Top Thanksgiving Recipes, Lightened Up: Paula’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

by in Healthy Tips, Meal Makeovers, November 15, 2010

pumpkin cheesecake

We’re lightening up some of FoodNetwork.com’s top Thanksgiving recipes. First up: Paula’s Pumpkin Cheesecake.  This rich dessert is sweet, seasonal and delicious, but it comes with a high fat and calorie toll. But with a few ingredient swaps, you can cut the fat and calories without compromising flavor.  Here’s how we slim it down.

The Crust
Graham crackers, cinnamon, a touch of light brown sugar and butter make up this phenomenal crust. If you want to cut down on a few calories and saturated fat, scale down the butter. Try using 3/4 of a stick instead of a whole one.

The Filling
The best way to skim down the filling is to switch to lower-fat dairy. But if you’re eyeing the sour cream, you’ll only cut about 5 calories and 0.5 gram of fat by switching to reduced fat. Also, while going completely non- or low-fat on both those ingredients will cut down on many calories, it will  also compromise the consistency of the filling. Instead, I recommend replacing one-third of the regular cream cheese with low-fat or Neufchatel cheese. This significant swap will cut out about 200 calories and 22 grams of fat per serving, and  you’ll hardly taste the difference!

TELL US: How do you slim down Thanksgiving favorites?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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