Raspberry Cheesecake Mousse – 5 Smrt Points

raspberry-cheesecake-mousse

I love a sweet treat. They’re something that I frequently like to have around the house. It’s absolutely true that you shouldn’t overdo it, but I’m a firm believer in treating yourself. Cheesecake is one of those things that my husband and I both love (especially my husband). However, cheesecake isn’t something that’s great to have around the house. A tiny sliver of cheesecake is full of points, and really just tastes like more. I thought I’d try and find a much lighter version of a cheesecake. Something that is more fluffy, and healthier. I’ll admit, my whole motivation for this is being able to have a larger piece but not sacrificing more of my points for it. This recipe is perfect. Since it’s so light and fluffy, it’s more of a cheesecake mousse. It’s delicious. It’s so light that it’s not nearly as rich and decadent as regular cheesecake – but it’s so satisfying. I love the fluffy texture and I really feel like I actually get to have a treat. It’s enough that I’m satisfied when I’m done, but I don’t have to sacrifice extra points for it. What I found was the solution was just a little bit of gelatin. The gelatin helps it to have the structure that the mousse needs and helps it to hold up. But this also enabled me to use lighter ingredients and not nearly as much cream cheese. The result is a light and fluffy confection that is satisfying but not too rich or overwhelming. This one is definitely a keeper in our house. It’s delicious, easy to make, beautiful and I can make it in a large dish or individual serving containers to switch it up. [Read more…]

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Mini Cherry Pies – 10 Smart Points

Sweet cherry pie.

I typically do most of the cooking in our house. We have a great deal – one cooks and the other one cleans. However, there is one thing that my husband does that is far, far superior to my efforts. Pie – my husband makes incredible pies. We usually have a number of pie fillings (peach and apple) made up and frozen so all he has to do is make the crust and plop in the filling. However, recently, I thought it’d be fun to have a slight change from the normal. So, instead of the usual large pie, we made little individual cherry pies. They were amazing. It was really fun to have little individual pies that we could share with some ice cream for a sweet treat after dinner one night. The remainder can be easily frozen so that they’re ready to thaw, warm and serve. It’s a great way for me to practice portion control, since it’s always very tempting to have another piece.

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt – 4 Smart Points

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Last summer, some of my friends made some blueberry ice cream that was just amazing. It was made with whole milk and fresh blueberries, sweetened with honey, and was absolutely fabulous. This summer, I decided to try it, but ended up making frozen yogurt instead. I’m lactose intolerant, so I can only do a very small amount of ice cream before I end up regretting my decision. Starting with yogurt and making frozen yogurt seemed like a great alternative. And it was. I started with fat free Greek yogurt. It provided a delicious and creamy base for the dessert, but without the fat. I used plain yogurt since I wanted to add a bit of honey for flavor, and the vanilla was easy enough to add as well. I used my frozen yogurt and sorbet maker from Cuisinart, but you can use any ice cream maker you have. Alternatively, just stick the mixture in the freezer and you’ll end up with a very tasty dessert just as easily as you would have with an ice cream maker.

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Peach Dumplings – 5 Smart Points

Peach Dumplings

I’ll admit I’m kind of addicted to Pinterest. As someone who not only write recipes and meal plans for a living, but also sews, quilts and knits, I can spend hours looking at projects and ideas. When I saw a recipe for peach dumplings, I just had to try it. I ended up combining several recipes, since I wanted to use fresh peaches, not canned peaches. I love how easy these were to make and they were so delicious! They’re a cute little dessert that goes so well with ice cream (at least for the family and friends). But they go just as well with a dab of fat free cool whip or a little non fat Greek yogurt. If you’re looking for a little twist, these can also be made with wonton wrappers, and be just as cute and delicious. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, since they may not take as long to bake. If using wonton wrappers, you should also brush them with a beaten egg white so they turn that beautiful golden brown. But no matter what you use for the wrapper, these are definitely keepers for my family, they’re so simple and elegant but incredibly delicious. [Read more…]

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Banana Coconut Pudding – 5 Smart Points

Banana Coconut Pudding

Of course you’re all familiar with my never ending quest to have new and yummy banana recipes. This one fits the bill. It’s perfect for my brother too, who is lactose intolerant. It’s made with light coconut milk, but it’s not an overpowering flavor. Combined with the sweet banana pieces and the tender tapioca pearls, it’s a wonderful dessert. I garnished it with another sliced banana, but you could also whip a little coconut milk and garnish it with a dab of that on top of the bananas. It’s a great dessert that really isn’t labor intensive. It’s perfect if you want to serve something elegant and delicious for your dinner party, or just end a family dinner with a sweet treat. You can chill the pudding in one large bowl, or, if you’re looking for a great way to make cute individual desserts, scoop the warm pudding into small ramekins and chill the pudding in those. [Read more…]

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Blueberry Mango Yogurt Pops – 2 Smarts Points

Blueberry Mango Yogurt Popsicles

I love blueberry and mango together. It’s one of my favorite smoothie flavors, so I usually have frozen blueberries and mangos in the freezer. They’re great for smoothies, and blueberries are perfect to add to pancakes, scones and muffins. This makes it perfect to have blueberries and mangos on hand to make some really delicious frozen yogurt pops. I don’t have the actual popsicle molds, but paper cups (avoid the ones with wax coating if possible) and wooden sticks work just as well. These are a great treat for me, they provide the sweet treat that I often crave in the afternoons. However, since it’s full of fruit and low-fat yogurt, it’s a much better option that candy or ice cream. These are just a great treat and they’re perfect for all the kids – the little ones and the big ones! [Read more…]

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Flan – 5 Points +

Flan

At Thanksgiving one of the desserts was a flan. I’ve been wanting to make it even since. Flan is a custard that is baked and has a delicious caramel topping over it. It seems a little intimidating at first, but it’s actually pretty easy to do. The hard part is making sure you don’t stir the syrup, just let it slowly cook on medium until it begins to boil, then watch it carefully. I made mine in little ramekins, since it’s easier to serve that way, but you can make it in one large baking dish if you don’t have ramekins. It works great with regular milk (reduced fat) or with lactose free milk. It’s rich and creamy, a delicious dessert that is elegant and sure to please everybody who tries it.
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Berry Crisp – 5 Points +

Berry Crisp

There’s always those days when you just feel like you need a dessert. One of the tough things to find is a dessert that is packed with flavor, nutrition and doesn’t have too many points. This fruit crisp is just the thing. Since it’s packed with berries – it’s also packed with fiber and vitamins. You can use frozen or fresh fruit, but I typically use frozen since that’s what I have on hand. Just keep in mind that frozen berries will be a little more juicy. Since there’s some brown sugar in the crisp part, I don’t add extra to the berries, but you can sweeten the berries with a bit of sugar. You can garnish the crisp with a little whipped cream, yogurt or ice cream. This dessert has everything – simple and easy to put together, delicious, nutritious and something that everybody loves.

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Ginger Walnut Bundt Cake – 7 Points +

Ginger Walnut Bundt Cake

One of the gifts that we got for our wedding was a Bundt pan, along with a recipe book with Bundt pan recipes. Several years later, I’ve used it for the first time and this recipe is a keeper. Ginger is a delicious spice – that sweet and spicy flavor is just fabulous. Combined with the rich brewed coffee and crunchy walnuts, it’s a delicious combination. I tweaked the recipe a bit, since the original called for a cup of canola oil – which I thought was overkill. I substituted applesauce for it, and it worked perfectly. It was moist and delicious. Top it with a dollop of whip cream or a little frozen yogurt or ice cream and it’s a perfect dessert. If you don’t have cake flour, you can use all purpose flour. I used cake flour because its lighter and more finely ground that all purpose flour, but either one will work. This cake is a delicious fall dessert that is a perfect end to a meal with grilled chicken breast, salad and baked potatoes. In fact, it’s so delicious, it’s the perfect end to any meal.

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Apple Roses – 3 Points +

Apple Roses

It’s now apple season, so it’s a perfect time to try out new apple recipes. These apple roses are just the thing. They are simple to make, especially since they use ready-to-bake puff pastry. But they turn out so beautiful every time! The bright red apple peel creates a beautiful rose but the puff pastry holds it all together. Dipping apples in lemon juice prevents them from turning brown. This works with apples or bananas, just dip them in any citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit works just as well). The best apples for this are slightly tart, since the apricot preserves is a little sweet so the balance is just perfect. Give these apple roses a try – they’re simple and easy but beautiful and delicious.

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Chocolate Raspberry Torte – 6 Points +

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

Bittersweet chocolate is perfect for this raspberry torte. Since it’s not overly sweet, it’s not too rich or overpowering. It’s also a mild chocolate, so it’s not too much for those who aren’t big chocolate fans. The cake is light and delicious and is paired with sweet and succulent fresh raspberries with raspberry jam. Even though there is a little all purpose flour, it’s easy to make this gluten free by just substituting the all purpose flour for an all purpose gluten free flour. There isn’t a lot of flour in this cake, and there isn’t any baking powder, but the beaten eggs work as a perfect leavening agent. The resulting cake is light and tender. You can also make this cake in one cake pan, if you don’t have two (or if you don’t want to wash two pans). Just slice the finished cake in half and then add the raspberry jam for filing. While you can make this without the butter in the cake, adding butter (or lard or shortening) to the chocolate when it melts helps it to melt more evenly. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler if you’re not pressed for time and have patience. Otherwise, just use a glass bowl or measuring cup in the microwave, making sure to stir frequently. This delicious cake will definitely become a household favorite with the delicious chocolate and sweet, fresh raspberries on top.

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Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes – 4 Points +

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is a classic in our house. It’s one of my husband’s favorite desserts. In fact, we had cheesecake at our wedding. It’s not something that I make all that often, however, because the two of us have to eat the whole thing. While I don’t mind eating the whole thing, it’s not good for either of us. The answer is these delicious mini cheesecakes. I use foil muffin cups and don’t even bother with a muffin pan. Then, we keep a couple out for dessert and freeze the rest. Simple defrost them in the fridge (or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds) and add your favorite topping. While these ones have blueberry topping, you can have plain cheesecake, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, caramel apple…the list is endless. If you don’t want to make all of that topping, just make the cheesecakes and then top with a dollop of your favorite jam before you eat it. These are really easy to make and really delicious. The individual portion sizes makes it easy to get enough to satisfy without going overboard.

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