Healthy homemade berry cheesecake made with real ingredients. No refined sugar, no oil, no gelatin, no eggs, no cream cheese, and no biscuits. No-bake, vegetarian, gluten-free delicious cheesecake made with healthy ingredients such as walnuts, seeds, cottage cheese, berries, and more. The only sweetener in this recipe is dried dates. We use them to bind with the dry ingredients instead of using oil. Is anyone interested in eating a delicious cheesecake that is low in sugar, fat, and calories? The total calories for 1 piece are only 167 calories. We love the taste of salt and sweet at the same time, hence we combine cheese and fruits often. Check our quick cheese and fruit snack.
Ingredients For Healthy Homemade Cheesecake
Seeds For Crust And Topping
As you have seen in several of our recipes such as banana bread and pancakes, we love using ground seeds in our recipes. They are extremely nutritious and are a great flour substitute. In this recipe, we use the ground seeds and walnuts to substitute biscuits in the cheesecake crust. We also use ground seeds in the berry topping for a smoother and richer texture.
Chia seeds are a very popular seed used in smoothies and puddings. They are best absorbed when added to liquid or if used dry when they are ground. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
Brown And Golden Flax Seeds
We use brown and golden flax seeds among our choice of seeds as they are super nutritious seeds as well. Those seeds are best absorbed when ground. You will see a lot of articles debating whether golden or brown flax seeds are better for you. Their nutrient properties are similar, yet the seeds nutrients and nutrients’ amount are different. We use both of those nutritious seeds so we can reap the benefits of both type of seeds.
We love the taste of sesame seeds. Sometimes, we use sesame oil to add an extra nice flavor to our salads along with garnishing some of our dishes with sesame seeds. We love using tahini for our hummus (recipe to come soon). In this recipe, we grind the seeds and add them to the seeds mixture. We grind the seeds because if they reach our intestines intact our bodies cannot extract the nutrients. We actually get rid of the sesame seeds as a whole in our stool if the outer shell isn’t broken. Sesame seeds are rich in minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, and calcium. It is also a good source of Vitamin B and fiber.
Sunflower seeds are another type of seeds we use to grind and include in our baking, toppings, and even snack as we go. They are rich in the B complex vitamins, which boosts our nervous system. They are also rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, phosphorus, selenium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, niacin, calcium, potassium, and vitamin E.
We use raw pumpkin seeds to our seeds mixture because they are also a very healthy addition to our overall diet. They are rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper. They also have antioxidants and phytosterols. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of healthy fats and fiber.
Crust For Healthy Homemade Cheesecake
No Flour, No Biscuits
Walnuts are shaped as our brains and that is how I am teaching my kids to remember how important they are for our brains. Admittedly, sometimes my kids won’t like to eat walnuts straight out of the bag. Even sometimes they would separate out the walnuts from a trail mix. That is why I love using walnuts for the basis of most of the cheesecake we eat at home. Paired with dried fruit, the base is really delicious. Among many great nutrients such as protein, fiber, Vitamins such as B and E, minerals such as copper, folic acid, manganese, copper, walnuts are most famous with high antioxidants and healthy Omega 3 fats. Especially, the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) Omega 3 fat which is linked to many health benefits.
If you decide to diversify your diet with oats, like we do, then here are some great nutrients found in oats.
- Whole oats are the only food source of avenanthramides. This is a unique group of antioxidants that could protect against heart disease.
- Fiber – oats are rich in soluble fiber that promotes better digestion. Beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber in this grain helps lower cholesterol, improve heart health, and reduce blood sugar and insulin responses
- Protein – we talked about avenin in the paragraph above. Generally, it is safe to consume oats
- Vitamins and Minerals – manganese, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, copper, Vitamin B, selenium
Sugar For Healthy Homemade Cheesecake
We know you have been eager to find out what we use to sweeten the cheesecake. We actually use real ingredients to make this cheesecake deliciously sweet. Instead of using refined sugar, brown sugar, syrup, or any other “sugar” ingredient we actually use naturally found in fruit sugar. For this recipe, we use dried dates. Dates are naturally very sweet fruit. When used in the base for this cheesecake they not only help sweeten the entire cheesecake (yup – that is the only sweet ingredient we will use in the entire recipe) but also keep the floury and dry ingredients stick together. Pay extra attention to the instructions in the recipe card when making the base of the cheesecake. You will need to ensure you have enough dates so they stick the dry ingredients together. Otherwise, you may end up with a crumbly cheesecake base.
We especially like the Medjool dates. They are so delicious that my kids will sneak out during the night to eat them out of the bag (ouch!). How do I know? Well, that is easy – when I start making a delicious dessert most of my dates have mysteriously disappeared. Oh, yes, and since my kids are still little, I regularly find pits all over the house hidden under a bed, tucked into a corner, hidden under the couch, and sometimes behind the toilet from all the places!
Healthy Homemade Cheesecake Filling
Dairy Filling Choice
Many cheesecakes rely on cream cheese for the filling of the cheesecake. Cream cheese is tasty but it is also high-calorie high-fat food. Hence, we avoid it in our recipes. Instead, we select a low-calorie, lower-fat, healthier cheese version that when prepared is super creamy and smooth. Among many dairy options out there such as ricotta cheese, whipping cream, whipped cream cheese, etc we tried to select our dairy filling to be as healthy as possible but also fluffy, bulky, creamy, and tasty. After all of the considerations, we selected cottage cheese and heavy whipping cream.
Cottage Cheese Preparation
Pay extra attention when preparing the cottage cheese for the filling of the cheesecake. This is the most difficult part, in my opinion, in preparing this delicious cheesecake. To turn the cottage cheese into a fluffy, creamy, smooth, delicious and good looking filling for the cheesecake, you will need to do the following:
- Strain extra liquid from the cottage cheese – get rid of extra liquid from the cottage cheese by straining with cheesecloth, strainer, or any other method you may be familiar with. That prevents the cheesecake from becoming watery. You can also buy a dry cottage cheese version from some specialty stores. They are not easily found so I just do the extra step to drain extra liquid from the regular cottage cheese version.
- Smash the small cottage cheese balls into a paste – this is the trickiest part of making this cheesecake. You will need to select the right kitchen appliance to complete this step successfully. The first few times I tried making the filling bulky, creamy, smooth, and fluffy I was using the blender on too high speed. For best results, use a hand blender or a blender that has a very low speed. I used my 12 speed Oyster blender on the lowest speed I had. In my case, I set up the Oyster blender on low speed and chose the “stir” option from the buttons. I would pulse several times and stir the cottage cheese with a spoon. You don’t want to overdo the blending of the cheese and turn it into a liquid. Just blend it enough for the cheese balls to smooth out. In the recipe instructions, watch some of the mistakes I made initially when making the cheesecake and avoid them. Here is a link to 2% cottage cheese. You can also select fat-free, whole fat, etc. See our post where we cover the topic of should you do skim milk (fat-free), 2% milk, or whole milk. It is essentially the same idea – balance!
Heavy Cream Preparation
You can also try using the whipping cream version instead of the heavy cream as it has lower fat and calories. I have used it in cases I know only my family will eat the cheesecake. Otherwise, the texture and the look is not the same. I also used whole yogurt milk with the recipe to boost nutritious. But again, this is only when I don’t have to “present” the cheesecake to someone external. The cheesecake is as delicious as before, with lower calories and more nutrients, but the look is just deflated for a lack of better word choice.
Ahh … the topping… We use berries for our healthy cheesecake. Berries are sweet, tart, sour, all at the same time. Our blend of berries is blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Similar to using all variety of seeds, we chose to use varieties of berries in the cheesecake to rip the different berry nutrients’ benefits. Every berry has its own unique health benefits so we just combine multiple berry options in the topping. You can use fresh or frozen berries. The tender berries like raspberries will break down easily and form jello looking texture which I love. The sturdy berries like blueberries will hold intact and they will be as delicious and chewy to eat on the topping. We use 1 cup of berries, but feel free to use more as you like.
You can also use pre-packaged pie filling which is not our preference, though. We don’t include any sugar with the berries to keep their tart taste, however, if you are a sweet lover feel free to add some honey or any other sweeter that is dear to your heart.
Lime And Vanilla Extract
For extra flavor, we use lime juice and vanilla extract in this recipe. Lime is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, thiamine, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. Limes are high in vitamins B and C and are also a great source of antioxidants. Vanilla extract is mostly a good source of antioxidants.
Healthy Homemade Berry Cheesecake
- 1½ tbsp chia seeds
- 1½ tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1½ tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1½ tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp brown flax seeds
- 1 tbsp golden flax seeds
- 2 cups cottage cheese light
- 1 cup heavy whip cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ¼ cup blackberries
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ¼ cup strawberries
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp water
- Wash hands with soap and water. Check out our article about how to wash hands properly.
- Gather all ingredients
- Ground seeds if you haven't already done so. Grind all seeds of your choice with a coffee grinder or any tool you have available in the kitchen. You can also buy already ground seeds. You will need 1/2 cup of ground seeds for the crust and topping.
- With a vegetable brush, firmly brush the lime under running cold water. Juice with a juicer.
- Pit the dates if they are whole
- In a food processor, grind ½ cup walnuts and ½ gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- Add ¼ cup ground seeds and 1 cup pitted dates. Blend the dry ingredients with the dates to form the crust. Note that once done, when you squeeze the crust between your fingers it needs to stick.
- Spread evenly the healthy cheesecake crust in a circle baking pan. With hands press the mixture firmly to stick together. Use the bottom of the glass to press the crust to stick together as needed.
- Refrigerate the crust while working on the filling and topping.
- With a cheesecloth or strainer, drain as much liquid as you can from the 2 cups cottage cheese.
- You can add fruits to the excess liquid, blend it, and freeze it in the freezer for delicious "icicles". I pour the liquid in an ice cube trays and then use toothpicks for handles. My kids love it.
- Using Oyster blender (or hand mixer) on low speed, gently blend the curds of the cottage cheese. You want the cottage cheese to be creamy. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- You do not want to liquefy the cottage cheese. If you use a high-speed mixer/blender to blend the cheese, it will not turn into a paste. Instead, it will turn into liquid. Here is what NOT to do.
- Whip 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract using the low-speed whip setting on the Oyster 12 speed blender.
- Combine the whipped cream with the cottage cheese to form a foamy, bulky, creamy paste.
- Spread the creamy filling on top of the crust and refrigerate the cheesecake until you make the topping (assuming you are making it from scratch).
- To a pot, add ¼ cup strawberries, ¼ cup raspberries, ¼ cup blackberries, ¼ cup blueberries, 1 tsp lime juice, 1½ tbsp ground seeds, and 2 tbsp water.
- Cook on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes until the fruits blend well and the sauce thickens from the seeds.
- Wait for the berry topping to cool down (room temperature) prior to spreading it over the cheesecake. I usually put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling time.
- Spread the berry sauce on top of the cheesecake
- Refrigerate for at least 5-6 hours prior to serving.
- Once the cheesecake has tighten up, take it out of the refrigerator. Slide a thick knife that doesn't have a sharp blade around the cheesecake to separate it from the pan's ring. Remove the pan ring.
- This is a low-calorie, low-sugar, low-fat delicious cheesecake!
- I grind all types of seeds ahead of time and store them in an airtight container for several days. I use the seeds in many recipes such as loaves of bread, pancakes, muffins, etc. It is easier and quicker to grind more seeds at one time versus every time I need them for a recipe. If you have the time and energy it is best to grind the seeds just before you use them.
- You can buy already ground seeds at the store too if you don’t have a tool to grind them yourself or want to save time.
- I love hemp seeds. Feel free to add it to the seeds mix. I don’t grind the hemp seeds.
- You do not want to add the heavy cream and vanilla extract to the cottage cheese in the same blender. To whip the cream you need a higher speed than making a paste out of the cottage cheese. Instead, transfer the cottage cheese once ready to a mixing bowl and then whip the heavy cream with the vanilla extract separately.
- Keep any cheesecake leftovers in the fridge as it will soften if left outside.
- We are extremely excited to announce we are now using the saferecipeguide.org guidelines to make our recipe safe-friendly. We will slowly be incorporating the safe recipe guidelines into our recipe instructions!
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