Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cutting the fat and calories of your Thanksgiving dishes

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From appetizers, to turkey, sides and desserts, I think I consume more food on Thanksgiving than I do in a few days combined. When going back for seconds, why not make it a little more healthy by using a butter substitute, to cut some of the fat and calories? Country Crock Spreads contain 0g trans fat per serving and have no cholesterol per serving, so it’s easy to feel good about using them in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

One of the recipes on my Thanksgiving menu that I swapped butter for Country Crock Spread is my Spiced Maple Butter recipe, for a perfect, guilt free, way to serve bread and biscuits.



Spiced Maple Spread


Yield: 1/4 cup (double recipe for a larger portion)

Ingredients


  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) Country Crock Spread, room temperature 
  • 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon 


Directions
With an electric mixer, beat all ingredients together until well combine and fluffy. Serve with warm bread or biscuits.


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For dessert, I swapped out the butter for Country Crock Spread in the brown sugar oat streusel that tops my warm Individual Apple Crisps for a lower calorie, lower fat alternative that tastes just as incredible!


Individual Single Serving Apple Crisps 

Yield: 4 individual crisps or an 8x8 inch baking dish (cut recipe in half for 2 individual crisps or an 8x4 inch mini loaf pan)

Ingredients 

Topping:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional) 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour* 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Country Crock Spread
Apple filling: 
(If making in advance, or not baking right away, add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to the apple filling (to keep apples from browning over night).

  • 2 large granny smith apples (or tart green baking apples), peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4" slices
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons water or juice (apple, cranberry, orange, etc.)

*May sub with whole wheat flour or gluten free flour blend for a gluten free alternative

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Prepare topping:


Combine all dry topping ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in spread until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Place mixture in the refrigerator while preparing apple filling.

Prepare filling:
In medium sized bowl, mix the sugars, flour and spices together. Toss apple slices in mixture until well coated. Add vanilla and water over top of coated apples and stir.

Assemble & Bake:
Distribute coated apples between 4 ramekins (or an 8x8 inch baking dish). Remove topping mixture from the refrigerator and crumble evenly over the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 35-40 minutes, until apples are tender (but not mushy) and topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Serve them a la mode with 1 batch of my 5 Minute Homemade Ice Cream or your own favorite vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce for a finishing touch! 

Notes: Apple crisp is best served warm, right out of the oven or within a few hours. Keep covered and warm until ready to serve. If you want to prepare it ahead of time or the night before, make the topping and filling separately and keep covered in separate air tight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, or the morning of, assemble and bake as directed above. 
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