#MenuMonday: Fantastic 4th Dessert

Sugar-Free Fourth of July Dessert

When the fourth of July comes around, I always begin to crave my mom’s strawberry pretzel salad. I’m using air quotes when I say the word, “salad,” because the only healthy part of this recipe is the strawberries. But, as a kid I would gobble up squares of strawberries, cream cheese, whipped cream, and jello and lick the pan, too.

As an adult, that kind of behavior is frowned upon, so I try to exert more self-control. And, I have create a version that suits my sugar-free lifestyle. If you are familiar with this Southern classic, then prepare your taste buds, because this rendition of the sweet and salty dessert is not nearly as sweet as you remember. But, it is much healthier and won’t break the calorie bank! And, the Greek yogurt provides a punch of protein that will keep you satisfied long enough to resist licking the pan.

 

Sugar-Free Strawberry Pretzel Salad

strawberry jello pretzel salad                        Photo: Twirl and Taste    

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) package farmer’s cheese (found near the cream cheese)
  • 1(7-ounce) container plain Greek yogurt
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages plain gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, mix the pretzels and butter. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the farmer’s cheese and Greek yogurt, adding a splash of vanilla if desired. Spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly.
  5. While gelatin is cooling, puree half of the strawberries and mix the puree into the gelatin.
  6. Add the remaining strawberries, and pour over the cheese and yogurt mixture mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

 

 

The result has the same sweet and salty flavor you crave, but without the sugar and fat you may be trying to avoid. Enjoy! Share with others! I won’t judge if you want to lick the pan.

 

 

– HEATHER FUSELIER, CTTS, CPT, CHC