An oldie but a goodie, lemon’s have been praised as one of those staples that can do just about anything. Google “lemon” and you will find 101 ways to use the acidic fruit. Sure, it’s stellar as a flavor enhancer in your culinary creations, but did you know it’s also a natural detoxifier, excellent cleaning agent and has medicinal properties?
I must admit, growing up we did not do lemon very much. If it didn’t have chocolate or peanut butter in it, it likely would not be found on the Zabel dessert table. However, I happened to have married a man who loves all things fruity, meaning he was destined to break my shell and force me over into the dark side!
I’ve managed to put if off for almost 3 years, however this past weekend I couldn’t resist any longer. Not only did I have 3 beautiful Meyer lemons sitting on my counter, but I had two very special guests coming that love lemon more than the hubby.
Off to the kitchen I went, Meyer lemons in hand and in search of a new Simple Swap recipe that even the pickiest of dessert eaters would enjoy. Usually I opt for the artificial sweetener alternatives in baking, but this time I resisted my urge because I knew my guests did not enjoy the taste of it. Instead, I took out the brown sugar, shortbread cookies, the Ninja and a few other odds and ins. What was I going to create… only time would tell!
After looking through a few cookbooks and Pinterest recipes, I recognized many of the lemon recipes needed ingredients not only that I didn’t have, but that I had no desire to go get! Thus, cream cheese, egg whites and almond milk were going to have to cut it. But, poppy seeds, a unique yet esquisite ingredient I absolutely love needed to be in this creation… “Damn, maybe I will have to run to the store.”
THEN, a Simple Swap came to the rescue! I found a bag of Chia Seeds and knew this was going to not only work but be fantastic! Plus, it added a big nutritional BAM with their Omega-3 benefits. Thus, a little of this, a little of that, and bada-bing, bada-boom, Lemon Chia Cheesecake was invented!
I highly recommend using a Ninja or tool of the like when you prepare this recipe, but really any high quality food processor will also work. Happy baking!
- 1 medium Meyer lemon (juice only, ¼ cup)
- 1 8oz package cream cheese (light or fat-free variety)
- 1 package Murray Shortbread Cookies
- 3 tbsp. light margarine
- ⅓ cup egg whites
- 1 tsp & ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- ½ cup loose brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Preheat oven to 300*F.
- In a food processor, pulse cookies and margarine, add in ½ tsp vanilla extract.
- Spray a large muffin tin (or heart shaped pan!) with cooking spray.
- Evenly distribute dough amongst 6 containers and press firmly into pan.
- Back in the food processor, add lemon juice, cream cheese, vanilla extract, egg whites, chia seeds, sugar and almond milk. Pulse.
- Once a thin consistency, pour batter into 6 tins.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on counter for 2 hours.
- Place in refrigerator to finish cooling and enjoy with fresh berries!
An average slice of Cheesecake totals nearly 500 calories, over 25 grams of total fat and nearly 30 grams of sugar! Save your calories for the glass of wine and top with fresh berries. Now you've got yourself a killer Simple Swap dessert!