Watch this maple walnut cream cheese disappear when you serve it at your next party!
A Sweet Surprise
Most cream cheese-based spreads tend to be of the savory variety. Here’s one that breaks that mold!
Cream cheese spreads and appetizers are for the most part loaded with veggies or scallions. Eaten before a meal, those flavors will wake up your appetite for the main course.
But how about serving a sweet spread with crackers on a dessert buffet? It’s a bit different and unusual. But moreover, it’s delicious!
I’m certainly not a dietitian so I cannot say this with any authority, but this is one recipe that just may be healthy. At any rate, it has some redeeming nutritional value because it contains some pretty healthy ingredients.
There’s no sugar. Pure maple syrup takes the place of that plus it adds a subtle flavor to the spread. Then you have walnuts which are full of protein and some fiber too. So far, so good!
Where I tend to use regular cream cheese in most things, this could also be made with Neufchatel cheese (which they now are calling “low-fat cream cheese”–it’s been around forever) and it will be 30% less fat and still taste great! FYI I wouldn’t recommend fat-free varieties of cream cheese because the texture is NOT the same and it tastes pretty awful too. Neufchatel, where it’s naturally lower in fat, tastes great so opt for that.
Don’t Forget Breakfast Bagels
If you have bagels at breakfast sometimes, this spread is perfect on them!
Spread on a whole-grain bagel, this would be like a power breakfast that starts your day well! It would go well with most plain or fruit-based bagels. I don’t think it’d be so hot on onion or garlic bagels, but who knows???
Add What You Like
The recipe for this maple walnut cream cheese is pretty basic, but it does lend itself to additions you may like.
Try it with some raisins, dried cherries or other dried fruit. That would pack a bigger nutritional punch.
Add a variety of nuts too–it can only get better, and if you want a hint of spice, a pinch or two of cinnamon would probably be great.
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- 2-3 tbs pure maple syrup
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Refrigerate unless serving immediately.
- Recipe is easily doubled or tripled.