Pineapple Empanadas

If you are counting calories, you may be one of the many who love the 100 calorie trend. Many top retailers have jumped on this bandwagon for a number of years now, but it not only can get expensive (since you pay extra for the packaging), but it may also get a little boring eating the same few snacks every time. This is where a recipe like the one below comes in to play.

An empanada is a stuffed pastry that is made in many Latin America and European countries. The choices of filling in these handy delights range from sweet to savory. The recipe below is of the sweeter variety, so it’s something that may be served as a dessert or just whenever you need to satisfy a craving – and all for just 100 calories!

Pineapple Empanadas


1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons cream cheese, reduced-fat
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons fat-free milk
1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, chopped
1/3 cup pineapple (or apricot) preserves
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, plain
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)


1 – In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk this well to combine thoroughly. Add the cream cheese and canola oil to the dry mixture and combine both the dry and moist ingredients with your hands until it forms a crumbly mixture. Add milk by sprinkling one tablespoon at a time over the mixture and stir with a fork until it just comes together. The mixture will still be a little crumbly, but don’t worry.

2 – Knead the mixture in the bowl a few times to create a large ball, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it a few more times until it all comes together into a smooth ball. Divide the dough in half, shape into two smaller balls and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until it is chilled, which is about 30 minutes. If making these for eating another day or for a gathering, the dough may be chilled up to two days.

3 – Combine the fresh pineapple and your choice of preserves in a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring very often until it reaches a syrup-like consistency. Mash the pineapple into smaller pieces with a fork or you may use a potato masher. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg and breadcrumbs until well combined.

4 – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat a baking sheet with no calorie cookie spray.

5 – Take out your chilled dough and put it on a well floured surface. Roll out a ball into a 1/8-inch thick circle. Use a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out circles of dough. Place spare pieces of dough aside as you repeat the process with the other ball of dough. Combine all extra dough pieces together again, re-roll and cut until all dough is used. You should have a total of 24 circles cut.

6 – Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Fold the dough in half and press the edges together. You may use a finger dipped in water and run around the very outer edge of the dough to help the edges seal together. Crimp the closed circle with the tongs of a fork. Place each filled and sealed circle on a baking sheet.

7 – Bake your empanadas until cooked through and golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Place them on a wire rack to cool until warm. They may be eaten at room temperature or warm after being dusted with a little confectioner’s sugar.

What are your favorite 100 calories snacks?


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