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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Shortcut to Festive Red Berry Crostini

 Short•cut  noun: a shorter, quicker, or easier way  to do something

This holiday season,  my survival plan involves taking some short cuts. I’m not talking about traveling the back roads (although all Wilmington locals know this is how we roll). I’m talking about cooking short cuts… to make healthy eating… and entertaining less stressful. It occurred to me, last week when I made my ‘colder weather red berry sauce’,  this could  be doubled and frozen for putting together festive appetizers like these red berry crostini.

Shortcut to Festive Red Berry CrostiniThis simple short cut allows you to  serve  your family and friends appetizers with the same standards you have for the rest of the meal:  made with fresh ingredients,  superb in taste, and  stylish. Join me in making a double batch of this healthy and delicious red berry sauce for Thanksgiving, freezing half, and  making festive Red Berry Crostini in December.  What cooking short cuts are you taking to survive the holidays?

Shortcut to Festive Red Berry Crostini 

Festive Red Berry Crostini

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

    for the slow-cooked red raspberry cranberry sauce

    • 12 ounce package of frozen red raspberries
    • 12 ounce pakcage of fresh cranberries
    • 1/4 cup water

    for sweetening, option 1/Traditional

    • 1 cup sugar

    for sweetening, Option 2/Reduced Sugar

    • 1/3 cup Monk Fruit in the Raw Bakers Bag
    • 1/3 cup Stevia in the Raw
    • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar

    for the crostini

    • 1 French baguette, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (about 60)
    • 3/4 cup olive oil(for brushing)
    • sea salt
    • 2 cups red raspberry cranberry sauce (recipe below)
    • 12 ounces goat cheese
    • 1 cup chopped pistatchios
    • 1/2 cup parsely, chopped

    Instructions

    for the slow-cooked red raspberry cranberry sauce

    1. Add frozen red raspberries, fresh cranberries and water to a 3 or 4 quart slow-cooker. Stir to combine. Place the lid on slow-cooker and set on low for 8 hours.

    2. Stir once or twice during cooking; replace lid to cover completely.

    3. At the end of cooking, the berries will have cooked and formed a sauce. Now add either sugar or alternative sweeteners. Cool and use as topping for crostini.

    For the crostini

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets; brush both sides with oil and season with salt.

    2. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. (If undersides are not browning, turn crostini over once during baking.) Let cool on baking rack.

    3. Spread each crostini with goat cheese and top with a spoonful of red raspberry cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with parsely and chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.

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