I usually attach memories to scents and music. I still gag when I smell a certain cologne thanks to a jack ass I once dated and we won’t get into music.
Then there is food, now we all have our childhood comfort foods. The food our grandma made, the special occasion dinners, etc.
I have one that I wasn’t expecting.
When I was 8 years old my parents decided to move us from California to Nebraska. As a kid who had grown up in the city with a high crime rate, I was not allowed to go play outside or wander the neighborhood like normal children in more middle class or upper class neighborhoods did. Nebraska was a dream come true for a kid like me. I suddenly was able to go play outside with friends and come back “when the street lights came on”. We would play complicated games of hide and seek, go sledding in the snow of the golf course inside our complex, and we even had snow fights at school with full on forts and real snow balls! It was heavenly.
So you can imagine my disappointment after 9 short months when my parents decided that living in the snow was not for them. But how?! My friends, my school with adequate funding, my freedom!! All gone.
On the day we left, December 23rd (yeah, my parents moved us by car right before Christmas) my best friend’s mom baked us this amazing walnut roll for the road. I remember eating it pretty much by myself the whole 3 days home. I haven’t had a roll ever since.
Baking this pumpkin roll brought back those memories of one highlight year of my childhood. Also, its a much healthier version so I don’t feel guilty while devouring it. Enjoy!
HEALTHY PUMPKIN ROLL WITH YOGURT FILLING
For the Pumpkin Roll:
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs, 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar
For the Filling aka “Icing”:
- ½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup low fat cream cheese (or the Greek yogurt/cream cheese mix)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans (or both!)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 9×13 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper, and grease and flour the paper (I used coconut oil).
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in pumpkin puree, eggs, honey and lemon juice. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes.
- Lay a damp linen towel on the counter, sprinkle it with confectioner’s sugar, and turn the cake onto the towel. Carefully roll the towel up (lengthwise) with the cake in it. Place the cake-in-towel on a cooling rack and let it cool for 20 minutes.
- Make the icing: In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla, sugar and sweetener (if you wish to have it sweet) with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Remember, it will only be lightly sweetened, if you’d like it quite sweet go for at least ½ cup of sugar or a mix.
- When the cake has cooled 20 minutes, unroll it and spread icing onto it.
- Immediately re-roll (not in the towel this time), and wrap it with plastic wrap. cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. (You can serve this cake immediately but chilling it overnight sets the filling and makes it easier to slice.) Just before serving, lightly dust with powdered sugar.