Cheesecake for breakfast? Hell yes.

This recipe is going to change your life. Trust me. This cheesecake is so healthy, you can actually eat this for breakfast and not feel bad about it. You don’t believe me? Just keep on reading and find out for yourself.

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I had a dilemma, which was the following. I love to bake, but I also love to stay healthy. These two are of course easily compatible, unless your name is Tori. Hello, my name is Tori & I am addicted to sugar, fat, and everything that’s bad for you. Forgive me for over-exaggerating a little here. Anyways: I decided it was time for me to start making my bakes more healthy and nutritious, since I am baking so much lately. If you make something every now and then, it’s perfectly fine to use all the sugar and butter you want. But it started to become a daily thing for me and I actually gained some pounds because of it. Which is totally okay in winter, but it did get me thinking: can I find ways in which I can continue to bake all the things I love, but make them nutritious enough to serve as a proper meal? 

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So there was my challenge! I wanted to bake a pie that could serve as breakfast, and as I normally eat some homemade granola with Greek yoghurt for breakfast, I figured: why not bake a cake that is just granola & yoghurt in disguise?! And that’s how this lovely cottage cheesecake with granola crust was born. The crust is made of the ingredients I typically use for my granola: oatmeal, nuts, dates and coconut oil. The filling is made of cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt and eggs. Honestly, I didn’t even miss the cream cheese! If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this was an actual cheesecake made with cream cheese.

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Using cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt made this cheesecake so incredible fresh, making it even more perfect for a breakfast dish. There was literally no unnecessary sweetness in it. The dates in the bottom provided all the sweetness you need together with the lovely blueberries and blackberries on the top. Did I mention cottage cheese is amazing? It’s super high in protein (>10 gr/100 gr) but is low in calories (<100/100gr), making it the ideal weight loss food too. I don’t know why it’s not more popular. I read online that it used to be.

Cottage cheese used to be even more popular than yoghurt in the mid 1970’s.

In Holland, there is this pie called ‘kwarktaart‘, which was also an inspiration for this cheesecake recipe. It’s a pie made with kwark, which is like a really thick yoghurt. Do the English call it quark? I don’t know. Anyway, you don’t have to bake kwarktaart: just put it in the fridge with some gelatin and it will set perfectly. But as I wasn’t able to buy kwark in the UK, I figured a mix of cottage cheese and thick Greek yoghurt would do the trick just as well. And that way I could bake it like a traditional cheesecake without needing any gelatin! #veggie

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You can serve this cheesecake without the extra topping and leave the gorgeous blueberry marble pattern exposed. But if you want to incorporate some extra fruits in your breakfast, go ahead and top it with a blueberry sauce and some fresh blackberries like I did. By the way: that marble pattern is honestly the easiest thing ever, don’t let it scare you off!

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Let’s get to the recipe for this amazing breakfast. I am not eating anything BUT pie for breakfast anymore, believe me!


Healthy Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake with Cottage Cheese & Greek Yoghurt and Granola Crust

Serves: 8 – Preparation time: 50 mins – Baking time: 35 mins – Total: >10 hrs (set overnight)

Ingredients (filling – crust – blueberry swirl – topping)

please note that you can double the amount of ingredients for the filling for an extra high cheesecake, but be sure to increase the baking time accordingly!

  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp (500 gr) low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (200 gr) low-fat Greek yoghurt (make sure it’s a thick one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 cups finely ground oatmeal flakes
  • 1 cup ground nuts of choice
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 6 medjool dates
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • fresh blackberries (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius and take all of the ingredients out of the fridge so they can come to room temperature. Then start by preparing the crust. Finely ground the oats, nuts and dates together in a kitchen processor. If you don’t have one, you can chop everything yourself with a sharp knife, but make sure it’s very fine because that way the crust will stick together more easily. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil (melted), honey (optionally), cinnamon and salt. Give it a good stir. Get a quiche pan with high edges or a normal round cake tin. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the edges any way you like: just make sure to do this properly so your cheesecake won’t stick to the pan. Transfer the mixture to your pan and press down firmly, going up just slightly at the edges. Pre-bake your crust for 10 mins in your 175 degree oven. You can blind-bake the crust if you want, but I didn’t do that. Let the crust cool on your counter while you proceed with the cheesecake filling.

Turn down the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Take your cottage cheese, which should be at room temperature and try to remove the lumps in it by pressing it down with a rubber spatula. It may take some time to make everything smooth this way, so I just put the cottage cheese in my kitchen processor for a few seconds. You can also use a blender. Mix the smooth cottage cheese with the Greek yoghurt and lightly beaten eggs. Blend using a whisk. Then add the orange zest and vanilla. You can use half of the beans of a fresh vanilla pod for a real kick of vanilla, but vanilla extract does the trick too.

Heat up the frozen blueberries in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Add the grated orange zest. You can also use a splash of fresh orange juice instead of water for an extra orangy twist. Cook for 3 mins while stirring and set aside to cool down.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the granola crust. Flatten the surface using a rubber spatula. Put some dollops of blueberry sauce on top of the cheesecake using a spoon. Then, just swirl through it with a knife until you’re happy with the marble pattern. You might not want to use all of the blueberry sauce, but save some for later if you wish to top off the cheesecake with fresh fruits.

Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes, or until the cake has set but the middle is still slightly wobbly. Be sure to turn the cake around in your oven if your oven doesn’t very bake evenly like mine. For an extra professional result, you can bake this cheesecake in a water bath, but I only do that if I am serving my cake to guests. 😉 Let the cake cool for 30 mins with the oven door halfway open. Then transfer to your counter until completely cooled to room temperature, after which the cheesecake has to sit in the fridge for at least a few hours, but overnight gives the best results!

The next day, serve with your left over blueberry sauce, fresh blackberries and a little dusting of powdered sugar.


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That was it guys. Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it out! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bon appétit! XOXO Tori

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Date & Walnut Lattice Pie

I really felt like making something pretty this time.

Usually, I like to keep things pretty simple. I just need my kitchen the smell nice & the bake to taste good. But I was feeling crafty and in need of buttery pie crust, so I decided on doing a double-crusted artsy pie.

 

You can use any filling you want when making a pie like this, which is great. Whatever you’re craving, just throw it in there. My inspiration for this was a pecan pie recipe that I’d seen, but then I found out I was out of pecans, so I went with walnuts. Anything works. I’m a big fan of a combination of dates and nuts (any type really), and I have done date & nut bars/tart bases in the past, so I liked the idea of working that into a pie filling this time.

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Making pie crust can appear a bit tricky at first, but practice makes perfect. Trust me, I am still working on mine. I actually did overwork my dough this time which made the crust a bit too tough to my liking. But hey, you know what’s so good about pie? It’s still really amazing even if it’s not perfect. Same goes for this all-butter pie crust recipe: difficult to get perfect, but it will always taste good and be a crowd pleaser! The most important thing to keep in mind is to not overmix your dough. Don’t knead the life out of it. I know it’s tempting, there’s something soothing about just kneading it until everything comes together perfectly and there are no lumps to be found anywhere. But that is where you’ll go wrong. You WANT these buttery lumps (around the size of peas) to be in your dough, because that’s what’s going to make the crust flaky and lovely at the end. With that in mind, let’s get to the recipe!

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Date & Walnut Lattice Pie

Yield: 12 servings – Preparation time: 60 minutes – Baking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + a bit extra for rolling the dough
  • 1 cup cubed cold unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup buttermilk + few tbsp. extra if needed
  • ½ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup refined brown cane sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped pitted dates
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

Take the butter for the filling out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you prepare your pie dough.

For your dough, combine the butter with the flour and salt using a pastry cutter or your hands until the butter is the size of peas. Don’t overmix because this will make your pie crust tough. If you want an extra flaky crust, leave bigger bits of butter in the mixture. Add the buttermilk one tablespoon at a time just until the dough comes together. You don’t want the dough to become sticky. Of course, you can also use ice water instead of buttermilk, but I liked the extra tanginess.

Cut your dough in half, wrap in cling film and leave to refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

While your oven is preheating and your dough is refrigerating, start to prepare the filling for this pie. Your butter should be on room temperature now, so you can start by creaming the butter together with the sugar. I used a spatula. Add the salt, agave syrup and eggs and mix to combine. Then add the walnuts and dates. Set your filling aside and return to your dough.

You will use one clump of dough for the bottom of the crust and the other clump for the top layer. Let’s start by rolling out the bottom. Lightly flour your surface and roll out the dough, making sure to keep moving the dough and flipping it so it doesn’t stick to the counter. Transfer it to a greased tart pan of your choice. It’s probably easiest to use one that is not too high, as this will make decorating easier. I didn’t have on like that though, so I just used a standard quiche pan. Using a fork, make some holes in the dough and just bake it for 5 minutes to give it a head-start to the rest of the pie.

While that’s in the oven, start rolling out the second clump of dough and cut into long strips with which you’re going to cover the pie. You can save some dough to use for other decorations like the braids I made for example. Of course, this is totally up to you!

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Take your crust out of the oven and let it cool for a bit on your kitchen counter before pouring the filling on it. Spread the filling out evenly and then decorate the top with a second layer of pie dough. You can make any pattern you want; I went for a simple lattice pie.

Bake the pie for around 30-40 minutes, just keep an eye on it. If the top is nicely golden, the pie is done. Mine took 35 minutes.

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Let me know if you have a favourite way of decorating a pie!

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Bon appétit!

Tori