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This recipe is credited to UI Extension nutrition and wellness educator, Jenna Smith.  Read her original post and recipe at Spring for Lemons. And many thanks to our intern, Terri Rupkey, for being the hand-model for the Summer Recipe Rehab recipes.

Dessert rarely gets a reputation for being healthier, but there are small swaps we can make in most recipes.  In this cheesecake recipe, there are swaps in both the crust and filling. While most crumbs are held together by butter, this recipe is bound with yogurt.  This lowers the fat and calories. The filling uses lower-fat cream cheese, plain yogurt, and egg whites, which lowers the fat and calories a lot from full-fat dairy and whole eggs.

See the video for the recipe online.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake (Serves 12)

With less added fat and extra vitamins from the blueberries, this cheesecake is a healthier dessert option. Our oven needed 45 minutes to fully bake the filling, so keep cooking until the center is firm.


1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt

    1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF. In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and yogurt. Press into a greased 8x8-inch pan or 9-inch round pan. Bake for 5 minutes and let cool.


      1 (8 oz.) package Neufchatel cheese (or 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
      ¾ cup nonfat plain yogurt
      ⅓ cup granulated sugar
      2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      Zest of one small lemon
      2 egg whites
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 cup fresh blueberries
        1. In a large bowl, beat Neufchatel cheese, yogurt and sugar. Add the lemon juice, zest, egg whites, vanilla, and flour and beat until fully combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour filling over the crust and return to oven. Bake at 350ᵒF for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

          Nutrition Facts per serving: 280 calories, 9g fat, 300mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 6g protein

          Source: Jenna Smith, Nutrition & Wellness Educator, 2016