Most people dread diets, especially those who think that dieting means you’re no longer allowed to eat your favorite snacks and treats. But thanks to this keto-friendly recipe, you can occasionally eat a slice of low-carb cheesecake.
What is the ketogenic (keto) diet?
The keto diet can be physically grueling, especially for those who regularly eat meals that are full of carbs.
Those new to the diet may also experience keto flu, the symptoms of which are:
- Muscle cramps
- Sugar cravings
However, the keto diet offers benefits to those who want to lose weight or improve their eating habits. The diet helps keep your insulin — the “fat-accumulating hormone” — low by keeping blood sugar low. In turn, this turns on your fat-burning genes. At the same time, the diet suppresses your abdominal-fat-amassing machinery.
Making a low-carb cheesecake for keto dieters
Traditional cheesecake crusts are made with graham crackers, which are delicious but full of carbs and sugar. But the crust for this keto cheesecake contains almond flour and pecans.
Almond flour is nutritious, and it’s gluten- and grain-free. Additionally, it’s full of monounsaturated fats that can help lower your risk of heart disease. Almond flour is also rich in essential minerals like magnesium and potassium, and antioxidant-rich vitamin E.
Pecans are also nutrient-rich and contain at least 19 different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Besides almond flour and pecans, the recipe also includes erythritol, a natural sugar alternative that tastes almost like real sugar but does not have the same amount or calories or cause blood sugar spikes.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. While sugar alcohols contain about three calories per gram, erythritol is still a better choice over calorie-free artificial sweeteners because these are linked to negative side effects.
Artificial sweeteners can change the bacterial composition of your microbiome. This can trigger autoimmune problems like diabetes, and metabolic disorders.
Do take note that consuming erythritol and other sugar alcohols isn’t recommended if you have digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sugar alcohols have a laxative effect when consumed in high quantities and can cause major flare-ups of digestive conditions.
When it comes to filling, this cheescake’s keto filling doesn’t need substitution because cream cheese is already keto-friendly. A serving of cream cheese (about two tablespoons) only has 1.6 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fat, and 1.8 grams of protein. Additionally, cream cheese contains trace amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A and C.
The cheesecake filling also requires four eggs, which are good sources of biotin, choline, healthy fats, protein, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Keto cheesecake with pecan almond crust
This recipe makes a cheesecake that can serve 16 people.
- 1 cup blanched almond flour (finely ground)
- 1 cup raw pecan halves (finely crushed)
- 1/2 cup granular erythritol
- 1/4 cup (or 1/2 stick) salted butter (cubed)
- 4 large eggs
- 5 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese (softened)
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’-style erythritol
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon (tbsp) lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) vanilla extract
Instructions for the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a nine- or 10-inch springform pan with butter. Alternatively, you can line it with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan, then grease the sides.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the crust in a mixing bowl, then mix with a fork until well-combined. The mixture should be crumbly.
- Press the crust mixture into the springform pan.
- Par-bake the crust for about 12 to 15 minutes until the crust turns brown around the edges.
- Remove the crust from the oven, then turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the crust has cooled completely, start making the filling.
Instructions for the filling:
- Use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese at medium speed. Mix until it’s fluffy.
- Keep mixing at medium speed and slowly blend in the erythritol.
- Blend in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl after you add each egg.
- Beat in the sour cream.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. When you’re done, the batter should be very thick and creamy.
Instructions for baking the cheesecake:
- Wrap the bottom of the cooled springform pan in aluminum foil to protect the cake as it sits in the water bath.
- Pour the filling over the cooled crust. Carefully place the springform pan inside a roasting pan.
- Slowly pour hot water into the roasting pan about halfway up the side of the springform pan.
- Let the cheesecake bake for one hour and 30 minutes, or until the center is firm and the top becomes slightly browned.
- Remove the springform pan from the water bath, then let the cheesecake cool completely.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled down, refrigerate it for about eight hours or overnight.
Before you serve the cheesecake, run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake then release the side of the springform pan. Put leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to five days.
Even though this cheesecake is keto-friendly, don’t eat too much of it as consuming food with too much calories can slow fat loss or make you gain weight while on the keto diet. (Related: The keto diet: Tips to make sure that the eating plan is working for you.)
The keto diet can promote weight loss and reduce both insulin levels and inflammation. But if you’re considering the keto diet, consult a physician to discuss any potential drawbacks that can affect your current health condition.
Keto dieters who are craving a sweet treat can enjoy a slice of this guilt-free cheesecake, as long as it’s eaten in moderation.