Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mini Strawberry Cream Ch(easy) Cake

I couldn't wait until it was Thanksgiving. My mom would bring the dessert, grandma would make the turkey, and Grandpa would whip up his amazing coleslaw. Everyone loved her special New York Style Cheesecake. It had cottage cheese, cream cheese, and whipped cream inside with a butter and graham cracker crust. I would be in charge of smushing the butter and sugar into the graham cracker crumbs as she used the handmixer to combine the filling ingredients. The sound of the handmixer still brings me back to that day. Unfortunately, I became lactose intolerant at 15 and could no longer enjoy her amazing pie.

Last weekend I indulged in buying a vegan cream cheese from Henry's Market. This store is great because it specializes in selling natural and organic food, with an excellent deli for omnivores, all at a reasonable price. The cream cheese I bought was Tofutti's new un-hydrogenated one.
This stuff tastes amazing! I could have eaten the whole container in one meal, and at only 60 calories a tablespoon, I wouldn't have felt the wrath of fat pants guilt. I've had Tofutti products in the past but I wasn't a big fan of them. I avoided them because they contained corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, but not this one! It has officially been added to the shopping list next to Daiya cheese and soy milk. 

What did I do with it? I didn't have a bagel to spread it on, or smoked salmon to top with it, so I decided on making a dessert. It only contains 2grams of sugar (1/2 a teaspoon) per serving. Oi! It's so good! I had fresh organic strawberries and 4 graham crackers left over in the cupboard. I instantly thought of my mom's cheesecake and had to try something. I took out the agave nectar, vanilla, and Earth Balance and started to churn away. I had half the container left from eating it with various things before (Spicy Red Hot Blue Corn Chips) and decided to not dirty anymore dishes.

First I made the "crust" by melting Earth Balance and mixing it with my crumbled crackers. I pressed this into a clean hummus container and stuck it in the freezer. (I save hummus and margarine containers to use as tupperware.) I poured a couple spoons worth of agave right in the cream cheese container and started mixing. I added a shot of vanilla and tasted it...and then had a foodgasm all over the place. Seriously, you have to try this recipe. It came out so great that after a few bites, I set it down, opened up a word document and wrote it down. Here it is for your tasty pleasure: 


4 graham crackers (I used Cinnamon ones from Trader Joes)
2 tbsp Organic Earth Balance (or any margarine or butter)

½ small container of Tofutti (non-hydrogenated)
4 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 fresh strawberries, sliced

  • Crumble graham crackers into dust. Melt Earth Balance into liquid and mix into crumbs. Press into small container and freeze until filling is ready.
  • Mix agave and vanilla into the half container of Tofutti until creamy and combined. Stir extra long to make consistency smooth.
  • Take out crust and plop the filling in the middle. Spread evenly by turning the small container and holding a fork or butter knife in the middle with slight pressure.
  • Top cheezecake with strawberries in a cool design. Grab a fork and eat! 

Warnings: The crust will be crumbly. If you want to slice this up and serve it on plates, I'd suggest using more margarine.

Alternatives: If you want to make this even easier and quicker, you can crumble the "crust" into a dessert dish and top with the filling and strawberries.

P.S: It got approved by the Omnivorous boyfriend as delicious! Go ahead and make it the next time you have a guest over. Don't tell them it's healthy and see what they think. ;)

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