[center] Avocado Cheesecake[/center]
Pop quiz, hotshot. What year is it?
Ding ding ding. You’re right!
So why do most so-called “health” magazines and “light” cookbooks think it’s, oh, about 1991?
Seriously, ever look at the food articles in most health mags? The ingredient lists in their recipes include things like this:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups low-fat milk
That’s right, get rid of a few grams of that nasty ol’ dietary fat and you can eat all you want! You know, until the diabetes kicks in or you get too fat to squeeze into your kitchen.
Luckily, some of us know that flour and sugar aren’t “light” and that dietary fats ain’t all bad. In fact, they can be very, very good for those of us who like muscle, visible abs and optimal health. As Dr. Dwight Lundell, cardiovascular surgeon, says, packaged low-fat foods are created for shelf life, not human life. (He recommends red meat, whole eggs, and butter, BTW, and calls low-fat a big fat lie.)
So, here’s a little recipe for ya that would never make it into Cooking Light. Thank God.
The only question is, are you enough of a culinary adventurer to give this one a shot? Come on, I dare ya.
[center] [b] Avocado Cheesecake [/b] [/center]
Bag of finely crushed pecans or walnuts
Half a stick of quality butter
1.5 cups Splenda or your favorite sugar-equivalent substitute
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
1.5 cups of almond milk, unsweetened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 very ripe avocados (almost mushy)
1 lemon for zesting or dried lemon zest
1 package (8 oz) fat-free cream cheese
Topping of choice
- To make the crust, melt the butter in a pan. Add enough of the crushed nuts to cover the bottom of the pan and soak up all the butter. Thin crust = a little butter and a small amount of nuts. Thicker crust = extra butter, lots of nuts. Up to you. If you want a sweet crust, sprinkle on some extra Splenda.
Stir, kill the heat, then spread evenly into the bottom of a small springform pan.
Now let’s make the filling. In a cup, stir the gelatin into two tablespoons of water. Let it stand for 5 minutes or so. It may turn into a rubbery hockey puck. This is cool. (And perfectly fine.)
Zest the lemon. If you don’t know what that means, ask your granny. Or use dried zest like I do.
In a small saucepan, combine the almond milk, Splenda, vanilla, and zest. Bring to a boil. Add gelatin puck/mixture, lower to a simmer, and whisk until the gelatin dissolves. This’ll take about a minute.
In a food processor (or even your blender) add the cream cheese and avocados (both cubed). Pour hot milk mixture in and give it a whirl until it’s super smooth.
Pour into the crust, cover, and stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Top with sugar-free pie filling (as shown in my pics), whipped topping and extra chopped nuts, or whatever the heck you want.
Tips 'n Stuff
- “But Chris, avocado cheesecake! Are you flippin’ weird?”
Yes. Yes, I am. And your point is?
Nah, I know it’s crazy. But it’s also goooood, especially if you don’t like a super-sweet dessert. This is a sweet dessert but the avocado gives it a creamy, savory bite. And it actually doesn’t taste very, er, avocado-ey.
But if you’re skeered, cut back to one avocado. If you’re an avocado fetishist like me, use three.
- “But Chris, why use fat-free cream cheese when you just said you like your dietary fats! And you added friggin’ high-fat avocado to it!”
Because it drops the calories without dropping the volume: eat a lot, get full, don’t get fat. Sweet. Also, I want to pick and choose my dietary fats. In this case, I’d rather get them from avocado, nuts, and the omega-3s in the butter blend instead of milk and cream cheese.
Go ahead, try it!