Healthy cheesecake can be made by replacing individual ingredients in the recipe to create a lower calorie version, or by using entirely different foods with a higher nutritional value that still manage to capture the signature taste. Ingredient substitution can be used to create virtually any type of cheesecake, of any flavor, to fit the diet needs of diabetics, heart patients, and low-calorie dieters. These recipes may be found online or in healthy living cookbooks.
Cheesecake is a baked dessert made from creamed cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. These ingredients are blended until smooth and are traditionally poured over a handmade crust of crumbled graham crackers and softened butter. One single slice of cheesecake can contain as many as 400 calories and between 25 and 30 grams of fat. Popular varieties of this decadent desert include chocolate, strawberry, key lime, and pumpkin flavors.
The majority of fat and calorie content found in this recipe is due to the cream cheese which forms the basis for both the food's texture and flavor. To create a healthy cheesecake version that still resembles the original in texture and appearance, half of the creamed cheese may be replaced with other foods that are healthier. Silken tofu, non-fat plain yogurt, and fat free cream cheese can be blended together to create a creamy batter that mimics many of the baking qualities of original cream cheese.
Healthy cheesecake can also be achieved by using ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese. This type of cheese lends itself well for combination with other flavor additives, such as mashed pumpkin. The cheese and flavoring additive can be blended together in a food processor until creamy, and then combined with the remaining ingredients.
Standard cheesecake recipes call for an 8 ounce cup (226.8 g) of sugar to sweeten the savory nature of the cream cheese. These calories can be eliminated entirely by reducing this measurement to one-quarter of a cup, or 2 ounces (56.7 g), of artificial sweetener. Those who do not enjoy baking with artificial sweetener may prefer to merely reduce the amount of sugar used to a half cup (113.4 g) and adding additional flavor in the form of vanilla extract and lemon zest.
The standard butter and graham cracker crust may be upgraded to a healthier version by replacing the cookies with crumbled breakfast cereal instead. Cereals which are rich in fiber are an excellent choice for use in this type of cereal, and are typically made from thick, crunchy clusters which bind well in the pie pan. These clusters may be blended with light or fat free butter alternatives.
Bodybuilders and athletes can enjoy a healthy cheesecake in the form of a protein smoothie. This healthy shake tends to resemble a dessert in flavor rather than a muscle building energy drink that can be used to power a body through a workout. Fat-free cottage cheese is combined with fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding mix, fat-free milk, and a few tablespoons of protein powder. Depending on the type of fat-free, sugar-free pudding chosen, any flavor combination is possible and may be tailored to the preferences of the drinker. This type of cheesecake contains around 200 calories, no fat grams, and provides an additional boost of 30 grams of protein.