PB&J Smoothie


A few days ago my daughter and I visited a smoothie shop that recently opened in our neighborhood. While their fare was delightful (and I wish them the best of luck with their business), I walked away calculating how I could make similar drinks that could cost less in dollars and calories.

My childhood love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches has not diminished in adulthood. This smoothie uses frozen fruit and peanut powder to infuse this drink with PB&J flavor with less fat and added sugar.

This time I used frozen grapes, but almost any fruit that freezes well would work in this recipe. I froze these grapes myself almost four months ago, and they are still holding up well in my freezer. After rinsing and drying them, I plucked them from their stems and packed them in freezer bags. Once frozen, they are great in smoothies and homemade sorbet. I suppose they could also be used in place of ice cubes in cold drinks.

PB&J Smoothie

Makes one serving

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen sliced banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen grapes (plus a few more for garnish)
  • 3 T peanut powder

Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth. Serve topped with a few frozen grapes.


Guilt Free Pumpkin Pie

Crustless – No Sugar Added – 63 calories a slice

Today I devoted time to the challenge of cutting as many empty calories as possible from a pumpkin pie. The crust was the first component I eliminated because I do not want to bother with a crust unless it is flaky and indulgent, which ran counter to the goal I had in mind for this dessert. I also substituted sugar with granulated no-calorie Splenda that measures just like sugar. I’ve made fruit cobblers and pie filling with this sweetener before without a loss in taste or texture, and it also performed well in this recipe. If you prefer your pumpkin pie very sweet, you may wish to add a tablespoon or two in addition to the cup listed in this recipe.

I worried that it would fail to set without a crust, flowing like orange lava onto our plates. I’m pleased to report that this diet pie is slice worthy (sliced into squares, at least). I did not use standard pumpkin pie spice in this recipe because I do not like nutmeg. Free feel to use your favorite combination of pumpkin pie spices in this recipe.

Guilt Free Pumpkin Pie

12 servings

  • 15 oz can solid pack pumpkin
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Splenda granulated sweetener
  • 2 t cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9″x9″ pan with cooking spray. Put canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sweetener, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Mix at low speed or stir for one minute until well combined. Pour into pan and sprinkle additional cinnamon on top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.


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