Today I’m sharing an easy recipe for one of my favourite desserts. Cheesecake – but with a twist. This healthy cheesecake is super simple + quick to make and it’s served in mini mason jars…cute, right?
Oh, cheesecake. One of my most favourite desserts. I love that it’s tangy and rich, and that there are just so many decadent flavours to go around. What I don’t love about cheesecake is that it’s not the easiest or quickest dessert to make.
I remember in Junior High School, the cafeteria had these cherry cheesecake cups that were sold at lunch hour. I have no idea how they were made, but the cafeteria had just undergone a big overhaul to adopt a more nutritious menu and somehow these made the cut (definitely not complaining).
About once a week I was allowed to buy my lunch from school. The rest of the week I was in charge of packing my own, which I always did dutifully the night before. But when my mom handed me over the cash for my weekly school lunch, I always knew exactly how I was going to spend it. Cheesecake, baby.
It was my weekly treat and I savoured it oh so much every time. It had some sort of graham cracker crust at the bottom, a tangy cheesecake filling in the middle, and somewhat of a cherry compote on top. I used to save most of the cherry topping till the end because it was my favourite part. Those were the days.
All of this junior high cheesecake nostalgia is the inspiration behind this recipe. I love an easy no-bake dessert that doesn’t sacrifice taste or decadence. So when I set out to create another no-bake dessert for summer, it wasn’t hard decide to recreate a healthy – or healthier – version of the cafeteria cheesecake cups that I loved so much. This recipe is definitely easy, and definitely doesn’t sacrifice on taste or decadence.
Making healthy cheesecake:
The secret to making this dessert a little healthier? Greek yogurt! I find that by using a full-fat plain Greek yogurt there’s not as much need to add lots of sugar as it’s naturally less sour and more rich tasting. All in all there’s a total of 3 tbsp of maple syrup in the entire recipe, which makes 5-6 mini (125 mL) mason jar servings. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me! Yogurt is also the secret ingredient in my 2-Ingredient Protein Popsicles, it’s pretty magical!
Now the crust or base is just a simple mixture of graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Feel free to swap coconut oil or something else if you like! And if you want to add some fibre, healthy fat and even more protein, you could try subbing half of the graham cracker crumbs for ground almonds. Genius, right?
Also, feel totally free to use another fruit if cherries aren’t you’re thing. Blueberries, strawberries or really any berry would be just as delicious. Finally, you can serve these mini cheesecakes immediately, or store them in the fridge beforehand – whatever works for you. Personally, I do like to keep them in the fridge for an hour or so before eating to let the cheesecake filling firm up even more. Totally up to you!
Enough talk, let’s make some healthy no-bake cheesecake in a jar!
Healthy No-Bake Cheesecakes in a Jar
A simple and healthier take on no-bake cheesecake!
For the Cherry Topping
- 1 cup pitted cherries halved
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tsp corn starch
For the No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2/3 cup plain full-fat greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the Graham Cracker Crust
- 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2-3 tbsp butter melted
For the Cherry Topping
Add all cherry topping ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute for 5-10 minutes, gently stirring every couple minutes. Eventually it will begin to thicken and form a sauce. You can mash up the cherries some if you like.
Remove saucepan from heat and allow the cherries to cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
For the Cheesecake Filling
In a medium mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese, plain greek yogurt, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Mix together using electric hand or stand mixer for 2-3 minutes on high. When the mixture is smooth (there may be some little lumps) place in the fridge while you make the crust.
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
Melt butter in microwave. Add graham cracker crumbs to a small bowl and drizzle on melted butter. Stir until completely mixed together.
To Assemble Mini Cheesecake Jars
Distribute the crust mixture evenly into six 125mL mason/jam jars. Pack down gently with your fingertips.
Divide the cheesecake filling evenly amongst the jars. Gently tap jars down on your countertop to settle the layer.
Finally, top each jar with the cooled cherry topping. Serve immediately if you like, but I prefer to refrigerate at least 1 hour before enjoying to let the cheesecake set some more. Enjoy!