I have the ultimate seasonal dessert to share with you today. When September hit, my brain immediately started thinking of pumpkin recipes to cook up. I set a goal to create the perfect “healthy” pumpkin protein cheesecake, and on Monday night, I did exactly that.
There’s a popular recipe floating around Instagram that I’ve been wanting to test out (if you search the hashtag “#procheesecake” and look through the earliest posts, you’ll find it), so I used that as my starting point and made a ton of modifications to come up with this thing of beauty. Luckily, I’d gone to Trader Joe’s on Sunday morning and stocked up on all things pumpkin, and several of those items ended up in this recipe.
Do yourself a favor and make this during your meal prep this weekend, then enjoy it as dessert or a mid-day snack all week long. The macros are great for a pre-workout treat!
Nutritional Information (per slice)
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes + cool overnight
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 1/3 c Trader Joe’s pumpkin granola
- 16 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
- 1 package (44g) Jello pudding mix, cheesecake flavor (NOTE: I’d recommend using sugar free/fat free if you can find it! The nutritional information accounts for regular, but you’ll save a few calories if you substitute.)
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 53g vanilla whey protein powder (I used GNC Wheybolic — 2 level scoops)
- 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt, plain
- 4 tbsp Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter (If you don’t have this, substitute 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice and an extra 1/4c Greek yogurt)
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon extract
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don’t have pumpkin granola, don’t care for pie crust, want to shave off an extra 52 calories (6.5g carbs, 2.5g fat, 0.7g protein), or any combination of these 3, leave the crust off of this recipe! Nix the first two ingredients listed above and steps 2-3 listed below. Just spray the pan, mix everything except for the granola and butter together, and pour the batter directly into the coated pan. In my opinion, the crust is totally worth it, but you can make this a 150-calorie dessert and still get the delicious pumpkin cheesecake taste if you want!
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Pulse granola in a blender until finely ground
- Combine melted butter and granola in a medium bowl to create your crust mixture
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, then press the crust mixture into the bottom
- Mix together all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then pour your batter into the pan over the crust
- Cook for 1 hour, 15 minutes, then move it to the fridge to chill completely
- Cut into 12 even portions and serve with your favorite whipped topping and festive sprinkles. Optional (but definitely recommended): top with a little slathering of extra pumpkin butter.
Enjoy, and happy Friday!