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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Shhh - Don't tell anyone!
These tasty desserts contain tofu!

I know, I know! – These recipes include that “icky” thing – tofu. But before you move on consider this: tofu is a nutritional super-model with the remarkable ability to disguise itself as many things – in this case, Thanksgiving dessert. Silken tofu takes on a phenomenal life as a dessert and a healthy protein source. I encourage you to set these tofu desserts on your Thanksgiving dessert table. Shhhhh - - don’t tell your guests these are “healthy” desserts – let them enjoy the decadence!

These cheesecake recipes are WLS friendly, but as with all things after WLS, proceed with caution in moderation.

Pumpkin Tofu Cheesecake

1 1/2 pounds silken tofu
1 cup canned or fresh, cooked pumpkin
1 1/4 cups Splenda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
12 ounces soy cream cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 graham-cracker piecrusts (9 inches each)

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor or blender, puree the tofu and pumpkin. Add the Splenda cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, soy cream cheese and vanilla and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary. Pour the tofu mixture into prepared piecrusts and bake for 50 minutes, until firm. Turn off oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cool.

16 servings (normal portions)

Nutrition: 210 calories, 14.5 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 4.5 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g fiber, 138 mg sodium, 49 percent calories from fat.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

1/3 cup hazelnuts
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (5 ounces)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 pound silken tofu
1 cup creamed (4%) cottage cheese
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted
½ cup granulated sugar or splenda
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 367 degrees. Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 7 minutes, or until the skins begins to crinkle. (Leave the oven on). Transfer the hazelnuts to a kitchen towel and rub to remove as much of the skin as possible (some skin will remain). When the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the crumbs, oil, and 1 tablespoon of water. Press the mixture into the bottom and partway up the sides of a 9 ½” spring-form pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until the crust is set. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

3. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and ¼ cup of water until well moistened. In a food processor, combine the tofu, cottage cheese, melted semisweet chocolate, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, whole egg, egg whites, vanilla and the cocoa mixture. Process until very smooth.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Sprinkle the nuts on top and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled. Serves 12 (normal portions).

Nutrition: Calories, 205; fiber, 1 gram; protein, 8 grams; fat 7 grams; cholesterol 20 mg; sodium 189 mg.

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