Hot Sauce Talk & Pie Crust Alternatives!

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Hi HG,

I LOVE hot sauce... It's such a low-calorie way to jazz up just about anything. There are SO many of them though. What are your favorite hot sauces, and how do you use them?

Kate Hearts Hot Sauce

Hi Kate,

Join the club! I'm in LOVE with hot sauce. Not only is it low in calories, but (like all spicy foods) hot sauce is also known to help slow down your eating, which is a good thing. I especially love Buffalo-style sauces that make everything taste like hot wings. Most of these have 0 - 5 calories per teaspoon... which is practically nothing! My heart belongs to Frank's RedHot (the Original kind). It has just the right consistency and the perfect level of spice. Tabasco, while not my favorite brand of hot sauce, has some unique flavor options. The garlic one ROCKS! I also recently discovered Saucy Mama Hot Wing Sauce, which tastes like a creamy version of Frank's. A tablespoon of that stuff has 15 calories and 2g fat.

If you want some serious heat, try adobo sauce. You can get canned chipotle peppers packed in it, and the combo is perfect for making chili. And for Asian-style foods, like this spicy shrimp dish and this Thai-inspired omelette, I like Sriracha hot chili sauce. It has a really unique, garlicky flavor. And there are some spicy BBQ sauces out there with impressive stats, like the kinds in Guy's Award Winning BBQ Sauce line.

As for how I use my hot sauce... You name it, I've probably tried it! It's delicious in scrambled eggs and omelettes; on salads, pizza, and burgers; and mixed into deli salads. This guilt-free makeover of a classic Buffalo-chicken dip is an HG fave. Give your veggies a splash of hot sauce and then sprinkle 'em with reduced-fat Parm. YUM! The cheese has only about 10 calories and half a gram of fat per teaspoon. Lean protein, like chicken or shrimp, is also great as a blank canvas for hot sauce.

Basically, the sky's the limit when it comes to how to use these spicy sauces. And if you're concerned about the sodium content, just use a few splashes -- a little goes a long way. Enjoy!

Hi Lisa,

I know you're a big fan of using Fiber One Original bran cereal to make pie crust. I've tried this a couple of times and really don't like the taste (sorry!), even though I regularly eat Fiber One cereal for breakfast. Do you have any other recommendations for a lower-calorie pie crust?

Just the Crust

Hi Just the Crust,

I promise I'm not offended. That graham-cracker-style Fiber One crust is great because it's low in calories and high in fiber -- 55 calories and 3.5g fiber per serving. Even reduced-fat graham-cracker crusts sold at supermarkets have about twice as many calories. But we all have different taste buds, and I've got some other ideas I think you'll really like.

Make an all-graham HG crust. The HG crust recipe calls for low-fat graham crackers and Fiber One. Skip the Fiber One and use a total of 5 1/2 sheets of graham crackers; then leave out the 2 tablespoons of water called for in the directions. Each serving (1/8th of the crust) will have 66 calories, less than half a gram of fiber, and a PointsPlus® value of 2*. If you make this all-graham crust with sugar instead of Splenda, each serving will have 82 calories and a PointsPlus® value of 2*... still better than a store-bought graham-cracker crust!

Bottoms up! Instead of a traditional crust on the bottom of your pie, sprinkle crushed graham crackers over the top of your dessert. There are low-fat versions of honey and cinnamon grahams, but even regular chocolate grahams and wafer cookies are totally reasonable crust alternatives. We made a version of our pumpkin pie like this, and it's fantastic. There's also an amazing HG recipe for upside-down peanut-butter pie. Click here, here, and here for more crust-on-top treats.

Ditch the crust altogether. With the right recipe, you don't even need it! We skipped the crust on this recent cheesecake recipe. It's so rich and creamy, you'll never miss the crust. Just make sure the pie filling is nice and thick so it can hold its own without the crust.

I've also heard good things about Pillsbury Pet-Ritz Frozen Pie Crust. You can have 1/8th of the crust (the regular one, not Deep Dish) for 80 calories and 4g fat -- not bad! No fiber, but hey, you can't have it all.

Let me know how it goes!

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