Confession: As healthy as I am, I still have an unapologetic crush on cheesecake. I know its fat, sugar, and sodium content aren’t doing anything to help me reach body goals and that some slices contain nearly an entire day’s worth of saturated fat. And yet….whenever I see a slice of creamy, cheesy heaven, I just can’t resist.
Fortunately, there are two sides to every story and cheesecake does have a few nutritional benefits (though limited). The charming dessert contains both bone-building calcium and vision-protecting vitamin A. And it turns out that if you dig hard enough, you can find some waist-shrinking recipes that use fat-blasting coconut oil in place of butter, protein-packed Greek yogurt in place of heavy cream, and a plethora of superfoods. Don’t buy it? Look below!
HEMP SEED MATCHA VEGAN CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 258 calories, 15.3 g fat (5.2 g saturated), 8 mg sodium, 29.6 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 22 g sugar, 6 g protein
Matcha powder has two to three times more EGCG, a potent fat-burning antioxidant, than most brewable green tea. Just make sure to buy powder only from Japan to reap all the waist-whittling benefits; China and other places have been selling weaker knock-off powders. (Yes, for real.) Hint: The brighter green and the sweeter smelling, the better the matcha.
Get the recipe from The Crunchy Chronicles.
MINI CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES
Nutrition: 292 calories, 17.2 g fat (10.3 g saturated), 184 mg sodium, 31.6 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 26.3 g sugar, 4 g protein
If you’re not a one-and-done type of person, you’ll love that you can have two of these mini cupcakes without completely unraveling your diet. And don’t even link about opting for fat-free dairy. While the fat-laden stuff contains calories, it’s also more filling (meaning you’ll eat less). In fact, according to a 2013 study review in the European Journal of Nutrition, people who eat the full-fat dairy are less likely to suffer from obesity than those who go fat-free or low-fat.
Get the recipe from Chef Savvy.
RAW LEMON COCONUT CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 282 calories, 23.6 g fat (11.3 g saturated), 6 mg sodium, 18.1 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 10.6 g sugar, 4.2 g protein
From maintaining a clear complexion, shedding pounds, and freshening breath to boosting immunity, increasing iron absorption, and fighting cancer, the mighty lemon packs in one serious healthful punch (even in dessert). Any cheesecake that can give us beautiful skin, aid weight loss and ward off disease is a rock star in our book.
Get the recipe from Swoon Food.
BLACKBERRY CHEESECAKE POPSICLES
Nutrition: 102 calories, 6.5 g fat (4.1 g saturated), 61 mg sodium, 9.6 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 8.6 g sugar, 2.1 g protein
Got a case of the sniffles? What better way to cure them then with a cheesecake popsicle? Blackberries are bursting with immunity-boosting vitamin C and dessert helps lower stress levels, which compromise your immune system. We think it’s a win-win.
Get the recipe from Recipes to Nourish.
SKINNY PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BARS
Nutrition: 71 calories, 2.4 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 80 mg sodium, 3.5 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 2.7 g sugar, 4.3 g protein
With Fall just around the corner, these creamy cheesecake bars are just the thing to get you going. Aside from using protein-rich Greek yogurt and no artificial ingredients or sweeteners, their crust is made with a brown rice cereal, helping to keep their carb and calorie count wicked low.
Get the recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.
CHEESECAKE STUFFED STRAWBERRIES
Nutrition: 116 calories, 9.2 g fat (5.5 g saturated), 96 mg sodium, 6.5 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2.4 g protein
At a glorious 116 calories and just 6.5 grams of carbohydrate per serving, these stuffed berries truly have a diet halo. What’s more? Strawberries are another vitamin C-rich fruit that amps up immunity, reveals your six pack, and knocks out stress.
Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
RED VELVET CHEESECAKE PANCAKES
Nutrition: 252 calories, 10.1 g fat (6 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 37.2 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 24.8 g sugar, 4.3 g protein
You had us at cheesecake and pancakes, but red velvet, too? This recipe can’t be anything short of crazy-delicious. And as long as you eat it for what it is—a dessert—it won’t sabotage your body goals. For a list of foods to help you get there sooner, check out these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body.
Get the recipe from Le Creme de la Crumb.
MINI NO BAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE LEMON CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 141 calories, 11.1 g fat (7 g saturated), 65 mg sodium, 8.7 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 2.2 g protein
These bite-sized tarts are perfect for any summer gathering. They require no baking, minimal prep and they just look straight up classy. Not mention, they’re an easy way to practice portion control, which will get you into your skinny jeans sooner.
Get the recipe from The Chunky Chef.
SKINNY CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE BARS
Nutrition: 135 calories, 7.7 g fat (5.2 g saturated), 122 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 9.7 g sugar, 3.6 g protein (calculated with coconut oil)
If you’re looking for a healthy substitute for butter, try coconut oil. Your body prefers to burn the fats in coconut oil, as opposed to storing them, but the benefits of coconut oil aren’t breaking news. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health back in 1985 proved that a single injection of capric acid (found in coconut oil) resulted in “initially rapid, then a gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats. Thirty-some years later, we’re obsessed with the stuff for good reason. Time to get coco-nutty!
Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
CHEESECAKE CAKE BATTER DIP
Nutrition: 68 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 82 mg sodium, 11.7 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 1 g protein
You know those friends who can eat literally whatever they want and still have rockin’ bods? Looks can be deceiving….like who would guess this dip would have a nutritional profile like that? Dip your way to taste bud heaven and a tighter frame.
Get the recipe from Wine and Glue.
RASPBERRY LIME COCONUT CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 230 calories, 18.9 g fat (14.1 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 14.2 g sugar, 3.3. g protein
If you can find black raspberries, this cake just might save your life—literally. The black bullets contain more than two times the antioxidants than any other produce (or vino)! And according to a recent report in the journal Open Chemistry, they have three times the antioxidants as their ruby siblings. Don’t worry winos, the liquid grape brings its own to the table. Check out these 16 Best Wines for Weight Loss.
Get the recipe from Quite Good Food.
ALMOND CARAMEL CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 310 calories, 27 g fat (8.8 g saturated), 12 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4.3 g sugar, 7.5 g protein
Experts claim that almonds are one of the most nutritious nuts, thanks to their vitamin E, flavanoids, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese content. Not to mention, manganese supports a healthy metabolism—so if you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, a slice of this cake just might help.
Get the recipe from Cocoon Cookes.
MINI CHEESECAKES WITH OREO CRUST
Nutrition: 218 calories, 16 g fat (9 g saturated), 179 mg sodium, 13.1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 5 g protein
There’s not much healthy about Oreo cheesecake, but indulging every once and awhile is part of a healthy lifestyle and can aid in weight loss. In fact, occasional “cheat meals” have been proven to boost metabolic activity and ward off feelings of deprivation. Plus, 218 calories for a well-deserved dessert is hardly going to make or break your diet. Just don’t indulge beyond that.
Get the recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy.
KEY LIME CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 334 calories, 25.4 g fat (15 g saturated), 225 mg sodium, 22.6 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 14.8 g sugar, 5.3 g protein
This “perfectly tart, perfectly sweet, perfectly tangy, perfectly creamy, perfectly luscious” cheesecake is a key lime lover’s dream.
Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.
VEGAN STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 235 calories, 14.2 g fat (3.7 g saturated), 5 mg sodium, 25.8 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 16.6 g sugar, 5.3 g protein
Cashew-based cheesecakes, like this one, are raw and frozen. We’ll say it again: There is absolutely no baking! Soaking cashews—which happen to be one of our 6 Best Nuts for Weight Loss—improves flavor, nutrient bioavailability, and digestion. Did we mention the cheesecake is absolutely oil-free? This one has our seal of approval and then some.
Get the recipe from Lazy Cat Kitchen.
LOW CARB CARAMEL CHEESECAKE STUFFED APPLES
Nutrition: 158 calories, 10.9 g fat (6 g saturated), 280 mg sodium, 17.3 g carbs, 8.3 g fiber, 7.3 g sugar, 3 g protein
Aside from being downright ingenious, these apple stuffed cheesecakes contain a whopping 8.3 grams of belly-slimming fiber. The National Fiber Council recommends daily consumption of 32 grams fiber, but America is still consuming a highly processed diet that is largely void of the nutrient. Insufficient dietary intake can result in constipation, increased hunger, weight gain, high cholesterol, increased risk for heart disease, nutrient deficiencies, drowsiness, and more. Luckily for you, apples are one of the best high fiber foods so you can knock out nearly a third of your daily quota by eating cheesecake. You’re welcome.
Get the recipe from Sugar Free Mom.
SKINNY PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 253 calories, 4.2 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 233 mg sodium, 33.1 g carbs, 2.8 g fiber, 17.5 g sugar, 17.1 g protein
Aside from being one of the most orgasmic high protein snacks out there, there may be more to your PB addiction. The butter contains a plant sterol called beta-sitosterol, which research indicates helps the stress hormone (cortisol) balance out with other hormones. So, have a slice and chill out!
Get the recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.
CINNAMON ROLL CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 248 calories, 6.9 g fat (3.9 g saturated), 65 mg sodium, 42.7 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 27.8 g sugar, 4.3 g protein
Amazing things happen when cinnamon rolls and cheesecake unite—like this cinnamon roll cheesecake that is absolutely divine. But we have to warn you that if you have more than just one slice , it’s no longer “skinny.”
Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
COCONUT BANANA CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 328 calories, 26.8 g fat (13.6 g saturated), 20 mg sodium, 19,8 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 12.7 g sugar, 8.3 g protein (calculated with dark chocolate chips)
This cheesecake is made with protein-rich peanuts, fat-blasting coconut oil, fibrous banana, antioxidant-boosting maple syrup, and stress-busting chocolate chips. And we’ll let you in on a little secret: One hundred percent pure maple syrup contains inflammation-reducing polyphenol antioxidants, helping to combat inflammatory diseases like IBS, arthritis, and heart disease.
Get the recipe from Vegan Family Recipes.
BLUEBERRY CREME FRAICHE CHEESECAKE
Nutrition: 308 calories, 21.6 g fat (13 g saturated), 153 mg sodium, 23.6 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 19.9 g sugar, 6.2 g protein
While you may have your reservations about a 308 calories slice, consider this: A few of the tiny blueberry bullets can shrink your waist, fight cancer, lower your risk for disease, boost your brainpower, spot reduce belly fat and more. In fact, researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a 90-day trial that fed rats a blueberry-enriched diet, and the results showed significantly reduced abdominal belly fat. Another long-term study published in Annals of Neurology highlights that eating blueberries can lower the overall rate of cognitive decline by as much as 2.5 years in adults over the age of 70, as tested with six different cognitive tests. So if you have some extras in your batch, consider whipping up one of these 20 Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipes!
Get the recipe from Love and Olive Oil.