Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is one of the few desserts I actually go out of my way for. I kind of really love cheesecake. And this cheesecake is delicious. Using ricotta instead of traditional cream cheese really makes the cheesecake seem both rich and creamy, but without the heaviness cheesecakes normally have. I also think that the blueberry and lemon flavors really help keep the cheesecake feeling light and summery almost. I think a fruit centered cheesecake is much more appealing in the summer than something super rich and chocolatey.

Definitely make sure you let these cool overnight! You cannot skimp on the cooling time with these ones. But trust me, it’s totally worth the wait. The blueberry and lemon flavors really, really develop and get nice and friendly together the longer they And since this cheesecake is cut up into bars, it makes a great dessert for picnics, barbecues or when you need a portable dessert (obviously leave the blueberry sauce off to keep it clean and portable!).

Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Our Best Bites.


Crust and Topping Layers
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, very cold
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Cheesecake Layer
  • 15 ounce container ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, plus one egg white
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries

Quick Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. To prepare crust and topping, combine sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to combine. Use a large-hole cheese grater to grate butter into flour mixture, or alternately cut butter into small chunks and add to flour mixture. Use clean hands to break up butter and flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs. Add egg yolk from separated egg (reserve egg white for the next step) and add to crumb mixture. Quickly toss to incorporate egg yolk into crumbs. Remove half of crumb mixture (about 1 ½ cups) and lightly press into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven. Add lemon zest to the remaining crumb mixture, stir to combine, and set aside.
  3. To prepare filling, place ricotta and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes), scraping down sides as necessary. Place mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in flour, vanilla, eggs, plus the reserved egg white from the first step, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine and pour mixture over crust in pan. Sprinkle ¾ cup blueberries over the top of filling and then top with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Bars should be just golden on top and slightly jiggly in center when shaken. Remove and let cool completely. Cover, and Place in fridge overnight to chill. When ready to serve, slice into bars.
  4. For Sauce: Combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, smashing berries with a fork. Cool. Sauce will thicken once cooled and chilled, adjust consistency by adding water until desired consistency is reached.


Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

This salad has it all; sweet, salty, cheesy, and all delicious. Mango, blue cheese and broccoli are some of my favorite foods, but never in a million years would I think of combining them. Ever. But somehow, it totally works. The flavor combinations definitely make for a very unique meal.

I definitely plan on making this salad again, but next time I think I might add a couple of other things to make it even better. Adding some toasted cashews or almonds would add a great crunch to the salad. I could also imagine substituting the chicken for shrimp (maybe even coconut shrimp for more of a tropical twist).

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Inspired by Better Homes & Gardens.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 mango, pitted, peeled, and cut up
  • 12 ounces chicken breast
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

For the Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Season to taste and set aside.

For the Salad:

  1. On a serving platter place romaine lettuce. Top with blueberries and mango; set aside.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken in 1 tablespoon of the butter with minced garlic over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Transfer to a cutting board; slice. Allow to cool slight and arrange atop salad.
  3. In the same skillet cook broccoli in the remaining tablespoon garlic butter over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes until tender. Place atop salad.
  4. Drizzle salad with blue cheese vinaigrette. If desired, sprinkle with blue cheese.

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad

I think this salad is a perfect for any 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Not only are the colors fun and spot on for the holiday, the ingredients are absolutely fantastic together! The salty blue cheese, earthy quinoa and sweet blueberries each bring great flavors that manage to complement each other perfectly.

I used balsamic raspberry vinegar, which unfortunately muddled the color of the quinoa and blue cheese a bit. I know if I used a little vinegar (white wine, cider) the color would be perfect. I also found the raspberry balsamic to be a bit too sweet for my personal taste. The tangy blue cheese helped tone it down slightly, but I think I would try a less sweet vinegar next time.

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad


Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad
Adapted from here.

For the Dressing

  • s5 Tablespoons balsamic raspberry vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 8 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  1. Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in some cold water (about 20 minutes) to rinse off some of its natural bitterness.
  2. Add quinoa and broth to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing together and set aside.
  4. Add the blue cheese, chives and place this in with all the blueberries into a large bowl.
  5. Once you drain the quinoa, cool it off till it is slightly warm or room temperature and pour the raspberry vinaigrette and mix that through.
  6. Let the quinoa cool down some more before mixing in the cheese, blueberries and chives (otherwise your blue cheese will melt.)
  7. Gently fold in raspberries before serving, being careful not to smush them.

Blueberry Eton Mess

blueberry eton mess

This is one of the easiest and most refreshing desserts you will ever make. The dessert reminds me of the magical summer I spent studying abroad in Cambridge. It’s light, airy and screams of summer, but it is also the perfect no-bake, in a hurry dessert. The meringues make the cream absolutely amazing. The berries and the cream are great, but add in the meringue, and it gives the dessert the best type of contrast.

I made this with both thawed frozen blueberries and fresh ones. The frozen definitely worked better. The juices that form as the berries thaw out, definitely make the dessert all the better. Any berry will work this dessert, so feel free to go wild.

Blueberry Eton Mess (adapted from Food Network)

  • One 1-pound bag frozen unsweetened blueberries, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 scant cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • Eight 2-inch vanilla meringue cookies, coarsely broken (about 2 cups), plus 2 more, halved
  1. In a medium bowl, using a potato masher or fork, mash the berries and any juices into a chunky sauce.
  2. Place the sour cream in a 1-cup measuring cup. Add enough chilled heavy cream to fill the cup completely. Scrape the cream mixture into a deep medium bowl. Beat the mixture until thick and stiff with a handheld electric mixer. Fold in the broken meringues.
  3. Divide the sauce in half and spoon into the bottom of four serving bowls or glasses. Divide the cream mixture in half and spoon on top of the sauce. Repeat the layers using the remaining sauce and cream mixture. Top each parfait with a meringue half and serve immediately.

Pear & Blueberry Crisp

I’m not too big on desserts, but crisps would be one of my favorites. They are so easy to make, but seem like the could be kinda complicated if you don’t know  any better. If you stick them in ramekins, they make perfect individual desserts for guests or you have perfectly portioned desserts for a few days.

I threw all this together in about 5 minutes and it took about 20 minutes to bake. We had three pears that were about to go off, so I peeled them, cut off the gross bits and was able to fill 4 standard size ramekins. This could easily be made gluten full or gluten-free. I used Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cook Oats and Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix, but regular quick cook oats and all-purpose flour would be just fine.

You can also serve these with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but we didn’t have either in the house. They were still delicious without.

Pear & Blueberry Crisp

  • 3 ripe pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • 2 Tablespoons quick cook oats
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flower
  • 4 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Butter
  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease ramekins with butter or baking spray. Place pears and blueberries in ramekins.
  2. In a small bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter and mix until crumbs start to form.
  3. Sprinkle crumbs over ramekins. Place on small baking tray (just in case they bubble over) and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream

This recipe seemed so incredibly simple, but soon as I set about making it everything went wrong…

There was a near incident with these two… They used to be neighbors in the cupboard, they now live on separate shelves.

Then the ice cream maker that I rediscovered in the garage decided it was time to throw in the towel. Just because you haven’t been used in, like, 10 years does not mean you can decide to crap out on me when I actually need you. Rude…

Then there was was some cursing, accompanied by the requisite wailing and gnashing of teeth. And then Mama CC stepped in. I have a theory that has yet to be disproven; everything, both living and inanimate,  in this house lives in a state of combined awe, fear and love of my Mama. Me, my dad, the dogs, uninvited bugs, kitchen appliances… She just has an affect on us.

And just as I was contemplating buying a new ice cream maker on Amazon, Mama CC got it to work. I swear she’s a miracle worker.

After some quick churning, this mix was ready for the freezer and a mere 3 hours later a delightful dessert was ready for eating.

The original recipe called for sour cream, which we apparently just ran out of… Oops. So, I used greek yogurt instead. The ice cream turned out great.

Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to simmer. Stir untill the berries start to pop an release juices. Remove from heat and puree with food processor. Add cream, yogurt and vanilla. Pulse to combine. Place mixture in fridge for 1 hour. Then add to ice cream maker. Blend and freeze according to maker instructions. Then freeze for 3-4 hours. Serve and enjoy!

Thirsty Thursday: Blueberry Mint Muddler

With summer here and lots of hot weather in the future, it’s time to turn to cocktails that are light and refreshing.

I wanted to try put a new twist on one of my favorites, Stoli Blue and soda. I’m sure vodka soda’s really do it for some folks, but I find them pretty boring, but blueberry flavored vodka gives it a little extra something. It provides flavor without being sweet, which is what I love. We have a ton of mint growing around here at the moment and I had a lot of blueberries, so I thought I might try to make a blueberry flavored, mojito inspired type of thing.


Blueberry Mint Muddler

  • 1 shot Stolichnaya Stol Blueberi Vodka
  • 5 fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • Sparkling water/Club Soda
  • Ice
I muddled the fresh blueberries, mint and vodka in the glass. Stirred. Added ice and topped with sparkling water.
I think next time I would try to make it more ‘mojito’ like than vodka soda like, by adding a dash of simple syrup and probably some lime juice as well.