Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthier strawberry pretzel squares

You assumed you were eating a healthy dessert when you found out it had strawberries, jello and pretzels, but what about all that sugar in jello?  and what about all that butter used in the crust? and what about the dyes and chemicals in jello?

a lot of desserts that cut back in sugar replace it with sugar substitute like splenda or equal, but
is there a way to make a healthier version of strawberry pretzel squares without using sugar substitute?

This is what I've come up with and my entire family loves it.

1 box knox gelatin
4 cups fruit juice*, divided
2 Tbs agave syrup (or white sugar)
1/4 cup (half stick) of butter
2 cups roughly chopped pretzels
3 Tbs sugar
2 blocks low fat cream cheese
3 Tbs powdered sugar
1 1/4 cup cool whip
4 cups strawberries

1.  Add 4 packets (one box) of knox gelatin packets to 1 cup cold fruit juice.  Let sit 1 minute.  Add 3 cups boiling fruit juice and 2 Tbs agave (or sugar).  Stir 5 minutes until gelatin and sugar dissolve.  Refrigerate  30 minutes, then add the fruit and refrigerate another 10 minutes. (you don't want it to gel completely because it won't look very pretty when you dump this mixture on top of the crust and cream cheese).
While this is chilling. . .

2.  Melt butter, add pretzels and 3 Tbs sugar.  Spread in a 13x9 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Put in the fridge while making the cream cheese mixture.

3.  Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Stir in cool whip.  Carefully spread over pretzel mixture. (because the pretzel crust is low fat, it is very crumbly at this point, making it tricky to spread the cream cheese mixture, so this is the hardest part and takes a little patience.  Spoon globs of cream cheese all over the crust so it is a little easier to spread.)

4.  pour the jello over crust and cream cheese mixture.   Refrigerate for another 1.5 hours.  Top with cool whip (this really makes it, in my opinion).

*I have used apple or grape juice (which is my favorite) but any 100% fruit juice should work fine.  The point is to use 100% juice so as not to add unnecessary sugars and food colorings.

18 servings - about  7 grams of fat, 5 grams of sugar per serving (not including the fruit juice).  (The original has about 11 g fat, 15 g sugar per serving- which isn't too bad when you just eat 1, but it is such a yummy dessert that I always wanna eat at least 2-- this is part of the reason I make things healthier, because I don't have much will power:)

No comments:

Post a Comment