It’s spring break for our family, so we’ve been keeping the kids busy with projects around the house and yard. Lucie’s doing some spring cleaning of her closets and Nathan’s working on planting our garden. Last weekend, Paul and I went to Home Depot, and we picked out tomato plants, dill, several types of basil, and lemon thyme along with some flowers for the planters. I was out in the side yard and saw the mint has wandered over there, and our rosemary and chives are coming back after last summer’s disastrous rains that killed off so many of our plants, like my sage plant that survived moves from Chicago and Colorado.
My friend, Holly Clegg just emailed me a perfect dessert recipe for this time of year – Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits, from her trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence [affiliate code] cookbook. Perfect after a hard days work on the yard or cleaning out the closets!
If you have food sensitivities, it’s easy to make a few food substitutions from Holly’s original healthy berry parfait recipe:
- stevia or Swerve Sweetener for the sugar
- tofu cream cheese for the reduced-fat cream cheese if you’re vegan or dairy free
- coconut or soy yogurt for the Greek yogurt if your vegan or dairy free
- Swerve Sweetener’s confectioner’s sugar [affiliate link] instead of traditional confectioner’s sugar
- vanilla extract instead of almond extract if you’re nut free – make sure the extract is gluten free if that’s an issue
- non-dairy whipped topping for nonfat whipped topping if you’re vegan or dairy free
- gluten free graham cracker crumbs or any sort of gluten free cookie crumbs for regular graham cracker crumbs
In season sensational!
I love this time of year because that means local produce is bountiful – especially the strawberries! Produce stands are bursting with local seasonal selections. I like to support our local farmers and you also get the best price and quality because it doesn’t have to travel far to get to your plate. As delicious as they are picture-perfect, these Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits are the perfect way to enjoy a creamy, berrilicious treat – no cooking required! Any time a recipe calls for yogurt or Greek yogurt, either is fine. I like Greek yogurt as it is a richer, creamier and thicker yogurt, especially in this dessert, but make sure to get vanilla flavor. Best of all, strawberries are one of the top ranking antioxidant-containing foods and research shows they may also help improve and stabilize blood sugar.
Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
- 1 pound strawberries, stemmed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) container reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups frozen nonfat whipped topping, thawed, divided
- 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
- Mint, garnish, optional
- In bowl, sprinkle strawberries with sugar, toss and set aside.
- In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners sugar and almond extract until smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup whipped topping.
- To assemble parfaits, in small dish or glass, layer graham cracker crumbs, cream cheese filling, and strawberries. Repeat layers if small enough dish and end with dollop of whipped topping. Garnish with mint, if desired.
- Serving size: 1 parfait
- Calories: 188
- Calories from Fat: 64 (34%)
- Total Fat: 7g
- Saturated fat: 4g
- Unsaturated fat: 3g
- Sodium: 170mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 25g
- Sugar: 17g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 20mg
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 lean meat, 1 fat
Photograph used with permission.