This has been a most abundant cherry year! The trees went crazy, the birds were kept out with bird nets , and as a result, buckets of cherries keep coming into the kitchen!
In addition to tasting great, did you know all their incredible health benefits? Dr. Tae Yun Kim points out that cherries contain very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which makes them ideal for heart health and to fight against arthritis. They also contain natural melatonin which regulates your sleep cycles. In addition, they help regulate your blood sugar, which is a great benefit for people with diabetes. Cherries contain a lot of fiber and therefore help proper digestion. And the list goes on…and at only 87 cal/cup they are a great snack for Jung Suwon warriors after class – energizing, healthy, but without putting on the weight you just lost in class 😉
Here is a great recipe for healthy, individual serving, cherry cheesecakes:
I saw this recipe in the magazine from America’s Test Kitchen “Best Summer Desserts” on page 58. (I tried to find this online so I could link to it, but wasn’t able to.)
However, I made a few changes to make it healthy enough for a Jung Suwon warrior dessert, make it gluten-free, and most of all, incorporate some of those cherries! This was also approved by Dr. Tae Yun Kim, for health and taste!
For the cheesecakes, line 2 12-cup muffin pans with a paper liner. In a blender or food processor, put 3 large eggs, a couple of tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup coconut milk, and some coconut sugar. How much sugar depends how sweet you like it. You’ll most likely not need more than 1/4 cup. Blend this at high-speed and then add, a little at a time, 8 oz softened cream cheese. Beat until very smooth. And yes, it’s ok to use low-fat cream cheese, which is what I did.
At Jung Suwon, we like to keep our desserts as light as possible (of course there ARE exceptions to this) and so the crust is optional. If you do want one, just crumble any kind of gluten-free cookie into the bottom of the liners, or if the cookies are the right size and thin, plunk one down into the liner.
Next, pour the cheesecake batter into the liners, about 1/2 – 3/4 full.
Bake at 325 until firm, about 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the cherry topping.
Pit a LOT of cherries, and put them into a pot.
While you pit the cherries, it’s a good time to listen to Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s audio books, or the Jung Suwon terminology CD. Or sing, if you want. Cook over medium heat, adding water if not enough juice in pot. Add a sprinkling of coconut sugar, or any other kind of sugar if you prefer. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
Mix some cornstarch (or tapioca starch, or even potato starch or rice flour) with some water, and slowly pour, while stirring, into the cherry mixture. Let boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly. It should be thicker but still pourable and not like pudding.
Once cooled, spoon on top of the cheesecakes, and serve!