Cheesecake, Lightened Up

by in Meal Makeovers, March 10, 2009

Cheesecake
Velvety smooth, sweet and creamy, but with than 600 calories and 45 grams of fat per slice, can it be part of a healthy diet? Here’s how you can have your (cheese)cake and eat it too!

High-Calorie Ingredients
Traditional cheesecakes are full of ingredients that are high in calories and fat — cream cheese, butter, eggs and sour cream. Add to that sugar, cookie crusts and gooey toppings and you’ve got calorie overload. Replace some of that dense cream cheese with lighter ricotta or cottage cheese. You may be tempted to switch over to all fat-free dairy but that may leave you with a watery and unappetizing dessert. Instead, think “middle of the road” — choose recipes that use low fat dairy or a combination of full-fat and fat-free cheeses. Lightening up these ingredients leaves room for flavors without overdoing the calories.

Want to forgo the milk products all together? Creamy silken tofu makes a light-and-refreshing cheesecake.

Petite Portions
If there is a cheesecake recipe you absolutely refuse to change, consider downsizing. Use small ramekins or mini muffin pans to make decadent, individual cheesecakes. Or try bite-sized portions of cheesecake paired with some fresh fruit — makes for a fabulous presentation.

Substitute Fruit for Fat
Save calories and fat by going for more fruit and less cheesecake. Dress up a small cake slice with a simple berry sauce. In a small saucepan, cook down fresh or frozen berries with a sprinkle of sugar and few drops of water. When the berries have become juicy and bubbly, turn off the heat and stir in some freshly squeezed lemon juice. Puree the mixture in a blender, strain to remove any seeds, cool and transfer to a squeeze bottle for drizzling.

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Comments (12)

  1. I really do like and appreciate the new site, it has helped me prepare more nutritious and lower calorie meals…..
    Thanks!

  2. Connie says:

    These are good suggestions especially limiting to a mini-muffin size. Not wanting to buy expensive fruits one could just warm some low-sugar jam or preserves to lightly drizzle over top and just eliminate the crusts all together.

  3. Krikri says:

    Cheesecake can be “fatty” so your advice is right.Ingredient substitution like the fruit for fat really helps.Some recipe sites offer users a list of substitutes they can use for their meals which is ideal.

  4. Dr. Beth says:

    Sugar can also be replaced with stevia….. works very well with cheesecake.

  5. guest says:

    I substitute neufchatel cheese for 2 out of 3 eight oz packages of cream cheese and it is perfectly wonderful. We don't miss the extra fat. I often even use one package of fat-free cream cheese and 2 neufchatel, and it's still very good and has much less fat.

  6. Dot says:

    Being a diabetic and living alone makes dessert making very hard. I put Ellie Kreigers Cheesecake recipe ( cutting recipe in 3rds ) into muffin tins . Eating one small cheesecake is more than enough for a dibabetic, no matter how lo cal it is. Heating some sugar free jelly/jam and drizzling it on the cheesecake is very good.

  7. Good idea, Dot! Sounds delicious.

  8. Ted says:

    I appreciate the recipes, but I sure wish the lower fat and sugar recipes included the calorie and grams of each. I have a magic number of 5 of each per serving and I can control the serving size and contents better that wat.

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