I love everything about cheesecake—the sweet taste with just a hint of saltiness, the creamy texture and the sweet graham
cracker crust. What’s not to love? Well, I can think of one thing: how I feel after I’ve eaten only a small slice. That would
be guilt mixed with the sensation that I just swallowed a brick. Cheesecake may have the reputation of being tasty, but being
has never been one of its virtues.
Recipes to Try: 10 Light
and Healthy Cheesecake Recipes
As an associate food editor at EatingWell
Magazine and a recipe developer in our test kitchen I’m always looking for
a way to have my cake and eat it too. And I think I’ve found it with EatingWell’s Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Walnut
, developed by Katie Webster. How does it stack up nutritionally? It’s got 307 calories and only 5 grams of
saturated fat. Compare that to a slice of pumpkin cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, which has 740 calories and 31 grams
of saturated fat. Here are a few tricks that make this delicious cheesecake lighter:
Add Healthy Ingredients—
Plain cheesecake is good, but why stop there? Flavors are tasty, too,
and open up the opportunity to add healthy ingredients like fruit and vegetables (in this case an entire can of pumpkin
puree). Pumpkin is a rich source of beta carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an important role
in bone growth, reproduction, immune function, hormone synthesis and regulation and vision.
Is Healthier: Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie?
Add Healthy Fats—Fat equals flavor, but not all fats are created equal. We use the crust to
slip in some healthy fats while cutting back on unhealthy fats like saturated fat and partially hydrogenated oils. We grind
walnuts into the crust. Walnuts are the only nuts that offer a significant amount of the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA). ALA’s anti-inflammatory properties halt plaque buildup in the arteries. Also in the crust we use gingersnaps that
don’t contain any hydrogenated oils. Look for these in the natural-foods section of your supermarket.
Use Low-Fat Dairy—In traditional cheesecake, it’s bring on the cream cheese! But in ours, we
use Neufchatel–a cream cheese that has 1/3 less fat. And our sneakiest trick? We add pureed non–fat cottage cheese. The
pureeing adds smooth, creamy texture without adding tons of saturated fat.