Like most people, I love dessert. Unfortunately, most desserts are full of sugar, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates and will ruin your attempts at getting lean and staying healthy. So to satisfy my sweet tooth I’ve found ways to make my favorite desserts more nutritious to help me stay on track with my fitness goals.
Some of these that you can find on Built Lean are my protein brownies and healthy carrot cake muffins. Today I want to share something that is a little more decadent: a protein cheesecake recipe. Like my other desserts, I substitute the empty calories for healthier ingredients and add protein to assist in muscle building without sacrificing the taste. Win-win!
Healthy Protein Cheesecake | Substitutions
Loads of sugar in most cheesecakes will sabotage even the strictest diet. Eliminating the crust that most traditional cheesecakes have significantly lowers the carbohydrates and the calories makes this cheesecake much more diet friendly.
Another way to decrease the overall calories is to use no-fat to lower fat dairy. Using high fat ingredients instantly jacks up the calories and doesn’t necessarily make things taste better. Lower the fat and you lower the calories.
The one ingredient that most desserts lack is protein. Adding whey protein is easy and doesn’t change the flavor all that much if you do it right.
Here are some examples of the nutrient profile of my cheesecake vs. “the others”:
|High Protein Cheesecake (4oz)||Regular New York Style Cheesecake (4oz)||Cheesecake Factory Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Cheesecake
|Calories per serving (8oz.)||208||450||930-1100|
|Fiber||< 1||< 1||4|
Healthy Protein Cheesecake | Ingredients
- 12oz Fat Free Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 10oz Plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 1-2 Tbsp Stevia
- ¼ Cup Milk
- 1.5 Scoops Whey Protein
- 1tsp Vanilla Extract
- Dash Salt
Healthy Protein Cheesecake | Preparation
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Soften cream cheese in a large mixing bowl by pressing down with a spoon.
- Add eggs and stevia and mix using an electric mixer.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and continue mixing for 2-3min.
- Pour in baking pan (6” pan works best) lined with parchment paper for best results.
- Bake at 325° for 25min then turn down the oven to 200° and continue baking for an additional hour.
- Let cool in fridge for 4-5 hours, add topping and destroy!
Healthy Protein Cheesecake | 3 Variations
If plain old cheesecake isn’t your thing, there are endless possibilities to making your favorite styles of cheesecake super healthy by adding nutritious ingredients.
1. Pumpkin Cheesecake – I’m a pumpkin fanatic and this is one of my favorite cheesecakes. All you have to do is add a few extra ingredients. These are canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie mix), 1tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg and ½ tsp pumpkin pie seasoning. This one is a staple in my house!
2. Strawberry Cheesecake – To make this classic cheesecake simply substitute strawberry whey protein powder and serve with fresh strawberries or other fresh berries.
3. Chocolate Peanut Butter – For this cheesecake you want to use chocolate protein powder and add a tsp of 100% cocoa powder and a tsp of peanut butter. The trick is drizzling peanut butter over the top of a fresh slice of this cake.
If you are as crazy about cheesecake as I am then I hope this recipe finds its way into your regular lineup. Please let me know if you have any questions or cheesecake variations!