October 14 is National Dessert Day so let’s celebrate by having a luxurious cheesecake BUT using a healthier version of this classic dessert!

It’s good to know that for anyone watching their carbohydrate or fat intake, this cheesecake won’t bust your budget.  Traditionally, cheesecake is a very rich and filling dessert loaded with lots of sugar, sour cream, and high fat cream cheese meaning lots of calories. But cheesecake doesn’t have to be high in fat and calories to be delicious. This lightened-up version is your answer. By replacing full-fat cream cheese and sour cream with lower-fat Neufchatel cheese and Greek vanilla low-fat yogurt and reducing the sugar content in half, you can still have your “cheese” cake and eat it too!

Just wait until you experience its velvety smoothness and delicately sweetened flavor practically melting in your mouth. It’s that divine. And I guarantee all cheesecake lovers will fall head over heels in love with this very special exquisite sweet treat!

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussatto

Creamy Vanilla Berry Cheesecake – Makes 8 servings

Nutrition per serving:  Calories – 175; Total Fat – 7 grams; Protein – 5 grams; Carbohydrates – 20 grams; Fiber – 2 grams; Sodium – 180 milligrams

Ingredients:

15 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed (about ½ cup)

2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat Neufchatel cheese, softened at room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

3 egg whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups vanilla low-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Simple Berry Compote

1 ½ cups total of any single berry or a mixture of berries – I used a mixture of fresh blueberries and blackberries, but strawberries or raspberries would work well too

2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice

½ tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees – be sure to avoid putting in cheesecake until oven has reached this temperature. Spray springfoam pan, 9 x 3 inches, with cooking spray. Sprinkle cookie crumbs over bottom of pan.
  1. Beat room temperature Neufchatel cheese in a medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed just until smooth. Add sugar, egg whites and vanilla. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add yogurt and flour. Beat on low speed just until blended.
  1. Carefully spread batter over cookie crumbs in pan. Bake for 1 hour. Avoid opening the oven door. Turn off oven; cool in oven for 30 minutes with door closed. Remove from oven; cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  1. Make the berry compote while waiting cheesecake is baking: Place berries, and cornstarch in a small saucepan, heat to medium low to simmer and cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds to thicken if desired.
  1. Drizzle berry compote over cheesecake once it has cooled completely. Store covered in refrigerator.
Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

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