Top Thanksgiving Recipes, Lightened Up: Paula’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

We’re lightening up some of FoodNetwork.com’s top Thanksgiving recipes. First up is Paula’s famously delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake which received top marks from our readers. But if you’re trying to watch your waistline, this dessert doesn’t come without guilt. Here are a few tips you can use to lighten up this bad boy.
Related To:

Pumpkin Cheesecake; Paula Deen

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

We’re lightening up some of FoodNetwork.com’s top Thanksgiving recipes. First up: Paula’s Pumpkin Cheesecake.  This rich dessert is sweet, seasonal and delicious, but it comes with a high fat and calorie toll. But with a few ingredient swaps, you can cut the fat and calories without compromising flavor.  Here's how we slim it down.

The Crust

Graham crackers, cinnamon, a touch of light brown sugar and butter make up this phenomenal crust. If you want to cut down on a few calories and saturated fat, scale down the butter. Try using 3/4 of a stick instead of a whole one.

The Filling

The best way to skim down the filling is to switch to lower-fat dairy. But if you're eyeing the sour cream, you'll only cut about 5 calories and 0.5 gram of fat by switching to reduced fat. Also, while going completely non- or low-fat on both those ingredients will cut down on many calories, it will  also compromise the consistency of the filling. Instead, I recommend replacing one-third of the regular cream cheese with low-fat or Neufchatel cheese. This significant swap will cut out about 200 calories and 22 grams of fat per serving, and  you'll hardly taste the difference!

TELL US: How do you slim down Thanksgiving favorites?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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