Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday (non) Splurge: Healthy No-bake Cheesecake

You know, I just realized after typing this all up that it's not actually a splurge at all! It's delicious. It's pretty darn healthy. You could easily replace the sugar with your favorite other sweetener if you'd like to decrease the carbs and calories (listed at the end) even further. This is just good food. Let me give you a little background on this wonderful treat. I don't like NY style cheesecake. I do like ricotta cheesecake, but it takes a lot of time. This one takes a little time, but not your effort. What effort, then? Let me tell you, friendly reader.

Blender. Or Food Processor. It does its thing over a little time. As long as you don't do it by hand (I used an immersion blender on the test batch last night - took too long) you will can do something else while your machine whirs away. "Umm, ok, what are we blading to death?" Cottage cheese! Yep, you read that right. Cottage cheese cheesecake, my dear friends, is at the heart of this delicious dish. I got the inspiration for this from Cara's Cravings. I think she's my new best friend, even if she doesn't know it.

She mentioned that she blends up cottage cheese with sugar and some kind of flavoring to make a cheesecake-flavored treat. Well, I figured, if it tastes like it, why not throw in a stabilizer and make it into one? Amazingly, I could find NO recipe for such a thing. Not that they don't exist, they might well could. They just did not appear in my search. Which meant I had a mission: to figure out how much gelatin to add to make it stay solid.

I think I more or less got it. I put in too much gelatin in the big batches (we have large bags of plain stuff here) but I corrected for it below. I made two kinds: peanut butter and chocolate. Mmmmmm. And are they that gross, heavy, fat-laden crap you get from the store? (see, i told you i don't like NY cheesecake) Not a chance! Even though my people agree that the texture is a little off (only b/c of the gelatin, one I did alone was right), the flavor is on for a no-bake. Hooray! I put mine into a pre-made graham cracker crust, because I found a box of them in the pantry, but do what you think works. The recipe *is* the size of one of those, though. If anyone tries this out in a regular dish, let me know how much or if you increased it and I will include that info as well.

The cottage cheese blends nicely to a thick, creamy consistency. It may look a little grainy in the end, you can sort of see it in the chocolate picture (on the right) but you can't feel it in your mouth and it tastes good.

No-bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Serves: 12 (could be 8) Time: 5 minutes of yours, 15-20 minutes total, plus 2+ hours to chill

2 cups 2% cottage cheese (one 16 oz container)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs peanut butter
1 packet gelatin (about 2 1/2 teaspoons or 7 grams)

- Put 1/4 cup cold water in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Let set while you continue.
- Put first four ingredients in your blender/processor. Let blend until you see no recognizable cottage cheese lumps. You will still see little grainy bits, though.
- Microwave gelatin 30-60 seconds (microwaves are so different!), until completely liquid
- Turn on blender/processor and slowly pour gelatin into it if you have an opening through which to do so. If not, add small amounts at a time and mix after each addition.
- Pour into pre-made shell, or to do crustless, just pour into 8" pie tin (or 6-8" spring form pan)
- Place in fridge, allow to chill for at least two hours or until set

Chocolate variation: Increase sugar to 1/2 cup, replace peanut butter with 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Nutrition info (1/12th of peanut butter cake, no crust): Calories - 80 Fat - 2.8g Carbs - 7.8g Protein - 6.2g

Nutrition info (1/12th of chocolate cake, no crust): Calories - 60 Fat - 1.0g Carbs - 7.9g Protein - 5.5g

Nutrition info (1/12th of store bought crust): Calories - 98 Fat - 5.0g Carbs - 20.7g Protein - 0.8g


  1. When do I add the gelatin? Do I just stir it in to the cottage cheese before pouring into the shell or does it get in on some of the blender action at the end?
    Sounds good and you know I don't really need an excuse to buy cottage cheese ;-}

  2. Glad to find you and awesome to see what you did with cottage cheese!

  3. Thanks for my own personal taste test! :) It was quite the tasty treat! I'm kind of leery of cottage cheese so it was good to try it before I invested.


Try this and want to share how it went? Have questions before you try it? Let me know!