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NUTRITIONALLY SPEAKING

Desserts for the Calorie-Conscious

November 16, 1989|TONI TIPTON

Although the holiday season isn't typically a time for undertaking a diet, there are those who continue to count calories even at this time of year. There are a few who will decide to forget the diet until after the holidays pass, then try to make up for lost time (and gained inches). Others may try skipping dessert. But is this a realistic option considering the festive mood of the holidays?

Probably not. That's why desserts that give dieters a clear conscience are in order. All the seasonal favorites here, including chocolate treats and pumpkin pie, have been trimmed to meet the health needs of today's waistline watcher.

The chocolate recipes in particular were designed to meet specific criteria. They adhere to the American Heart Assn. dietary guidelines that recommend the fat content be kept at 30% of the total day's calories. Each offers a maximum of 180 calories, per serving, 20 milligrams or less cholesterol and five grams or less fat.

The Apricot-Glazed Cheese Pie has an oatmeal crust that adds just the right texture to the orange-flavored cheese filling. Neither has any sugar added. The pumpkin pie will not only appeal to dieters but to non-dieters as well. It gets its smooth texture from unflavored gelatin and owes its traditional taste to pumpkin pie mix.

TRIMMED PUMPKIN PIE

1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie mix

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipped topping

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

8 gingersnap cookies, cut into halves

Combine pie mix, egg, gelatin and nutmeg in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Chill until partially set, about 1 to 2 hours. Add vanilla and fold in whipped topping.

Spray 9-inch pie plate with nonstick vegetable coating spray and spoon in filling. Sprinkle evenly with graham cracker crumbs and chill until firm. Before serving, insert overlapping cookie halves at intervals around edge of plate. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

APRICOT-WHOLE WHEAT CREPES

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3 eggs

2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Oil

1 1/2 cups orange juice

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup seedless raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 (16-ounce) can apricot halves, drained

Vanilla yogurt

Combine milk, flour, eggs, butter and cinnamon in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate batter at least 1 hour or until mixture is consistency of heavy cream.

Lightly brush bottom and sides of 7-inch skillet with oil. Heat skillet briefly over medium-low heat and pour in scant 1/4 cup batter. Tip skillet to coat bottom with batter. Cook crepe until top is set and underside is lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn crepe with metal spatula and cook other side about 1 minute. Slip crepe onto wax paper and repeat with remaining batter, stacking each crepe between wax paper. Set crepes aside.

Combine orange juice and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Heat to boiling. Boil mixture 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Remove from heat and stir in apricots. Spoon small amount hot filling down center of each crepe. Fold crepe over filling and garnish with dollop vanilla yogurt. Makes 12 crepes.

APRICOT-GLAZED CHEESE PIE

1 1/4 cups quick oats

1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup cottage cheese

1 (8-ounce) package reduced calorie cream cheese (Neufchatel)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sliced dates

2/3 cup pineapple juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1 (16-ounce) can apricot halves, drained

Combine oats, butter, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in small bowl. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 425 degrees 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, combine cottage and cream cheeses, eggs, dates, 1/3 cup pineapple juice, vanilla, orange zest and remaining nutmeg in food processor or blender. Blend until well mixed. Pour into cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes until filling is set. Chill at least 1 hour.

Combine remaining pineapple juice and cornstarch in small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear. Arrange drained apricot halves on top of cheese filling and spoon pineapple glaze evenly over apricots. Refrigerate until glaze is set. Makes 8 servings.

ELEGANT CHOCOLATE ANGEL TORTE

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 (14.5-ounce) package angel food cake mix

2 envelopes whipped topping mix

1 cup cold nonfat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups strawberries, pureed

Additional strawberries for garnish

Combine cocoa powder and cake mix, then prepare, bake and cool cake mix according to package directions. Slice cooled cake crosswise into 4 (1-inch) slices.

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