Say Cheesecake! A Light And Easy Dessert

Small changes can make a big difference for a healthier lifestyle. Take the venerable cheesecake, a guilty indulgence usually made with high-cholesterol ingredients and a lot of time in the kitchen. When it comes to tradition, a few smart substitutes turns out a guest-worthy dessert rich with natural ingredients and a citrus-infused, no-bake center.

By adding in flavor and taking out fat, the modern cheesecake has a lot going for it. Yogurt and fat-free cream cheese provide the creaminess, and the eggs are replaced by gelatin. Raisins and walnuts chopped together create a sweet, crunchy crust with no sugar added, a novel idea developed by the Sun-Maid Growers. A serving of this cheesecake is low in cholesterol, too.

The real beauty of this recipe is that little baking is required, so it can be made anytime of year, warm weather or cool.

Light Citrus Cheesecake

With Raisin Nut Crust

Crust:

1 cup Sun-Maid Golden Raisins

1 cup walnuts

Filling:

3/4 cup orange juice

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

3/4 cup sugar

2 (8-oz.) pkg. fat-free cream cheese, softened

1 (6-oz.) container lemon- or orange-flavored yogurt

1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon peel

1/2 cup Sun-Maid Golden Raisins

Finely shredded or zested lemon or orange peel for garnish

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.

Process 1 cup raisins and walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of spring form pan. Bake 8 minutes or until nuts are toasted and crust is set. Cool completely.

Combine 1/4 cup of the orange juice and gelatin in 1-quart saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes or until soft. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat just until gelatin has dissolved. Stir in remaining orange juice and sugar. Heat just until mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in warm orange juice mixture until well-mixed. Beat in yogurt and 1 teaspoon orange peel. Stir in 1/2 cup raisins.

Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set. Garnish with citrus peel.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving (12 per 9-inch cheesecake): Calories 234. Protein 8.6g. Fat 7.3g. Carbohydrates 35g. Dietary Fiber 2.1g. Cholesterol 4 mg. Sodium 222mg.

No longer a guilty indulgence, here's a cheesecake that's high in flavor and low in cholesterol.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
For more lighter recipes, check out the Fruit and Sunshine recipe book at www.sunmaid.com.