Let’s Back up a Minute, What is Gluten?
You may have heard the word a lot, but what exactly is it and what does it do? Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat products. It is what helps give food it’s shape, and acts like a glue to hold things together. So why does taking gluten out matter? If you are baking bread or pizza crusts, gluten is what gives elasticity to your dough i.e. it makes it chewy and delicious. When you take gluten out of the equation, you need to add other things in to get the same level of elasticity to your dough and bread, usually Xantham or Guar gum. Gluten can also help hold onto moisture in a product, which is why gluten free products tend to dry out much faster than traditional baked goods, and therefore need to be frozen. That is why you find a lot of gluten free breads in the freezer section of your grocery store!
So, How about this Gluten Free Cheesecake?
Now back to the cheesecake. In a traditional cheesecake, you would normally use a graham cracker, which has gluten! So in this gluten free cheesecake recipe, I simply used GF graham crackers to get the same effect, but I also used some almonds to get a nice crunch! Once you mix the crust all together, you bake it in a springform pan before adding in the cake batter.
For the cake part, I wanted to try something different. Instead of doing all cream cheese as the base of this cake, I used two other secret ingredients. Are you ready? Drum roll please…..I used Greek yogurt and cottage cheese!
Before you say “Um, Klara! Cottage cheese in a dessert? Are you insane?” Hear me out for a minute. When making this recipe, you puree the cottage cheese before you mix it in with the cream cheese, so all those little curds you are worried about? They are all gone! Cottage cheese is high in protein, and once it is pureed, it is smooth and blends right in with the cream cheese and greek yogurt. Don’t believe me? Make this recipe, but don’t tell anyone the ingredient list, and see what they say! They wont be able to tell a difference. Look how silky smooth that batter is!
This cake does need to cool completely before eating, but can be made a day or two in advance! The blackberry compote comes together really easily, so you could make it right before serving (because who doesn’t love that hot/cold dessert combo). But, if you are short on time the day off, you can definitely do it ahead of time and store in the fridge. You can also use other berries of your choice, or any fruit that maybe in season
Whether you are a novice in the kitchen, or a seasoned chef, Dietitian Klara will work with you to help you reach your nutrition goals. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating, Cooking with Diabetes and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Guide.