It’s that time of year again when we’re really getting into the Halloween spirit with Halloween parties, Trunk-or-Treats, and getting ready for the big night of trick-or-treating for all of the little ones! This pumpkin fluff recipe is my go to Halloween party recipe because it is quick and easy to make and it contains all of those fall flavors we love so much! You’ll notice that I used heavy cream and not a lighter whipped topping that you can buy pre-whipped in a tub. I’m a dietitian, why would I not use the lighter whipped topping? This is because most of those pre-whipped toppings in the tub contain trans fat and high fructose corn syrup.

Trans fat is a man made fat to turn a liquid fat, such as oil, into a solid fat, such as margarine, and can be found on the ingredients list as “hydrogenated oil”. Consumption of trans fat significantly increases risk of heart disease. On the other hand, heavy whipping cream is high in fat and saturated fat, however, new research shows that saturated fat intake may not have as significant of an effect on heart disease as we once thought.

Heavy whipping cream may be higher in fat and calories, but it has no trans fat. The benefit of higher fat is that it will fill you up more quickly and will keep you fuller longer. This may help curb your appetite and you will most likely eat fewer calories throughout the day. With this being said, I know that higher fat/higher calories is not for everyone. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to food and when choosing the foods we eat we have to keep in mind our health goals. Some of us may want to lose weight, so using the lower calorie/lower fat pre-whipped alternative may be better to use than the full fat heavy cream. Ultimately the decision is yours, but at least now it will be an informed decision based on your overall health goals.

Pre-whipped topping in a tub nutrition:

Serving Size: 2 Tbs

Calories: 25

Fat: 2 grams

Saturated Fat: 2 grams

Total Carbohydrates: 2 grams

Sugar: 2 grams

Heavy whipping cream nutrition:

Serving Size: 2 Tbs

Calories: 50

Fat: 6 grams

Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams

Total Carbohydrate: 0.6 grams

Sugar: 0 grams

Example of ingredients in pre-whipped topping in a tub: Water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, skim milk, light cream and less than 2% sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate and beta carotene (as a coloring).

Example of ingredients in heavy whipping cream: Heavy Cream, Skim Milk, Contains less than 1% of the following: Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80, Carrageenan.

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Pumpkin Fluff

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2-3 tsp liquid Stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip heavy cream until light and fluffy and set aside in separate bowl.
  2. Blend cream cheese and pumpkin puree until smooth with stand or hand mixer.
  3. Add heavy cream (now whipped cream), salt, pumpkin pie spice, Stevia, and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and whip until incorporated. Tastes best after chilling for about an hour. Serve with apples, graham cracker, or other dipping treat of your choice!