Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and there’s one thing that most people worry about — the perfect gift for their loved ones. Giving chocolates or flowers sounds great, but aren’t handcrafted presents better and more genuine?
If you have no idea where to start, this strawberry cream pie recipe by Brenda of Sugar-Free Mom will make a luscious and romantic surprise. Instead of the usual cornstarch pudding layer, this recipe uses heavy cream, cream cheese and gelatin for a healthier but equally satisfying filling that complements the strawberries’ tanginess. This dessert is perfect for sharing, and will be a wonderful end to your romantic dinner date.
No-Bake Keto, Nut-Free Strawberry Cream Pie
Prep time: 20 minutes Serving Size: 12
For the crust
- 1 cup organic, raw sunflower seeds, unsalted
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup organic grass fed butter, softened
For the filling
- 1/4 teaspoon berry- or vanilla-flavored liquid stevia
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 4 ounces organic strawberries
- 8 ounces raw organic cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup organic raw heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon water
- 8 ounces organic strawberries, sliced
For the topping
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia
- 2 cups organic raw heavy cream
Place all crust ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until they are the consistency of fine crumbs.
Grease a 10-inch pie pan, and then spread the crust mixture on the pan.
Place the water into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it.
Heat on low, stirring constantly until the gelatin completely dissolves. Allow to cool.
Place all the remaining filling ingredients into the food processor or blender, except heavy cream, and process until smooth.
Remove and place this filling mixture into a bowl or stand mixer and add heavy cream. Combine, on high, until mixture is whipped. Slowly blend in the cooled gelatin for another minute. Spread this mixture onto the crust.
For the final layer, pour the heavy cream and liquid stevia into a bowl or stand mixer and blend until whipped. Taste and add liquid stevia as needed.
Spread the mixture evenly over the previous layer.
Lay sliced strawberries over the final layer.
Refrigerate for two to three hours or overnight.
Strawberry Cream Pie: A Sweet and Nutritious Way to End Your Meals
Pies are known to be the most traditional American dessert. The early varieties were mostly made of meat and their crusts were thicker than the fillings. It was during the 1500s that fruits were added in pies.1 Cream pie, its variant, is usually made by preparing baked crusts and layered with cornstarch pudding, meringue or whipped cream.2 This classic dessert is loved by many people, as pies may come in different flavors and fillings such as banana, chocolate, coconut, pecan and lemon.
As mentioned, this recipe uses gelatin as a thickener, similar to cornstarch. It is colorless and tasteless, and helps set desserts such as mousse, pudding and fillings.3 Whipped heavy cream also helps thicken the filling, giving it a creamy texture. When buying dairy products like heavy cream, look for the American Grassfed Association (AGA) logo, to ensure that the animal sources are grass and forage fed, not treated with antibiotics or hormones, pasture-raised without confinement to feedlots, and born and raised on American family farms.4
The main ingredient is strawberry — it may be small, but comes packed with nutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate and calcium.5 Strawberries are also known to contain phenolic compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.6 These juicy and bright red fruits may also contribute to achieving optimal health as their phytochemical contents may help reduce your risk of:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular diseases
However, you should ensure that they’re organic because they may contain toxic pesticides. Strawberries are on top of the “Dirty Dozen” list of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, as most strawberries commercially sold today are grown in fields sprayed with “jaw-dropping volumes of poisonous gases” to sterilize them and eliminate pests, weeds and other organisms in the soil.7
If organic strawberries are unavailable in your area, you can easily grow your own strawberries by planting their seeds in a reusable shopping bag, in pots or in a garden bed. Read this article, “How to Grow Strawberries,” for useful tips when planting this fruit.
Sunflower Seeds Add Nutritional Benefits to This Dessert
Sunflower seeds, which are actually the fruits of the plant,8 are generally harvested and utilized for their oil, but also may be consumed as a snack, salad garnish or mixed in baked goods.9 They contain numerous nutrients such as:10
- Thiamin or vitamin B1
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
A 2009 study found that sunflower seed extracts have high antioxidant properties that may help reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer.11
Another study found that sunflower seeds’ methanolic extract also exhibits antibacterial effects against fungi that cause typhoid fever (Salmonella typhi), skin infections (Staphylococcus aureus) and cholera (Vibrio cholera), and antifungal effects against disease-causing fungi (Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans).12
8 Tips in Storing Strawberries
If you’ve got a few more strawberries left after whipping up this luscious dessert, here are ways to store them:13,14
- Leave the strawberries at room temperature if you intend to use them immediately.
- If you plan to consume them within five to seven days, store them in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Keep them whole and unwashed in a partially closed container.
- If you’ll be consuming them in the next few weeks or months, remove the stems, place them in an airtight container or zip-close freezer bag, and then freeze them. You may also slice the strawberries if desired.
- Line paper towels inside the container so they can soak up excess moisture and avoid the growth of molds.
- Arrange the fruits in a single layer so they won’t get squished or bruised.
- Remove moldy pieces from the container to prevent the mold from spreading.
- Do not wash the strawberries before storing them because they can easily absorb the water, making them mushy.
Always remember to rinse them before consumption.
About the Sugar-Free Mom
Brenda Bennett is on a mission to remove unnatural forms of sugar from her family’s lives. She focuses on using natural sugars and natural sugar-free substitutes to create healthier versions of popular and beloved recipes. Although her three children keep her very busy, she strives to balance it all and still provide healthy, homemade meals that don’t require too much time in the kitchen.
Since 2011, her blog, “the Sugar-Free Mom,” has become the most popular sugar-free source on the web today. She has a devoted following of those looking to simply reduce sugar consumption, many who follow a low-carb diet and/or struggle with allergies.
+ Sources and References
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