Looking for a healthy version of your favorite cheesecake? I got you! I took out the sugar, used non-fat Greek yogurt and milk to make this delectable dessert. And then I topped it with a fresh fruit sauce! These mini cheesecakes are perfect for all your summer holidays and beyond. While this post is sponsored by the Dairy Council of Florida, our love of summer holidays, healthier desserts and dairy are our own.
I have a fun mini dessert for you all today! Now, if you know me at all, you know I am not a baker. I definitely try, but my daughter and sister-in-law are the bakers in the family. Baking just always seems to be a bit too complicated for me…I mean, do you really have to follow those measurements exactly?? Turns out in baking…you do 😉
So, when you see a dessert coming from me here at Healthy Family Project, know that it’ll be fairly easy, always a healthier option (like with all our recipes), and most likely there will be no baking involved. And if there happens to be baking…see rule #1 again – it will be easy!
These mini cheesecakes in mason jars are the no bake variety. Now, due to the fact that they are individual servings, there are a few extra steps…such as; putting crust in each mason jar, scooping the cheesecake mixture into each jar and washing the individual mason jar when everyone is done. But, it’s worth it.
Since summer is basically here and there is an abundance of amazing fresh fruit in season, I decided the perfect topping for my cheesecakes were just that…fresh, in-season fruit. Plus, we have a bunch of fun holidays over the summer that call for red and blue berries.
Red, white, and blue desserts are popular because they help us celebrate patriotic holidays like Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day. Plus, they give us another reason to enjoy all those red and blue berries!
Why put cheesecake in mason jars?
- It’s super cute! Mason jars provide a unique and rustic presentation. Feeling crafty? Decorate the mason jars with ribbons, labels, or other decorations to match the occasion or theme of the event.
- Putting cheesecake in individual jars helps with portion control, ensuring that each person gets just the right amount of dessert.
- Each jar can be customized with different toppings, allowing guests to choose their favorite flavor combination. Like my red, white and blue toppings!
- They make for easy transportation. If you are headed to a friend’s or family members for a fun gathering, mason jars are easy to transport. Just put them back in the box they came in!
What exactly is no bake cheesecake?
No-bake cheesecake is typically made with a graham cracker or cookie crumb crust and a creamy filling that is chilled in the refrigerator until set.
The filling for a no-bake cheesecake is usually made with cream cheese, whipped cream or whipped topping, and sweetened condensed milk or sugar. Sometimes additional flavorings like vanilla extract, lemon juice, or fruit puree are added to the filling to enhance the taste.
No-bake cheesecake is a popular dessert option because it is easier and faster to make than traditional baked cheesecake, and it doesn’t require any special equipment or skills. It also has a light and creamy texture that is perfect for warmer weather or when you don’t want a heavy dessert.
How can you make cheesecake healthier?
Cheesecake is generally not considered a healthy food, as it is typically high in calories, fat, and sugar. So, aren’t you glad that you found one that is healthier?! Here are a few of the things I did to lighten up this traditionally heavy dessert:
- Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, make your own with protein-packed graham crackers made with whole grains. I used Kodiak Cakes baked graham crackers.
- Use low fat cream cheese.
- Use non-fat Greek yogurt. I used the vanilla zero-sugar variety.
- Use milk instead of cream.
- Cut out the sugar.
- Size your cheesecake in mini mason jars…not only is it adorable, but it automatically reduces the serving size.
- Top with fruit or fresh fruit compote to add flavor and that added nutrition.
While these modifications can make cheesecake a healthier dessert option, it’s important to remember that it is still a treat and should be enjoyed in moderation. I recommend one mini cheesecake per person 😉
What are popular toppings for cheesecake
The possibilities for cheesecake toppings are endless. You can get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your perfect topping.
Personally, I made a simple berry compote with fresh berries, water, and a 1/2 tsp of cornstarch. Fruit is sweet enough on it own, you don’t need to add sugar.
Why we love these mini cheesecakes
Cheesecakes are a dessert that are loaded with dairy, from the cream cheese to the yogurt to the milk.
Dairy is an important food group that provides many essential nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Here are a few reasons why we love dairy:
- Dairy products are rich in calcium, which is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.
- Dairy products are a good source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues, producing hormones and enzymes, and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- Dairy products are also rich in other essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, vitamin B12, potassium, and phosphorus, which are important for various bodily functions like immunity, energy production, and nerve function.
- Dairy products like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health and digestion.
Healthier No Bake Cheesecake Main Ingredients
- Low fat cream cheese
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Unflavored gelatin
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Your favorite toppings
Alright, now that you have checked to see if you have all the ingredients to make these yummy healthy mini cheesecakes..let’s get to not-baking shall we?? See what I did there 😉
Mini Cheesecakes with Fresh Fruit Topping
- ½ cup whole milk I used Florida Milk
- 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese softened
- ½ cup non-fat zero sugar vanilla yogurt I used Chobani
- 1 ¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup graham cracker crumbs I used protein graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
Fresh Fruit Sauce Topping
- ⅓ cup water
- juice from half fresh lemon
- 2 cups fresh fruit I used blueberries and strawberries
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp water
- Pour milk into a saucepan.
- Sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let stand until the gelatin is softened, approximately 5 minutes.
- Over low heat stir until the mixture is steaming hot and the gelatin melts into the milk.
- Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl with a fork until evenly moistened.
- Using a heaping tablespoonful per jar, divide the crumb mixture among ten 4-oz. mason jars, pressing into the bottoms with a spoon or fingertips.
- Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer in a large bowl.
- Add yogurt and beat to combine.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the milk mixture; beat until smooth. It will be a little runny.
- Spoon the cheesecake mix into the jars, dividing evenly.
- Refrigerate the cheesecakes until set, at least 2 hours.
- Once the cheesecake is set, top with your fresh fruit sauce(s).
- Garnish with fresh mint, lemon slices or graham cracker crumbs if desired.
- Serve with a cold glass of milk.
Fresh Fruit Sauce Topping
- Pour water and fresh fruit into a pan.
- Mix the cornstarch and splash of water in a small bowl.
- After 3 minutes, add the cornstarch mixture and continue to stir for another 2–3 minutes, smashing more berries if needed.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- You can serve the sauce warm on top of your mini cheesecakes, or store in the refrigerator until you are ready!