Strawberry Pretzel Salad is more dessert than salad, and it’s one of my favorites.
The original recipe is packed full of sugar, excess butter, artificial coloring, and hydrogenated fats.
I saw some opportunities for nutritional improvement without sacrificing much flavor. I started by reducing the amount of butter by half…and honestly it still was plenty. I also cut the sweetener amounts way down and then substituted Truvia or Erythritol for the sugar. I got rid of the hydrogenated fats by swapping out the whipped topping for protein rich Greek yogurt. And ditched a pile of sugar and artificial food coloring by using homemade gelatin from light cranberry juice that was colored with vegetable powder instead of box gelatin colored with food dye. This healthier version is worthy of potluck suppers.
Healthier Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 cups (about 5 oz) roughly chopped pretzels (gluten free work too)
6 Tbs butter, melted
3 Tbs Erythritol or Truvia
8 oz Neufchatel Cream Cheese
8 oz Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Erythritol or Truvia
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups Low Calorie Cranberry Juice, look for an aspartame free variety. I got mine from Aldi and it has 5 calories per cup.
1 Tbs plain Gelatin
- Sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup of cranberry juice. Let stand for 1 minute. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until dissolved. Stir in the remaining cup of cold juice and chill until thickened. (About 30 minutes to an hour.)
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together pretzels, melted butter and 3 Tbs sweetener. Press evenly into the bottom of a glass 9×13 pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool to room temperature.
- Beat together cream cheese, Greek Yogurt and sweetener until smooth. Spread over cooled crust.
- Top cream layer with sliced strawberries, then pour thickened gelatin over all. Chill for 3 hours or until set.Note: If you don’t let the gelatin thicken before pouring, it will sink to the bottom and make your crust soggy. I learned from experience
It makes 8 generous servings each with 262 calories; 16g fat; 20g net carbs and 8g protein. I enjoy a piece for breakfast, or a snack, or both.
For the same size serving, the original recipe has 510 calories; 29g fat; 57g net carbs and 4g protein.
Have you given a favorite recipe a healthier makeover? I’d love to hear about it.
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