Light Avocado Cheesecake with Walnut Crust

Avocado Cheesecake with Walnut Crust (source)

3/4 cup shelled walnuts
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 fully ripened avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened and cut in pieces


1.) Heat oven to 350°F. In food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. Add graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, anise seeds and salt; pulse just until combined. Add 2 tablespoons water; pulse until ingredients are thoroughly combined and resemble wet sand. Press into bottom of an 8 1/2-inch springform pan. Bake 20 minutes; cool completely.

2.) In measuring cup or small bowl, combine gelatin with 2 tablespoons water; let stand for 5 minutes. With vegetable peeler, remove strips of lemon zest (yellow portion only). In saucepan, combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla and lemon zest; bring to boil. Add gelatin; simmer until gelatin has completely dissolved, about 1 minute; strain and discard lemon zest. In food processor, combine avocados and cream cheese. Pour hot milk mixture into processor; process until very smooth. Pour into baked crust; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set. Remove side of pan; cut cheesecake into 10 slices. Serve with raspberry sauce, if desired.

3.) Cheesecake is best when served the same day; any leftover cheesecake should be securely covered with clear plastic wrap and refrigerated. 290 calories per serving, serves 8.

*My Notes*
  • I didn't have cream cheese, so I used mascarpone cheese. It was still delicious, but adds 90calories per serving as opposed to using fat-free cream cheese.
  • I also didn't have walnuts so I used almonds! That saved 15calories per serving as opposed to using walnuts.
  • I served the cheesecake, not on the day it was made, but the next day. The crust held together nicely and wasn't mushy, I ate the leftovers for the next couple days and it was delicious each time.
  • The avocado on top on the cheesecake was just for the photoshoot. I later ate it in a salad and on toast :P

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