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Mix It Up With Jenny - Terrific Tailgating

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Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip
Hint of Honey Pumpkin Spread

(Family Features) - Autumn brings one of my favorite weekend activities: tailgating!

Whether we're heading for the stadium or watching the gridiron action on TV, I like to offer a winning menu to help the crowd cheer for the home team. Here are a few of my party-perfect tips:

  • Offer sure-to-please food that can be eaten without silverware, while walking around or watching the action.

  • Provide heavy-duty disposable (or unbreakable, reusable) plates and sturdy napkins.

  • Show your spirit with team colors on the table.

  • Play the team's fight song-and see if anyone actually knows the words!

No matter how many touchdowns there are, you'll score big with crowd-pleasing dips and spreads. Try two of my personal favorites-a classic layered dip and a creamy spread for chips and crackers-that include the delicious, yet nutritious twist of pumpkin. It's a win-win: the pumpkin is creamy, colorful and allows the flavors of the recipes' complementary ingredients to come charging through. 

The power of pumpkin is indisputable. It's a rich source of nutrients, is low in calories and fat, and is naturally sodium-free. One-half cup of pumpkin provides more than a day's worth of powerful antioxidant Vitamin A, plus a significant amount of your daily fiber requirement. All this, and it's tasty too!

I've discovered delicious new tastes by adding pumpkin to some of my favorite tailgating dishes. Give these a try:

  • Stir a little pumpkin into a tomato-based pasta sauce for added fiber and body
  • Add it to mashed potatoes to cut fat and add flavor
  • Mix it into chili to boost fiber and cut sodium

For football-season favorites and everyday, family-pleasing treats, count on VeryBestBaking.com for the most delicious ideas on the field.

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.

Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 package (8 ounces) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sliced jalapeños juice
  • 1 container (8 ounces) reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, sliced jalapeños
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • Tortilla chips

Preparation
    1. COMBINE pumpkin, cream cheese and jalapeño juice in medium bowl. Spread into 8-inch-square baking dish.
    2. COMBINE sour cream, chiles, jalapeños and garlic salt in small bowl. Spread over pumpkin mixture. Top with tomato, olives, green onions and red onion. Cover; refrigerate for 2 hours.
    3. SERVE with tortilla chips.

Calories: 25g     Total Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 5mg     Protein: 1g
Carbohydrates: 2g     Sodium: 65mg

Serves
Makes 12 about 45 servings, 2 tablespoons servings each

Hint of Honey Pumpkin Spread

Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 ounces) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

Preparation
    1. STIR cream cheese, pumpkin, honey and cinnamon in medium bowl for 1 minute or until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate in tightly covered container for up to 4 days. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
    2. SERVE with apple slices or whole-wheat crackers.

Serves
Makes 10 servings - 2 tablespoons each

SOURCE: Nestlé USA, Inc.


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