorites by incorporating low-calorie seasonal produce and spices to pump up the flavor while cutting the calories.

Sweet-Potato-Spice Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sweet potato purée
2 eggs
1/3 cup soy (or cow's) milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix well.

3. Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray (or use liners). Pour batter evenly into muffin cups.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Apple-Crisp Smoothie
Makes 1

Ingredients:
1 medium apple
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. maple syrup
3 or 4 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Slice apple into small pieces and add to microwave-safe bowl.

2. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and microwave for 90 seconds.

3. Once apples are finished cooking, add them and the remaining ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.

Getty Images

Pumpkin-Spice Latte
Makes 1

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
2 tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Combine soy milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin-pie spice, and vanilla extract in a microwave-safe mug. Whisk together and microwave for 60 seconds.

2. Add soy milk mixture to coffee and mix well. Sweeten as desired.

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