This is my version of the very first cheeseball I ever tasted. Picture it. Nikki. 2008. Support group holiday party.
They served this cheeseball and it was…sigh…it was love. Now at the time I was only 11 months post-op so I could only eat a bite (and then couldn’t eat anything else after that) but man, was it worth it!
I feel like with these types of cheeseballs there should be qualifiers for folks who are unfamiliar with curry to tell you if you will like it. So here goes. Definitely try this cheeseball if:
- You are a fan of Indian or Thai food (it uses a few common spices from these cooking traditions)
- You like things that are sweet but also a little bit savory
- You are ok with small amounts of dried fruit
That last is important. Sure, you can make it for your family, but you want to eat some too, right? In this recipe I call for no-sugar added craisins and golden raisins. If you can’t find no-sugar added varieties, you can get the regular ones and simply give them a rinse in the collander to get rid of that sugar coating that is typically added.
Ideally cheeseballs are put on a party table and are only meant to be consumed in 3-4 bite portions (for non-ops) so keep that in mind also. You’re sharing food with others! BUT. If you feel like you can’t handle dried fruit (and for some of us even that natural sugar content is too much), I prepped the one in the picture with most of the dried fruit on the outside of the cheeseball. The golden raisins are inside but they are distributed well throughout the cheeseball. The craisins are all in the coating in the pictured one so that you can easily avoid them if they don’t work for you.
I’d really love to hear what you think about this cheeseball. I’ve served this at parties and I never, ever have leftovers – and they don’t even know there’s protein in it! So definitely give it a try – or make it your own. Play with your food!
- 16 oz. lowfat Greek yogurt cream cheese
- 2 servings unflavored protein powder (I used BiPro USA)
- 1 tsp. yellow curry powder
- 1/4 c. no-calorie sweetener of your choice
- 1/4 tsp. tumeric
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 c. golden raisins
- 1 c. no-sugar added craisins (divided in half)
- 2 c. slivered or sliced almonds (pictured are slivered)
- In a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine cream cheese, protein, sweetener and spices at medium speed until well combined. Make sure to scrape down the bowl periodically to make sure it's thoroughly mixed.
- Add raisins and half of craisins and, using a spatula, gently fold them into the mixture. (Folding = turning mixture over and over until the chunky stuff is well incorporated.
- Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap and cover, rolling into a ball shape. Refrigerate three hours.
- About an hour before you are ready to serve, set a dry skillet over medium heat and allow it to get hot. Add almonds and toast until slightly fragrant (about 3-ish minutes). Remove and allow them to cool on a large plate, spreading them all around the plate. When cooled, add the craisins and distribute them throughout the plate.
- When ready to serve, drop cream cheese mixture onto the center of the plate and cover the cheeseball in almonds and craisins. Refrigerate until serving.
This could be made even better by adding a box of sf cheesecake jello pudding powder and mixing that with the cream cheese and a cup of fat free cool whip mixed in as well, instead of the no calorie sweetener and lemon juice.
You know what I always say. Play with your food! Make the recipe yours.
I did want to tell you why I chose the ingredients I chose so you can know how you want to proceed.
I've never been a big fan of cheesecake pudding mix. To me it doesn't taste like real cheesecake, so I started with the three main ingredients in a good, New York style cheesecake (my favorite): cream cheese, sweetener and lemon!
I personally think if you use pudding mix may yield an even firmer cheeseball! That's good.
Just be careful of your stats. Pudding mix, though low in calories and fat is fairly high in carbs relative to the portion size. So keep that in mind as you determine the amount you use.
And you know what's coming next don't you? If it turns out great, snap a pic and send me YOUR recipe. I'd love to post it!