Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Healthier Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

I brought these brownies to a football watch party a few weeks ago and everyone ate them up.  Most of our friends admitted they couldn't tell I made any healthier recipe substitutions.  Success!  I love proving to family and friends that healthier baked goods can still taste delicious.

For this recipe I used my typical recipe substitutions - applesauce, healthier buttery spread (ie. Smart Balance), egg whites, Greek yogurt, and reduced sugar amount.   It may sound like a lot of substitutions, but I still used butter, cream cheese, and sugar (just in lesser amounts).   Generally you can reduce the sugar in recipes by about 20% without losing the overall sweet flavor.  Sugar substitutes are another possible substitution (for sugar) to reduce the calories, but I do not personally like the flavor they produce.

This recipe can also be made without the red food coloring.  I typically try to avoid food colorings due to the artificial coloring. Natural red food coloring is difficult to create, however I hope to do some experimenting in the kitchen soon.

On another note I decided to restart Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred workout video. The cold wintery weather has made it difficult to run or walk outside, which is something I typically enjoy doing.  Today I completed day 2. Only 28 more days to go!  The workout is only 20 minutes, therefore I typically add a bit more cardio through walking or jumping jacks at the conclusion of the workout.  I have done this workout video numerous times before, however I have never completed the complete 30 days.  Wish me luck!

What is your favorite exercise activity?

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith
Skinny Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: dessert chocolate yogurt
Ingredients (16 brownies)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Smart Balance buttery spread (or butter), melted
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 - 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
For the cheesecake filling:
  • 4 oz package cream cheese (1/3 the fat), softened
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9" x 9" inch pan (I used glass) with non-stick cooking spray
2. Whisk together butters, applesauce, eggs, sugar. Add vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, flour, food coloring.
3. In separate bowl using a mixer (can be stand or handheld), mix together yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla.
4. Pour 4/5 of brownie batter into baking pan. Spread cheesecake layer on top and spread evenly. Dollop remaining 1/5 of brownie batter onto cheesecake layer (this does not need to be evenly spread and you want to leave some of the cheesecake layer visible)
5. Using a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl the cream cheese together with the dollops of brownie batter.
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes or until brownie cooked through.
Serving size: 1/16 brownies • Servings: 16 • Calories: 133.9 kcal • Protein: 3.4 g • Carbs: 17.7 g • Fat: 6.0 g • Fiber: 1.0 g • Sugar: 0.6 g • Sodium: 71.7 mg
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