The other day it was my hubby's birthday, so Ford and I set out to make a special treat for Daddy. He's my little helper in the kitchen. His motives are purely selfish - he's totally just in it for sneaking bites along the way. Haha! And to be honest, I could do it about 3 or 4 times faster without him in there with me, but I love it because we get to have good conversations without distractions, the TV, or toys, and if I'm lucky I might even have the opportunity to teach him a thing or two every now and then. This time, we decided to make this: my take on a healthy version of cheesecake. Oh my WORD it's good. Better than the real deal, if you ask me. And it's healthy(er) too.
Start with the crust! Heat up your oven to 375 before you begin. You'll need a box of GF graham crackers. These two are my faves.
You'll also need 2 TBSP butter, melted, and 1 egg. We pulsed up the graham crackers in a food processor until there were no big chunks, and then added the butter and the egg. If you want to make a grain-free version, you can swap the grahams for 1 cup almond meal and a 1/2 tsp cinnamon. (I've made both and they are both delish.) Of course, Ford ate 2 (unauthorized) finger swipes of butter and about 7 grahams, so I had to get out more butter to melt, but your sous chef is probably not a thief!
If you're a little silly like us, then I'd be willing to bet you make up games while you cook. We made one up called "ACK!!" where if he starts to get his fingers too close to the bowl to sneak a taste, I yell "AAAAACK!" and he breaks out in cackles of laughter. See? I told you. We're silly.
After a few rounds of ACK!, we took our mixture and pressed it into a springform pan to bake for about 15 min on 375 - long enough for it to brown up. Take it out and let it cool. It should look like this:
While that was baking, we made the filling. Just 2 ingredients. Fage yogurt and honey. It HAS to be Fage yogurt, or it won't get that cheesecakey-ness we need. Trust me on this part. I know from goopy soupy failed attempts. No Fage = no bueno. Dump 16 ounces of Fage into a bowl. Add 2 TBSP honey to it, and mix it up. You'll probably need about 4 TBSP honey tho, because if your helpers are like mine, they'll eat half of it! This was my teaching moment. I am a believer that if you want kids to eat healthy, you have to teach them how. They don't just wake up one day and know how to make good choices. Or just LOVE carrots and hummus. Well, maybe yours do. But with mine, it's like with anything else: you have to train them up in the way you want them to go. Begin with the end in mind sort of stuff. So, I like to tell Ford about the ingredients we are using, and what they are good for. You don't have to get technical - just "Hey, Ford...you know why we're using yogurt? Cuz it has bugs in it! Bacteria bugs!" (Peals of laughter.) "Yeah, yogurt has really GOOOOOOD bugs in it that help our tummy. So we're using yogurt for the cheesecake. And we're using honey cuz it's better than sugar. Sugar hurts our teeth. And our brains. And veins. And honey still tastes just as sweet. Sweet, huh!?" Health lesson complete.
Moving on. When the crust is totally cooled off, plop the yogurt mixture on top of it and spread it out evenly so it touches the sides of the pan.
Then take half a bottle of lemon curd - check the label to make sure it's GF because some aren't. Or if you REALLY want this to be healthy, you can skip the curd and spread out 2 TBSP honey over the top and sprinkle 3 TBSP lemon zest all over it. I, for one, prefer the curd, but...that's because I like to live on the crazy side sometimes.
Then, sprinkle a half pint of washed blueberries on top, and refrigerate it UNCOVERED overnight. The uncovered part is a crucial step, because it dries the yogurt out a wee bit giving it that cheesecakes-ness that I mentioned before.
Doesn't the finished product look like a slice of summer happiness? Why, yes! I think it does!
You may be tempted to eat the whole thing for breakfast. Which is fine. I won't tell if you do. 😉