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Wild Recipes by The Allergy Chef: Dairy Free, Starch Free, Sugar Free Strawberry Cheesecake

Wild Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake for a Birthday (GF, V, Limited Ingredients)

    Take a walk on the wild side of free-from whilst I share the story behind a dairy free, starch free, sugar free strawberry cheesecake.

    The Case

    Here’s another wild recipe for you to enjoy. Today we’ll be calling the kiddo Jane. She’s got a genetic component to her condition, and has very few safe foods. Additionally, she manages a medical condition where she essentially can’t process more than 20g (less than 1 ounce) of most types of carbs in one sitting.

    On top of that, there are limitations due to food allergies. Combined, these conditions leave Jane with about 30 safe ingredients. Jane’s mom, who we will call Sally, joined RAISE as a Diamond Member. She wanted the weekly 1-on-1 coaching so I could help her develop bespoke recipes for her kiddo.

    The Dream

    Jane had a birthday coming up and Sally wanted to be able to serve something that resembled cake. Additionally, they wanted other people at the party to be willing to try it, and maybe even like it, so Jane wouldn’t feel left out.

    When Sally first joined RAISE, Jane was reaching an age where food exclusion was starting to impact her mental health, so inclusion was a top priority as well.

    My Approach & Solution

    The first thing I had to do was work within the limitations of the safe foods. Since Jane could have coconut and strawberries, my mind went straight to raw vegan cheesecake. It’s pretty popular in the SF Bay Area and the LA area where there are large vegan communities.

    Knowing what I’d be making, I then had to tackle the other issues: a somewhat passable crust, how to sweeten the cheesecake, and how to make sure it would taste good enough for the rest of the party-goers to try.

    On top of the two main ingredients, Jane was also able to have almonds, in limited amounts, so that’s how I got the cheesecake ball rolling. I combined almond with grape juice (Jane could eat grapes) and a few other ingredients to essentially make an out-there cookie/crust creation.

    I then tested different ratios of using almond, strawberries, coconut, grape juice, and other ingredients to make the filling. An additional part of the challenge was finding a balance so the cheesecake screamed strawberries, not coconut oil (the setting agent).

    The Results

    Both Jane and Sally were in LOVE with the cheesecake. I was even able to make an additional flavour option given Jane’s safe ingredients. They were able to add candles and use this as a birthday cake.

    Sally made several extra cheesecakes (4” rounds) so the party guests could try some of Jane’s birthday cake. I was told that many of the partygoers were pleasantly surprised. The taste was good, the texture was fantastic, and they were able to eat the same thing as Jane.

    The Followup

    It’s been a few years since this creation, and in that time, I’ve made a few more birthday cakes for Jane. I was even able to make one that behaved like a proper cake, had frosting, and we made faux gummy bears to put on top as decorations.

    Her friends have been able to celebrate with her for the past few years, and genuinely enjoy her food WITH her, which was one of the main goals.

    Now, whenever Sally mentions me in her home, Jane asks something like “Oh, the lady who made my cake?” and my heart just melts. I’ve made an impact on a child, the whole family really, and have allowed for people to come together and celebrate, despite the dietary restrictions.

    Be Inspired

    If you’re currently managing a range of dietary restrictions, know that a LOT is still possible. I’ve been able to help people with as few as 10 safe ingredients come up with clever ways to celebrate milestones.

    Sometimes we look at a list of safe foods and can only see the limits. I look at the list and see the potential. I hope you’re inspired to do the same.

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