|Posted by DaMama on August 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM|
Our son Christian (currently age 7), like many on the autism specturm, is a very picky eater. Getting him to eat fruit or veggies sometimes takes an act of congress! The rest of us, on the other hand, can’t get enough fresh veggies and fruits. We were quite spoiled living in Central Florida where nearly any day of the week, you could find a true farmer’s market with real people who grew their foods sold them to you! Now that we are in Atlanta, this is not such an easy thing to find. There are “Farmer’s Markets” but so far we have found that most of them are simply vendors and sell the things which they have created. This is often eclectic and interesting and a lot of fun, but is not the place to find our locally grown produce. We have spent several days/weeks trying to find local produce. On one such trip, we found ourselves at an adorable historic city. The sights, scents and sounds were enticing to say the least! Among the vendors at this market we found a woman offering free samples of her cheesecakes. Who’s going to turn down free samples of cheesecake (besides those with allergies)? She offered us avocado or sweet potato cheesecake. I looked at Christian with apprehension in my eyes. I thought to myself, he will never go for this and it’s going to end in a tantrum because he was teased by the offer of cheesecake. He looked up at this unusual woman and said, “I’d like to try the avocado please.” I just about fell over!!! Not only is he trying something that he KNEW had a fruit (yes avocado is a fruit) in it but he spoke to someone whom he had never met before and clearly asked to try something new! We all tried it and LOVED it! I know we should have purchased from her but honestly, she wanted $20 for 12 mini cheesecakes. I hadn’t brought that much cash with me and I did still need to buy what produce I could find. So Reese (the oldest at 19) and I decided that we can figure this recipe out and we did! This is a great cheesecake because it is light and not over dense. The fats in avocado are way healthier for you than what you will find in cream cheese and has some protein in it which helps your body handle the glucose better. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s ‘GOOD FOR YOU’ but it is at least a little bit of a better choice.
2 ripe California Haas avocados zest of 1 large lime
16 oz. cream cheese 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs *UPDATE try Nilla Wafers instead of Graham Crackers!
1 ½ cup sugar plus ¼ cup for crust 1/3 cup butter, melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla or lemon extract non-stick cooking spray or butter to grease pan
Preheat oven to 300* F
In medium mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and ¼ cup sugar, add butter and stir to make crust.
Grease bottom and sides of a 9- inch spring form baking pan then press graham cracker mixture evenly on the bottom of pan, going up about ¼ inch up the sides.
Bake for 7 minutes for the crust to set. Remove and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, place cream cheese (room temperature) and mix with hand mixer until smooth. Add avocado, 1 ½ cup sugar and extract. Mix until well combined.
While mixing, carefully add eggs, one at a time until well combined.
Run this mixture through a fine strainer into another bowl.
Fold in zest and stir to combine.
Carefully pour mixture in pan over crust, evenly smooth out to cover with a spatula.
Bake 1 hour. Let cool at room temperature and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
Top with your favorite toppings. We will usually use a fruit reduction and a Chantilly Crème.