Three Ways Cheesecake is Good for You

Today we celebrate National Cheesecake Day 2015! Believed to have been first served at the Greek Olympic Games as a source of energy, this mouthwatering dessert has evolved into an international favorite.

With flavor and topping variations originating from different countries, countless versions of the classic cheesecake have found their ways to our shores. My favorite kinds of cheesecake are the chocolate peanut butter swirl or the classic NY cheesecake!… Or both.

We can credit the more modern day version of the cheesecake to a dairy farmer in 1872, who accidentally created Philadelphia Cream Cheese while attempting to replicate the French cheese Neufchatel. Following a buyout in 1928 by the Kraft Cheese Company, cheesecakes appeared everywhere, becoming enormously popular in many restaurants. And now, we have a National Cheesecake Holiday . with three ways that cheesecake can be good for you to enjoy:

1. Without Cream Cheese
Clearly the well-known cheesecake gets a lot of its flavor from the addition of Cream Cheese! However, it also gets a lot of its fat and caloric content from cream cheese, among other ingredients, as well. It always is the foods that taste the best that are always not the best for the body. There is still hope for this delicious dessert as you can enjoy cheesecake without cream cheese or sacrificing flavor! I have included two wonderful recipes, one that uses a homemade cream cheese and one that uses no cream cheese at all, still maintaining its cheesecake goodness!

2. Good Source of Energy

I know what you are thinking: Why not grab an energy bar or some vitamins to boost your energy levels? Although this is the first thought, what some people might not realize is that cheesecake, other than the nutritional ‘heavy’ ingredients, it does offer quite a bit of nutritional healthy ingredient to promote energy for you. If you believe cheesecake was to Greek olympians before competition to boost their energy and allow them to perform at a higher level, it ought to be good for you. India Times notes that “cheesecake is a good source of vitamin A, followed by selenium, riboflavin, phosphorous and calcium. It also contains small amount of iron.” So, a quick slice of cheesecake before your next run won’t be the worst thing for you…It might just work. Ok ok, maybe it doesn’t work like that, but don’t you wish!

3. Nutritionally Rich

Along with having some energy-boosting formula, cheesecake has some great nutritional value! Masked by the cream cheese, some nutritionally rich vitamins and minerals “can contribute to an individual’s growth and development,” as explained by Buzzle.

This table is taken from Buzzle.com

At its core, cheesecake is goodness made from simple ingredients such as eggs, cheese, sugar and milk, with added special cookies for the crumb bottom. For the cheese part, soft fresh cheeses, such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, or even ricotta are used. If you or family member has a milk allergy or is lactose intolerant, you are in luck as there are many non-milk cheesecake variations for substitutions.

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Green Tea Cheesecake (Gluten Free)
From: Gluten Free & More

Ingredients:

1 gluten-free crust of choice, pre-baked
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 teaspoons Japanese green tea powder or 2 teaspoons finely ground green tea (removed from 4 tea bags)
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs + 2 yolks, room temperature
½ cup mascarpone or crème fraiche
Topping of choice

Combine the delectable goodness of cheesecake with the health benefits of green tea with this gluten-free cheesecake recipe. Find the full recipe here.

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NY Cheesecake (Healthier Option)
From: Beth Stedman

Ingredients:

For the Cream:

4 eggs
2 egg yolks
600g cream cheese (Beth made her own homemade cream cheese out of plain yogurt)
250g of sugar
50g pastry flour (as a slightly healthier option Beth used spelt flour this time)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
Pinch of salt (She used unrefined sea salt)

For the Base/Crust:

12 Petit Beurre biscuits, crushed (I made my own shortbread cookies for the base. I used this recipe but substituted whole wheat flour in place of the white flour)
50g melted butter

While the New York Cheesecake is a classic favorite, it can be very dense in calories and fat. This cheesecake recipe offers a healthier alternative that still gives you a delicious NY cheesecake. Follow the recipe here.

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Cheesecake Without Cream Cheese
From: India Times

Ingredients:

200g of walnuts
100g of cashews
200g of dates
600ml coconut cream
200g unrefined sugar
2g of agar-a 5cm X 7cm piece
400g of tofu
250ml of soy milk
500g of bananas
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla essence
Date syrup

One of the most unhealthy culprits in a cheesecake is the cream cheese. This recipe cuts out cheesecake and uses healthier alternatives to take it’s place. Try this recipe here.

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Vanilla Bean Faux Cheesecake (Gluten, Grain, Dairy, Egg, and Nut free, Autoimmune Paleo)
From: Delicious Obsessions

Ingredients:

CRUST
1 cup coconut cream concentrate (aka. coconut butter) softened / liquefied
½ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
⅛ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. liquid stevia

FILLING
6 cups coconut milk
1 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
½ tsp. liquid stevia
1 tbsp. vanilla extract or 1 rounded tsp. vanilla bean powder
¼ tsp. orange extract
¼ tsp. sea salt
4 tbsp. grass-fed gelatin

If you have a food allergy of almost any type, this cheesecake can be safe for you. With coconut goodness and natural sweeteners, you can’t go wrong here. Find the full recipe here.

Now, if you want to be even more creative with your homemade recipe, try using some non-dairy firm cheeses try a nut milk or these other non-dairy milk cheese options:

Raw Vegan Almond Cheese: almond cheese is made from five simple ingredients, including almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt.

Cashew Ricotta (Soy-free)

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