My husband and I both love pumpkin cheesecakes that are available at many restaurants for fall.
But ‘Healthy’, they aint!
The sweet potato is one of the oldest known cultivated foods in the Americans, going back over 9,000 years, and is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Its sweet flavor has been shown to satisfy the palette, while at the same time curbing ones appetite longer by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Sweet Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Using Sweet Potatoes instead of Pumpkin, and by substituting the traditional cream cheese, white sugar and flour in a Pumpkin or Sweet Potato cheesecake, it can actually become a wonderfully nutritious, wonderfully delicious vegan sugar-free dessert that won’t make you feel guilty about having an extra slice
or two around the holidays….
Plus Sweet Potatoes are a whole lot easier to cook than Pumpkin in my mind!
My recipe here is not only Gluten free, but has VERY little sugar, in fact if you leave out the brown sugar and cookies in the crust and just use a nut/date type bottom for the cheesecake it’s
Vegan Sweet Potato Cheesecake w/ Sugar Free Options
For the Crust:
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed
3 Tbs. Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance) melted
1 Cup unsalted Pecans
Pulse all ingredients except the Pecans and butter, in a food blender until they are finely ground. Add in the Pecans and pulse a few times until the nuts are broken up but not dust. Stir in the melted butter until the mixture holds together when pressed in your fist. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of an 8 inch Spring Form Pan. Place the pan in the freezer while making the filling.
For the Cheesecake Filling:
1 Tbs. Fresh Ginger or 1 tsp. dried
8 oz. Vegan Cream Cheese (like Tofutti brand)
12 oz. Vegan Sour Cream (like Tofutti brand)
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 Tbs. PreSweet™ Tagatos (NuNaturals Brand) or 1 tsp. Liquid Stevia
Scoop out Sweet Potato flesh from the cooked potatoes into a food processor or high speed blender. Add in all other ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Then add in the baking blend Stevia:
1 Cup MoreFiber™ Stevia Baking Blend™ from NuNaturals or a baking blend of stevia
Pulse a few times to wet the dry Stevia and then blend on high for at least 1 minute until the batter is very smooth. Pour the batter onto the frozen crust, spread to even the top, place the cheesecake in the freezer, covered for a least 4 hours until firm.
Top your cheesecake with fresh fruit, crumbled ginger snaps, chopped pecans, Coconut Whipped Cream or any other favorite.
I topped this one with some sugar-free candied pecans to compliment the nuts in the crust. I also wanted to test out the ‘browning’ or ”Caramelizing” abilities in the new PreSweet Tagatose product. Who’d have ever thought we could get a product to brown and crust up so yummy just like sugar? I placed about 1 Cup of raw unsalted Pecans in a warm pan with 2 Tbs. of Earth Balance Vegan Butter, stirred for a couple minutes and then added in 2 Tbs. of the PreSweet and 1 Tbs. of Cinnamon. Stirred them on low heat for another 4-5 minutes to brown the nuts and then let them sit on a paper towel to cool before spreading them on top of the cheesecake. They were delicious enough to eat the whole batch alone but I thought they would go well with the cake……………so I forced myself not to eat them all up right then!
Thaw the frozen cheesecake for 30 minutes or so before serving. Keep refrigerated for a few days or frozen, wrapped well, for up to 6 months. I cut mine in slices and freeze them individually for more convenience so I can grab one for breakfast or a dessert without thawing the whole cake.
PreSweet Tagatose is safe for diabetics because it will not raise blood sugar levels. It is also being studied for other health benefits.
One of the health benefits of PreSweet is that it is a prebiotic ingredient. Prebiotics feed probotic bacteria like acidopholis found in yogurt. Prebiotics help the good bacteria in the digestive system multiply. This improves the overall health of the digestive system and may improve the general health of the body.
PreSweet Tagatose is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in milk, fruits and vegetables. It is 92% as sweet as sugar. PreSweet is a low calorie (6 calories/serving), low GI (3 on the glycemic index), and low in carbohydrates (especially considering that many of the carbohydrates are not digested).
PreSweet is anti-hyperglycemic and great for those on weight loss programs because it will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding the calories that sugar will.
Sweet potatoes, according to Whfoods, contain antioxidants, which work to combat free radicals. Free radicals work to destroy the cells, which can cause colon cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease and colon cancer.
Disclaimer: NuNaturals provided me with some of their products to test but I was under no obligation to use or review them.
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