Friday, June 22, 2012

No Bake, Frozen Cheesecake Dessert

If you grew up in the Midwest, you are probably familiar with desserts made out of a tub of Cool Whip and instant pudding or fruity gelatin.  You know, those fruity, fluffy desserts you typically have at a church potluck or family gatherings?  I remember as a kid, we had to at least try everything my mom put on our plates before getting to those lovely, fluffy concoctions.  If you were lucky, someone made one with crushed Oreo cookies or went above and beyond fruit cocktail and put marshmallows in their special "fluff" dessert.

After going gluten-free, I thought instant pudding might be "off limits" due to unknown modified starches.  "Gone are the days," I told myself when I was getting a mean hankering for some sort of "fluff" dessert.  Then, I did my research.  Low and behold, instant pudding is okay!  Dirt and worms fluff is off my list due to the Oreo cookies, but Cool Whip and instant pudding are safe.  That is how I came up with this little gem of a dessert...

Here is an updated, low calorie, gluten-free version of one of my favorite summer time potluck desserts.  No baking is required and it only contains five ingredients- butter, gluten-free cookies, fat-free whipped topping, milk, and sugar-free instant cheesecake pudding.  Cool, creamy, fluffy, and a snap to put together!

No Bake, Frozen Cheesecake Dessert
Makes 16 slices

1 cup gluten-free graham cookies (I used Annie's Gluten-Free Ginger Bunnies)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup skim milk
1 package sugar-free instant cheesecake flavored pudding
1 tub fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Place the graham cookies in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form.  If you have some pinned up aggression or do not have a food processor, you can crush the cookies in a plastic baggy.  Add the butter and process until incorporated.  If you crushed your cookies in a baggy, add the butter and shake the bag until the butter has coated the cookie crumbs. 

Spray a pie tin or spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour the cookie mixture in the bottom of the pan or pie tin.  Using your fingers, press the cookie mixture to form a thin crust.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the milk and pudding together for two minutes using a hand mixer or whisk.  Gently fold the whipped topping into the pudding until combined.  Pour the pudding mixture over the cookie crust.  Cover and freeze the dessert for 2-3 hours.  Garnish with berries before serving.  For 1/16th of the dessert there are roughly only 62 calories, .5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar.  Not too shabby my friend!

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