Two posts in one week – can you believe it? After the crazy (read: exhausting) week I’ve had, this is a big merit. My new job is amazing, but busy – like here until 6:30 pm every night busy – so I haven’t had anytime to live. But, it’s Saturday and my very favorite day of the week deserves some dessert.
So here’s some dessert! Not just any ol’ dessert either – this one is low-fat, fruity and absolutely gorgeous. (The trifecta of awesome for all desserts, I believe). To be honest, it’s another one I’ve had in my arsenal for MONTHS, and one I made for an amazing client Friendship Dairies! If you haven’t tried their products, do it. They turned me from a cottage cheese hater to a bonafide FIEND in just the matter of weeks.
Recipe talk aside – I’m truly so shocked it’s almost October. Like I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Honestly, this whole year feels a bit like a blur. I mean, that’s to be expected with a big job change, a move and a handful of international trips. It’s just crazy how fast it’s all going. I’ve already been at my new job for over a week and it’s already been a month since my last jaunt abroad. I’m incredible grateful for these adventures that make my life seem to whiz by – I just wish it would slow down JUST A SECOND so I could catch my breath.
One thing I’ve always struggled with is making the most of my time at home. Now that I’m not traveling as much as I used to, I’ve noticed my old ways have caught up to me, and more of my free time is spent doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong, doing nothing can be AMAZING. But not when you’re doing it 5 days a week. I’m a big “get out and do things on the weekend” kind of girl, but I don’t apply that same vigor for life on the weekdays. Sure, it’s harder to do things after a long day of work – but I need to. I need to plan more date nights out of the house or jaunts to the city.
It sounds crazy but I don’t know if I’ll live here forever and not taking advantage of everything this awesome city of mine has to offer will end up being something I regret. Working friends – how do you de-rut your weekdays? Date nights? Lunch outings? I need suggestions! In the meantime, I’ll be face first into these cheesecake bars.
Low Fat Raspberry Pomegranate Cheesecake Bars
Serves about 12.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- Dash of cinnamon
For the bars:
- 8 ounce container of softened low-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup small curd low fat Friendship cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/3 cup pomegranate or raspberry jam
- Fresh mint for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- To make the crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Press the crust into the parchment paper and press down with the back of a spatula. Bake crust for about 9 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Blend the cottage cheese into a blender until smooth and fluffy. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice – beat until creamy and thick.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and mix in two tablespoons of pomegranate arils. Add the jam with a small spoon and place on the top of the cheesecake. Using the same spoon, swirl the jam around.
- Bake for about 32 – 25 minutes, or until fully cooked.
- Chill for at least 2 hours then cut into squares and serve with mint and remaining pomegranate arils.
Nutritional information per bar:
Fat: 8.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 30.25 grams
Fiber: 2.25 grams
Protein: 5.2 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 6