Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake

Heart-healthy, blueberry lemon cheesecake consists of nutritious oats, almonds and olive oil for the crust and a light, satisfying

lemon filling.  The lemon cheesecake is then topped with the superfood of blueberries.

First, the oatmeal benefits the heart by helping to lower LDL or bad cholesterol (1) claims the FDA over 20 years ago.  Though, more recent research shows oats may do more for the heart, including lowering high blood pressure.  The oats are rich in a range of important minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.  The high content of antioxidants also may help reduce inflammation.  Chronic inflammation has been shown to increase the risk of many diseases including heart disease.

The almonds, found in the berry lemon cheesecake crust, contain large amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which is found in abundance in the Mediterranean diet as well.  These unsaturated fats provide many heart health benefits, including reduction of high blood pressure according to a study from 2014 (2).  The scientists found that the high amounts of antioxidants helped reduce blood pressure and improved blood flow.  The unsaturated fats seem to increase healthy serotonin levels during the day, which may also help a person sleep better at night.  Almonds also help reduce infection and boost the immune system with high amounts of vitamin E.   

The Ricotta cheese contributes to a heart healthy ingredient as it is much lower in saturated fat and salt than many other cheeses, also it is an excellent source of calcium along with the yogurt.

The lemons and blueberries in this recipe are a full of bio-flavonoids that help strengthen blood vessels which improve circulation throughout the body.  The vitamin C rich lemons, also high in polyphenols, help lower blood pressure and cholesterol (3).  Finally, the blueberries are considered a super food having one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables (4).  The blueberries contain fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrients that benefit the heart.  The high antioxidant content of the blueberry helps lower blood cholesterol (5) and helps protect against cardiovascular disease.

Berry Lemon Cheesecake - Recipe Ingredients:

Cheesecake Crust:

  • 3 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds
  • 1½ cups ground rolled oats
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 16 ounces ricotta part-skim cheese
  • 2 lemons, juiced and grated zest of Or 2 tablespoons lemon juice (= 1 lemon)
  • 1 egg white beaten
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Topping:

2 cups blueberries, fresh or thawed frozen Mint leaves as garnish (optional)

Berry Lemon Cheesecake - Recipe Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a blender or food processor, blend the oats until finely ground. Mix in the almonds, oil and cinnamon. Lightly grease a 9 inch spring-form pan or cake pan with wax paper on bottom. Press the mixture over the bottom of the pan, then bake 15 minutes, or until light brown.

Put all the filling ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth, pour over the crumb crust, and bake 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Top with blueberries (2 cups).

Makes 6 to 8 Servings. 

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