These bite-sized beauties contain just 23 calories a pop, which means you can enjoy a serving of four and still feel virtuous. It's the perfect portion of rich, creamy filling combine with the sweetness of strawberries — a win-win.
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus addition for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 40 strawberries
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a food processor, blend the ricotta cheese and cottage cheese until smooth. Add the egg whites, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and cornstarch, and pulse for a few seconds so everything comes together.
Liberally coat a 9-inch round pan with nonstick oil spray and pour the cheese mixture into the pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool. (To cool more quickly, place the cheesecake in the freezer for about 15 minutes.)
While the cheesecake is cooling, wash the strawberries and slice off the tips to create a flat surface for the berries to stand on. Then, using a small knife, cut off the green stem and crave a bit of the inner strawberry to make room to pipe in the cheesecake filling.
When the cheesecake has cooled, scoop it into a zip-top bag (all at once or in small batches), and push the cheesecake down toward one corner. Using a pair of scissors, cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag to create an opening for the cheesecake mixture to flow out. Squeeze the cheesecake filling into each strawberry, using approximately 2 to 3 teaspoons per berry. Garnish with the additional lemon zest, if desired.
Nutritional information per serving of 4 strawberries:
92 calories • 5.5g protein • 2g total fat (0.5 unsaturated, 1.5 saturated) • 10 mg cholesterol • 13.5g carbs • 1g fiber • 9.5g total sugar (4g natural sugar, 5.5g added sugar • 138mg sodium)
Recipe reprinted with permission from Junk Food to Joy Food by Joy Bauer (Hay House)