Lighter Pumpkin & Apple Pop Tarts


Sometimes being an adult is hard folks. Gone are the days when 7-year-old me could chow down on some Pop Tarts with gleeful abandon not thinking about what exactly I was putting into my body. While I stopped eating Pop Tarts many many years ago, I didn’t stop WISHING I could eat Pop Tarts, I’m looking at you Frosted Strawberry. Lucky for me this autumn my Pop Tart fixation finally came full circle when I discovered this brilliant Skinny Pop Tart recipe on The Super Sisters. A tasty Pop Tart recipe that wasn’t detrimental to one’s delicate waistline seemed too good to be true, so naturally I started baking to investigate. With a few modifications including the inclusion of pumpkin and apple filling for some fall flavored sweetness, I concluded that 7-year-old me would smile from ear-to-ear if they could try my adultified Pop Tart alternative. The best part is, these are super easy and quick to make, read on for the recipe…

Lighter Apple & Pumpkin Pop Tarts
8 Pop Tarts | Approximately 150 Calories Per Apple Pop Tart, 82 Calories Per Pumpkin Pop Tart

Apple Filling Ingredients:
* 1 Large Green Apple Finely Chopped
* 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon & Sugar Mix

Pumpkin Filling Ingredients:
* 1 Cups Canned Pumpkin
* 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
* 1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese

For The Crust:
* 8 5″x5″ Egg Roll Wrappers (I used Nasoya Brand)
* 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon Sugar to top Pumpkin Pop Tarts

Directions For Tarts:
* Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
* Get two bowls, one for each filling.
* For the apple tarts mix your finely diced apples with the cinnamon and sugar till all apple is well coated.
* For the pumpkin tarts mix cinnamon and cream cheese into the canned pumpkin.
* On a large cookie sheet or cutting board lay out egg roll wrappers one at a time and distribute the apple filling evenly between 4 of them, and the pumpkin filling evenly between the other 4.
* Keep filling confined to half of the egg roll wrapper and fold over when filled.
* Use a wet paper towel to dampen the inner edges of the folded over wrapper, then use a fork to seal the edge by indenting down each open side.
* When all wrappers are filled and sealed bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.
* Remove from oven and let cool before adding topping.
* For the Pumpkin Pop Tarts sprinkle cinnamon and sugar topping and enjoy! For the Apple Pop Tarts see below for icing recipe.

Vanilla Icing For Apple Pop Tarts:
* 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
* 1 Tablespoons Coconut Milk or Soy Milk
* 1/2 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
* 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

Directions For Toppings:
*  In a small sauce pan mix all ingredients together.
* Heat on high and mix with a spoon till icing becomes transparent.
* Remove from heat and  let cool until icing starts to harden and get a slight film over the surface.
* Drizzle over Apple Pop Tarts and enjoy!

Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2

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While it seems blasphemous to categorize this as a ‘problem’, I feel as though I’ve got to be honest…I afraid I do have a bit of a peanut butter abuse problem lately. When it comes to Reese Pieces, Peanut Butter M&Ms, or any baked good with ‘peanut butter‘ in it’s name or description, I’ve got it bad. Unfortunately for me Peanut Butter is a very caloric food, which is why I went nuts last week when I discovered the best invention of the 20th century: PB2! A low-calorie Peanut Butter alternative, made with real peanuts, PB2 is a powder that you simply mix with water to get seemingly delicious, creamy real peanut butter – but with 85% less calories than real peanut butter. Can you see why I’m swooning?

After finding out about this little culinary gem I immediately got my paws on a jar and started baking. My first endeavor with PB2? These perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies. These treats are not only low-calorie, but also vegan so long as you use vegan chocolate chips. I found that adding a little bit extra salt added to the Peanut Butter authenticity, however if you are interested in cutting back on sodium these would be just as tasty without.

Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2
Makes 30 Cookies | 91 Calories Per Cookie

*2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
*1 Cup Quick Oats
*1 Cup Sugar
*1 Cup Mashed Banana (I always mash mine with a fork)
*1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
*1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
*1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
*1/2 Teaspoon Salt
*3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
*1 Tablespoon Vanilla
*Egg Replacer Equal to 1 Egg
*8 Tablespoons PB2 + 4 Tablespoons Water

*Pre-mix your PB2 in a small bowl, set aside.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until it begins to look like thin cookie dough. Add in your PB2, the mixture should be sticky and not too thick.
*Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a large mixing spoon, spoon 30 evenly spaced out dollops onto your pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. If you enjoy chilled treats as I do, I would recommend chilling in your fridge in tupperware before enjoying, especially in the summer.

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Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

I can’t believe it’s already June, time flies when you’re having fun am-I-right? Summer in San Francisco can be pretty chilly/windy and all around deceiving as a season, so I always find myself looking for creative ways to trick myself into falling into that summer-y spirit. Along with eating lots of frozen yogurt and frequent weekend getaways to nearby warm locales, one of my favorite trickster tactics to employ is to bake fruity delights in keeping with the season. These Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies that I baked for Father’s Day is one such example.

These cookies were inspired by a freaking amazing cake I tried a few months back when I was visiting my best friend in Los Angeles to celebrate her birthday. The Lemon Early Grey cake was from this stellar local bake shop Valerie Confections which I highly recommend you try if you’re ever in the area. Although these are shortbread cookies, they only clock in at 80 calories per cookie making these vegan treats are light as well as delicious. Happy baking!

Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
Makes 30 Cookies | 80 Calories Per Cookies

*2 cups whole-wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*egg replacer equal to one egg
*2 tablespoons agave nectar
*3 teaspoons lemon juice
*tea leaves from 2 packets of Tazo Earl Grey Tea

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter which can be kneaded into cookie sized balls.
*Using your hands create 30 golf ball sized cookie dough balls and space them out evenly on a pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and use a fork to push down your cookies so they will be more flat.
*Return them to the oven for 5-7 more minutes or until slightly browned on top.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
*Optional: You can glaze these with a light vanilla glaze recipe like this one and substitute almond or soy milk and earth balance for butter if you so desire. I ended up using this recipe to glaze half my batch and it complemented the flavors very well.

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