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I decided that due to my busy “grandma” and writing schedule this week-I’m bringing back a favorite healthy dessert blog from a long while ago:

The season of “packing on the pounds” is upon us. Now, we know that desserts are supposed to be decadent-deliciously so. But decadent does NOT necessarily mean that it can’t be healthy. Too often when we think of indulging we imagine globules of fat being pasted onto our hips and it makes all of us-40 and over (or not)-cringe.  

 This simply does not have to be the case! Due to a dairy allergy and a lifelong commitment to eating healthy, I have found ways to make even cheesecake good for the body, not just the soul. Here are 3 easy, healthy versions that would even make “The Golden Girls” happy:  

 Start by using your favorite basic pie crust. Since making pie crust has never been “my thing” I usually keep the refrigerated type on hand, but a good graham cracker one will do as well. If you have a talent for it-make it yourself.  

 Pre-heat your oven to 350. Get your blender out! All versions will call for 12 oz of firm tofu. Like regular cheesecake, the ingredients do matter-so buy premium tofu, not the boxed type on the shelves or the ones heavily packaged in water. And drain for about 20 with a bit of weight on the top to remove the excess liquid  

 Remember, this is not so much a recipe as a “method“, so get creative if you aren’t thrilled with some of these flavorings!  

Lemon Tofu “Cheesecake” (Orange is also quite lovely)  

 Put the tofu into the blender with:  

 1/3 cup sugar

 1/3 cup water

 1?4 cup fresh lemon juice and the zest of that lemon

 1 teaspoon lemon extract

 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

 2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 3 tbsp cold water

 Blend until smooth and pour into prepared crust. Bake 45 minutes. Chill thoroughly.

Mocha Tofu “Cheesecake” (my personal favorite)  

 Put the tofu into the blender with:  

 1 cup water

 1/3 cup cocoa powder (do not use dutch, and the darker you can use, the better)

 2 tablespoons instant espresso (or instant coffee)

 1/3 cup sugar

 2 tablespoons nut butter (I love almond butter, but peanut is also good)

 1 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil

 2 teaspoons pure vanilla

 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp cold water

 Same cooking directions as above.  

 And last, Berry Tofu “Cheesecake” (use your favorite fresh/frozen one)  

 Put the tofu into the blender with:  

 1 cup berries

 1/2 cup sugar (taste the berries first and adjust sugar depending on tartness)

 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and the zest from it

 1 tablespoon canola/vegetable oil

 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp cold water

 1 teaspoon rum extract

 Same cooking directions as the rest!

 Toppings are up to you. If you are particularly traditional you might want to try this:  

 Tofu cream: (no matter how you flavor it, it’s great on just about anything-trust me, I even topped my all-bran more than a few times!)  

 Drain and cube 8 ounces of firm tofu. Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and cool. Blend thoroughly with 1/4 C of sugar, 1 tbsp of canola/veggie oil, 2 teaspoon of your desired extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  

 Put the pureed mixture back into the saucepan you cooked the tofu in. Dissolve 2 tbsp of cornstarch in 2tbsp of cold water and stir into the “cream“, cook over low heat at a simmer until it is thick enough for your purpose. Either serve on the side, or top as you would use a sour cream mixture on a “real” cheesecake.  

 Because all are very low in fat and high in protein-I personally told myself a number of times that leftovers are great for breakfast!

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