siggi’s recipe contest: blueberry lemon cheesecakes

I’ve been eating siggi’s yogurt for awhile now, since it’s one of the few with very little added sugar and high in protein.  Most of the time I use plain and add my own fruit or granola, but their flavored yogurts are delicious!  I LOVE the orange & ginger flavor the best, and their pumpkin during the fall.  So good!

Siggi’s is Icelandic-style yogurt, called ‘skyr.’  They use a whopping FOUR times the amount of milk for each cup of yogurt, which their gives it a very thick texture and more protein.

When I found out siggi’s was holding a recipe contest for dietitians, you can bet I was super excited and couldn’t wait to enter.  I even had to fudge a little on my ‘no-added-sugar’ challenge since the recipe is due April 30.

I really wanted to make something unique (i.e. not a smoothie) with the yogurt, and was waffling between a baked item (like a muffin) and an Indian-inspired yogurt dressing for chicken when Andrew gave me the idea for cheesecake.  (Not sure why–he doesn’t even like cheesecake!)  Because siggi’s values real, simple ingredients and limiting added sugar, I attempted to make a simple (i.e. no bake), healthier (enter the yogurt) cheesecake without a lot of added sugar.  It’s just sweet enough to feel like dessert, yet tangy and light enough to be kind to your waistline.

Anyway, after a huge fail for the first version, I hit a home run with my second go-around.  A big THANK YOU to the Nyes, who served as my taste-testers!

Please note this recipe uses a variation of the cherry-chia jam I posted recently, so be sure to make the jam before you want to make and assemble the cheesecakes!

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Individual Blueberry Lemon Cheesecakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes plus 3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Blueberry Jam:

1 C frozen blueberries, thawed

½ C pineapple juice

1 T chia seeds

Heat blueberries and pineapple juice over low heat and use a potato masher to crush fruit. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Mix in chia seeds and pour into a glass jar. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Crust:

¾ C pretzel ‘crumbs’

3 T butter, melted

1 T sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Immediately add 3 T of crust to each ramekin and tamp down.

*For a crisper crust, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. (Note: If using glass jelly jars, bake in a water bath to prevent glass from cracking.)

Filling:

4 oz siggi’s plain yogurt

4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 T honey

1 package unflavored gelatin

1 C boiling water

3 T lemon juice

zest of ¼ lemon

Empty gelatin packet into a glass measuring cup, pour in 1 cup boiling water and stir until gelatin has dissolved completely. Let stand 5 minutes. Mix yogurt, cream cheese, honey, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a food processer until well combined. Pour in ½ cup of the gelatin and mix until smooth.

To assemble:

  1. Cool crusts in ramekins/jars if pre-baking.
  2. Spoon 2 T of blueberry jam onto each crust and spread to cover completely.
  3. Ladle approximately ½ cup cream cheese mixture into each ramekin/jar and refrigerate 3 hours to set. Top with additional jam or blueberries as desired.

Disclaimer: siggi’s does not know who I am, nor am I being sponsored or reimbursed for this post.

#cookingwithsiggis #contest

 

recipe contest fail

I’m about to submit the recipe I came up with for siggi’s yogurt as part of a contest, but thought I’d keep it real and show you the first round: plain, mango coconut and vanilla cherry cheesecakes.

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I clearly got ahead of myself, taking glamour shots before taste-testing them with some friends.

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The verdict: not enough flavor.  The unanimous ‘winner’ of the first round was the plain yogurt-cheesecake (pictured above, with a strawberry), which included a little bit of honey for sweetness.  Sadly, the vanilla cherry wasn’t flavorful enough, and the mango coconut wasn’t all that great, either.

Because siggi’s values simple ingredients and very little added sugar, I only added honey to the one with the plain yogurt; the other two were sweetened only by the sugar in their respective yogurts and fruit.

At our taste-test, we all brainstormed for the second round and came up with an entirely different flavor combo.  I whipped it up the next day and declared victory when all my tasters approved!  Recipe coming NEXT to the blog!

Buffalo News Refresh – April 2017

By: Holly R. Layer

How’s everyone doing on their April ‘No-Added-Sugar’ Challenge? I was pleasantly surprised to hear how many of my friends planned to join me in avoiding added sugars or in some other ‘get healthy’ undertaking. Between Facebook and those I ran into around town, we have a small crew of people interested in improving their health, which makes me excited!

First of all, congratulations and keep up the good work! It takes a lot to commit to something like this, so kudos to you if you’ve tried to omit sugar for even a day or a week if not the entire 30 days. We’re more than halfway through April, so I encourage you to stay strong until May 1. (Here’s a gentle reminder NOT to ‘celebrate’ the end by eating all the junk you’ve been avoiding.)

Secondly, if you fell face-first into a bowl of jelly beans Easter Sunday, cut yourself some slack and get right back on the no-added-sugar bandwagon. Everyone makes mistakes and this isn’t a Whole30—you don’t have to start over. Just like I tell those I counsel, you’re never more than one opportunity away from making the right choice.

Just to keep it real, here’s how I’m doing:

  • No dessert for me: While on a weekend trip to Philly, I was the only one of the group to pass on (what was apparently) very good water ice. I’m a huge fan of the cool treat, but I was still full from my cheesesteak dinner and didn’t think it was worth it to break my challenge.
  • Being prepared while out of town: For both our trips this month, I packed compliant snacks and breakfast items so that I’d be prepared. I made my no-added-sugar banana muffins, brought plain yogurt, grain-free granola, trail mix and lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Homemade jam: I found a recipe online and gave it a whirl. After cooking some fruit and mixing with chia seeds to thicken, what you get is a fresher, fruitier ‘jam’ to mix into yogurt or spread on toast. Check out my blog for the recipe.
  • Weight Loss: I’ve also incorporated calorie counting back into my routine using the MyFitnessPal app. It helps keep me accountable, curbs snacking and late-night eating and promotes appropriate portions. Calorie counting is something I dread until I start, and in about a day I realize how much better I feel when I’m being more diligent about what and how much I’m eating.
  • The hubby has really impressed me. He’s following the rules (although he was a bit more liberal while traveling) and even trying new things, like unsweetened tea and seltzers…and likes them!
  • In an effort to be transparent with my readers, there have been some ‘exceptions.’ Ordinarily I’d insist that there be no bending of the rules, even during our two weekends out of town. However, in the interest of rule-breaking (something I’m working on personally) and ‘food freedom’ (something else I’m working on personally), and the fact that there are just some really great things out there you can’t get in WNY, I allowed myself a couple treats while traveling. All of them were delicious, unique to the area and added significantly to my experience with loved ones.

If you need another reason to decrease added sugars in your diet, consider this: a recent study showed that decreasing added sugar intake from 28% of calories to 10% resulted in improved blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and blood sugar levels in as few as nine days.

Again, best wishes for a strong finish!