It’s Almost July 4!
I am so excited to share this awesome new healthy sweet treat recipe with you, just in time for Fourth of July!
I love looking at Pinterest boards to get inspiration for what to cook for Fourth of July. It is so cute and festive how people find a way to add in a red, white and blue element to their dishes. Of course, some dishes look like A LOT of food coloring has been used! So, I wanted to use some natural ingredients to incorporate red, white and blue into a healthy dessert.
A Favorite Dessert
One of our favorite desserts is cheesecake! We have tried so many different types of cheesecakes, but one of my favorites was a whipped cheesecake. The texture was super light and creamy, kinda like a whipped topping. And after I ate it, I immediately wanted to find a way to make it at home.
Making a Healthy Cheesecake
Making a healthier version of a cheesecake is actually not that difficult! And even better, it still tastes amazing!
I swapped the typical graham cracker crust for an Almond and Date crust. Not only is this updated crust packed with more protein than the original crust, you also don’t have to bake it! This whole cheesecake doesn’t need to be baked, which means you don’t have to heat up your house with your oven when it is already super hot outside! Also, what is more refreshing than a cheesecake right out of the fridge?!
I also love using dates in crusts. It adds a sticky sweetness to the crust and also helps to bind the ingredients together. If the dates you have are a little hard, simply soak them in warm water for about 10 mins. Then drain and use in the recipe.
Now, for the filling! To reduce the fat content, I opted for Neufchatel cream cheese, as opposed to normal full-fat cream cheese. I find that Neufchatel cream cheese is just as creamy as normal cream cheese. So you won’t even realize it is a lower fat cheesecake!
Most cheesecake recipes mix the cream cheese with eggs, or sour cream or heavy whipping cream. Instead of doing this, I used a little coconut cream, from the top of a can of coconut milk.
If you’ve never done this before, just let the can of coconut milk sit still in the fridge for a few hours. If the can is not moved around, the thick, white cream will settle to the top, while the coconut milk with be on the bottom.
To use the coconut cream, I carefully open the can with a can opener, and use a spoon to scoop up the coconut cream. Be careful not to scoop up any of the coconut milk, as this will cause the puffy cream to deflate. And no one wants a flat cheesecake!
I love using coconut cream because it is ultra creamy and I always have cans of coconut milk in my pantry. So if you’re desperate for cream in a recipe but don’t want to run to the store, just use coconut cream!
Now to add some color!
Lastly, we need to add a red and blue element to this Fourth of July dessert. The amazing summer fruits were calling my name. I had to use strawberries and blueberries!
The strawberries at my local grocery store were absolutely beautiful and smelled so sweet. So I thought, why not make them into a simple strawberry jam? It is the perfect way to add a pop of color and flavor to the cheesecake. Then the blue from the blueberries can be the final topping for this healthy dessert!
Time to Eat!
To serve, top the white, silky cheesecake with a spoonful of bright red strawberry jam, and a few vibrant blue berries. These beautiful colors totally made this cheesecake fit the bill for a Fourth of July dessert.
I love the contrast of the pillowy cheesecake filling against the crunch of the almonds in the crust. Plus the sweet-tartness of the blueberries against the tang of the Neufchatel filling, made me want to take another bite, and another!
This cheesecake can make 4 mini cheesecakes or 1 large cheesecake. So the recipe can easily be adapted for individual servings, or to serve to a crowd of people.
Even better than that, this cheesecake recipe is so easy to pull together. You can make this dessert a day ahead and just keep it in the fridge till you’re ready to serve on the Fourth of July.
You don’t just have to use this recipe on July 4! You can change out the fruity toppings to your fave fruits, or even use some melted chocolate or caramel sauce for an extra decadent twist.
If you make this recipe, please snap a photo and tag me at @nourish_with_renata on IG or Facebook. I’d love to see what you make!
A healthier version of cheesecake, topped with an easy strawberry jam and blueberries. The perfect festive dessert for a Fourth of July!
- 1 cup Medjool dates, softened in warm water for 10 mins if needed, then drained
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 pinch salt
- 16 oz Neufchatel cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp stevia or monkfruit sweetener
- 1/4 cup Coconut cream, scooped off the top of a chilled can of a coconut milk
- 16 oz fresh strawberries
- 1-1 tbsp stevia or monkfruit sweetener,
- More blueberries, if desired.
Add the almonds and salt to a small food processor. Pulse or blend till there are small pieces of almonds. Remove to a medium-sized bowl.
Add the softened dates to the small food processor and blend till a ball or paste forms. Scoop the dates into the same bowl as the almonds.
Using a spatula, or your hands, mix together the dates and almonds till thoroughly combined.
Press the crust into an 8" or 10" springform pan, or into four 4" mini springform pans. Ensure the crust is in an even layer. Set crust aside in the fridge till ready to fill.
In a large bowl, add in the Neufchatel, vanilla and sweetener.
Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture till super smooth, and has a light and fluffy texture.
Add the coconut cream to the bowl, and gently fold into the mixture using a spatula. Try not to deflate the cream cheese mixture too much.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Smooth over the top.
Store the cheesecake in the fridge till ready to serve.
Cut the strawberries into slices and place in a small saucepan.
Add as much sweetener as needed, usually 1-2 tbsp.
Heat up the strawberries in the saucepan on a medium-low heat. The strawberries will start to release their liquid.
Using a wooden spoon, break up the strawberries as they begin to soften.
Simmer for approx. 10 mins till the strawberries are mostly mashed up and the jam is a vibrant red color.
Allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container.
Top the individual cheesecakes or slices of cheesecake with a spoonful of Strawberry Jam and a few blueberries. Enjoy immediately!
Store the cheesecake in the fridge, in an airtight container, for approx 1 week.
Store the Strawberry Jam in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.