SRC: Skinny Yogurt Strawberry Cheesecake

Post image for SRC: Skinny Yogurt Strawberry Cheesecake

by Holly on January 7, 2013

I can’t believe it’s 2013… or more accurately, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I got around to posting! We were on the road in the far northern reaches of Montana and Idaho for about a week when we decided that for Christmas this year we were headed over the river and through the woods to the Grandparents farm. It was a bit crazy with the roads and weather, but it was such a wonderful trip and just exactly the break that we needed.

I hope you’ll bear with me for a minute while I play a bit of catch up before I come back to my pick for this month’s Secret Recipe Club from Lisa’s site, Parsley, Sage & Sweet.  I loved going through Lisa’s archives and had several ideas bookmarked, but kept coming back to this. We’ll get back to it again in just a minute!

After all my holiday posting rush I inadvertently took the rest of the holidays off and have so much to tell you about! When we drive to the Grandparents near Sandpoint, Idaho, we quite literally drive over the river (Clark Fork) and through many, many woods (technically, their farm is pretty much in the woods, so there you go).

snowy christmasKayla spent a good part of the trip taking various naps, most of them in the truck while we were driving. She is an amazing little traveler when she has to be, thank goodness!! She loved Christmas at Grandma’s and it was fun to watch her get excited about her presents. She still isn’t speaking very much that is really understandable, but she is certainly trying. Either way, she knows how to get her point across!

Kayla CollageNew Year's Collage

We had a fun little night, just me and the kids, for New Year’s, then it was on to our new 2013 brand of crazy. There was a really good reason I ended up taking so much time off though. Aside from the 26 total hours of driving, Christmas for three kids away from home, husband heading to Cali for New Year’s and all the usual wildness we ended up adding a new member to our family!

Meet Benny the Bulldog! The newest member of the Hanks Family (here he is at 8 weeks old when he came home to us on New Year's Day)

Meet Benny the Bulldog! The newest member of the Hanks Family (here he is at 8 weeks old when he came home to us on New Year’s Day)!

Needless to say, things have been a bit wild around here with the new adjustment. It has been many, many years since Dusty or I have had a pet, and Benny is the very first pet for our kids. Usually at this point I’m asked what kind of dog he is. Benny (aka Bently Hamilton) is a Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog – his coloring is called Blue Merle. We have a wonderful friend who has a two year old of the same breed and he is amazing. We are already in love with this little guy and know he is super smart (we’ve had him for just a few days and he is pretty much potty trained). I’m sure Benny will be a regular feature around here on the blog, as well as the kiddos.

With all the holidays behind us I started considering what I wanted to accomplish this year. One of the things was to start eating healthier for me. The kids do pretty well, but I am a snacker and a grazer and a caffeinated mama. I really want to make better choices, just so that I can have better energy and feel better. For me that means eating better, as well as *gasp* exercise! It has been more years than I want to admit to since I’ve really exercised at all other than chasing the kids. Bottom line, I need more energy and was thrilled to have the chance to try out the workout program from (they have many recipes and menu plans as well, but were kind enough to understand that following a recipe plan of someone else’s for a food blogger is probably going to be really hit and miss for me. While I plan to make better choices and review their information, I also plan to work it into my ‘realistic’ life. That said, I believe whole heartedly that my results in the program (which I’m starting today) would probably happen better and faster if I stuck to their plan. I’ll be happy to see results at any rate though and want this to be a lifestyle change I can maintain, so that’s me.

As for the LeanMom’s program, I’ll be writing more about that after my first week and should even have a surprise giveaway for you!

yogurt strawberry cheesecake

In light of my choice to make a change I’m going to be implementing healthier choices in some recipes. I was excited to find a ‘skinny’ recipe for cheesecake I could try out. Lisa’s skinny cheesecake recipe is absolutely gorgeous and I want to try it her way as well, but she mentioned wanting to try making it with yogurt cheese and I was intrigued. I could make ‘cream cheese’ out of nonfat yogurt. And the recipe I found was certainly easy, it just took some patience. I just chose my favorite vanilla yogurt in this case, lined a fine mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth, placed it over a bowl with plenty of space and poured the yogurt in to the cheesecloth. I left enough cheesecloth over the side to fold over  the top of the yogurt to cover it, then placed the whole thing in the refrigerator and waited… and waited, and waited. It took a good 12 hours at least and I had to pour off the whey that drained into the bowl about halfway through so the bottom of the strainer wasn’t touching it. I think I ended up with almost a full two cups of whey. I should have measured or saved it for something else I imagine, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead at the time.

yogurt cheese

Anyway, the yogurt cheese was easy and really good. It ends up being very thick and basically the texture of cream cheese.

You could use it in place of cream cheese on toast, bagels, or where ever else you want to make the switch.

yogurt strawberry cheesecake 1-

As for the cheesecake itself I decided to practice a little portion control by making mini cheesecakes in my muffin tin. The strawberry topping was a take on Lisa’s recipe from her post here. I wanted mine to ‘gel’ more but reduced the amounts of sugar significantly in this recipe so that didn’t work as well. The strawberry topping was still easy to make and tasted wonderful.

The overall cheesecake is more on the tangy and very slightly sweet side since I reduced the sugar amounts throughout the entire recipe. I know myself well enough to know there is no way I’ll be cutting sugar completely out of my diet, but I can certainly attempt to reduce it! I also replaced the sugar in the cheesecake itself with honey and used  only 1 egg instead of two in an attempt to lighten it up a bit more.

Be sure to follow the linky below to visit the other SRC Members today for lots of great recipes! Happy New Year!

yogurt strawberry cheesecake

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Krista January 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

Is it possible to love someone more than infinity!? Cuz that’s me and you right now. I was seriously just thinking about this the other day!!! Make me some. K?

Holly January 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

Done and done. And yes, it’s possible because the feeling is entirely mutual! 🙂

Isabelle @ Crumb January 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Love this pick! I’ve been cutting back on desserts for the past year to try to get my weight under control (not exactly easy when you’re a food blogger, to say the least), and I had to give up cheesecake altogether because it’s such a calorie bomb.
On the other hand, this healthier version sounds like it would fit into my eating plan just fine! Can’t wait to try it out.
PS: Congrats on the latest addition to the family. He’s too cute for words! I bet he’s already got all of you wrapped around his little finger (errr… paw?) with those puppy dog eyes of his 🙂

Jess January 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I’ve tried cheesecake from yogurt before, but I’m loving your spin on it! I’m also loving those sweet sweet pictures of sleeping Kayla – what a lovely trip you all had.

Kate | Food Babbles January 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I’ve never made nor heard of yogurt cheese before and I’m so intrigued! This cheesecake sounds so good and I like that it’s a lighter version. Lovely post! And Benny is beyond cute!!

Lisa January 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Oh, I’m so glad you made this cheesecake using the strained yogurt like I planned to do but haven’t done yet! The cottage cheese makes it more like a ricotta cheesecake. Now I know the yogurt is going to work and be good! I also love that you reduced the sugar and still turned out such a decadent looking, sweet bite. I want to grab it right out of your photo! I’m glad you chose it and did the yogurt leg work for me! Thanks so much for your kind words! I hope I get your blog soon!

Adelina Priddis January 8, 2013 at 7:33 am

oh yummy! I didn’t even know there was such a thing as yogurt cheese.
now I just need to go buy some graham crackers, and I have everything I need to make this!

Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel January 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

Great New Years resolution pick!! And SUPER cute pup!!! <3

sarah k @ the pajama chef January 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm

yogurt cheese sounds so intriguing! gonna try it out!

Margaret January 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

That’s the great think about cheese cake. You can make it as decadent or as ‘skinny’ as you want. I will have to check out leanmoms. Thanks for that one. Adorable PUPPY!!

Lisa~~ January 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Your mini cheesecakes look wonderful and I love that they’re healthier. I make my own yogurt every couple of weeks and make yogurt cheese regularly, so very delicious. I do save the whey and use it in my protein shakes. Great SRC pick.

If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry: Creamy Mints.


lola January 21, 2013 at 6:53 am

Love it! It’s an exceptional recipe… Will certainly prepare it for the nearest family dinner.

whitesmith@sensation caviar May 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Great post, you’ve helped me a lot. Will certainly prepare it for the nearest family dinner.

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