Easy lemon cheesecake (a healthier one too!)
Make your own crunchy base using toasted oats and nuts instead of biscuits
A few weeks ago, I made some calorie-busting banofee cheesecake pots which were insanely delicious but I never stopped feeling guilty about how many calories there were in it.
I love cheesecake but there has to be a way to make cheesecakes that aren’t as bad as most of the recipes out there. I tried making some with half fat or low-fat cheese but they tasted disgusting!
So, while these easy lemon cheesecakes still aren’t diet-food, I think I’ve massively reduced the heaviness by replacing the normal biscuit base with an alternative, healthier option.
Most cheesecake recipes call for broken/crushed biscuits, which have already been baked with lots of butter and sugar. To this, you then normally add more melted butter and honey to form a base for the cheesecake. Now I like my biscuit base to have a bit of crunch so instead of using biscuits, I decided to make a loose but still crunchy base by toasting oats and nuts. It’s pretty much like making a granola but without any added fruit. H owever, I don’t have the patience to wait for hours to make granola so here’s my cheat’s way of making it below…
I really love my oat ‘n’ nut biscuit base, it’s got the crunch that i’m looking for, is really tasty but I love it all the more because I know it’s got less than half the fat of traditional recipes. In the supermarket, I also spied some gluten-free oats so there’s no reason why those of you following a gluten-free diet can’t make these as well.
Preparing the toasted oats and nuts takes about 20 minutes but this batch makes enough for about 6 cheesecake pots so if you don’t use it all at once, they’ll keep for another day (or to do on some breakfast porridge as a crunchy topping). Aside from this bit, the cheesecake mixture takes about 2 minutes to make. So if you prepare the base in advance, you can whip this dessert up in mere minutes!
It might not be completely guilt-free eating but as far as I’m concerned, it comes pretty damn close.
Toasted oat ‘n’ nut base
30 grams almonds, roughly chopped
30 grams walnuts, roughly chopped
100 grams oats
30 grams butter
1 generous tablespoon or honey or maple syrup.
Mix your oats and nuts together in a bowl. Using a non-stick fry pan, toast the mixture (turning it constantly to avoid burning) until it turns lightly golden. It normally takes only a minute a so so be careful to not let your oats get burnt. Repeat in batches until you’ve toasted the whole lot. Melt your butter and honey/maple syrup together, pour over your toasted oats and mix well.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (celsius) and spread out your oats and nuts on a baking tray. Pop them in the oven and give them a good toss every 3-4 minutes for the next 10-15 minutes. When they’re beautifully golden brown and toasted all over, spread them out on a piece of grease proof paper and allow them to cool completely before using/storing.
If you’ve accidentally burnt some of your oats or you find you have a lot of burnt powder from the oats/nuts, here’s a trick: sieve your mixture through a strainer and you’ll see all the burnt powdery bits fall right out.
Easy cheesecake mixture (makes 2 cheesecake pots)
200 grams cream cheese
grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons icing sugar (this is really down to taste)
Retain half of the grated lemon zest and mix all the other ingredients in a bowl until it’s smooth and glossy.
To serve, spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of your oat ‘n’ nut biscuit base into each service glass or dish. Divide your cheese mixture into two and spoon over the crunchy base. Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest over the top for decoration. Grab a spoon and dig in!
Lots of love