Friday, March 29, 2013

Skinny Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

The other day I found myself staring at my daughter's breakfast of cottage cheese, and a light bulb went off over my head: I bet I could make a healthy cheesecake with this!  That afternoon, I played around in the kitchen, and voila, a new tasty dessert in our household was born.  It's really easy to whip up (throw everything in the food processor, blend, pour into a dish, bake, then toss in the fridge), it's incredibly low in calories (91 calories a square!) but high in nutrients (thanks oats and cottage cheese!), and it tastes decadent.  You could also easily jazz it up if you need to, by mixing chocolate chips into the batter, or topping it with sliced almonds or whipped cream.  I like it all by itself though!

Skinny Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

1 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
2 Tbsp Light Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or Milk of Choice)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2/3 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish (I used coconut oil to grease the sides and bottoms).

2. Combine all the ingredients, in the order listed, into a food processor. Puree until smooth. Scrape the sides with a spatula  and puree again. You want the mixture to be completely smooth with no oat pieces. Pour mixture into the greased baking dish.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 27 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly (but not completely) clean. Be careful not to overcook.  Once the pan has cooled enough, place in the fridge and allow to chill for at least two hours before serving.  Cut into 12 squares.

Serving Size: 1 Square
Calories: 91
Fat: 2
Carbs: 15
Protein: 4

* You can omit the cream cheese and/or almond extract if you need to, but I think both really add to the flavor. 
* Feel free to play around with the sugar amount.  If you aren't a sweet-fiend, you might be fine with just 1/2 cup sugar.  Fellow sweet fiends, however, you may feel like upping it to a full 1 cup of sugar.  I like to to taste the batter (raw egg and all) before I bake it, and decide if it needs adjusting.
* You can make this as a traditional cheesecake too, baked in a 9" pie pan. Make sure to grease the pan and keep an eye on the cooking time; I'm not sure how long it would need in the oven.  It might be difficult to serve without a crust though, so you may want to add that as well, if you are serving it for guests.  Since it is already so low in calories, a little crust isn't going to hurt! ;)
If you decide to make it in traditional pie format, and you cut it into 9 slices, the nutritional information for 1/9th of the pie (no crust) is as follows:  Calories: 122, Fat: 3, Carbs: 19, Protein: 5

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