Back to School! Start the Day with Quick Caramel Apple Cheesecake Waffles

School has started and my family’s morning routine is off the charts. First, there’s my morning workout (required for sanity), followed by an email check for work deadlines and then onto making lunches and loading backpacks for my three children. Finally, throw in chauffeuring duties as I drive each kid, one by one, to their three different schools that inconveniently have staggered morning bell times.

For breakfast, it’s so tempting to just toss some sugary cereal or toaster pastries on the counter when I start to feel the “I’m not going to make it” mom craziness. However, with minimum planning and some healthy convenience products on hand, I can whip up a weekday morning breakfast in mere minutes that appears to have the lingering luxury of Sunday brunch.

Apples and Litehouse Caramel Dip
Inspired by the flavors of the upcoming fall season, I created Caramel Apple Cheesecake Waffles for the first day of school.  Decadent, delicious and deceptively nutritious, this morning meal was just the healthy head start my children needed for a productive day of learning, playing and making new friends.  I used frozen waffles from the market, but you could also make a homemade batch ahead of time and keep them on hand in the freezer, if you prefer. I like to use multigrain waffles so I can sneak in some complex carbohydrates, extra protein and fiber into breakfast that will all help to provide sustained energy throughout the day. The other ingredients in this breakfast recipe include real apples cooked for just two minutes in the microwave, no-fat cream cheese, pecans and cinnamon -- pretty wholesome, I’d say! Oh, and there is just a bit of Litehouse Food’s Low-Fat Caramel Dip for ooey-gooey goodness.

Cinnamon Apples
The Low-Fat Caramel Dip just has one gram of fat per tablespoon and is gluten-free, making it a repeat winner at my house. There is no end to what can be done with this tasty caramel dip. The kids like to dunk pretzels (and fingers) in it or drizzle over a bowl of frozen yogurt. Litehouse Foods also makes a Reduced Sugar Caramel that would work just as well for any of these applications; plus, it comes in individual sized containers for portion control. Enjoy!

Quick Caramel Apple Cheesecake Waffles

Serves 4 | Finish in 15 minutes

The new school season is in full swing and this recipe for Quick Caramel Apple Cheesecake Waffles gets an A+ for fast preparation and seasonal flavor while sneaking in some healthy goodness for your kids.


2 large apples (McIntosh, Granny Smith, Pink Lady or other variety good for “baking”),
2 tablespoon water,
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon,
½ teaspoon cornstarch,
4 ounces no-fat cream cheese,
1/2 cup Litehouse Food Low-Fat Caramel Dip (divided),
8 frozen wholegrain waffles,
¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans


Peel and core apple, slice into ¼” thick wedges. Place apple wedges into a covered microwave-safe container and mix in water, cinnamon and cornstarch. Microwave on High power for two minutes with lid vented; stir at halfway point. Remove from microwave (do not drain liquid juices) and set aside.

Add cream cheese and ¼ cup of the caramel dip to small microwave-safe bowl and heat up on Low power until warm enough to soften and stir together, but not overheated. Remove from microwave and set aside.

Toast waffles according to manufacturer’s product instructions.

To assemble: place one waffle on a plate, spread with approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of the caramel-cheese mixture, top with a few apple slices and sprinkle with a portion of pecans. Top with another toasted waffle. Spread another 1 ½ tablespoons of the caramel-cheese mixture on top waffle along with more apples and pecans. Pour a little of the cinnamon-apple juice that has accumulated in the bottom of the microwaved apple bowl on top of entire waffle and, finally, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of warmed caramel dip.

Repeat with remaining ingredients for additional servings.

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