Monday, 18 February 2013

Reduced-Fat, Reduced-Sugar Chocolate Cheesecake

Slicing neatly through a cheesecake with a dessert fork and letting the creamy, moussey texture melt on my tongue is one of life's simple joys. (Perhaps that's an indication of my overwhelming addiction to food). I have tried to re-create this delight with less of the fat and sugar content.

I would love to pretend this recipe is low-fat and clean, but really it should probably be set aside for special occasions or borderline dangerous cheesecake cravings. In this case I baked the cheesecake for a competition, so I was happy to have it a little healthier than the cafĂ© variety.

I tweaked this recipe from to my liking, re-creating it with my own tastes to instead become a decadent chocolate and hazelnut renedition.

Choc Ripple Biscuits, 250g
Low-fat butter of margarine, melted, 50g
Low-fat cream cheese, 250g
Low-fat cottage cheese, 250g
Chobani No-fat Plain Greek Yogurt, 250g
Eggs, whole, 3
Vitarium Sugar-Free Drinking Chocolate, 1 cup, or to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For starters, preheat your fan-forced oven to 140°C.

Next, combine biscuits and melted butter in food process. Process until combined in a delicious chocolate crumb.

Grease 20-cm springform cake tin and spread the biscuit crumb. Cook on 160C for 10 minutes. (I baked it at 140C in my inferior fan-forced oven).

Combine all other ingredients until smooth. Pour over biscuit base once cooked and cooled.

Baked for 35-40 minutes. Once ready,  turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for an hour with the door slightly ajar.

Cool for 4 hours, or overnight, in fridge.

Serve with your favourite toppings. I recommend fresh berries, roasted hazelnuts and chocolate shavings.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

No-Fat Low-Carb Protein Pancakes

If I could rate pancakes on how blissful and warm they make me feel, they would score on par with the fluffiest and cutest of puppies. However loaded with fat and carbs, I can never justify allowing myself the treat (pancakes, certainly not puppies). That was until I discovered multitudes of healthy alternative recipes online using everything from pumpkin to cottage cheese to create a guilt-reduced breakfast.

And although every clean-eating fanatic has a protein pancake recipe to share, I've never found the perfect recipe for me. I am yet to find anything that is my taste, in my price budget or that uses readily available ingredients. Personally I like to use as few eggs as possible, stray from fats (I already have enough good fats in my diet) and avoid flours (even healthier choices like Coconut Flour which my sad budget just can't afford).

After weeks of experimentation using different combinations of ingredients like chia seeds and vanilla protein powder and some play-dough-looking attempts, I have finally created my very own recipe. These babies have no added sugar, use ingredients available at most mainstream grocers, are a great serving of protein and, if you choose the right milk, are clean. Not to mention they're thick, fluffy and just like a healthy pancake should be!

Quick Oats, processed, 30g
Chobani Plain Non Fat Greek Yogurt, 85g
Banana, half, 50g
Egg white, 1
Stevia, natural sugar substitute, 1 tbsp, or to taste
Natural Psyllium Husk, 10g
Milk of choice, 3 tbsp (I used Vitasoy Low Fat Soy Milky)

1. Process oats to a fine powder in a food processor.
2. Add remainder of ingredients and process until combined.  Play around with flavours - add vanilla essence, cinnamon, coconut essence etc. as you like. Mixture will be quite thick.
3. Prepare a non-stick frying pan with oil of choice. For clean-eaters, coconut oil is best. I used Canola Oil Spray. Butter, olive oil or other oils will work to. Make sure the pan is hot before you start cooking. I'd suggest testing one pancake first and if it's too thick or you run into any problems, tweak the recipe.
4. Add your toppings as desired! I used almond butter sauce (that's almond butter mixed with soy milk), sugar-free maple syrup, homemade soy ice cream and frozen raspberries for my toppings today.

The great thing about these pancakes is they're so guilt-free you can load them up with as many healthy toppings as you so desire.

Notes: Serves one. No food processor? Give the recipe a shoot anyway, I can't guarantee it will have the same results though.

Total calories (without toppings or oil): 231