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Squashing Fat

TIMES TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR

Kabocha squash, now available in most grocery markets and many Asian markets, is at its best when it’s roasted--even if it will be used later in a soup or puree. The process brings out the vegetable’s earthy flavor.

Most people smear the squash with butter before putting it in the oven, but if you’re trying to cut fat consumption, you can take advantage of butter-flavored nonstick cooking sprays.

A touch of fresh grated ginger pureed along with the squash, nonfat milk and egg substitute makes an Asian-tinged custard-like dessert.

After baking in a water bath to prevent curdling, sprinkle the top of each pudding with a little brown sugar, then pop it under the broiler to brown. Just before serving, sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds over the top of each for texture.

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ROASTED SQUASH PUDDING

1 small kabocha squash

Salt

Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

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1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup nonfat egg substitute (equivalent to 2 eggs)

1 cup nonfat milk

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root

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4 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Lightly season cut side of squash with salt to taste and place on baking sheet. Lightly spray squash with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees about 45 minutes or until squash is tender and browned in spots.

Let squash cool to warm then scoop out enough to measure 1 cup. Puree squash in blender or food processor. Add sugar and puree until smooth. Add egg substitute, milk and ginger and puree until smooth.

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Spray 4 custard cups with cooking spray and divide puree among them. Bake at 350 degrees in water bath until centers test done, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon brown sugar over top of each hot custard and put under broiler until lightly browned and sugar is melted.

Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in small skillet sprayed with butter flavor nonstick cooking spray until seeds begin to turn a little brown. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle over tops of custards.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

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133 calories; 228 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 1 grams fat; 27 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.53 grams fiber.


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