A buttery cheesecake base (made from real graham crackers!) topped with a rich, smooth and creamy vanilla cheesecake spiked with zingy lemon juice and kissed with a tart-yet-sweet raspberry swirl. After just one spoonful of these lemon raspberry cheesecake bars, you won't believe they're healthy and come in at just 200 calories each!!
When it comes to favourite desserts, I simply can't choose between brownies and cheesecake. (Pssst! Stay tuned for an amazing healthy cheesecake brownie recipe coming up at the start of next month!) I love the rich, creamy filling and sweet, buttery base of a cheesecake just as much as a gooey, melted chocolate centre and crisp crackly crust of a brownie. But when the temperatures are high, the sun is shining and the beach is calling, cheesecake always wins, hands down.
Even though cheesecake can be a pretty heavy, indulgent dessert, the lemon juice, lemon zest and raspberries in these healthy lemon raspberry cheesecake bars help to counteract the creaminess of the cheese and the yogurt, making them perfect for enjoying all summer!
Sure, ice cream is great and all (especially Healthy Four-Ingredient Soft-Serve Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream!) but sometimes that just doesn't feel like a dessert. Ice cream and popsicles are snacks. But delicate little cheesecake bars, placed on tiny plates and topped with thin lemon slices are dessert...or breakfast if you've got a serious cheesecake craving which needs to be taken care of asap.
The best thing about these healthy lemon cheesecake bars? They're only 200 calories each! That's right - 200 calories for a perfectly-sized piece of sweet and yummy cheesecake. Just the right size so you're actually satisfied and feel like you've eaten dessert, but not so large that you end up in a carb coma.
Have you seen how many calories are in the Cheesecake Factory's Cheesecakes? Anywhere from 570 calories (the Low Carb Original Cheesecake Sweetened with Splenda) up to a whopping 1330 calories (the Adam´s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake). Seriously - as soon you pick up the cheesecake menu at the Cheesecake Factory you've already consumed more than 200 calories, so best make your own at home.
for the base
- 3.5 oz /100g crushed graham crackers or Digestives
- 1.75 oz /50g melted butter
for the filling
- 8.5 oz /240g low-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup fat-free sugar-free yogurt
- ⅓ cup Truvia powder or another zero-calorie sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
for the raspberry swirl
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons Truvia powder or another zero-calorie sweetener
- Preheat the oven to 350F/175C and line an 8"x8" baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the crushed graham crackers or Digestives into the bowl of a food processor with the melted butter and process for 30 seconds until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Press the buttery crumbs into the bottom of the lined baking tin to form a base.
- Rinse out the bowl of the food processor with cold water and add in the cream cheese, yogurt, Truvia, vanilla, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process for 30 seconds, until all the ingredients are totally combined. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the base.
- For the raspberry swirl, add the raspberries, water and Truvia into a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Mash the raspberries with the back of a spoon and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and syrup-like.
- Spoon large dollops of the raspberry swirl in random places on top of the cheesecake filling then take the same spoon and carefully use it to swirl the dollops together, creating a messy marbled pattern.
- Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Leave the cheesecake bars to cool to room temperature for 1 hour before storing in the fridge for at least 4 hours. When totally chilled, slice the bars into 9 and serve.