For my chocoholics out there, I found another low calorie but rich tasting dessert from my new favorite Everyday Food Light Cookbook.  Each cheesecake has only 147 calories and 8 g of protein.  If you like, you can use cottage cheese in place of  ricotta cheese.  I warn you now, you will not be able to stop at just one.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups nonfat ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

graham crackers, crushed

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 275 F.  Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.

2.  In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for graham crackers, and blend until smooth.

3.  Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and sprinkle graham crackers on top.

4.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until fillings are set.  Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely, then refrigerate (in pan) for at least 2 hours.

5.   When ready to serve, invert cakes onto plate and peel off liners. Enjoy with a strong espresso!


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What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate?! Thank goodness it’s also good for you.  This delicious treat is packed with flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease.   But be aware, this does not apply to any ole’ chocolate.  Make sure you buy good quality dark chocolate, which contains the most antioxidants.

Here some easy treats for you and your Valentine’s:

1. Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds:  One serving has about 210 calories.  It’s so chocolaty rich that one serving can satisfy even the most chocoholic’s sweet tooth. Almonds have heart healthy poly and mono-unsaturated fats and they are high in vitamin E, magnesium and potassium.  One serving of almonds provides 6 g protein and 4 g fiber.  Trader Joe’s sells Dark Belgian Chocolate Covered Almonds among some other awesome varieties.

2. Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas with Roasted Almonds: This recipe is not only delicious but it’s great to make with your kids.  When you freeze a banana, it’s like making banana ice cream.  One serving has about 160 calories, plus you are getting a serving of fruit.  Bananas are high in Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. For recipe click HERE.

3. Mock Chocolate Mousse:  This delicious creamy treat has only 265 calories.  The secret is that it’s made with tofu.  Tofu is a great source of plant based protein, it’s high in calcium, potassium and phytoestrogens.  Some preliminary studies show that soy products may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.   Compare this recipe to Applebee’s Chocolate Mousse Shooter which has 460 calories, 32 g fat and 18 g saturated fat! Click HERE for the lighter treat.

4. Hot Chocolate Spiked with Rum: What better way to end the day than with a warm cup of hot chocolate.  One cup has about 250 calories, it’s packed with protein and calcium without the saturated fat. The rum helps you forget that this is actually low-cal. Heat one cup of skim milk with a cinnamon stick on the stovetop.  Add 2-3 Tbsp of cocoa powder into mug.  Add agave and a little bit of the milk.  Stir until combined. Add mixture to milk and stir.  Lastly, add about an ounce of rum and serve in a big cozy mug. 

5. Chocolate Truffle Tart: It’s easy to make and tastes delicious.  One slice has only 298 calories.  Compare this to an Apple Bee’s Blue Ribbon Brownie which has a whooping 1310 calories! For chocolate truffle tart recipe click HERE

6. Chocolate Angel Food Cake:  You can find it at many grocery stores, such as Wegman’s or Whole Foods.  If you can’t find chocolate, go with the regular Angel Food cake and add some chocolate syrup and roasted walnuts on top.   Angel Food cake is naturally low in calories because it’s made with mainly egg whites. One slice has only 140 calories! You can also make your own, using a bake mix such as Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines.

 

 

 


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This Chocolate Truffle Tart recipe is adapted from Tessa Kiros’s book Falling Cloudberries.  It’s almost flourless, very chocolaty, moist and decadent.  It’s so easy to whip up and is perfect for when you have guests coming.  You’ll even have spare time to clean the house or apartment.  I guarantee you they will love it and so will you. It’s a recipe you will make more than once.  Serve it with a strong espresso.

 

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp instant coffee

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbsp unbleached sifted all-purpose flour

1/3 cup finely ground almonds or hazelnuts

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Flour and butter an 8 inch spring-form cake pan.

2.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat and add sugar, instant coffee and chocolate.  Stir until melted and combined. Remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl. Let cool for about 30 minutes.

3.  Add egg yolks and vanilla to chocolate mixture and blend with an electric mixer.  Add sifted flour and mix until combined. Lastly, fold in ground almonds.

4. With the electric mixer whip the egg whites until fluffy.  Fold whipped egg whites into chocolate mixture, one tablespoon at a time.

5.  Pour mixture into cake pan and bake for 35 minutes.  To test for doneness insert skewer into center of cake, it should come out clean.

6.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before you remove from pan.  Dust chocolate powder or confectioners sugar over top.


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This ice cream reminds me of Jacques Torres’s spicy hot chocolate in New York City except, it’s better.  It’s lower in calories than regular ice cream and has a chocolaty, cinnamon-y flavor.  It surprises you with a slight spicy kick which comes from an unusual ingredient generally not found in ice cream- the pasilla chile.

*This recipe requires an ice cream maker, but if you love ice cream as much as I do, buying one will be a good investment.

Ingredients:

1 large Pasilla chile, stemmed and seeded

1 1/2 cup (1 can) non-fat evaporated milk

1 1/2 oz of Mexican chocolate

3 oz semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup 2% Milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Makes 1 quart

Directions:

1.  Heat a small skillet and toast chile. Press it flat against skillet with a spatula or tongs, about 10 seconds on each side.

2. Place in a saucepan and add non-fat evaporated milk, Mexican chocolate and the semi-sweet chocolate and sugar. Heat until steaming, but do not boil.

3. Cover with a lid and let steep for 10 minutes.

4. Pour into blender until chile is pureed, add vanilla and milk.  Blend until combined and poor into a bowl, cover and place in refrigerator until completely cool.

5.  Make ice cream according to manufacturer’s directions.


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