These homemade, chewy, low calorie pumpkin bagels are perfect for breakfast. Eat with a protein for a balanced meal!
I’ve struggled my whole life trying to balance my love for baking with my desire to lose weight. It’s particularly challenging raising kids and always being in the kitchen. It’s even harder when you are a food blogger, and always in the kitchen. I definitely have a problem with snacking while I cook. A bite, a nibble, a lick. It all adds up quickly, and I mindlessly taste everything!
It has helped a lot that my kids are no longer so young that I have to clean up their meals. But, I’m still a food blogger, I still love healthy meal planning and prepping, and I still love to bake treats for my neighbors!
When you love baking, but you also want to lose weight
So, recently, I’ve had to set some boundaries so I can keep baking, and not gain the weight back that I recently lost. As much as I love my low calorie pumpkin bagels or some fresh baked cookies, I don’t want to let them throw off my progress.
This is my current strategy for maintaining weight loss while continuing to bake:
- When baking and I feel like eating something, I put it on a plate instead. After I’m done baking, I can sit down properly and eat all the food as a meal I attempted to eat while cooking, if I still want it. (read how avoiding snacking is the easiest way to lose weight here)
- When baking- no batter tasting! I’m a batter girl (even bread dough). But once I start eating batter, it doesn’t stop. It’s not necessary to taste the batter when recipe testing, because the final product usually tastes NOTHING like the batter anyway.
- If baking for the blog, start with something that only will make 1-2 servings. No need to make dozens of bagels if I don’t even know if it will turn out. That way, if it does turn out, and I’m tempted to eat it all, then it’s not that bad. (I’m also guilty of eating everything when it DOESN’T turn out as well!)
- Don’t linger in the kitchen when it’s over. Put away all the food, and walk away.
–> Check out my favorite low calorie Pumpkin Ice cream sandwiches here!
Making Low Calorie Recipe Adjustments
Second, because I’m determined to come up with low calorie recipes, there are three strategies to use:
- Substitute high calorie ingredients, for low calorie ingredients. Swapping things like applesauce for oil can have a huge calorie saving. Also, swapping sugar for zero calorie sugars will bring the calories of the recipe down.
- Using less of an ingredient- especially when it comes to sugar. Most of the time, sugar is just used for flavor, and doesn’t impact the final food texture too much. I’ll always start by cutting the sugar back. Some homemade bagel recipes had as much as 1/2 cup of sugar, and I only used 1 tablespoon for this recipe.
- Make smaller portions. My best advice to make a food lower in calorie, without compromising the food at all, is to practice portion control! For example, these bagels I made with only 1 tablespoon of dough so they would be under 50 calories! No need to make a HUGE bagel.
You’ll notice that I used some of these adjustments to make my low calorie pumpkin bagels!
Now, the basic steps for the low calorie pumpkin bagels!
If you haven’t made bagels before, the basic steps are
- Make the dough.
- Let it rise.
- Form bagels.
- Dunk in boiling water with baking soda.
- Brush with egg whites.
- Bake in oven to finish it off.
- And eat!
Get the full detailed directions in the recipe card below.
Give these low calorie pumpkin bagels a try and let me know what your favorite low calorie spreads/toppings for it are!
Chewy, Low Calorie, Pumpkin Bagel Recipe
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon course salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon egg whites
- Whisk together warm water with yeast and brown sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes
- Add pumpkin to water mixture and whisk.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour with salt and pumpkin pie spice. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
- Pour water into flour mixture, and knead with hands for about 5 minutes.
- Put dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let dough rise till double in size. 1 1/2-2 hours.
- After dough has risen, pinch dough off into 1 tablespoon chunks and form into rings. You can also make a ball, and push a hole through the center. You should get 16 mini bagels from this amount of dough. Arrange on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside, covered for 5 minutes while you ready a pot.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a pot, filled with water, add baking soda. Put on a burner on high until water begins to boil.
- Drop the bagel dough into the boiling, baking soda water. Allow to cook and turn to both sides for 2 1/2 -3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a silpat lined baking sheet. Brush tops of bagel with egg whites.
- Bake for 10 minutes in the oven, or till outside feels dry to the touch. Take out of the oven.
- Allow to cool and dry completely, then enjoy with cream cheese or plain!
READ NEXT–> 90 Calorie Waffle Recipe! (with 9 grams of protein per waffle!)
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