These are by far some of the BEST things I’ve ever eaten whilst on Slimming World! Hands down, categorically, bloody amazing! So, unsurprisingly I’m a tad proud of having come up with them as the best new way to use my Healthy Extras and enjoy some cheesecake-y goodness at the same time!
I mean look at that! A sticky oat crust filled with a syn free strawberry & vanilla cheesecake filling and topped with chopped strawberries, it really doesn’t get much better than that…unless you account for the fact that you can enjoy TWO of these bad boys for your Healthy Extra B and just a third of your Healthy Extra A . Each square is just one syn so you’re giving up just 2 syns in total if you have both for your Healthy Extras. They really do curb your sweet cravings too, the cheesecake filling sees to that, not to mention the fact that they’re high in fibre (with the dates and oats) making them an all round fantastic addition to your day!
One thing that I hadn’t really meant to do but worked out really well for these, was the strawberries on top. When I scattered them over the top layer of oats I had kind of thought that they’d almost dissolve, what actually happened was that they dried out on top which added a whole new texture to the bars! Dried out strawberries are also slightly tangy which went amazingly well with the sweetness of the centre, and the two different textures of strawberries worked fantastically.
This is one of those recipes that I know I’ll be making again and again, for both myself and my family and friends, because it’s just so ‘un-Slimming World’! There isn’t anything in the appearance or taste of these bars that would shout ‘healthy’ or ‘diet’ at someone, which makes them not only a great option for making yourself a breakfast or snack, but also if you’re ever in a situation where you have to provide something baked or take something sweet to a party or event.
I used dates in this recipe, which is something that I had never ever thought to use before. The reason I decided to use them is simple, they’re sticky, and you can enjoy 40g of them for your Healthy Extra B. I was keen to keep the syns as low as possible to bind the oats together, so I decided that dates would be perfect along with the tablespoon of Golden Syrup and the Flora Light. I also used Sukrin Gold, which is a brown sugar sweetener that can be used in place of brown sugar one for one and tastes incredible, which went that bit further to give the oat crust of these bars a delicious flap jack like taste and texture. I split the overall Healthy Extra B portion between the dates and the oats in the recipe, keeping two thirds for the oats but dedicating a third to chopped dates. This worked so well so I was really pleased, the extra chewy, stickiness that I ended up with helped make these a breakfast bar, as opposed to just some oats and cream cheese!
I would seriously recommend picking up some of the Sukrin Gold sweetener, as I’ve discovered that not only is it amazing in this recipe it makes just about anything made with oats about 1000 times better! You can get it on Amazon or I think you can pick it up in some health food stores, it’s not the cheapest but it lasts ages because you only use it in exactly the same way as regular brown sugar. Unlike other brands of sweetener, where you have to empty an entire pot for one recipe, you can use this over and over again before you run out. Ever since discovering it I’ve used it in porridge, overnight oats, baked oats and oat cookies, in place of the regular sweetener that I’d have used before. It’s got that heavy, granular texture that you want from actual sugar, and frankly I have no idea why other sweetener companies can’t do the same thing. Sukrin also do a white sugar version (Sukrin :1) which works in the same way, and an icing sugar version called Sukrin Melis, which equally is exactly like normal icing sugar! Another gorgeous thing about the Sukrin sweeteners is that they’re natural and so don’t give you that nasty after taste in your mouth which is a massive bonus! I’ve used the icing sugar in this recipe too as it makes the cheesecake mix incredible! If you’re yet to try out my ‘Seriously Easy No Bake Berry Cheesecake’ then you might not have come across the icing sugar but I’d really recommend picking some up pronto. In the meantime, if you want to make these and don’t have Sukrin Gold or Sukrin Melis in the cupboard, then you can make this with regular sweetener. Just bear in mind that I have used quantities in the recipe as though this is being substituted one for one with regular sugar. If you’re using a lighter sweetener you’ll have to use more so just add it gradually until you get the flavour you want. Click the images to find them on Amazon.
This recipe makes 20 squares, and as you can see they’re pretty large! I’ve actually just polished off two as I sit here and write this, and I can confirm that two is all you need. They’re just sweet enough without being over powering, but sweet enough that they taste like both a cereal bar and cheesecake at the same time. Because of the strawberries, and the natural fat free yogurt mixed in with the cheesecake, they have a really fresh taste that makes them ideal for breakfast!
If you use your healthy extras you can come up with an entirely syn free cheesecake (as I did before) that’s actually like a proper cheesecake, not like some blob of jelly! I do actually get slightly annoyed when I see recipes on Slimming World that claim to be cheesecake but don’t actually contain any cheese or even sit on a base, because at the end of the day all they are is yogurt mixed with gelatin, which in my books does not make cheesecake. I get that there’s a certain amount of imagination that goes into Slimming World, and some substitutes are more like the original than others, but if you can make a Slimming World version of something that you can’t tell apart from the original dish, then why wouldn’t you! So, having discovered how much I and the rest of the Slimming World community adore cheesecake, I wanted to find a way of mixing it with my other favourite thing…breakfast! So, that’s exactly what I did and I am really quite proud of these, so I really hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
One little tip to make a note of with this recipe, is to bake them until the cream cheese is no longer wobbling around if you gently shake the baking tin. I removed mine slightly too early and the bars in the very middle didn’t quite hold together as well as the rest of them. I’ve accounted for this in my baking time, but I think it’s important to let you know what issues I had when cooking, to help you avoid them yourself. The cream cheese could definitely still be soft and you don’t want to burn or dry out the recipe, but it should be more solid than liquid and not run out when the bars are chopped. I only had to sacrifice two of the squares though so at the end of the day it wasn’t a disaster, but hopefully you won’t make the same mistake!
Delicious cheesecake bars perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, pudding or a snack in between!
- 130g Chopped Up Dates (1/3 of your HexB)
- 50g Flora Light
- 1tbsp Golden Syrup
- 4tbsp Sukrin Gold
- 3tbsp Fat Free Yoghurt (I used Fage Total 0%)
- 4tbsp Sukrin Melis
- 200g Strawberries (roughly chopped - 100g for filling, 100g for topping)
- 1tsp Vanilla Essence (I used Spice Drops Vanilla Essence which is amazing!)
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Add all of the ingredients for the crust into a large mixing bowl and mix using your fingers. Bits will clump but just run them through your fingers until you get a crumble topping consistency and everything is coated.
- Tip three quarters of the crust mix into a square baking tin (about 30cmx30cm) on baking paper and use your fingers to press the mix until it comes together. It will still be slightly crumbly but will stick together when you bake it.
- Mix together the ingredients for the filling, using just 100g of the strawberries, and then dollop this on top of the base. Carefully spread it evenly making sure not to drag it around as this will make the base move and you don't want that. You should just be able to use a spatula to gently press the mixture until it's even.
- Evenly sprinkle the rest of the of the crust mixture on top, and then sprinkle the rest of the strawberries on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and gently press the topping into the cheesecake mix slightly (not all the way but just so it sits in it a bit more) and pop it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
- When it's ready, remove it from the oven and leave to cool. Cut into 20 pieces and serve.
Two pieces of this equals your whole Healthy Extra B portion and a third of your Healthy Extra A portion for the day. Each square contains 1 syn (accounting for the butter, golden syrup and cooked fruit).
*I was sent some of the products in this post to review however all of the views and opinions are my own.