Recipe Makeovers

Lighter, healthier, but just as tasty: See how we made over these favorite dishes.

Revamped Holiday Dishes

We’ve improved the dietary profiles of three readers’ favorites.

Pumpkin Bread

Randy Mayor

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The Reader: Lucy Kaiser, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, registered nurse

The Recipe: Pumpkin–Honey Beer Quick Bread

The Story: An avid baker, Kaiser was immediately intrigued by this pumpkin bread recipe made with honey-flavored beer. She often prepares quick breads to pack in lunches, and this recipe, with its combination of mildly sweet pumpkin, flaxseed, and warm spices, became an instant favorite.

The Dilemma: With one cup canola oil, three cups sugar, and four eggs, each hearty slice contained a hefty 240 calories and 10 grams of fat. Although only one gram of fat was saturated, the total fat was nearly one-sixth of the daily amount recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) for a 2,000-calorie diet, and the calories were high for a quick bread.

The Solution: First we reduced the amount of oil by one-third, which shaved nearly 25 calories and three grams of fat per slice. We replaced two eggs with egg substitute, halving the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol. Incorporating one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves) with the original amount of cinnamon enhanced the delicate pumpkin taste. With less fat to mellow such potent flavors, we cut three tablespoons of assertive flaxseed.

The Feedback: Kaiser thinks the lightened version is every bit as good as the original. She also notes the bread is pleasantly moist and has a “well-balanced” flavor with the revised spice combination. 

Before | After
Calories per serving
241 | 194
10.2g | 6.5g
Percent of total calories
38 percent | 30 percent 


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