Before losing my weight on a low carb lifestyle I loved to bake treats and send them in care packages to my college age kids. As your body adjusts to low carb eating, many of the baked goods become too sugary sweet for your adapted tastebuds. That’s not to say the sweet tooth disappears…just changes a bit. These low carb and keto sweets are adapted to low carb baking. Yes, they still have calories, but total deprivation is really not part of a low carb lifestyle IMHO. Here’s a few desserts for Valentines Day that satisfy the sweet tooth and keep the sugar and carb levels moderate to low.
By the way, there are healthy sugar substitutes and some not-so-healthy ones. Erythritol and Stevia (Truvia is a blend of both) are the ones I recommend. They are not artificial sugars, but rather natural sugar substitutes. More about that in another post.
Low Carb & Keto Sweets: Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
These bars (or brownies) have a pronounced raspberry flavor to them, but if you want the swirls to look pink or red instead of brown, you’ll have to add a little red food coloring gel to the cheesecake layer. If you want wonderful raspberry flavor without food coloring they will look like those above.
Makes a 9″ x 13″ pan
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted (use almond flour for low carb or keto)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Truvia brown sugar blend (75% fewer calories and natural sugar substitutes)
- 8 oz. softened butter, unsalted, 2 sticks plus 1 Tbsp
Raspberry Cheesecake layer
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
- scant 1/4 cup Truvia (make sure it is the Truvia for baking)
- 1/4 cup low-sugar raspberry jam (I used HeathGlen’s low sugar Raspberry Chambord jam)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 3-5 tsp red food coloring (optional)
- fresh raspberries (optional)
- Grease an 9″ x 13″ pan with butter and sprinkle some flour into the pan. Shake the pan around until flour coats the butter (can use cooking spray instead of butter if preferred)
- Sift the cocoa and then measure 1 cup. Sift the flour and then measure 1/2 cup. Combine sifted cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl.
- Beat the eggs in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and sugars and mix over low speed to combine. Using a spatula, scrape mix into a clean bowl. Wash out mixer bowl to use in making cheesecake layer.
- Fit the whisk attachment to a stand mixer and beat together all ingredients for cheesecake layer over medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Raspberry seeds will make it look a little lumpy.
- Spoon 3/4 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread out to the sides. Spoon the raspberry cheesecake layer on top of the brownie batter. Spoon the remaining brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. Using a fork, pull the raspberry cheesecake through the brownie mixture, swirling the layers together. (if desired, you can poke some fresh raspberries into the mixture for even more raspberry flavor).
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely before cutting brownies.
Low Carb and Keto Sweets: Strawberry Panna Cotta
This one is an elegant dessert to serve to your Valentine at a fancy dinner. Although it looks fussy, it is actually quite easy if you just get the right mold and are patient. It’s one of many low carb and keto sweets that includes fruit. Click here for the recipe
Low Carb and Keto Sweets: Chocolate Truffles with Pistachio Coating
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (shredded with a box grater)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp Truvia
- 3/4 tsp to 1 tsp liquid sucralose
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp bourbon (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup crushed nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts, etc.)
Directions for the Low Carb and Keto Sweets version:
Make according to the directions for regular truffles (below). The only difference is to shave or grate the unsweetened chocolate ahead of time so it melts quicker and watch the mixture closely until it is melted, making sure it doesn’t separate.
**Note: Place these in the freezer and pull out one when you need a chocolate fix. Just know that the cocoa has quite a bit of caffeine so don’t eat too close to bedtime.
**Please note that the ingredient list will be different. If you want to make classic truffles click here to get the ingredient list (directions will be the same)
Double Boiler Method:
- Place chocolate and cream and sugar substitutes in a stainless steel or glass bowl and place over a pot of lightly simmering water. Stir constantly until everything is melted and mixture is smooth. (maybe 5-10 minutes). Do not heat over high heat or mixture might separate. Stir with a spatula and watch it melt until it is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in salt, vanilla and bourbon while mixture is still warm.
- Pour into a pie plate or baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.
- When ready to make truffles, remove from refrigerator and let it get soft enough to form balls. Using a melon baller or spoon, make balls (about 1 inch in diameter). Roll between palms and then roll in crushed nuts.
- Refrigerate, but don’t serve ice cold; remove from refrigerator about 10 minutes before serving.
- Can be refrigerated for up to 10 days or freeze and consume at a later day (but consume within 10 days of thawing).
Place chocolate and cream and sugar substitutes in microwave for one minute and 10 seconds at HALF POWER (50%). Take out and stir until smooth. If not completely smooth, place back in microwave for 5 more seconds only. Stir again. Continue with above recipe starting at step 2.
Enjoy these as low carb and keto sweets or click here to make them the traditional way with pure cane granulated sugar. Either way, they are delicious! Just make sure if you choose the sugar version that it’s on cheat day!
Online Coaching Available:
I have followed the slow carb diet for 2 years, the keto diet for 1 year and now I currently do a nuanced version of the best of both including a 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol. I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out and customize the approach that works for them. I am currently an online fitness coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 325-client mark. Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!
If not for diet or exercise, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination. Explore the site while you are there. There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know. Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.