March 8, 2010

Pineapple Cream Granola Squares

I recently received some fresh Chevre goat cheese from my friend's goat farm in California. I don't get this but once a year so I want to make some special goodies with it. I made pineapple cheesecake granola squares. Goat cheese does have about the same fat content as cow's milk but, it has a little more protein and is easier to digest. I am also aware of how the goats were raised and what they have been fed. That's important to me when using dairy products.

I have been thinking about a pineapple cheesecake I used to eat as a child. I thought I would see what I could do with this idea in a healthy way. This is something I came up with in my imagination so it's not too refined. It's a variation of two recipes, Kashi blackberry bars and the filling from a vegan cheesecake recipe from one of my favorite vegan cookbooks, Vegan World Fusion Cuisine from Blossoming Lotus

I used the Kashi recipe for the crust and local honey for this recipe. Instead of using blackberries, I cut up a whole pineapple and a whole orange and put the chunks in a saucepan with about 1/2 cup cranberry juice. I just happened to have a little cranberry juice and thought it would add a nice flavor to the mixture. I didn't add any additional sweetener to the fruit. I simmered the fruit on low to medium heat until they were juicy and could be mashed a bit. I drained the fruit and whisked in about a tablespoon of corn starch and a tablespoon of lemon juice. I put this mixture back in the saucepan with the fruit and simmered it for about three to five minutes. I thought about using Agar for the fruit mixture, but I haven't baked with Agar yet and I was already adding quite a few variables to this creation.

Meanwhile, while the crust was baking for 15 minutes, I made a cream cheese filling with the goat cheese. I used eight ounces of goat cheese and eight ounces of firm tofu. I don't use tofu too much, but in this case, it acts like cream cheese, cuts the animal fat a bit and adds protein. I put them in a blender with:

1/2 cup turbinado (Sucanat) sugar
1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
11/2 TB  fresh lemon juice
2 TB nutritional yeast
1 1/2 TB arrowroot
1 TB vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

I blended this all together until it was creamy.

I poured the cooled pineapple/orange mixture over the cooled granola crust, then the cream cheese mixture on top of the fruit. I saved a third of the granola mixture to put on top of the cream cheese. Then baked it for about 10-15 minutes until the top crust is golden brown. You could just put it in the refrigerator to set as the ingredients are all cooked already. But, I like a nice crunchy topping.

It didn't come with a nice layered look as I had hoped, but it's a nice whole grain, fresh, decadent tasting dessert made with fresh ingredients.


  1. They look delicious (and much healthier than my dessert)!

  2. Thanks, it may be healthier, but it is kind of high calorie. The bars are about 180 calories without the added cheese.