July 4, 2014
Before I was diagnosed diabetic I enjoyed cooking, I wasn’t brilliant but had fun and was willing to experiment with my own recipes and new ingredients. I specially enjoyed baking and on rainy sundays would often spend the whole day making assorted breads and muffins for the family, I was also very fond of making cheesecakes.
The diagnosis hit us like a particularly annoying bus, crushing the hunger for cookery under the tedious tyres of necessary change. It’s taken a while to extricate myself from the cobbles and start again, bakery is pretty much defenestrated, yes there are ways round it but they are generally pretty heavy, lacklustre and frankly not much fun. Desserts are not actually too bad on condition you extend your definition of what a dessert is. I’ve learned to do a lot of things with lentils. So that’s nice.
We’ve already had a brilliant crop of both loganberries and raspberries in the garden this year and I wanted to do something nice with them other than just stuff them into my face so I looked at making cheesecake. I’ve actually made a couple of cheesecakes since diagnosis but was never quite happy with the results. The cheese bit is fine, just don’t add sugar, cheesecake does not need sugar it should be light and fruity, not akin having Bertie Basset sit on your face. I’m consistently annoyed (moreso now) by the massive amount of unnecessary sugar in shop-bought cheesecake, and restaurants should just know better. The base is always the challenge, I used to make this from crushed digestive biscuits as many recipes will recommend but digestives are full of sugar and even without the sugar are pretty high carb. You can get sugar free digestives but they are hard to find and (in my experience) not very nice. The main issue for me is to be able to put a simple dessert together without having to ship specialty ingredients in.
Anyway, entirely by accident I’ve worked out how to make a relatively diabetic friendly cheesecake with cheap, easy to access ingredients – OATCAKES. I had originally decided to just use normal digestives with some added oats for fibre and just avoid the base myself (it’s fine for Karen), but when mixing stuff in the kitchen I noticed a box of Alexander’s oatcakes, I crushed a handful up with just a couple of the digestives and some other ingredients and they made a really nice, crispy base. It was not as crumbly as a traditional cheesecake base but it tasted great and was far healthier. I’m going to try again this weekend dropping the digestives entirely.
So here’s a very rough recipe. This is not exact, you’ll have to experiment and work out the measurements as to your personal preference.
Crush up the oatcakes (a rolling pin and a freezer bag makes this less messy but less entertaining). Mix in a couple of generous spoonfuls of the ground flax seed, some ground cinnamon to taste and a sensible amount of oats.
Melt the butter. Mix it in with the oatcake mixture until it’s nice and clumpy. Press the resulting mixture into the bottom of a 8″ spring form baking tin. Use the back of a spoon to flatten it out as best you can. Stick this in the fridge.
Pour the cheese, lemon juice and fruit into a bowl. Mix it. Put it in the fridge.
NOTE. If you really feel so inclined you can add sweetener to the base, the cheese mix or both. I don’t and it’s lovely. If you really need to add sweetener to something made of cheese and fruit you should probably take a good long look at yourself (or just use less lemon juice).
Give it an hour or so. Spoon the cheese mixture into the baking tin on top of the base. Put it back in the fridge. Leave it for as long as you can face (good couple of hours minimum).
Eat it. Not all at once.
This is suitable for me, you are not me. If you are actually diabetic rather than just seeking a more healthy cheesecake recipe do check your blood sugar and don’t assume you can just inhale this. It still contains carbs in the base and depending on the amount of fruit you add possibly a large dose of fructose. It does also include a bucketload of fat in the cheese. I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist.
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