8. Lemon Icebox Bars
As a Southerner, I grew up adoring icebox cake. These incredible lemon bars are honestly just as good as anything I ever had back home. I mean, you will fall in love with this recipe even as you compile the ingredients. It's kind of involved, but trust me when I tell you that this cool, lemony healthy treat is definitely worth the effort. It makes an especially ideal summer dessert, and you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying them.
14 whole-grain graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup pasteurized egg product (such as egg beaters)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons boiling water
Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs are formed. Add butter, brown sugar and salt and pulse to incorporate, until crumbs resemble wet sand. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and pack crumbs firmly into the bottom of it. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk and pasteurized egg product and beat on high with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and beat until fully incorporated, another 30 seconds. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water and whisk until gelatin is entirely dissolved; let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the cream cheese-lemon mixture until well incorporated. Pour the filling over the crust. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until filling is firm. Slice into 2-inch squares using a chilled knife coated with cooking spray.
From chocolatey heaven to divine, fruity treats, these healthy desserts give you all the pleasure without any of the guilt. Feel free to indulge your sweet tooth and to treat your friends and family as well, without worrying about high calories and fat content. Remember to experiment as well – that makes baking fun, and so many of these recipes lend themselves well to experimentation. Do you have any healthy dessert recipes you'd be willing to share?
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