Sweet Soy Treat for Thanksgiving

Jim Stillman Thanksgiving

Ever thought of putting a little soy in your cheesecake?

Iowa soybean farmer Jim Stillman does it all the time. Stillman, who also helps lead the national soy checkoff, says it’s an easy way to add a heart-healthy ingredient to the decadent treat—or, for that matter, to a whole variety of foods you may cook up this Thanksgiving.

“Soy is a healthy, versatile and easy-to-use ingredient,” says Stillman, who serves as vice chair of the United Soybean Board (USB).  “Using tofu makes the cheesecake healthier without sacrificing texture or taste.”

He says no one can ever tell that his cheesecakes include tofu.

“People are always shocked to find out that the cheesecake is anything but traditional,” he adds. “It’s fun to watch their reactions when they hear the recipe I use includes tofu and soynuts.”

Here is Stillman’s recipe for pumpkin cheesecake for you to try this holiday season.


Pumpkin Cheesecake



  • 2 cups finely chopped ginger snaps
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped soynuts
  • ¼ cup butter, melted


  • 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 12 ounces silken soft tofu
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

2. Prepare the crust by mixing ginger snaps, soynuts and butter.  Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

3. Prepare the filling. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, tofu, sugar and vanilla extract. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.  Spoon 3 cups of the cream cheese mixture into pan; spread evenly.

4. Stir pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg into remaining cream cheese and tofu mixture; mix until smooth and spoon into pan over the first cream cheese layer.

5. Bake for 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.

6. Turn the oven off and open the door at least 4 inches. Leave the cheesecake in the oven 30 minutes longer, then remove and let cool for 30 minutes. Without removing the side of the pan, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.