Oh my goodness. I have way too many good things to say about this cheesecake. It’s tasty. It’s got an awesome true cheesecake texture. It’s actually healthy. It’s heavenly and will make your whole kitchen/house smell like heaven. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for figuring out how to make this and I’m even more proud that I got it right from the first try. Woooop! Once again I’m falling prey to all of the Fall recipes I keep seeing so I made another dish with pumpkin (see my pumpkin mousse in a phyllo dough shell recipe too) even though I don’t really like pumpkin. But THIS, oh, this recipe turned out SO GOOD. And it’s Greek-inspired because it’s made with Greek yogurt, honey, and almonds. Yay!
So let me tell you more about it. Ready? Ok. First of all this recipe is gluten free, which is great for anyone with a gluten intolerance (celiacs, rejoice!). But I think this wonderful almond and pecan crust lightly sweetened with honey is way healthier and more protein-packed then your run-of-the-mill store bought pie crust. The honey in the crust also adds this wonderful hint of flavor to the rest of the cheesecake so that’s a plus as well. Moving on. Remember earlier in this post when I said this cheesecake is actually healthy? Yes, you read that correctly, it is. Well, I’m not a nutritionist or a dietician so you’ll have to take my common sense word for it, but that’s ok. So as we all know nuts (in moderation) are really good for you because they’re filled with healthy fats and protein.
Next, honey has lots of health benefits as well: it provides nutrients, helps boost your memory, is good fuel for a workout, and more. What’s more (yes- there’s more!), the Greek yogurt in this cheesecake is protein-packed, good for digestive health, lowering blood pressure, managing weight, and for bone health. And last but not least the pumpkin in here is a good source of vitamins, and probably other health benefits I can’t think of right now. Also, there is some cream cheese in here, which I don’t think has any inherit health benefits, but that’s ok!
Isn’t this WONDERFUL? I can now say with confidence that it’s ok to eat (this) cheesecake!!! No you’re not dreaming. At least I don’t think so. If I’M dreaming then I’d appreciate it if someone could let me know. Thanks. And of course I have to spend some time describing how this recipe adheres to the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, which promotes eating moderate portions of eggs, cheese, and yogurt (check, check, and check), and lots of vegetables and nuts (check and check!). So we’re on track! The Mediterranean Diet also recommends that you enjoy your meals with others, which is good news for this recipe because if you make this, everyone is going to gather around and ask for a slice.
And now on to things that people care less about, but this is my blog and apparently some people enjoy reading about the lives of food bloggers. SO. In two days I’m off to Lithuania in Eastern Europe. A large number of people have either never heard of Lithuania, or can’t place it on a map, so here’s a map to help everyone. Lithuania is part of the EU and there are nice people there. And lots of hot air balloons.
So now the next question that comes to mind is why on Earth am I going to Lithuania? Long story short my mom and my dog Fudge live there because of my mom’s job, and home is where your dog is so I guess I’m going home! Aside from Fudge I’m looking forward to my pillow, my favorite stuffed animal (you know you have one too no matter how old you’ve gotten!), my large bathroom (aka the kingdom of any household aside from the kitchen), and seeing my mom. Mom I know you’re reading this so you now have an official shout out on the Greek Glutton! And Dad I know you’re reading this too so hi! But now back to cheesecake!!!!
- 9 inch pie pan/dish
- Baking pan/dish
For the crust:
- 4.5 ounces ground almonds
- 4.5 ounces ground pecans
- 2 tbsp warm/melted honey
- 1 pinch salt
For the filling:
- 1-2 cups 2% Fage Total Greek yogurt (see instructions)
- 2-3 cups organic pumpkin pie mix (see instructions)
- 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 5 tablespoons warm/melted honey
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 F/170 C
- Grease a 9 inch pie pan
- Crush the ground almonds and pecans a bit with a mallet or a wooden spoon. This is just to make sure there aren't any whole nut chunks. Avoid doing this in a food processor because the nuts might get too crushed and powdery. If you do use a food processor, just pulse them a few times
- Mix the ingredients for the crust and fill the bottom of the pie pan/dish
- Press everything down to form a flat crust on the bottom (not the sides) of the pan. See notes
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until light brown and remove
- Fill a baking dish/pan with water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. This helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking
- Mix all of the ingredients for the filling
- Taste it and make sure it's to your liking. You can add more pumpkin, cream cheese, or honey, to get it tasting just right. If you want less pumpkin, use 2 cups yogurt and 2 cups pumpkin. If you want it more pumpkin, use 1 cup yogurt and 3 cups pumpkin.
- Pour it into the pan onto the crust
- Bake for 50 minutes or until the edges start to harden/darken a bit and pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick/knife in the center comes out clean
- Chill in the oven for 1 hour and enjoy!
You can substitute good quality maple syrup for the honey.
To make pressing the crust down into the pan, you can cover it with a piece of wax or parchment paper and press down. The crust won't stick to the paper and your hands won't get all sticky. This also helps you push the crust around to make it into an even layer.