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Almond Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almonds, blanched, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon, rind, grated
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

Instructions

Grind the sunflower seeds in a blender with short bursts at high speed. In a small bowl, combine the sunflower seed meal and wheat germ. Add the oil and honey and stir with a fork until combined. Press into a lightly oiled 9" springform pan, covering the bottom and halfway up the sides. Remove any lumps from the ricotta and cottage cheese by mashing them with a wooden spoon against the sides of a large mixing bowl. The cottage cheese can also be pressed through a sieve for smoothness. Beat the eggs and the additional egg whites together in a medium bowl until light. Add to the cheese mixture along with the honey, vanilla, almonds, lemon rind and flour. Stir together until combined. For a light-textured cheesecake, beat the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes on high speed with an electric mixer. Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared crust and place the pan in a 350 degree F. preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour. At the end of that time, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door ajar for about one hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before chilling. Allow to chill at least six hours before serving. Variation: Substitute 3 cups ricotta cheese or 3 cups cottage cheese for the cheese combination in the recipe. Substitute 1/4 cup raw ground sunflower seeds for the blanched almonds. Note: This recipe has about 1/2 the calories and 1/3 the fat of an ordinary cheesecake.

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