Baking Brownies with Canned Pumpkin, and HG's Philosophy!

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Dear HG,

I love your recipes! I've noticed you often use canned pumpkin in baked goods like brownies. Why? Won't my brownies taste like pumpkin?

Pondering Pumpkin

Hi Pondering Pumpkin,

Thanks for the recipe love! Those are really good questions. I can see why you'd think pumpkin would make chocolatey treats taste more like pumpkin-y desserts, but it doesn't! Here's the lowdown on why I use pumpkin in these recipes and why it won't affect the way they taste...

It eliminates the need for common fattening ingredients. Pure pumpkin adds so much moisture to brownies that there's no need to add eggs, oil, and butter. When you mix the stuff with devil's food cake mix (yes, cake mix for brownies!), you get a perfectly fudgy brownie texture and none of those unnecessary calories.

Pumpkin is low in calories and packed with fiber. An entire can has only around 150 calories and about 15g fiber... WOW! Just make sure that you buy canned pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling/mix, which has WAY more calories and sugar. Libby's has the BEST canned pure pumpkin, by the way...

Unlike the sweetened and spiced pie filling, pure pumpkin is pretty mild and doesn't have any added salt, sugar, or flavorings. So no need to worry about every batch of brownies tasting like Turkey Day dessert. Once it's mixed with devil's food cake mix, rich chocolate flavor is all you'll taste!

Need more proof? Whip up this super-easy, two-ingredient recipe: Yum Yum Brownie Muffins! Made with just pure pumpkin and cake mix, it's one of our most popular recipes EVER. In fact, that combo works so well that we used it as a base for ALL of our brownie recipes in Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 Just Desserts! The Snickers Madness Brownies are a personal fave...

Hope this info helps. For more on canned pumpkin, check out this HG Salutes email. Now go whip up some brownies!

Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm new to your site, and I really enjoy your daily emails. But I'm wondering... When you rave about products in your emails, is that paid for by the food companies?

Curious Chewer

Dear Curious,

Welcome to HG, and thanks for emailing! Even though I've answered this Q before, I like to address the topic again every now and then, because it is VERY important to me that all of the HG subscribers understand the way Hungry Girl works and how much I value the integrity of my brand. The content you see every day in the HG emails -- the products featured in the News stories, Chew the Right Thing recipes, Weekly Weigh-In reviews and recipes, etc. -- is all editorial (not advertisements), and NONE of that is paid for, bartered for, etc... I name names (instead of being vague or general) because I enjoy some specific products more than others, and I'd rather tell you which ones are good so you won't waste money on the bad ones! Hungry Girl does accept advertising, but that's completely separate from the email editorial content, and it's ONLY for foods and products I like and would write about anyway. I have turned down many food companies that wanted to buy ads on HG because I didn't like their products. When we do feature an ad campaign, it can appear in several forms -- as a separate dedicated email with the words "Side Dish" in the title, a "Guilt-Free Groceries" or "Hungry For More..." section that's clearly offset from the email and includes "Brought to you by..." messaging, a "News You Can Use!" blurb at the bottom of an email, or a banner ad at the top of an email. Ads are typically written in the HG voice because I work with advertisers to provide content that's fun, entertaining, and useful. That's why the ads usually include coupons, specials, TOP ATE lists, and/or recipes. I hope that clears up any confusion. Have a great day!

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June (a.k.a. this month) is National Candy Month. For smart ways to celebrate, check out the Portion-Savvy Candy, Cookies & Sweets section of our 2013 supermarket list!

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