As the nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser, James Beard Award-winning chef Cheryl Forberg seems to know a thing or two about healthy eating, especially when it comes to our holiday favorites. Sure, you can go on a strict diet right after Thanksgiving as a punishment for that second (or fourth) slice of pie, or you can prepare a recipe that really isn’t that bad to begin with.
Forberg’s Pistachio Pumpkin Cheesecake uses agave nectar, Greek yogurt and low-fat cream cheese to give a dessert that is only 170 calories per slice. It basically means that you can eat much more of it, which is our favorite kind of cheesecake.
Pistachio Pumpkin Cheesecake:
Yields: 16 thin slices
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (6.5 ounces) roasted unsalted pistachio kernels
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1 3/4 cups (1 15-ounce can) plain pumpkin purée
- 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek-style yogurt
- 1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch salt
Directions for Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, chop nuts to very fine meal. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Mix in the agave and vanilla with a fork. The dough should be cohesive, but not wet. With a rubber spatula, pat dough into a nonstick, nine-inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven. Add two cups hot water to a round or square cake pan. Place pan on lower oven shelf; the steam will minimize cracking of the top of the cheesecake.
In the bowl of a food processor or jar of a blender, combine all of the filling ingredients. Process or blend just until smooth. Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven on the shelf above the cake pan full of water.
Bake cheesecake for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is just set. Turn off oven. Open oven door halfway and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven—this will also help to minimize a cracking top. Remove cheesecake from the oven. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours before serving.
Nutrition Analysis for One Slice of Pistachio Pumpkin Cheesecake:
- Calories: 170
- Calories From Fat: 70
- Total Fat: 8 g
- Sat Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 70 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 18 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Sugar: 11 g
- Protein: 5 g