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YIELDS:

2 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 0 mins

TOTAL TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

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INGREDIENTS

1 Cup pumpkin puree
1 Cup Fat-Free Cottage cheese
1/2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Tbsp. Sugar-free maple syrup
1 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pinch of Kosher salt
4 Tbsp. Sugar-free whipped cream
2 Graham Crackers, crushed
2 Tsp. Walnuts, chopped and toasted
Ground cinnamon, to finish

DIRECTIONS

1) In a food processor or blender, mix together the pumpkin, cottage cheese, vanilla, maple syrup, pinch of salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. There should be no lumps.

2) In two small parfait or dessert glasses, add one layer of the pumpkin mixture, then top each glass with half of the crushed graham crackers, then a final layer of the pumpkin mixture. Top each glass with two tablespoons of whipped cream, a sprinkle of nuts and a dusting of cinnamon. Enjoy.

NOTES:  My healthy and lightened up Pumpkin Parfaits are going to become one of your go-to desserts.  Made with unexpected ingredients like fat-free cottage cheese and sugar-free maple syrup, you might not be expecting a great hit of flavor.  But, let me tell you when this is whipped up with some vanilla, gets a layer of graham cracker crumbs, and is topped fresh whipped cream, some toasted crunchy walnuts and a dusting of cinnamon, you get the most delicious, light and fluffy dessert that you won’t believe it is actually good for you!

While I serve this as a dessert, this easily make a great breakfast or brunch item too.  You get a serious dose of protein in the cottage cheese and a full serving of a vegetable in each serving.  Let’s not forget the heart-healthy walnuts on top!  For any one that would prefer to substitute full fat cottage cheese or real maple syrup, go right ahead.  You won’t hurt my feelings and the taste will still be incredible.

A couple of tips on making these healthy parfaits:

.  Make sure you completely blend the ingredients in a blender or food processor.  You want to completely break down the cottage cheese.  Most of the people that THINK they don’t like cottage cheese, really just don’t like the texture.  By blending cottage cheese until smooth, you are just left with a creamy fluffy mousse-like mixture that doesn’t taste or look like cottage cheese.  This really is a pumpkin mousse parfait.

.  Since you are only using a teaspoon of chopped nuts on each parfait, make sure you chop them fine and toast them to bring out the most flavor possible.  As far as I’m concerned, a pumpkin parfait tastes better with a little crunch and walnuts do that in this recipe.  Feel free to substitute your favorite nut for the walnuts.  Chopped peanuts, cashews or sliced almonds would be great.

.  I used aerosol sugar-free whipped cream in this dish.  Feel free to use your own whipped cream or other topping, or omit it completely if you don’t want to use it. If I’m serving this for breakfast, I often omit the whipped cream and add extra nuts.  If using, I add it right before serving.

.  I recommend chilling the pumpkin mousse filling for at least an hour, and up to overnight, before serving.  This tastes so much better when it is very cold.  These pumpkin pie parfaits are perfect as a Thanksgiving dessert…keep that in mind next year!

.  Assemble the dish up to an hour before serving (just the pumpkin and graham cracker layers).  Finish with the whipped cream, nuts and cinnamon right before servings so it looks as fabulous as it tastes.

NOTE:  If you wanted this to be more like a no bake cheesecake parfait, you can add two tablespoons of light cream cheese to thicken up the pumpkin filling.  Just add that to the blender when mixing (make sure it is room temperature).  This will give you pumpkin cheesecake parfaits.

To get started on this very simple recipe, gather all your ingredients.  Next, In a food processor or blender, mix together the pumpkin, cottage cheese, vanilla, maple syrup, pinch of salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. There should be no lumps.

In two small parfait or dessert glasses, add one layer of the pumpkin mixture, then top each glass with half of the crushed graham crackers, then a final layer of the pumpkin mixture. Top each glass with two tablespoons of whipped cream, a sprinkle of nuts and a dusting of cinnamon.  It couldn’t be easier.  If you like pumpkin, be sure to try my Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Walnut Crust, my Pumpkin Caramel Dip and my Bourbon, Maple & Pumpkin Coffee (One of my favorite adult beverages!)

Looking for other lightened up dessert options?  Be sure to try some of these too:

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Protein Bars

Balsamic Pear and Macadamia Bites

Almond Milk Pistachio Ice Cream

Spelt and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies