I know – it’s summer and I’m posting a pumpkin dessert recipe. Well, who says pumpkin is just for the holidays? Plus, this is a no bake dessert so you can enjoy this without having to turn on your oven. I made this for Steve on our first Christmas together, so this is really something special I’m sharing with you. We really enjoy it any time of year and I hope it adds as much joy to your family as it does to ours.

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TURTLE PUMPKIN PIE - Anthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar free caramel topping, divided (recommended: Smucker’s)

1 reduced fat graham cracker pie crust

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. pecan pieces

3/4 cup cold skim milk

2 (1-oz) packages sugar free vanilla flavored instant pudding

1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 (8-oz) tub fat free or sugar free whipped topping, thawed

DIRECTIONS

Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans. Set aside.

Beat milk, pumpkin, spices and dry pudding mixes with whisk until well blended. Spread into crust. Top with whipped topping.

Refrigerate one hour. Top with remaining pecans and drizzle remaining caramel over pie with a fork.

Here’s the skinny:

First, I used sugar free caramel and pudding mixes, cutting out the majority of the sugar and a lot of calories.

I  used a reduced fat crust and skim milk to reduce the amount of fat in the dish as well.

Lastly, I give your choice of fat free or sugar free whipped topping. Unfortunately, they don’t make fat free AND sugar free whipped topping, so you’ll have to choose. Either way, it’s easier on your waistline, but you pick which is more appropriate for your diet.