Tropical Fruit Gelatin “Cheesecake”


Mango, Papaya, and Pineapple goodness mixed with a hint of flaxmilk.

Mango, papaya, and pineapple goodness mixed with a hint of flaxmilk.

Serving Size 1 slice
Servings Per Container 2

Nutrients Per Serving
Kalories 150

A bizarre combination, based on sifting through a thousand different recipes to devise a dessert I could make with ingredients already in my fridge.  Oh, and it had to have decent macros.
I started with a single premise: I wanted to create a low-kalorie dessert with gelatin.  The CONCEPT of gelatin is fantastic.
  • It is flavorless, colorless, can be mixed with almost anything
    [only a few fruits have to be cooked first to inactivate enzymes which prevent gelatin from setting],
  • has a texture reminiscent of cheesecake or custard,
  • contains only 25 kalories per tbsp [mixed to make a 2 cup serving],
  • the kalories it contains come entirely from protein [6g per tbsp serving].
A few of the websites I gathered recipes from touted the health benefits of consuming gelatin, specifically from grass-fed animals.  I haven’t done any research to verify those claims.  My interest in gelatin was purely from a kaloric, macronutrient, and texture perspective.
I have been classically conditioned to need a dessert after every meal. I had been satisfying this craving with delectable Dove mint chocolate chip swirl pieces, but my chocolate habit had become untenable. I needed a replacement dessert that had a good mouthfeel, would require chewing [thus increasing satiety, unlike liquefied fruit drinks and juices], and was as low-kalorie as possible.  Gelatin fit the bill PERFECTLY, it just needed to be flavored in a low-kalorie fashion.  That latter part required a little more ingenuity than I anticipated.
Most low-calorie or calorie-free concoctions that Jello sells have all kinds of atrocious ingredients- maltodextrin, disodium phosphate, fumaric acid, “artificial flavor” – a medely of food byproducts, dyes, and salt.
[For a more exhaustive list, along with information on each ingredient, check out: Label Watch]
About the Crust
The crust was a terrifying experiment, incentivized by lack of ingredients.  It was bizarre, but simple, since it only had two primary ingredients- garbanzo beans and hazelnuts.  Yep, you read that correctly.  There’s a little sweetener and maple extract to taste, but that’s it.  Just mashed beans and nuts.  I was skeptical, but desperate.  It was VERY pleasantly surprised.
About the Filling
I use the term “cheesecake” very loosely, since the dairy portion of my concoction isn’t really dairy. I used flaxmilk [because it's low in kalories!] primarily because it was in my fridge. I also added a little Greek yogurt to thicken up the mixture. Ultimately, the tropical fruit flavor was so overpowering that I doubt it mattered that either of those two ingredients were in there.
Bottom Line:
It was delicious enough that I ate the entire cheesecake in one sitting.
Then promptly made another one.


Tropical Fruit Gelatin "Cheesecake"
Serves 2
A low-kalorie treat blending the flavors with tropical fruit and flaxmilk.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
For the crust
  1. 1/4 cup garbanzo beans
  2. 1 tbsp hazelnuts
  3. 1/2 tsp maple extract
  4. sweetener to taste
For the filling
  1. 1 tbsp [7g] unflavored gelatin
  2. 1 cup frozen tropical fruit medley [mango, papaya, pineapple]
  3. 1 cup flaxmilk
  4. 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
For the crust
  1. Add hazelnuts to blender; blend until desired texture.
  2. Add garbanzo beans to blender, blend until desired texture.
  3. In bowl [or in baking dish], mix ingredients for crust.
  4. Mash until reasonably level; back for 10 minutes at 375° F.
For the filling
  1. Microwave selected fruit until it becomes approximately the texture of jam.
  2. Add gelatin and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add flaxmilk and Greek yogurt; mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour mixture over crust.
  5. Allow to set for 4-6 hours.
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