This week's lucky "winner"... Pumpkin pie!!
This venerable American tradition appears around the holidays, a time at which winter squash such as pumpkins have ripened and cured. It's a little-known fact that the most commonly used vegetable in pumpkin pie is actually butternut squash-- not pumpkin. Butternut squash produces the flavor and texture that most people associate with a traditional pumpkin pie, and it's the squash typically used in canned "pumpkin" puree.
Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts, and there's nothing wrong with eating it from time to time. It's actually one of the most nutritious desserts, due to the impressive nutritional value of winter squash. However, like all pies, it comes out at the end of a meal, when most people have already eaten enough food to supply their energy needs. We eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, not because we need more calories, but because its physical properties make it highly rewarding and allow it to escape sensory-specific satiety. In our subjective experience, we seem to "grow a second stomach". That second stomach apparently has a capacity of several hundred calories.
My mother makes a nice alternative to traditional pumpkin pie that is lighter in calories and also gluten-free. She simply uses layers of thinly-sliced apples in the bottom of the pie pan instead of a crust. It works out well.
Photo provided by Evan Amos via Wikipedia.