Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Pecan Oat Crust

For those of you who have been reading this blog for years, you may recall my obsession with cheesecake. I even had a cheesecake recipe published in The Zumba Lovers Cookbook! For the past year or more, I've taken a break from my incessant cheesecake production and consumption. As I have mentioned before, anything can get old. But now I'm back to it!

Why cheesecake, you ask? Let me explain. As far as delicious desserts go, it's very hard to beat cheesecake. LOW CARB. HIGH PROTEIN. EASY TO MAKE. What more could you ask of a luscious treat?

Of course, my version of cheesecake differs a bit from the traditional. I do use some cream cheese, but I add twice as much cottage cheese for protein. The eggs add even more high quality protein. You could make a grain-free crust with only chopped nuts, but I like to combine nuts and oats with a bit of extra fat from grassfed butter, coconut oil, or bacon grease.

When it comes to flavoring the cheesecake batter, the options are practically endless. If you search this blog, you'll find several different possibilities. (Check out the Almond Joy Cheesecake! And the Maple Bacon version!) You could substitute canned pumpkin puree for the sweet potato in this recipe. Or butternut squash. Or mashed banana would also work.

You can bake this cheesecake in a springform pan, but I don't own one. So I use a Pyrex deepdish pie pan. Works great and no fear of leakage. 

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup pecan pieces
1-2 T. bacon grease (or butter or coconut oil)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Place all ingredients for crust (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Pulse until sticky crumbs form. Dump crumbly mixture into pie pan. Press with fingertips up the sides and then along the bottom of the pan to form crust. Bake at 350F for about 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with chocolate chips. Set aside.

3 large eggs
16 oz. cottage cheese
6 oz. cream cheese (low fat is fine but do NOT use NONfat! Ack!)
1/2 cup roasted sweet potato, mashed
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
drop of vanilla extract (optional)

Process all ingredients in blender or food processor. (I like to use a handheld blender.) Make sure batter is smooth, with no lumps. Pour into prepared crust, over chocolate chips. Bake at 325F for about 50 minutes or until mostly firm. Let cool before refrigerating for several hours or overnight. Makes about 8 servings. Enjoy!