Recipe Redux | Quick Dessert: Pumpkin Panna Cotta

Pumpkin Panna Cotta
This skinny panna cotta is an example of when less is more! Lower in both calories and fat, this dessert has more protein than the traditional panna cotta and also is a source of probiotics, vitamins A and C as well as carotenoids.

I have an announcement to make! I have a new assistant. Yes, Brody is helping me with the social media aspect of the business. He’s everything a gal could want in a partner: good looking, attentive obedient, a good listener, and loyal.

photo-71Here we are on our trip of 1076 miles  from Columbia, Missouri to Wilmington, NC. (Brody is technically my granddog, but I am  not ready for that.)  Brody belongs to my son, Boomer,  who got him as a pup last year before Christmas, when he lived in a house. Boomer has since moved to a townhouse without a yard. Yeah, you see where this is going; the reason Brody and I are now attached at the hip!

It’s not like I’ve never had a dog before. Actually I have two, plus Brody makes three! picstitch-1So you see, I’ve been busy… playing the dog whisperer! And so it was perfect timing for the Recipe Redux to have a super quick theme:

No-Cook Desserts – The raw food trend is sweetening things up with all sorts of treats from cocoa clusters and energy balls to puddings and panna cottas. Please share a no-cook dessert you are serving. No-cook usually means ‘super-quick’…and we always want to make time for a healthy dessert!

Dessert! It’s been awhile since I ‘ve posted a dessert, and  you might be  surprised when I tell you  I was raised in a home where dessert was EVERY night. That’s right. Not most nights, but every night without fail. Mom loved to bake and after our evening meal (which began promptly at 5 pm)  we enjoyed something sweet and always homemade. (Mom taught us moderation-make choices to include a variety of foods, yet not  be so restrictive you eliminate foods you love.)  When Mom was short on time she made  jello! Today  I am sharing a recipe for an Italian jello of sorts: Panna cotta. Traditional panna cotta is  made with whole milk, cream, gelatin and sugar. Mine is slimmed down (reduced in both calories and fat), but also boasts increased protein and probiotics by substitution of Greek yogurt for heavy cream and thanks to the inclusion of pumpkin is a source of neutralizing free radicals (vitamin A and C) and a source of carotenoids (which have gained attention as a potential  anti-cancer and anti-aging substance).

This would be a perfect ending to  a fall meal, or a dessert for a tailgating party you are hosting in your own home. When life gets fast paced and  crazy, keep dessert not only healthy but simple and casual. I served mine in disposalbe pastic tumplers with plastic spoons. Now if I could just get Brody to hold the cups while I take a picture!

Do you have a healthy ‘go to’ dessert you prepare when you’re short on time?

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

by Diane Boyd


  • 11/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4cup honey
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds for garnich


1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold skim milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes until gelatin softens.

2. Meanwhile use a blender to combine remaining 1 cup skim milk, pumpkin, honey, Greek yogurt, cinnamon and half of the lemon zest (1/4 tsp). Blend until perfectly smooth.

3. Turn on heat to low under saucepan with milk and gelatin. Cook about 3 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved.

4. Pour creamy pumpkin mixture into saucepan and turn heat to medium. Cook stirring occasionally. When steam rises turn off heat and ladle into tumblers.

5. Chill until firm and serve with pumpkin seeds  and lemon zest.

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