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Lighter Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are made with tangy, fresh lemons and sweet, juicy ripe blueberries. A healthier dessert that won't leave you feeling guilty.
Like everyone else, I’m trying to lighten things up in the new year. My mood, my food, and that number on the scale. When I’m trying to eat healthier, I do follow the Weight Watchers plan, which I love by the way, because I feel it helps me to choose healthier options, and keeps my portion control in check. I have a huge problem with portion control. I like to pre-portion these little bars of cheesecake goodness into one serving sizes and therefore, they turn out to be very Weight Watchers point-friendly. When I have one portion. That is the trick.
To start off the new year, the first thing I wanted to make was a dessert that I could have on hand for those emergencies when I
need crave a sweet fix. This recipe is inspired by a recipe I found in an older Cooking Light magazine. To lighten it up even further, I used Swerve sugar substitute in place of sugar, since it’s one of the only ones that I’ve found doesn’t have that horrible chemical aftertaste. I bought the combo package which has one bag of granular “sugar” and one bag of confectioners” sugar. You can purchase Swerve here,
When you cook or bake with less sugar, the other flavors in the food will shine. This dessert has extra lemony, tarty goodness combined with a slightly sweeter pop of the fresh blueberries. Don’t expect your traditional punch-you-in-the-mouth sugary sweet cheesecake that you are used to. Let your taste buds experience the flavors of real fresh lemon and blueberries, and the equally wholesome whole wheat almond crust…yum!
Tips for Making Lighter Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
I do want to point out the cutest copper pinch bowls I found at Target.
The large one holds a cup, the middle one holds 1/2 cup and the smallest holds 1/4 cup. I purchased two sets, but I love them so much, I may get a couple more. It’s nice to get all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before starting a recipe, and these are great to hold all of those small ingredient items. As they say on Top Chef, mise en place is everything.
While getting all of my ingredients ready, I toasted my almonds in my new Red Copper Skillet I got from my husband for Christmas. Let me just say I absolutely LOVE this skillet! I have tried so many different brands that claim they are non-stick and just don’t live up to their promises. This skillet is amazing. There is absolutely no oil, butter or spray needed for this pan to fulfill its non-stick obligations. I plan on slowly replacing any and every pan I have for this brand. This is the pan that I have now.
One thing to note about toasting almonds…keep an eye on them. They will look not ready one second, and unbelievably transform to done in a millisecond. I’ve turned away from them many times and ended up with a burned, bitter mess of almonds. Don’t do it.
Lighter Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ⅓ cup almonds sliced or chopped
- 3 tablespoons Swerve confectioners sugar substitute
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ stick butter cold
- ¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup Swerve granular sugar substitute
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest grated
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese similar to cream cheese, less fat
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Toast almonds in dry skillet until light brown. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Mix all crust ingredients together in a food processor until almonds are ground finely.
- Spray a glass 8x11 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Pat crust mix into pan and bake for 23-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- Mix all filling ingredients (except blueberries) either in food processor, blender, or with hand mixer. Hand mix in blueberries.
- Pour filling over cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool completely before serving.
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