CheeseCake Bites with Berry Coulis

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean shunning desserts, it means satisfying a  sweet tooth with  small portions of dessert like these cheesecake bites with berry coulis.
Consumers are interested in nutrition. But more often than not,  our attention is focused on  what to eat,  rather than on how much. Make no mistake:  size does matter, and changes to portion sizes  can make a BIG difference. Today we’re celebrating the Recipe Redux‘s 6th birthday and the emphasis is on portion size! Here’s our challenge:

Small Bite Desserts: In honor of our 6th birthday, we’re celebrating with cake or another small bite dessert than suits your fancy. Show us your small bite dessert creation.

When I eat dessert, the first bite is the most satisfying, and I experience  diminishing returns for each bite thereafter.  I’ve learned that what I really want is a small bite or taste, not a ginormous plate piled high with sweets. Small bites are not only figure friendly, but satisfying.

This past weekend I conceived some new ways to use what’s growing in my garden: cinnamon basil. Here are the results:  this delicious  sauce made with a medley of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and red raspberries), served over  mini cheesecake bites and garnished with cinnamon basil.My small bite creation requires only 6 ingredients (besides the coulis). Why do I think this is healthy? There are primarily two reasons. 1. I  shrunk the size of the cheese cake keeping calories, sugar and fat in check. 2. Berries are good for you! Be sure to  visit the links below for more small bite dessert recipes to satisfy your desire for dessert within the  framework of  healthy lifestyle.

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CheeseCake Bites with Berry Coulis makes 2 dozen

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 24)

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 24 mini vanilla wafers
  • cinnamon basil for garnish

for the berry coulis

  • 16 oz. frozen or fresh fruit medley
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup berry jam

Instructions

1. Place a mini cupcake liner in each cup of a muffin pan.

2.Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer, until fluffy.

3.Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon beating well.

4.Add egg beating well after addition.

5. Lay a mini vanilla wafter, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers.

6.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Serve with berry coulis. Garnish with cinnamon basil.

for berry coulis

add ingredients for coulis in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Serve warm or cool.

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Soft Baked Zucchini Bread Cookies

Soft baked zucchini cookies are not only a terrific  simple dessert, they’re one of my favorite pre-workout snacks.It’s not what you do once in awhile, it’s what you do on most days. My philosophy for better nutrition is eating in a way that  balances the goals of health with eating for pleasure. I do this  by  including the nutrient rich foods  my  body needs, without sacrificing enjoyment. I often modify recipes to boost the nutritional  value and still maintain taste. Like these..soft caked cookies  made with a combination of both white flour and white whole wheat, and  cutting back on total fat by substituting nonfat Greek yogurt.   When I ran the  nutritional profile (see below) I realized they meet the criteria I use for an pre-workout snack:

100-200 calories 24-40 grams carbohydrate, ≤ 5 grams fat, ,≤ 5 grams fiber, ,≤ 10 grams protein.

My family prefers cookies for dessert over almost anything. I’m glad they do, because  cookies are already portioned, and  they can be combined with other nibbles like  a piece of dark chocolate and a few dried apricots.  After dinner or pre-workout, these soft baked zucchini cookies are sure to please.

Soft Baked Zucchini Cookies

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (3 dozen)

  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups 100% white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Trim stem and root end of zucchini. Using a box grater, grate zucchini. You should have about 3 cups.

3. Place the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or several layers of cheese cloth and squeeze to press out as much liquid as possible.

4. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract .

6. Add grated zucchini to dry ingredients. Pour liquids over the top. Gently stir and fold just until no more flour is visible.

7.Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets.

8. Bake about 10-15 minutes, or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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