We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
Happy 4th of July/American Independence Day! This year, I’m celebrating in a bikini season-approved healthy(ish) no bake cheesecake. A blend of Greek yogurt and cream cheese make for a slightly lower fat version of this creamy treat with an added punch of protein. Coconut oil replaces butter in the graham cracker crust and the topping is all fruit. Read on for the recipe and some historical info about the holiday.
The 4th of July is the anniversary of the 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. The Congress was comprised of the 13 original colonies who would eventually become the young Untied States of America. While the Congress privately agreed to seek their independence from Great Britain on July 2nd, this document stated that intent to Great Britain and the rest of the world. In fact, John Adams predicted in a letter to his wife Abigail that July 2nd would be celebrated by future generations as the American Independence Day.
The 4th was celebrated the next year, 1777, with 13-gun salutes, speeches, toasts, a big dinner for the Continental Congress, parades and fireworks. The name ‘Independence Day’ was first used in 1791. In 1870, the 4th became a federal holiday but it would not be a paid holiday until 1938. In modern times, the holiday is still celebrated about the way it was in 1777. The meals are more casual, picnics and barbecues, and the parades and fireworks displays are more over-the-top.
In a interesting bit of trivia, Thomas Jefferson (principal author of the Declaration) and John Adams, the only signers of the document who would go on to become president, both died on July 4th 1826. Former president James Monroe also died on July 4th but 5 years later in 1831.
Light No Bake Cheesecake
1 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (5 full crackers)
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
8 oz full fat cream cheese
¾ cup strained Greek yogurt (Use a thick variation. A spoon stuck into the yogurt should stand up straight.)
½ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red and Blue Topping: (if desired)
½ cup sliced strawberries
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
½ cup blueberries
½ teaspoon lime juice
Combine all crust ingredients and press into greased pie plate.
Move to freezer for 5 minutes.
For cheesecake, beat all ingredients until smooth.
Pour into chilled crust and smooth top with spatula.
Freeze 30 minutes
Decorate with desired toppings.
Or, for red and blue topping:
Toss strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside.
Combine blueberries, lime juice and remaining sugar in saucepan over ow heat.
Heat, stirring often, until berries burst and a sauce forms.
Pour sauce over top of cheesecake and top with strawberries.
Freeze for another 5 minutes.
Serve immediately or store in freezer.