Valentine’s Treat: Low-Cal Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

LowCalCheesecake

Just when I feel myself bouncing back from the comfort food marathon of the holidays (or rather finally not bouncing every time I take a step anymore), Cupid stocks the grocery aisles with irresistible Little Debbie heart cakes and masses of chocolate. For a holiday that pulls so much focus on looking glamorous for the big date night, there sure are a whole lot of calories surrounding it. Talk about unfair. 

If you’ve known me for ten minutes, you know my sweet tooth has its own zip code that made my childhood dentist a very rich man. I love sugar and every holiday that provides a reason to indulge in any of its likenesses. Conversation Candy Hearts? Send them over. Chocolate Bunnies? Save me one. Halloween is a real gem.

Rather than really indulge in Valentine’s snacking this year, I found a recipe that still totally satisfied this sugar-aholic’s sweet craving, was much more waistline-friendly, and still totally February 14 cute (especially if you’re a Classroom Parent in charge of party snacks, or if you’re setting a Galentine’s Day menu!) 

StrawberryCheesecakeBites-4

I tweaked my favorite version of this fairly trendy recipe idea from this precious blog, who promised they’re only 35 calories per little slice of heaven. Mine are probably only ever so slightly more because, well, chocolate. Don’t ask me to do February 14 without chocolate. Don’t ask me to do life without chocolate.

StrawberryCheesecakeBites

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries (about 16-18 strawberries of varying sizes.)
  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 full low-fat graham crackers, crushed
  • About 4oz Ghirardelli Chocolate Dark Melting Wafers (or baking/melting chocolate of choice.)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the tops off each strawberry, and use a paring knife to hollow out each strawberry, removing the white interior. (I’ve never hollowed a strawberry before, and found this to be a little tricky, but I got the hang of it by the second or third strawberry. If this is you, hang in there! This is as hard as it gets!)
  2. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined and creamy.
  3. Using a small spoon, fill the hollows of each berry.
  4. Dip each strawberry, cheesecake side down, into the graham cracker crumbs, coating their little tops.
  5. Carefully melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, dip the points of each berry about midway, and lay to set on a sheet of wax paper.
  6. mmm, enjoy!

Note: The inspiration post mentions these are best if made same day, and I agree. If you plan to serve later, simply prepare all of the components ahead of time and store in the refrigerator! This ensures they are perfectly fresh for you or your guests. Plus, assembly is an absolute breeze.

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Do you have a lower-calorie Valentine treat I should try out? Comment below or with the talking bubble near the title!

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