In an attempt to stay on track with my low carb eating, I went in search of something sweet that I could really sink my teeth into. There are many types of keto treats that you can make that are sweetened with low calorie/low carb sweeteners, berries, protein powders, and/or peanut butter.
If you’ve been holding off from trying Keto because you think you have to give up sweets, that’s not necessarily the case. No, it’s not real sugar, but trust me when I say your taste buds do change, and you’ll find sugar substitutes are sweet enough. In fact, even some vegetables will begin to take on a sweeter flavor as you rid your taste buds of the high amounts of sugar that are in a normal diet. Look it up.
But I’m not here to talk about that today. I’ll save that lecture for another day.
Normally when I’m craving something sweet (you know, like every day), I either eat some chia seed pudding, a couple fat bombs (usually a sweetened cream cheese ball, recipe coming soon), half an avocado sprinkled with some salt (really really good), or some berries with whipped cream.
However, I saw a recipe for Low Carb Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake by Mellissa Sevigny on her website, I Breathe I’m Hungry. I knew there was a family get together coming up, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to try a cheesecake.
And this is a real, bake it to make it, cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong, I love a no-bake cheesecake as much as the next lazy person, but they lack that really good cheesecake bite to them. You definitely get that with this recipe.
Mellissa’s recipe is simple and easy to follow, although, I admit to having to make it a couple times due to using the wrong sweetener. The recipe involves three parts: the crust, the cheesecake filling, and a strawberry puree.
My end result turned out really good.
The only thing I raise an eyebrow at is she says you’d never know it was low carb and gluten free. The regular carb eaters in my family claim differently. They could definitely tell, and one person mentioned missing the traditional graham cracker crust. However, they did say that as far as low carb goes, it was pretty good… At least the second version I made was good.
The first version was definitely a, “No! Why did you do that to me?! Get that thing away from me!” A bit of an overreaction if you ask me, but this had nothing to do with Mellissa’s recipe and everything to do with my ingredient choices.
Aside from the sweetener, I made the recipe exactly as the recipe calls for the first time. When I made it the second time I changed a few things to better suit my tastes.
First… the sweetener. In my first try I used Stevia (the recipe calls for Swerve). So learn from my mistake, do not use Stevia. Do not want! Do not want!
The second round I used a Walmart brand, Great Value Granulated No Calorie Sweetener, which is made with sucralose (basically the off brand of Splenda). With the Stevia version there was definitely a bitter aftertaste which is what was causing the overly dramatic reactions. Using the “Splenda” fixed that.
However, though I’m told the “Splenda” version was much better and they ate their pieces, they all claimed they could still tell it was a “diet version of a cheesecake”. Boo. I’ve been working on my low carb game for about six months though, so my tastes buds have changed enough, that too me it tasted just fine. I found it very tasty and ended up eating the remaining cheesecake, plus the Stevia version (hey, I don’t like to waste food) by myself over the next week… and I was perfectly happy with that.
Another change I made was in the crust. Mellissa uses desiccated coconut (basically, dried coconut shreds) in the crust. That definitely wasn’t a happy mouth feel for me in the first version. So in the second version I left that out, but increased the coconut flour to a half cup (instead of the listed ¼ cup).
I also recommend slightly increasing the amount of the sweetener. Mellissa uses ½ cup in the crust, a 1/3 cup in the cheesecake filling, and 1 tbsp in the strawberry puree. I added an extra tablespoon to the crust and cheesecake filling, and 2 tablespoons to the puree. This is purely personal preference (say that three times fast), adjust as desired.
I received a good tip from Ionevh on Instagram, who saw my troubles with the mini cheesecakes sticking to my pan. She suggested spraying the cups with baking spray and then putting in the fridge until ready to use. I did this with the springfoam pan my second time around and it worked perfectly.
Lastly, I suggest doubling the cheesecake part of the recipe. When using the 9” springfoam pan, the cheesecake came out very thin. I think it was one of the reasons I had trouble with the strawberry swirls (that weren’t so swirly for me). I will definitely be making this again and will double the filling… you know, after I’m done being all cheesecake’d out.
Right after baking I had beautiful color, but for some reason, the next day when I brought it to the party, the color had muted quite a bit. Maybe due to oxidation?
First pic is straight out of the oven. The second pic is the next day. There is different lighting between the two, but even with slight lighting differences you can tell there was a color change.
I definitely recommend this recipe if you are on a low carb diet. It has all the hallmarks of a baked cheesecake – rich, melt in your mouth decadence that has you wondering if anyone will notice if you lick the plate.
Please check out Mellissa’s recipe on her website, I Breathe I’m Hungry. And let me know in the comments below if you tried it for yourself. And please let me know if you got carb eaters in your family to eat it without knowing it was low carb!
Please don’t mind the mess.
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