High-Protein Low-Carb Cheesecake


High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carbs – almost Paleo, but not really if you don’t do dairy.

This is a healthy version of the famous Juniors New York style cheesecake that you can fit in your nutrition plan! This cheesecake has about 1/3rd of the calories, fat, carbs, and sugars but is high protein! This is done by making some specific substitutions but retaining the overall texture and taste.  The result is a delicious dense New York style cheesecake with a nice crust.

I love cheesecake but if you’re on any sort of nutrition plan it’s typically off the list. I’ve tried ‘diet’ versions before but they typically pale in comparison to the real thing.  Well, after an office party where cheesecake was the main event, I decided I had to find a good recipe I could fit into my diet.

I started with the regular high-calorie and full-fat version made famous by Juniors and experimented with substitutions to fine tune this recipe. There were some truly horrible iterations in the beginning that are more typical of the the ‘diet’ ones you’ve probably tried.  I finally worked out this version which is about as close to the original as you can get.

If you’ve been craving a desert that fits your macros give this one a shot. I promise it’s the best one you’ve tried and it’s hard to believe that it’s not the real thing.

A note on the sugar substitute used in this recipe.  I use Baking Stevia as a sugar substitute in this recipe for a variety of reasons.  It’s a natural based sugar substitute that has a one to one ratio to real sugar and is easy to cook with.  As an added benefit, some studies have indicated that there may be health benefits associated with Stevia.

That being said, I know that some people can experience an unpleasant bitter aftertaste with Stevia and prefer to use other sugar substitutes like Splenda. If you do not like Stevia, use whichever sugar substitute you want.  Just be sure that the quantities you use match up to the same overall quantities used here so that your cheesecake isn’t too sweet.

Prep Time

30 minutes for preparation,

1 hour in the oven,

4+ hours for cooling

Ingredients

2 Cups Special K Protein Cereal*
16 Ounce, Cream Cheese, Low (1/3rd) Fat
2 Containers, Coconut Vanilla Dannon Low Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Cup, Fat Free Cottage Cheese, Small Curd
4 Scoop, Vanilla Protein Powder**
1/2 Cup, Almond Milk
1 Cup, Stevia***
1 Pkg of Unflavored Gelatin
1 Tbs Vanilla
3 large, Egg

*Substitute in the cereal your choice or omit altogether to make crust-less.
**To make chocolate cheesecake substitute chocolate protein powder plus 2 Tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder added to the cake batter, 1 Tbs cocoa added to crust.
***Use whatever sugar substitute you wish but be careful about over sweetening. Should be the equivalent of one cup sugar.

Instructions

Soften Cream Cheese on the counter for a half hour to an hour before using.  Alternatively, place entire package in the preheated oven for five minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 using a convection bake setting if your oven is equipped.

Place cereal in a food processor and pulse until crumbly or crush manually into medium grain pieces.
Add 1 Tbs of Stevia and 1 Tbs of Almond Milk to the crumbled cereal to moisten it. Don’t add too much almond milk, just enough for it to be moist and bind together. Let sit for a few minutes so that the cereal is no longer crunchy.


Press the cereal mixture into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9 inch springform bake pan to act as the crust.
Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 7 minutes or until browned.

In small bowl, heat 1/4 cup of the almond milk in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Add Gelatin package and mix well with a small wisk or fork.
Mix for a few minutes until totally dissolved and thickened.



In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 package of the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the Stevia, and the disolved gelatin together on low until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times.

Put remaining package of Cream Cheese, the 2 containers of Greek Yogurt, and the Cottage Cheese and mix on low until well-blended.  (I like the texture this recipe produces as is, but to make it a little smoother, blend the cottage cheese in a food processor prior to adding)

Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the Protein Powder, remaining 1/4 cup Almond Milk, Vanilla, and 1 cup Stevia.



Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well on medium for 30 seconds after each one is added. When done, the filling will look light, creamy, airy, and almost like billowy clouds. Be careful not to overmix!

Gently pour the batter over the crust and smooth the top evenly.


Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil, tented in the middle.
Place in preheated oven and immediately lower temperature to 325.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Note, try using a water bath if you have a standard oven or a convection oven that dries out the cheesecake too much. Place your cake pan in a high edged baking pan and add warm water until it rises up around 1 inch. Do this on the oven rack.

After 25 minutes, shut off oven and leave cake in oven for 45 minutes. This will keep the cooking process going and will firm up the cake slowly preventing cracking.
After 45 minutes in the oven with the heat off, carefully remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack, adjust the tinfoil to be tight fitting, and let cool on the counter for 1-2 hours.


If you look at the cake you may notice that it looks like it hasn’t set yet. This is OK. It will set up completely after cooling.
After cooling on the wire rack, transfer the whole cake, pan, and wire rack into your refrigerator. Refrigerate until completely cold before serving, at least 3 hours or overnight (better).

Slice into 10 pieces and serve cold with topping of your choice. Try fresh fruit blended up with some low-sugar fruit preserves and a little whipped cream and/or some sugar free coconut flakes.

Best eaten or frozen within three days of baking.

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 10.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 271
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g 17 %
Saturated Fat 6 g 32 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 108 mg 36 %
Sodium 528 mg 22 %
Potassium 154 mg 4 %
Total Carbohydrate 15 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 3 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 25 g 50 %