UPDATED! FLF Cheesecake Variations - Low Carb, Sugar-Free, High Protein!

cheesecake whole

I'm not going to lie. I can get crazy around sweets. Sugar does bad things to my joints, though - once I started down the anti-inflammatory diet road, I noticed that when I went on a sugar bender (which USED to be a fairly regular occurrence), I'd get all swollen and achy again. So I revised my position on stevia and started to use it to get my "fix" once in a while. And I'm proud to say that I'm not nearly as beholden to the sweet stuff as I used to be - cutting down on carbohydrates generally and upping my protein has evened me out enough that I don't have those highs and lows that left me trolling the cupboards for ages-old Halloween leftovers.

But. I still love a lil' somethin' somethin'. And here's a great solution. This cheesecake takes a few minutes to throw together and bakes up quickly. No springform pan, and only an improvised water bath. Once it's done, it can sit in your fridge for several days, ready to rescue you when you're feeling munchie. One slice of this will only set you back about 140 calories - NOT a bank-breaker. It is what we call a buffer food, sweeties. Something that feels indulgent but is not going to undo your good work. Something that keeps you from running to Cinnabon or The Cheesecake Factory. You could bring this to your book club, to your family's weekend get-together . . . and use it to practice "dessert defense," a term coined by the strong and wise Jill Colman.

I got the inspiration for this recipe from The New Rules of Lifting for Women, but of course have tweaked it. I've developed a nasty Quest Bar habit, and thought this might take the edge off after a meal, when I crave a sweet. It works.

UPDATE!!! I have since added chocolate & peanut butter cup variations in the  notes . . . and if you want to bring the cal/fat counts down a notch, you can use 1 c. fat-free ricotta and 1 c. part-skim. I do that all the time and it is still fantastic!

Bon appetit, Sweeties!

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
Author: Sarah @ Semi-Sweet
Serves: 8
  • 2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. vanilla egg white or whey protein powder
  • 1/4 c. granulated stevia
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t. lemon extract
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Put all ingredients in the blender and process until very smooth.
  3. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  4. Place pan on top rack of the oven and place a flat pan of water on the bottom rack. Bake 30-40 minutes.
  5. Chill well before serving.
Serving size: 1/8 Calories: 140 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 7 Sugar: 4 Protein: 16
For Sliky Chocolate Cheesecake, do this: Omit all the lemon ingredients, add 4 T. unsweetened cocoa powder, up the stevia to 1/3 c. and if you like, add a teaspoon of almond extract for added depth and richness. [br][br]For Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, follow the directions for the silky chocolate variation, above, but omit the almond extract. Add 4 T. powdered peanut butter, a la PB2 or Betty Lou's Just Great Stuff. [br][br]OMG.