order your copy throught emailing platedheirlooms@dimasharif.com

Friday, 16 November 2012

Diabetic-Friendly Baked Cheesecake & Tips on Healthy Eating for Diabetes

Eating healthy or for a specific dietary need does not have to be boring!

On World Diabetes Day

'Decide Diabetes Initiative' together with myself and Dr. Wafa Helmi, the founder of 'Sweet Kidz' got together with media representatives to kick off the 'Raising Diabetes Healthy Eating Awareness' project. The event took place at the beautiful Miele Gallery's state of the art kitchen, where we discussed diabetic health, and healthy eating for diabetic patients. We also cooked a diabetic-friendly three-course meal to showcase how with a few adjustments to cooking methods, and the proper counting of food intake enables diabetic patients to enjoy all types of food and lead a healthier life style. We focused on the fact that diabetic-friendly foods do not have to be tasteless, or even boring! Furthermore that the preparation of this food does not have to be complicated or requiring any extra work! Click here for photos of this event.
Read on for the recipe :)

This project is based on Dr. Wafa's extensive research on various food types and their effects on diabetic patients. Based on her research Dr. Wafa had developed diabetic-friendly recipes to enable parents, caregivers and patients take control of diabetes and enjoy an undeprived and delicious lifestyle.

As I have come to learn from Dr. Wafa through this event: 

  • Diabetic patients can eat everything, provided they follow their proper food intake count, as recommended by their doctor.
  • Diabetic-friendly cooking is everyday cooking with a few adjustments: like lower fat content, lower carb content, and using sugar substitutes. Please note that we say "lower", not fat-free, not carb-free! Even diabetic patients need to include all food types including carbohydrates. This is exactly what any of us would do when trying to eat healthier.
  • Through all of this I concluded that diabetes or not, when any of us wants to eat healthy, we must eat all food types in moderation. We must focus more on fruits and vegetables for their valuable nutrients from vitamins and minerals to even their antioxidant properties, fiber content as well as lending our food their colourful and visually appealing properties. And most importantly, we must never completely omit any food type as our body tends to suffer when we do so.

We will hopefully be bringing you an array of demonstrations for you to attend in order to help you cook for diabetes. I will also be periodically bringing you tips here on the blog for diabetic-friendly eating, in hopes that it will help you in your everyday cooking, as well as add some varieties to make diabetic-friendly cooking more interesting and a tad more delicious :)

However, and with that said, you will have to get your regular check ups with your doctor, and you will have to follow your daily intake and monitor that you are following the proper quantities for your body as recommended by your doctor. This is not something that I can suggest for you, I am not a doctor. I can only show you how to cook the food, and how to make the eating experience interesting

Let's start with this mouth-watering and truly delicious baked cheesecake!

Dr. Wafa Helmi's Low-Carb Baked Ricotta Cheesecake 
Serves 12
Nutritional Analysis per serving
299 Fat 28g Saturated Fat 18g Carbohydrates 7g Fiber 0g Net Carbohydrates 7g

Please note that I did not develop this recipe. This recipe is developed by Dr. Wafa Helmi specifically for diabetic patients based on her extensive research on different food types and their effects on diabetic patients. It is published on Dima Sharif blog with her permission. 

I have dressed the cake with lemon zest, raspberries and some mint leaves. Dr Wafa told me that raspberries are perfect for diabetic patients as they are antioxidants that are super foods for the health of your liver. The raspberries and lemon flavours pair very well and make the cheesecake even more interesting and visually appealing.

You Need
720g cream cheese, softened
250g extra-fine whole milk ricotta cheese (to refine, process in a food processor for 1 minute)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar substitute (look for the types that work for baking, not all sugar substitutes are good for baking)
1/3 cup double cream
1 tablespoon no-sugar-added vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 large packet light digestive biscuits
1 small stick of butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the springform pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Wrap the sides of your springform with 2 folds of aluminum foil to avoid water from leeking into the cheesecake during baking. Set aside.

Process the biscuits in a food processor until fine. Add the melted butter and mix with the processed biscuits until the mixture is slightly damp and holds shape when squeezed. Spread the biscuit mixture at the bottom of the prepared springform and press tightly with the palm of your hand. Place in the fridge to firm up until the cheese filling is ready.

In a shallow roasting pan big enough to fit the springform pan, pour about 1-inch of water and place it on the center rack of the oven to preheat. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream and sugar substitute on low speed for about 1 minute until well blended. 

In a separate bowl, using a wire whisk, mix heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, eggs, and egg yolks until blended.

Turn the mixer on medium speed, gradually and slowly pour the egg mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Beat just until blended and then turn off; be careful not to over-whip.

Pour batter over the biscuit base in the prepared springform pan. Place pan into the heated water bath. Bake for 15 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. 
Continue baking for 1 1/2 hours, or until the top is light golden brown and cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Turn the oven off when finished cooking and leave the cake in the oven to cool for 3 more hours. (This will keep the cake nice and tall.) Then remove the cake from the pan and refrigerate before serving.  Serve chilled.

You can dress the cheesecake with lemon zest, raspberries and mint leaves as I have done. The flavours mesh very well and the raspberries add texture to the bite, besides the beautiful look :)

Hope you enjoyed this post, and found the information useful. I trust you like the look of the cheesecake, and I really recommend you give the recipe a try, it truly is delicious, and you are going to love it. Do pass this on to your diabetic friends, and help us raise awareness, you will be doing them and many others a huge favour.

Please Remember,
Healthy Eating is key to a healthy lifestyle, and this applies to everyone, diabetic or not. Healthy eating is not about omitting food types, it is about moderation and following the general guidelines of different food types. If you must omit something, then omit the junk, and go for home-cooked-meals as much as possible.
Also always remember to do regular check ups, and follow your doctor's orders.

I would love nothing more than hearing from you, so show me some love and leave me a comment before you go :)