Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix

I’m a sucker for pumpkin desserts (I mean, what else is new) and because I had tried the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix last year and was quite a fan. I like this mix because it’s one of the most versatile mixes because it’s advertised as a bread or muffin … but I tend to enjoy making this as a cake.
The mix calls for eggs, oil and water to be added to it – but when baking I typically try to cut corners and make it healthier.  So, with this particular mix I make my pumpkin cake with sugar free apple sauce and water. I simply add 1 cup water and ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce mix it up until incorporated and add it to a Pam spritzed cake pan. They come out perfect every time! Moist and delicious.  The apple sauce doesn’t give it an apple flavor; it’s truly not noticeable when added in, but the cake does have a unique moistness to it.  I cooked this up on a whim after wanting dessert that night and no one had any idea I made it with apple sauce and water. When I finally let the cat out of the bag, everyone was surprised and shocked.
¼ cup of mix is 150 calories, or 4 points plus.  With the apple sauce and water each slice remains at 4 points plus.  Whereas if the oil, eggs and water were added the nutrition info and points plus would need to be recalculated.
What is your favorite pumpkin flavored baking item?

Pumpkin Spice M&M’s

As mentioned in a previous post – I am a pumpkin fanatic.  So when I saw there was Pumpkin Spice M&M’s being sold, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon, put them into my Target shopping cart and had to bring them home. I love pumpkin and I love chocolate and any way to bring the two together is a-okay in my book!
I cracked open the bag the day after buying them because I wanted chocolate.  But I have to say… I was a little disappointed. They’re not bad, but they definitely don’t pack a pumpkin punch.  They taste like a classic M&M that’s slightly bigger in size and after chewing there’s a very, very mild pumpkin taste in the background. But it’s literally so mild it’s almost not noticeable.  I guess this may be a good thing for some – but for others who are expecting a true pumpkin spice flavor they’d be a bit disappointed as I had.
A serving size is 1.5 oz which is roughly ¼ cup of the bag (which is more than what is in my hand in the photograph above) and is 210 calories.  A serving is 5 points plus values.
What is one of your favorite fall/Halloween flavored candies?