There are many ways to create recipes that are beneficial to the gut, without losing the joy of your favourite foods. If you love cheesecake, then you’ll love this recipe, made with yogurt cream cheese.
I use to love cheesecake, but I lost my taste for it many years ago. It was my “go to” dessert whenever I dined out. Eventually I learned to make it and it became a staple product in my bakery for many years. That may have been where I lost my desire to eat it. But it’s also about the texture, too. I didn’t like that starchy taste that is present in many cheesecakes. I also don’t like the no-bake kind that uses gelatin to set it.
The key to this recipe is to make the yogurt cream cheese ahead of time. It’s simple to do but it requires a few hours to make it. See the recipe and video below.
Many cheesecake recipes use flour or starch to control the texture. The result creates a drier, less creamy texture. This recipe does not require any flour or starch. It’s very smooth.
Yogurt is both probiotic and prebiotic. And there are other prebiotics added to the recipe such as lime or lemon juice and the berries. I’ve chosen to use organic sugar or coconut sweetener but honey and maple syrup can also be used and are both good for the gut. The sourdough spelt crackers also contain more prebiotics.
It’s not hard to create a recipe that helps promote gut health on several levels. The key is to make this to your taste so you enjoy it because pleasure is good for the gut, too.
2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil + 1/2 tbsp for greasing the pan
1 tbsp organic sugar or coconut sweetener
12 oz or 336 g yogurt cream cheese
1/3 cup sweetener of choice such as organic sugar, maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sweetener
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp whipping cream or full-fat coconut milk
Berries for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 6-inch round cake pan with butter or coconut oil. Do not use a springform pan. Cut a 6-inch circle out of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan. Cut a 2-inch x 18-inch strip of parchment paper to line the side of the pan. If the strip does not completely line the circumference of pan, cut a smaller piece to finishing lining the side. Greasing the pan with butter or coconut oil helps hold the parchment paper in place.
To make the crust: Put the crackers in a food processor and process until a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and add 2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil and sugar or coconut sweetener. Mix. Put the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Press down the crumb mixture to create a firm crust. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Remove for the oven and set aside.
To make the filling: Put the yogurt cream cheese in a food processor with the sweetener of choice. Process until smooth. Add the eggs and process again. Scrape the sides. Add the sea salt, vanilla, lemon or lime juice and cream. Process again until smooth.
To bake the cheesecake: Pour the filling on top of the crust in the cake pan. Create a water bath by placing the cake pan into a wider cake pan, pouring hot water into the outer pan. Put in the oven and bake for 50 – 75 minutes or until the filling is set and no longer liquidy. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath. Let cool for an hour. Put in the refrigerator to let it continue to cool. Must be completely chilled before removing from the pan. To remove from the pan, go around the edge of the pan with a flat knife, running it between the parchment paper and the side of the cake pan. Gently lift the knife to see if the cheesecake loosens from the bottom (but don’t worry if it doesn’t – see tip below). Put a flat plate onto of the top of the cake pan. Flip over. The cheesecake should fall onto the plate. Remove the pan and parchment paper on the bottom. Place another plate on top of the crust and flip over again. Remove the parchment paper on the side. Top with berries and serve.
Tip: If the cheesecake does not fall out of the pan easily when flipped, then put the pan in a shallow pan with hot water to warm the bottom of the cheesecake for a few seconds. This will melt the butter or coconut oil that was used to grease the bottom of the pan. This should release the cheesecake easily when it’s flipped over. You may need to knock on the bottom of the pan to get the cheesecake to release.
For Gluten-Free Crust: Buy plain gluten-free crackers such as rice or brown rice crackers. The amount will be the same as the recipe above – about 2 oz or 56 g. If no scale is available, look at the amount on the package to asses the right amount.
Note: To make a larger cheesecake, double the recipe and use an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan.
Making Yogurt Cream Cheese: It’s easy to make by draining full-fat yogurt. Simply place a tight mesh cloth over a sieve. Hold the cloth in place with an elastic. Rest the sieve in a bowl. Put the yogurt in the sieve and let it drain through the cloth. A 750 ml or 26 oz (or similar size) container will drain to make 336 g or 12 oz yogurt cream cheese. It takes about 4-5 hours to get the yogurt cream cheese to the thickness use in this recipe.Watch the videoCream cheese will keep for several weeks when stored in the refrigerator. To make it taste like the cream cheese you probably like, add sea salt until it tastes as you wish. The recipe above is without added salt to the yogurt cream cheese. Instead sea salt is added as part of the recipe.
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