I am notorious for buying ingredients for recipes I intend to make and then forgetting what recipe I had in mind 3 seconds after I get my groceries home. This results in random ingredients that languish in my pantry and fridge until I notice that they are about to expire and have to put them in something.
I also tend to buy extra of things on sale with every intention of using them, but sometimes I buy too much extra and the months go by too quickly for me.
This time I had an extra package of low fat cream cheese, and a tub of Cool Whip that had to move to make room in the freezer so muffins and chicken would stop falling on me every time I opened the door. Combine that with too much yogurt, a lemon and the crumbly end of bag of frozen raspberries, and you get something surprisingly creamy and delicious!
Too-Tall Grizzly (Berenstain Bears, anyone?) has also been on a health and energy quest of late that resulted in the end of coffee drinking and late-night ice cream, and the advent of green tea, ground flax seed, avocado smoothies and chia seeds, the latter of which makes an appearance in this recipe since I figured with the raspberry seeds you’d never notice a few extra seeds and I was right. You could make this recipe without the chia, but if you research the health benefits you won’t want to…I dare say they’re worth that trip to the uniquely guilt-inducing health food store with all the oddly glowing employees.
We first heard about chia seeds when Too-Tall read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, and was inspired by these amazing runners who consume huge amounts of the natural energy source:
Anyways, I remain uncertain about my personal “born to run-ness” but I’ll eat chia seeds if they will help me stay awake, and they also serve as a thickener; I’ve seen some recipes where they replace flour or cornstarch thickeners with a chia and water mixture, which is what made me think I could add it to this recipe for the same reason, since I was worried about it being too runny given my random ingredients. I think now it would have set just fine without them, but you really can’t taste them and it was delicious with them in there.
RASPBERRY CHIA CHEESECAKE
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
Zest of 1 lemon
1 (250 g) package low-fat cream cheese, softened in the microwave for 15 seconds
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 individual serving yogurt, any berry flavour
1 tub Cool Whip
1 cup frozen raspberries, smushed
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
For crust, combine all ingredients and press into a 8×11″ baking dish. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes. (If you really want to avoid baking, you can just press this into the pan and skip baking it – I just prefer a crisp crust.)
For cheesecake, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add lemon juice and yogurt and beat until well combined. Gently fold in Cool Whip (I used about 2/3 of a tub since I had already used some…use the whole tub or save some for topping), then fold in raspberries and chia seeds. Pour onto crust, spreading evenly. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set before serving; store in the fridge or freezer, this is also good as a frozen dessert.
Light and fresh and fruity, this is totally guilt-free cheesecake. It also doesn’t taste very cream-cheesy thanks to the addition of the yogurt, which meant it was a hit with Carl who is normally not a fan of the flavour of cheesecake because of that main ingredient. My other taste tester also gave it a thumbs-up, as you can see.
Now to find something to do with those dried apricots, poppy seeds and rice vinegar…perhaps not all in the same day.