Skinny Sweets for Mom 2

What could be better than decadent, delicious cheesecake for Mom on Mother’s Day? How about a skinny, no-bake, gluten-free, vegan version with half the calories and double the nutrition! These fluffy “cheesefakes” are packed with so much creamy goodness that no one will ever guess they are dairy-free and free of refined sugar. Unlike typical cheesecake, there is no baking required, making this the perfect dessert to keep your home cool as Spring temperatures rise. Plus, the ingredients in this recipe are carefully chosen to maximize nutrition.

The gluten-free oat crust is packed with dietary fiber to support your digestive system. Flaxseed meal adds a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation. The filling is a smooth combination of macadamia nuts and almonds, which provide a burst of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Chilled coconut cream is an excellent source of lauric acid, a fatty acid which supports the immune system and aids metabolism.

Luscious Lemon & Sweet Strawberry Cheesefakes (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

These tiny, tasty treats with less than 200 calories each will make Mother’s Day sweeter! Be creative with the fruit filling combinations; these faux cheesecakes are delicious with lemon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, peaches, and any other fruit, or even green tea powder! Feel free to add a few drops of natural food coloring for a visually stunning presentation. Top with edible flowers to create a perfectly sweet addition to Mother’s Day tea!

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup raw almonds

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup flaxseed meal

Juice of 2 large lemons

Filling:

1 cup macadamia nuts

½ cup slivered almonds

1/3 cup walnuts

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Juice of 4-5 large lemons

1 can (7 ounce) coconut cream, chilled

Lemon zest for garnish

Directions

Spray a mini-cheesecake pan with non-stick spray. Place all crust ingredients in food processor; pulse until a crust-like consistency forms. Add additional lemon juice if mixture is too dry. Place 1-2 tablespoons of crust in each cavity of tin; press down firmly to form crust. Place pan in freezer while preparing filling.

To prepare filling, place all filling ingredients (except coconut cream) in food processor; pulse until smooth (approximately 4-5 minutes). Add coconut cream; pulse for additional 30 seconds. Pour filling mixture over crust, to the top of each cavity. Place pan in freezer to chill for 4-5 hours. To serve, remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish as desired, with fruit or edible flowers.

Note: If coconut cream is not available in your area, you may chill a can of coconut milk overnight, then scoop off the creamy top layer to get the coconut cream.

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes; Calories (per serving):198; Fat 16g; Cholesterol 0g. Cost Per Serving: $.69.

Suzette Zara is a cookbook author, certified nutritionist, creator of Satan’s Salsa (SatansSalsa.com) and a frequent speaker on low-fat healthy cooking. Suzette@SuzetteZara.com