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Peanut Butter Cookie Protein Bars

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No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

It’s been hot here lately. August here is usually the best month out of our whole summer, filled with lots of sunshine and warmer temps. There are so many ways to cool off here on a hot day, but I pretty much spent my summer making popsicles to deal with that. But if I had to choose something different, it would probably be these no-bake strawberry cheesecake bars. Yep, I said it! NO-BAKING. So go ahead and turn that oven off, you won’t be needing it.

I took one bite of these the first time I made them, and immediately had to have more. I couldn’t stop myself! Not only did I think they were a winner, but my family did too. And you know you are on to something when your little brother takes a bite and mumbles, “oh wow, this is really good.” And then eats the whole thing. Mission accomplished.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

These bars are gluten free and easy to make, but they don’t have all your typical no-bake ingredients. You see, I see all these beautiful photos and recipes of no-bake cheesecakes that either have cashew cream as the base, or they use gelatin to help it set up. Gelatin isn’t something I have on hand at any time, so this recipe doesn’t use any! I also don’t always have nuts on hand, and sometimes my stomach just can’t handle that many cashews… I also know many people are allergic or can’t stomach that amount of nuts either. So no nuts here!

This crust is something I love more than any other crust I have tried making. Generally, there are two main ways of making no-bake crust: either a graham cracker and butter base, or a date and nut base. You can absolutely make a different crust with these bars if you want! But for me, I don’t always want to buy gluten free graham crackers or a bunch of dates just for one recipe (although dates are just so delicious). So I used what I have on hand – oats!

Just take gluten free rolled oats and blend them in your blender for just a few seconds to make oat flour (I just use my Nutribullet, and I have flour within seconds). Pour this into a small mixing bowl with some brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and liquid coconut oil. Mix this around until everything is evenly distributed and coated, it should look like course crumbs. Then add just 1 tablespoon of water at a time, mixing with your hands or a rubber spatula until the crust starts to come together. It should take about 2-4 Tbsp, but only add enough to be able to press it out into the pan with it still sticking together… adding too much water can make the crust pretty chewy (personal opinion here). When you have the crust all pressed out in your pan, place it into the fridge until ready to fill.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Now for the filling. This base gets its cheesecake tang from not only cream cheese, but from a little plain greek yogurt as well. It’s sweetened up with a little confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and of course fresh strawberry puree. As I said before, this dessert is not made with cashews or gelatin. So what helps this cheesecake set up? COCONUT CREAM. Yes, you could very well use regular heavy cream if you wish, but I find that whipped coconut cream is much thicker and seems to stabilize better when refrigerated (while using a little less than you would with normal whipped cream). This also helps it to set a little better if you don’t want to freeze the bars. And don’t worry, you don’t taste coconut at all.

You will start by whipping the coconut cream. Just take your refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid cream on top into your mixing bowl (save the liquid for a smoothie or later use). We are looking for 1 cup of cream here, which should just be from one can of full-fat coconut milk. In case you need some more, it’s a good idea to keep a second can ready. You can also use one full can of coconut cream instead – the solid cream in there may be a little more than a cup, and that’s just fine! It will just help stabilize the cheesecake a little bit more. Once you have your cream, just whip away for a few minutes with your hand beaters. It doesn’t take that long before it turns smooth and very thick. Once done, pour this out into a small bowl and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Using the same mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese for a minute or two until it becomes smooth. Then add in the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla, and beat with your hand beaters or stand mixer until combined and smooth. But let’s not forget those beautiful strawberries! Beat in all of that puree until you have a nice creamy mixture. Finally, gently fold in that coconut cream until is totally distributed and you have a super creamy and dreamy cheesecake… it will look like a light and fluffy strawberry mousse. Seriously, my mouth always waters when I finish this step!

Pour your filling over your crust, and place into the fridge overnight (I find at least 8-10 hours is best). If you want, you can also cover these with some foil and place them into the freezer to firm up faster, then just let them sit at room temperature for about 10-20 minutes before slicing. I prefer mine refrigerated for two reasons: sometimes while defrosting, the crust ends up a little soggy. It still holds together and tastes just as great! It’s just not as firm. You could always slice them frozen and eat it that way if you wish, but this brings me to my second reason – frozen strawberries just don’t have as much flavor as fresh. I have frozen batches before, only to find I can barely taste the strawberries. However you choose though, both ways are super delicious!

 

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours

Author: Zest and Lemons

Yield: 16 squares

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

These strawberry cheesecake bars are oh so dreamy and creamy, and there’s no baking required! Made with a gluten free oat crust, cream cheese and greek yogurt filling, and flavored with fresh strawberry puree, these simple cheesecake bars make for the perfect summer dessert.

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water**
    Cheesecake:
  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup coconut cream, from 1-2 14oz cans of full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated 1-2 hours)**
  • 2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • **See notes below, after instructions

Instructions

    For the Crust:
  1. Place 1 and 3/4 cups of oats in a blender and blend until you get flour consistency, just a few seconds. You should have a total of 2 cups of oat flour, so blend in extra until you have the full amount.
  2. Mix the ground oats in a small mixing bowl with brown sugar and salt until combined. Add in the coconut oil and mix with a rubber spatula for a minute or two until the oats are all coated and you have course crumbs.
  3. Add in 1 Tbsp of water at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. You are looking for a crust that will just hold when packed down, but is not too wet. It should take about 2.5 - 3 Tbsp of water, but no more than 4. The more water you add after that, the better the crust will hold together but the chewier it will be.
  4. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper (bottom and up the sides). Once your crust is at the right consistency, press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place in the fridge until ready to fill.
    For the Cheesecake:
  1. Open one can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid cream on top into a medium mixing bowl. You can also turn the can upside down and open it from the bottom, draining out the liquid first and then scooping out the cream. You should have 1 cup of coconut cream, if not you can pull from the second can (the solids from one 14oz can of coconut cream will also work instead, it may be slightly over 1 cup and that’s just fine). Reserve the liquid for a smoothie of another use. Using hand beaters, beat the cream for a few minutes until you have a smooth and very thick whipped cream with soft peaks. Pour into a small bowl and place into the fridge to chill.
  2. Using the same mixing bowl as the whipped coconut cream or in a stand mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese for 1-2 minutes until smooth and softened. Add the greek yogurt, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined and smooth.
  3. Add the strawberries to a blender and blend for a few seconds until you have a smooth puree. Pour the strawberry puree into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and beat until combined. Take the whipped coconut cream out of the fridge and gently fold it into the cheesecake mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed throughout. Your mixture should resemble a soft but thick whipped strawberry mousse when combined.
    Finish:
  1. Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the oat crust. Smooth the top so that you have an even layer, then gently tap the pan on the counter a few times so you release any air bubbles.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8-10 hours or until set, but overnight is best. Or place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours or until firm. When cheesecake is set, carefully lift up the sides of parchment to remove it from the pan. Cut into squares and served chilled or frozen, or let frozen bars thaw at room temperature for 10-20 minutes until ready to serve.

Notes

The oat crust is very easy to make and is very versatile, and can be made to your desired consistency. It took me 3-3.5 Tbsp of water, but the more you add the chewier the crust may be. Start with 2 Tbsp of water and try pressing some of the crust in your hand first to stick together, then access how crumbly or firm it is when it breaks before adding any more water. This crust would work also well with other no-bake cheesecakes or pies.

This recipe calls for whipped coconut cream instead of whipped heavy cream, because the thicker consistency helps to firm up the cheesecake without required freezing. You should be able to get 1 cup of solid cream from one can of full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated at least 1-2 hours before using, but overnight is always best), but I recommend having a second on hand in case you don’t have enough. You can also use the solid cream from one can of coconut cream instead, and if you have a little over 1 cup that’s just fine.

I highly recommend letting these bars firm up overnight if in the refrigerator, up to 24 hours, as they will be easier to cut. You can freeze these bars as well, but I suggest letting them thaw after cutting at room temperature before serving… the strawberries have a stronger flavor when fresh and not frozen.

You need greek yogurt for this recipe, as regular plain yogurt is too thinned out and may not set up when chilled. I have made this recipe before using vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain and it turned out well, just skip adding the vanilla extract and add less sugar (to taste).

https://www.zestandlemons.com/no-bake-strawberry-cheesecake-bars/

No bake strawberry cheesecake bars - Zest and Lemons
No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars - gluten free!

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I only link to products I truly love and recommend. I receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

My 16 Favorite Gluten Free Products

My 16 Favorite Gluten Free Products

Going gluten free may not always be the easiest thing for some. Maybe you just got diagnosed with Celiac or are gluten intolerant, and have no idea where to start. It can be tough wandering the aisles of your grocery store, staring at label after […]

Blackberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Blackberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Happy Friday and ALMOST National Cheesecake Day! Can you believe they have a special day dedicated to just about everything? National Cheesecake Day isn’t actually until Sunday, but who says we can’t celebrate a little bit early? In honor of this super special day, I […]

Gluten Free Korean BBQ Pizza

Gluten Free Korean BBQ Pizza

We have the coolest local pizza shop near us with some pretty unique pizza options. It’s usually a very long wait to get in, but it’s always worth it and is a hit with our family. Since going gluten free, I can no longer eat my favorite Korean BBQ pizza from here. So, I had to re-create it and make my own!

When it comes to the special Korean BBQ sauce, I actually switched the flavors up a bit. It’s so hard for me to find a gluten free version, so I made do with using one of my go-to marinades I have in my fridge: San-J sweet and tangy Polynesian sauce. And it worked out perfectly!

If you’ve never seen the brand before, San-J makes a whole line of certified gluten free sauces and marinades. I currently have a few in my fridge, including their gluten free tamari, and use them for everything from stir-fry to dipping sauces. They are such a quick and easy way to marinate and add flavor to your dishes, especially when you don’t have everything to make your sauces from scratch.

Korean BBQ Pizza

This pizza is pretty quick and easy to make. You can use any store bought pizza crust or dough, but I used Chébé’s gluten free pizza crust mix. I’ve really liked using it so far, as it’s easy to make tastes pretty good. If you use a different dough or crust, your bake times could vary. So keep that in mind (read notes below the recipe).

Once your crust is par-baked, it’s topped with olive oil and garlic, mozzarella cheese, and marinated stir fry beef. You could also try this with shredded rib meat, which I know is also quite delicious. Then you just bake the pizza in a 450℉ oven for about 7 minutes, and finish it off with fresh arugula, sesame seeds, and an extra drizzle of the Polynesian sauce for good measure.

Korean BBQ Pizza

Simple, easy, and full of flavor. Try it today, and see if it becomes a hit in your house too.

 

Gluten Free Korean BBQ Pizza

Author: Zest and Lemons

Yield: One 14-in Pizza

Gluten Free Korean BBQ Pizza

A gluten free take on Korean BBQ pizza. Stir fry meat marinated in a sweet and tangy sauce, topped with fresh arugula and sesame seeds. It’s the perfect combination of flavors in each bite!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Chébé gluten free pizza crust mix, prepared
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb stir fry beef pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp San-J sweet and tangy Polynesian sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 Tbsp gluten free Tamari sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup arugula, packed
  • 1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • Canola or coconut oil

Instructions

    Crust:
  1. Press out your prepared pizza dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or on a pizza pan. Continue to work the dough out until you get a 14-in circle. Par-bake your crust according to the directions, then remove from the oven and set aside until your ingredients are ready (you can start cooking some of your ingredients while waiting for the crust to come out).
    Toppings:
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat for just a minute or two until it’s heated up. Add the garlic and stir continuously for another minute, until the garlic is mostly cooked and making sure not to burn it. Turn off the heat, then spread the mixture evenly over your par-baked pizza crust. Make sure to spread out that garlic! Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the olive oil and garlic so that it evenly covers the pizza crust.
  2. Stir together 1/4 cup of the San-J Polynesian sauce and the Tamari until combined. In a large pan or iron skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of oil over medium heat. Add in the stir fry beef pieces and the sauce mixture, then stir to coat (you could also marinate the beef in the sauce ahead of time, then add it all to the pan). Continue to stir the beef for 1-2 minutes, just until it’s seared on the outside and slightly cooked on the inside. Drain the meat from the pan, set aside.
  3. Spoon the meat evenly over the mozzarella cheese on the crust. Bake at 450℉ for 7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the meat is cooked (time may vary depending on thickness of meat and how you like it done). Remove from the oven.
    Finish:
  1. Top the pizza with fresh arugula. Sprinkle over sesame seeds, then drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp of Polynesian sauce over the top of the pizza. Slice and serve.

Notes

Notes: - I used Chèvre pizza crust mix for this recipe. You can use whatever pizza crust you like, but the actual cooking temperature may depend on your dough or if you are using a pre-made crust, so check your package or wrapper for actual baking temperature. Some have an option to par-bake the crust, but some pre-made ones only require being baked for a few minutes. If that’s the case, you can just skip step 1 and top the crust with your toppings, then bake the 7 minutes.

- You can marinate your meat ahead of time in the sauce mixture if you'd like. Just place the meat and sauce into a releasable bag and in the fridge for a few hours or until ready to use. When you are ready to cook the meat, just pour out the whole bag into the pan and continue with the rest of the steps as written.

https://www.zestandlemons.com/gluten-free-korean-bbq-pizza/

Gluten Free Korean BBQ Pizza!

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I only link to products I truly love and recommend. I receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Sweet and Tangy Korean Style Meatballs

Sweet and Tangy Korean Style Meatballs

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake is definitely my cake of choice. At a certain age, I stopped liking the super sweet flavors in cakes and cupcakes, but I have always loved carrot cake. My family grew up with carrot cake as the cake of choice for birthdays. At […]

Mango Orange Popsicles with Coconut Water

Mango Orange Popsicles with Coconut Water

The weather is starting to warm up here, something I’ve always loved about our summers… sunshine, cool breezes, and laying out by the pool. Ok, I don’t have a pool (if only, if only). But we do have plenty of lakes here!

The only downside to our warm summers is the humidity that sometimes comes along with it. When temperatures start to get above 90 degrees F here, the air starts to get a little stuffy and the sun beats down pretty hard. When that happens, I call it a great excuse to make some frozen treats!

mango orange popsicles

I’ve been a little obsessed with making popsicles lately and trying to come up with fun flavor combinations. While I haven’t quite gone out-of-the-box yet with ideas, I have always wanted to popsicles made with coconut water.

Coconut water is a great alternative to milk, cream, or fruit juices for a popsicle mixture base. It’s a full of electrolytes and potassium, and is a pretty refreshing drink on it’s own. But I added it to a few other things to make these mango orange popsicles. And I find it to be the perfect summer flavor combination.

mango orange popsicles

A Few Tips:

  • This mixture is very thick when blending… especially before adding the orange juice. If you are having trouble blending it, try setting your blender to a lower speed and make sure to move the mixture around with your blender tamper.
  • After spooning the mixture into your popsicle molds, tap the mold a few times on your table so that everything is evenly distributed and it releases as many air bubbles as possible. This ensures a nice smooth texture.
  • Now, this is an important one. The flavor and color of your popsicles may vary depending on the sweetness of your mangos and if you use fresh-squeezed or store-bought orange juice. If your mangos are on the sweeter side, fresh-squeezed orange juice might work better. I always find that fresh is best, but this recipe totally works with store-bought orange juice too. If you find your mango is a little bitter and the mixture is lacking sweetness after being blended, try adding 1 tsp of honey or more to taste.

Popsicles Molds:

    • So far, I’m really digging this Norpro Popsicle Maker. I’ve made quite a few recipes with it, including my strawberry coconut swirl popsicles, and they come out great every time. One thing I like about it is that it has a plastic top instead of a metal one, which means it doesn’t really stick to the metal edges around the top of the mold… just slightly to the popsicles itself, making it easy to release with a little warm water and a gentle pull. This recipe makes about 6 popsicles in this mold, but I doubled it to take these photos. Because the more the merrier, right? Just say yes.

 

mango orange popsicles

These popsicles are a simple yet refreshing summer treat to bring with you to your next summer pool party. So go get yourself a popsicle mold, make some delicious frozen treats, and stay cool!

 

Mango Orange Popsicles with Coconut Water

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours

Author: Zest and Lemons

Yield: 6 popsicles

Mango Orange Popsicles with Coconut Water

Easy 3 ingredient popsicles made with mango, orange juice, and coconut water. Fresh, fruity, and the perfect frozen treat to make for your next summer party!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4-1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or store-bought, see notes below)
  • 1 tsp honey or more to taste, if needed

Instructions

  1. Place the coconut water, frozen mango, and 1/4 cup orange juice in a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to use your blender tamper to move the mixture around if too thick. Add additional orange juice and honey to taste, if needed, depending on the sweetness of mango and type of orange juice you use.
  2. Spoon the mixture into popsicle molds, then tap the mold on the table a few times to release any air bubbles. Freeze for 1-2 hours before inserting your popsicle sticks, then place back into freezer for an additional 4-6 hours or overnight.
  3. To remove, run the molds under a little warm water for an easier release.

Notes

- The flavor and color of your popsicles may vary depending on the sweetness of your mangos and if you use fresh-squeezed or store-bought orange juice. If your mangos are on the sweeter side, fresh-squeezed orange juice might work better. I always find that fresh is best, but this recipe totally works with store-bought orange juice too. If you find your mango is a little bitter and the mixture is lacking sweetness after being blended, try adding 1 tsp of honey or more to taste.

- Please note that I doubled the recipe to take these photos. This recipe makes about 6 popsicles in the mold that I used.

https://www.zestandlemons.com/mango-orange-popsicles-coconut-water/

Easy Mango Orange Popsicles!

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. I only link to products I truly love and recommend. I receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Chewy Coconut Oil Brownies

Chewy Coconut Oil Brownies

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