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Not Your Traditional Birthday Cake

 It's my turn (Heather) at this blog thing again and I'm SO excited to share a favorite recipe with you. As some of you know, I celebrated my 29th birthday on vacation in FL at the end of last month. I am also on a low carb/ no refined sugar/ no grain way of eating (I lost 50 lbs this way), and so my family was at a loss as far as birthday cakes go. Totally fine, I am a big girl and don't NEED a brthday cake... but if I can swing it with my restrictions... well why not?? I'm home in CO now and I deided to make myself a cheesecake... my favorite thing on this planet. (Well, favorite food item on this planet.) 

There's no better feeling to a food addict (hey, call it what it is) than being able to "indulge" with zero guilt to follow the buffet. I combine Ketogenic eating and Paleo lifestyle to piece together a way of eating that makes me both feel and look great. If you use your search engine and type "Keto (anything)" or "paleo (anything)", you can probably find it! So that's just what I did with this cheesecake. And let me tell you, it is TO DIE for. I like to top it with things like nuts, cacao nibs, and fresh berries (which are inherintly low in sugar) right before serving. 
The sweetner in this cheesecake can vary. Use what you wish. The recipe calls for specific sweetening blends... but just read "erythritol". Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol with a nearly zero glycemic index. This means it does not affect blood sugar or insulin response... unlike refined sugar and other natural sweetners like Honey or Maple Syrup. It's ususally my goal to keep my blood sugar stable and insulin response low so that I am effectively burning fat and NOT storing it. Don't get me wrong, honey and pure maple syrup have some great benifits and they definitely have a place in my way of eating. But I try to limit them where I can. Everything in moderation!
(I know my friend Rebekah will want me to add that coconut sugar is also low on the glycemic index, so I'll add that tidbit in here! While it is lower than table sugar, it's not as low as erythritol and could still spike your blood sugar, though likely not as high as table sugar would.)
With that said, I really am not a big fan of the taste of erythritol. It has almost a minty or menthol/cool zip taste... and It can throw off the taste of a good dessert. For that reason, I use HALF of the recommended amount in all recipes that call for it, and I find this to be an excellent compromise! So when I post the link to the recipe, keep that in mind!
(It should also be noted that erythritol is VERY toxic to dogs, keep it far away from your pup!)
Alright, so my last tip/secret is to bring all of your ingredients to room temperature. They blend best and cook evenly this way... It's worth the wait especially with ingredients like cream cheese that don't like to cooperate when you try to work with it cold. Here's the recipe, please enjoy and remember: Fat is your friend!!


XOXO ---Heather

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