Quitting Sugar is fast becoming one of the leading health trends with more and more people trying to cut it out, or at the very least significantly lower their intake of sugar. But in reality it can be extremely tough to reduce the sweet stuff, especially when it comes to cooking and baking. So when Natvia – the 100% natural sweetener asked me if I could create a recipe for them using their diabetic friendly and virtually calorie free alternative I was intrigued to give it a go and see if a classic sweet dish would still taste the same with no added sugar. The founder of Natvia actually created the product for his wife, who suffered from gestational diabetes when pregnant and so started researching natural alternatives to sugar. Natvia is made from the stevia plant so comes from 100% natural sources, and so I couldn’t wait to give one of my favourite desserts a Natvia makeover to see how it tasted! So, here is my recipe for a Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake – just in time for Valentine’s Day!
8 x plain oatcakes (no added sugar)
Large handful of brazil nuts
Large handful of hazlenuts
2 x tbsp of butter
750g plain Quark (fat free high protein soft cheese)
2 x tbsp Natvia sweetener
1 x tsp vanilla extract
Punnet of strawberries, sliced
In a food processor, blitz the oatcakes and nuts until a crumb-like texture has formed. Put this to one side and gently heat the butter in a saucepan (do not let it boil). Once it has become liquid, add the oatcake and nut mixture and remove from the heat. Stir well until the butter is combined with the oats and nuts. Press this mixture into the base of a springform pie dish or tart tin to create your cheesecake base, ensuring the top is smooth.
In a bowl, combine the quark, Natvia and vanilla until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of the cheesecake base and once again smooth the top of the cheesecake. Taking your sliced strawberries, arrange on top of the cheesecake until it is covered – you might even want to cut your slices into heart shapes for the ultimate Valentine’s dessert for your loved one! Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 2 hours before serving (ideally longer) and cut into slices to serve. It will keep for around 3 days if refrigerated.
Neither my husband nor I could detect that there was no added sugar in this recipe, whilst the Natvia most definitely sweetened the “cheese” mixture it did not taste unnatural or chemically (as some artificial sweeteners can) and personally I can’t wait to try more recipes with Natvia – it has exactly the same texture as granulated sugar and combines brilliantly!
In the meantime, hope you guys enjoy this healthy alternative to the traditional high-fat, high-sugar cheesecake recipes – as always please tag me in your photos and posts if you make it! And also feel free to adapt the recipe – I chose strawberries as I think they’re the perfect Valentine’s dessert, but other berries would work just as well, as would lemon or ginger. I’d love to know what combinations you come up with!