Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars is a low calorie cheesecake dessert recipe made higher protein and with a gluten free crust! Gluten Free + Low Calorie
It is no secret that I love all things pumpkin! Fall is my favorite time of year and I look forward to making all the healthier pumpkin recipes every fall.
Truthfully, I can eat pumpkin cookies and pumpkin spice lattes all year round if I let myself. And now I've got pumpkin cheesecake bars to add to the list! They're a simple and delicious fall treat. The best part is they're healthy cheesecakes too!
What Makes These Cheesecake Bars Healthier?
This healthy cheesecake recipe is a lighter version of cheesecake and here's how we do that.
Lower In Fat - This lighter cheesecake recipe uses Greek cream cheese which is significantly lower in fat that lower fat cream cheeses. The recipe combines Greek yogurt with the Greek cream cheese to get a lower fat cheesecake. The total fat is 13 grams; however, only 2 grams is coming from saturated fat (the fat you always want lower). The remaining fat is heart healthy fat.
Lower In Sugar - Most cheesecake recipes have 20 grams and up of sugar. This has just 3 grams of sugar per bar.
Higher Protein - This healthy cheesecake recipe uses Greek cream cheese and Greek yogurt which increases the protein content without sacrificing flavor. You always want higher protein in a recipe to maintain blood sugar and reduce cravings.
Higher Fiber - This recipe uses gluten free flour which is higher in fiber than cheesecake recipes that use white flours or graham crackers. High fiber is important for fullness, weight loss and weight management.
Lower In Calories - Most cheesecake recipes range from 400-600 calories. This recipe is 188 calories per bar. The calories are not that important. What is important is the higher fiber, lower fat and higher protein content that makes up the calorie number.
Ingredients For Healthy Cheesecake Bars
- Gluten Free Baking Flour
- Coconut Sugar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Unsweetened Almond Milk or milk of choice
- Greek yogurt, nonfat
- Greek cream cheese
- Vanilla Extract
- Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, Salt
How To Make Low Calorie Cheesecake Bars
The first step to making deliciously low calorie cheesecake bars is making the crust. Combine the ingredients for the crust then transfer to a baking pan then bake.
Once the crust has fully cooled to room temperature after baking, prepare the filling by mixing together the ingredients for the filling. Then pour the filling over the crust and smooth into an even layer. It's very important that the crust be cooled to room temperature before you do this step to ensure the crust does not crack.
Bake the cheesecake then remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before freezing to set. After it has set, slice and serve your healthy cheesecake!
Substitutions For Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Here are a few substitutions for the recipe. Please note that when you make substitutions to a recipe it will change the nutrition, calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein content.
- Gluten Free Flour - You can substitute gluten free oat flour with this recipe. Coconut flour will not work with this recipe. I have not tested almond flour, but my guess is it will work. I would try 1 1/4 cups of almond flour. White and whole wheat flours I never recommend using and I never bake with them myself so I cannot speak to how they would work.
- Stevia/Sugar - You can substitute the coconut sugar in the crust for stevia and/or substitute the stevia in the cheesecake filling for coconut sugar. I do not recommend substituting honey or maple syrup as I suspect it will make the filling too runny and the crust will not stick together.
- Greek Yogurt - You could substitute a dairy free yogurt like plain almond or coconut yogurt. These yogurts may not be as thick as Greek yogurt so the consistency may not be equivalent to cheesecake.
- Greek Cream Cheese - You can substitute low fat cream cheese for the recipe. Dairy free cream cheese may also be substituted, but note again that with dairy free options the consistency may be different than what you expect.
How To Serve Healthy Cheesecake
These cheesecake bars should always be stored in the freezer to maintain the best freshness. To eat, I recommend removing them from the freezer and placing in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before enjoying. The pumpkin cheesecake bars can stay in the freezer up to 30 days.
More Healthy Dessert Recipes
Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
For the Crust
For the Crust
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer by using your fingers or a spatula pressing it firmly.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool 20 minutes.
- While the crust cools, prepare the cheesecake filling by adding the ingredients for the filling to a standing mixer or blender. Blend until smooth. Test the batter to ensure it has the proper sweetness for you and add sweeteness as desired.
- Once the crust is fully cooled (this is to ensure the crust will not crack), pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and spread into an even layer.
- Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes or until the filling has set. Once the edges turn slightly brown you will know it has set.
- Remove from the oven and cool the bars at room temperature 20 minutes then chill in the freezer at least 2 hours before slicing into 12 bars and sprinkling with cinnamon as desired.
- Store bars in the freezer 30 days.