Oh my goodness. As my brain is melting and hands are shaking, nearing the 30 Clean Quick Dinner Recipes eBook publication date this Sunday, I really wasn’t going to post any recipe until Sunday. Simply just because I haven’t taken pictures of any recipes in the last 10 days. Has it been that long?! Whooooaaaa.
I had wonderful Alex at home cooking for us. Yes, he is that good and all mine.:)
But then I felt wrong and guilty for teasing you with my skinny cheesecake photos on Instagram and Facebook for over a month. Luckily, I managed to snap a few shots before it disappeared on New Year’s Eve.
It’s that good and foolproof – made it 3 times already. Creamy, rich, and guilt free. No refined sugars at all.
I feel like a moron and totally breaking all rules of food blogosphere, to post a dessert recipe after all that indulgence during the Holidays. But the truth is I didn’t overindulge and wish I had a bar or two of this goodness in front of me NOW.
So, let me tell you why I think my Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake Bars are the best in the world!:)
One, I made a pecan crust from scratch. As I do not believe graham crackers are clean food, I just used ground pecans with spices, coconut oil and a bit of agave. I experimented baking the crust for 10 minutes before pouring cream cheese filling on top, and found no real need for that. But you can do that, if you wish.
Secondly, my filling is made with more of a Greek yogurt than cream cheese. Both of them were organic and low fat, but really you can use full fat ones. By the way, I’m starting to lean towards full fat dairy products after reading Family Gone Healthy post on low fat dairy.
Thirdly, I didn’t soften the cream cheese and just blended filling ingredients together. It was fine!
Last but not least, I added only 3 tbsp of agave to the filling. So, that’s 4 tbsp total per the whole cheesecake! Plus some ridiculous 1-2 tbsp of strawberry jam. Ah-mazing!!!
By the way, about jam. I used organic strawberry jam from Costco. It had chunks of strawberries and was thick. To make it swirl easy, I pulsed it in Magic Bullet with a few tbsp of water. Worked like a charm for a toothpick art. And it was so much fun!
My kids, former-cheesecake-hater Alex and all 1cup-sugar-2packages-cream-cheese friends absolutely loved these Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake Bars!
Spicy and fragrant pecan crust complemented perfectly the smooth and creamy cheesecake filling, and strawberry jam on top was a nice bonus. I tried to make these bars plain before and they were amazing on their own. Kind of like New York style cheesecake.
Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tbsp whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger, ground
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 6 oz cream cheese, low fat or regular
- 8 oz plain Greek yogurt, non-fat
- 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp strawberry jam, organic or homemade*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper, overhanging on the sides. Set aside.
- To make the Crust: In a food processor or Magic Bullet, process pecans into fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl along with flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir to combine. Add coconut oil and maple syrup (honey), and mix well. Press into prepared lined pan. Set aside.
- To make the Filling: Add Filling ingredients, except the jam, into a large bowl, and beat with mixer until smooth and creamy, for about 2 minutes. Pour over crust. Drop many small drops of jam on top and swirl with a toothpick.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheesecake has set and edges are lightly browned. Cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, and then in the fridge for 2 hours. Lift the cheesecake out of the pan by holding the flaps and cut into 9 squares.
*If your jam has chunks of strawberries or is too thick, add 2-3 tbsp of water to it and puree in a small food processor or blender. This way, it will swirl easier and won't sink in the cream cheese filling.
Servings Per Recipe: 9
Amount Per Serving = 1 bar:
Total Fat: 13.5 g
Cholesterol: 13.3 mg
Sodium: 158.4 mg
Total Carbs: 14.9 g
Sugars: 11.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 6.8 g
WW Points+: 6