High Protein Cheesecake

 

Regardless of how hard I try, I am a dessert girl. One of my biggest challenges in my striving to eat healthy, is to curb my cravings for dessert. I am sure that most of you ladies know what that is like! Especially around “that” time of the month. So, whenever I find a recipe which makes dessert a semi-healthy choice, I am all in! 🙂

When reading “The New Rules of Lifting for Women”, one of the things I loved about the nutrition plans is they acknowledge that the majority of women are hard-wired to want/crave dessert! The meal plan even factors in dessert! Yaaa-hoo! That was one of the selling points for me {tee hee}.

One of the recipes in the book is high protein cheesecake. I was immediately curious! Especially since the cheesecake does not have a crust. I wondered how it would stay together when you served it? But I did love the fact that it had added protein aside from the protein found in the ricotta cheese and eggs. So, the other day I gave it a whirl and baked some up!

Verdict? Pleasantly surprised!! Of course, it isn’t the same as “real” cheesecake. The texture isn’t as creamy as real cheesecake, but that also makes up for the lack on crust on the bottom. It doesn’t dish up very easily since there isn’t a crust. But if it satisfies a dessert craving, does it really matter how pretty it looks?! The flavor is delicious, and when topped with fresh fruit, like blueberries, it is a special {and healthy!} treat!!

Tip: Be careful to not over cook. The recipe says to bake between 30 and 40 minutes. I chose to bake for 35, and forgot to check it around 30 minutes. Result? The outside got a little done. It was still good, but the center was creamier!

Cheesecake with fresh blueberries?! Yes please!

High Protein Cheesecake

Serves 8; approximately 190 calories per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 medium eggs {I used large and it turned out fine}
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vanilla whey-protein powder {I recommend Optimum Nutrition, Vanilla Ice Cream}
  • 1/4 cup granulated stevia
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Put all ingredients in blender, and process until very smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  4. Place pan on the top rack of oven and place a flat pan of water on bottom rack. Bake 30 to 40 minutes. {Center will still jiggle slightly}. Allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Chill well prior to serving.

Source & Recipe: slightly adapted from The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

 

If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think! Ciao!

 

43/52: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wow — weekly post number 43. I can’t believe there are less than 10 weeks left in the year. Time flies! But, at least it is the best part of the year – holiday time! I look forward to this part of the year all… well, year! I enjoy spring and summer, but there is nothing like holiday baking! Fun, fun! Speaking of holiday baking, ever since I made my pumpkin cupcakes I have been craving more pumpkin goodies! We bought pumpkin spice coffee creamer at the store recently, but it didn’t subside my craving. I think the real reason why is because I’ve had my eye on this pumpkin cheesecake for weeks. Once I showed my husband the picture he agreed, we needed to try this recipe!

I am soo glad we did. It was delicious! The texture was so creamy, and the flavor reminded me of a wonderful cross between velvety cheesecake and pumpkin pie. Oh my. We only had one piece each at home, and then I packaged up a few pieces for my father and mother-in-law and the rest went to work with John. There is no way I could have the rest sitting around the house! The reviews at work and by my father-in-law were unanimous – delicious! My father-in-law even said it might be the best cheesecake he has ever had. 🙂

Unfortunately my pictures aren’t my best. We didn’t cut into the cheesecake until after dinner, which was a bad move on my part! Why? No natural light. 😦 It was already dark out. So rather than being patient and trying to find a good spot to photograph the cheesecake, I was impatient and ready to eat! Regardless, I think y’all get the point. Its delicious! Especially topped with just a little drizzle of caramel. 😉

Yumm!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 55 to 65 minutes

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 c gingersnap cookie crumbs {about a 14-oz package of cookies}
2 T light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
2 cups {about a 15-oz can} canned pumpkin  {**I prefer Libbys}
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 T heavy cream
1 T vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil for a water bath.

3. Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix on low to incorporate.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into a larger pan {a roasting pan is great for this} and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan. {**Note: I didn’t have a pan big enough for a water bath — if you don’t, get one! My perfectly baked cheesecake cracked when I took it out of the oven 😦 }

5. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, carefully remove it from the water bath, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours {preferably overnight}.

6. Cover any leftover cheesecake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Wrapped, the cheesecake can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Source & Recipe: Brown Eyed Baker

Make me! This would be perfect for a Halloween or harvest celebration – or even for Thanksgiving. Either way, give it a try – it is so worth it!