No-Bake High Protein Candied Ginger Cheesecake Bars [Oh, and Laurentians Challenge? Check!]

Hmpft…

I feel like I’ve been robbed!

What was stolen from me, you ask?

Distance! That’s what!

Let me explain.

I did make it to the finish line yesterday. So technically, I DID complete the challenge.

Oh, it wasn’t always pretty, let me tell you! I had to get off my bike and “walk it” at times. But some of those hills were just so steep, and others went on for what seemed like forever… Hey, at least I wasn’t the only one walking, so that made me feel better…

Still, between kilometres 67 and 72, I thought I was gonna die. I felt like rolling into a little ball on the side of the road and cry for a bit couple of days. I even considered waiting for the “bus of shame” to pick me up and take me to the finish line. My legs just plain refused to pedal, they couldn’t carry me no more, all they did was burn like mad. They didn’t even want to bend anymore. They were stiff as metal rods. No word of a lie.

But just the thought of giving up made me feel so sad inside, I imagined telling you guys how I’d failed and I couldn’t handle that thought. I HAD to keep pushing. Plus, I kept trying to convince my brains that it was just a passing phase, that things would get easier, like they always do… So I kept going, and just like I thought, by kilometre 75, I got a second wind and felt ready to tackle the rest of the ride. Hey, there was only 27 km to go… pfft, nothing to it.

Then, at kilometre 88, we entered the “city” and I thought OMG, the tough part really is behind me now, this is going to be such a joyride from this point on. I was so happy, I felt like crying again.

From joy, this time.

But only a few minutes later, the “finish line” appeared before me. There was something wrong with that picture. I wasn’t supposed to see that before I’d travelled an extra 9 kilometres. I was really puzzled!

Well, turns out we took a wrong turn at one point and ended up taking a short-cut that shortened our circuit by 9 km. Which means I ended up finishing the challenge with only 92.5km to my name, instead of the 102km I had originally signed for.

Strangely, I felt sort of bummed about this. I felt as though it put some sort of a tamper on my victory. It’s like I haven’t really finished the challenge… Sure, I made it to the end, but I haven’t quite completed it. And I’ll never get those 9km back.

Still, I’m extremely pleased with my accomplishment, and I am very proud to have seen it to the end.

When I got home, I was totally pooped and felt like I had absolutely nothing to give.

I certainly didn’t feel like cooking… but I was starving!

Luckily, I had these babies waiting for me in the fridge.

They sure hit the spot!

These cheesecake bars may not qualify as a healthy breakfast, as some of my healthy desserts do, but still, they are much healthier than your average cheese based desserts.

They contain no grains, which makes them gluten free by definition, and are sweetened with nothing but honey. They’re already quite high in protein due to the addition of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese but I chose to boost that protein content even more by adding a little bit of whey powder. Since I tend to eat all my desserts as snacks (I don’t really do desserts, you know) I figured that would make them a little more “suitable” and would remove some of the guilt factor for me.

I mean hey, they ARE no-bake CHEESECAKE squares after all!

Their texture is absolutely magnificent. Nice and firm, yet super creamy, just as I like them!

No Bake Ginger Cheesecake Bars

And of course, the addition of some of that home made candied ginger I recently made just sent these over the top.

Even my daughter, who does’t care much for ginger, said they were absolutely, amazingly, positively delicious.

Definitely worth making again.

Oh, and no one will ever be able to tell that these glorious squares have undergone a healthifying treatment.

Even I tend to forget it and sort of feel guilty whenever I have one…

Yeah, they’re that good!

No-Bake High Protein Candied Ginger Cheesecake Bars

Yield: Makes 16 squares (or more if you want smaller squares)

Nutritional Information based on 1 of 16 squares

No-Bake High Protein Candied Ginger Cheesecake Bars

INGREDIENTS

    Bottom Layer
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup flaxseed meal
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup date paste
  • 1/3 cup (3) egg whites
  • 25g candied ginger, chopped (I used home made)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Cheese Filling
  • 1½ cup 1% fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup low fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup coconut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 4 scoops (140g) vanilla flavored whey protein powder
  • 75g candied ginger, finely chopped (I used home made)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup unpasteurized liquid honey
  • 10g sheet gelatin
  • Garnish
  • Chopped candied ginger

INSTRUCTIONS

    For Bottom Layer
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor and process on pulse until well incorporated and mixture sticks together.
  2. Press down on a 9 inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper. Set aside while you make the filling.
  3. For the Ginger Cheese Filling
  4. Cover the sheet gelatin in cold water and soak while making cheese filling.
  5. In the bowl of your food processor (you don’t have to rinse the bowl out), add all of the ingredients except for vanilla, honey and gelatin and process until smooth and well combined.
  6. Cut the vanilla bean in half lenghtwise and scrape the seeds out. Add to the cheese mixture and process to blend in.
  7. In a small saucepan, over medium - low heat, bring honey up in temperature without allowing it to boil. Remove gelatin from water and squeeze to remove excess water. Add gelatin to honey and stir gently until gelatin is melted.
  8. Pour that mixture into the cheese filling while your food processor is running and process until just incorporated.
  9. Immediately pour over the reserved crust and garnish with chopped candied ginger and unsweetened coconut shavings.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before cutting into 16 squares.
  11. Drizzle with vanilla ginger honey (leftover from making candied honey) or liquid honey at the moment of serving, if desired.

Notes

Don't think too much of the "C" rating for that one, the recipe analyzer does not appreciate coconut at all and penalized this recipe for using a lot of it, which resulted in a high level of saturated fat, but coconut fat, even though it is saturated, is actually a very healthy fat.

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/no-bake-high-protein-candied-ginger-cheesecake-bars-oh-and-laurentians-challenge-check/

No Bake Ginger Cheesecake Bars

No Bake Ginger Cheesecake Bars

 

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Comments

    • says

      Hey, thanks a bunch my friend, it’s always such a pleasure to get comments from you! They never fail to put a smile on my face. Thanks for the congrats and for liking my pictures too! You’re a true gem! :)

  1. says

    Wow, Sonia, you are my heroine: 92.5 km – that’s more than I could ever do. I am happy that we (your readers) have provided some motivation to finish – now I feel as if I participated in some way, which makes me extremely (and extremely unjustifiably ;-) ) proud.
    And the cheesecake looks amazing! I know the taste, I make cheesecakes with farmers’ cheese, something between cottage cheese and Greek yogurt – it’s absolutely delicious, and so much healthier than the standard version! You definitely deserved it (and more!)

    • says

      Wow, how fortunate that I went and looked at my spam after you said that you’d commented and never saw your comment make it on the site. What a great, fabulous, awesome, day-making comment that is! Thank you so much for that! Now I feel super proud that I finished, and of course, I thought about you (my readers) a lot while I was out there pedalling. In fact, I don’t think a day ever goes by without me thinking about you all or you guys influencing my actions and / or decisions. :D

      Glad you like the cheesecake bars, and between you and me, I did have the “and more”… but I wouldn’t dare share on here… ;)

  2. says

    I just left a comment but I don’t see it, so I am trying again: Bravo! both for the race and the cake!
    p.s. I think my comments on other posts also never saw the light of screen….

    • says

      Oh maaaaan! I hate the thought that people are leaving comments that just never make it through… I’ve had that happen to me on other WordPress sites, too! Wish I knew how to fix that!

      Thanks for trying again, and again! :) And thanks for the congrats, too! :)

    • says

      Thanks Lisa, glad you like! They aren’t so bad, really, are they? I keep forgetting just how healthy they really are, for they really don’t taste it. They seriously taste like a decadent dessert…

  3. says

    Congratulations on completing the challenge! I know what you mean though, sometimes if I have to get out of the swimming pool because of foot cramp or something, and I’ve only done like 54 lengths instead of my usual 60, I’ll feel really guilty and feel as if I haven’t been for a swim at all, as if it doesn’t count! Stupid I know. But yours is still a massive achievement so be proud!

    Also, these look DIVINE. Love the photos and that gooey syrup drizzling down… my latest post is a cheesecake too, but not quite as healthy! ;)

    • says

      Awww, thank you so much Elly. And hey, you should never feel as though you haven’t done anything at all after completing 90% of a task, especially not if you stop because of physical limitations! But I totally understand where you are coming from… I guess you are a perfectionist, just like I am.

      Glad you like the cheesecake bars… now I’ll have to go check out YOUR cheesecake, if only just to drool for a bit! ;)

  4. says

    Congratulations! I know those few lost kilometers must bother you, but I think you should just focus on what you DID do and how amazing it is. And it’s way more than most of the population could do. That’s always something to be proud of, right? :)

    These look amazing and super healthy, despite your “not a healthy breakfast” disclaimer. I eat normal cheesecake for breakfast so this would totally do for me. And it looks so pretty!

    • says

      Thanks Erin! Your kind words really are music to my ear!

      And if you do eat normal cheesecake for breakfast, then by all means, do give these bars a try. I’m sure you won’t even be able to tell the difference, and they will serve you so much better! :)

  5. says

    O my goodness! You cycled that far… and yes those 9 km is really no big deal on such a distance (although i can see why you would be a bit bummed about it too) so well done girl!! Almost 100 k, I would certainly not repeat that (at this moment in time..) so you totally deserve those gorgeous looking cheesecakes! Man, I just had dinner but that was so healthy that looking at these makes me hungry all over! I guess I’ll have to cycle 100 k first too before indulging!

    • says

      LOL! Let me tell you, Simone, after burning close to 4000 calories, you can indulge in a little bit more than a healthy cheesecake bar! It would be one of the benefits of working so darn hard for a little over 4 hours. ;) One of the, I said… cuz of course, there are MANY others!

      How’s it going with your body transformation challenge? Guess I’m more than due for a little visit on your blog. Healthy salad, I really like. Too bad you’re not allowed posting the recipes to the meals you have to eat! I sure would love to check them out! :)

  6. says

    Whoa Nelly those babies will motivate you to finish! They look delish. Congrats on your trek-still a huge accomplishment ;)!

  7. says

    Well, congratulations on finishing even though it wasn’t as long as it should have been. That is still incredibly impressive! Your bars look amazing! I’m seriously sitting here day dreaming about that filling, haha. Yum :D

    • says

      LOL! Would’ve loved to see the look on your face while you were sitting there, daydreaming about the bars… I still have some in the freezer, and let me tell you, they are almost better when they are frozen. Uh oh… I could go grab one right now… all I’d have to do is go up that flight of stairs. But no, I won’t do it. Just had dinner. I’ll be a good girl!

      Thanks for your good words, Heidi. That really means a lot to me. You are totally awesome!!! :)

  8. says

    OMG you cycled that far? Are you serious? I would probably collapse after 20-30 km. Congratulations even though you may feel cheated, what a great accomplishment, don’t you think so?

    Anyhow, these cheesecake bars look amazing. I love the ginger flavor in it, I actually adore ginger, and the honey drizzle over the bars looks really luxurious. You really come up with great food creations :-)

    • says

      Awwww, thank you so much Miryam, that is sooooo nice of you to say! I do feel quite proud of my accomplishment, especially given my almost non-existent experience. It was a tough challenge, but I look forward to repeating the experience!

      As for my food creations, real happy that you like them! Thanks a bunch for letting me know! You rock! :)

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