Recipe Hack: Lactose Free Cheesecake

Cheesecake Cup

My husband, Chris, and I love dairy, but about 10 years ago, Chris developed lactose intolerance. Originally, he thought being lactose intolerant would mean milk/dairy avoidance, but we’ve learned that that’s not the case at all! There are plenty of ways to still enjoy dairy in many different forms when you are lactose intolerant. In fact, many recipes can be modified to fit a low lactose or lactose free diet. Through this process, Chris and I have been able to find many ways in which he can still enjoy the taste and benefits of dairy.

A couple weeks ago, I was asked to make cheesecake for a family party. I decided to modify the recipe so Chris could also enjoy it without compromising any of the delicious flavors. These cheesecake cups I came up with are a little bit healthier (less sugar & fat) than the original recipe and they have the added benefit (for Chris) of being lactose free! Even with the modifications everyone at the party thought they were delicious.

Lactose-Free Cheesecake Cups

A typical cheesecake contains sour cream, cream cheese, and butter. While lactose intolerant individuals can usually tolerate sour cream and cream cheese in small amounts, in large amounts they may not sit well.

A Few Quick & Easy Modifications…

Cheesecake Cups

Substituted Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream:

Sour cream contains about 4% lactose. As mentioned, most lactose intolerant individuals usually do fine consuming a little bit of sour cream; but because cheesecake contains a larger amount of dairy, I replaced sour cream with Greek yogurt. (Delete or keep?) Greek yogurt works as a great substitute for sour cream in baking. It is already a lower lactose food due a straining process it goes through in production. This process removes whey and some of the lactose. In addition, Greek yogurt contains many live and active cultures called probiotics. These probiotics help break down the lactose for you, so you don’t have to.

Used Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese

Many aged cheeses like cheddar, Colby, Jack, Swiss and Parmesan contain little or no lactose. Cream Cheese on the other hand is not aged so in large amounts it may be difficult to digest. Lactose free cream cheese can be purchased, but it can get pretty pricy. Lately, Chris and I discovered a better-priced and healthier option, Greek yogurt cream cheese. This cream cheese is made with Greek yogurt and although it’s not entirely Greek yogurt it still contains the necessarily probiotics to help digest the lactose, making it a lactose intolerant friendly option.

Real 100% Butter

Butter is naturally very low in lactose (0.5-1% lactose). If you think about it, butter is a source of fat, while lactose is a sugar naturally found in milk. Butter contains 0 grams of sugar so it would only make sense that butter contains very low amounts of lactose. Those who are lactose intolerant can still enjoy butter with minimal to no side effects.

–Kayli Cummings, RDN

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    Thank you so much for your tips my boyfriend loves cheesecake and has trouble digesting itbuy he insists i bake him one.

    February 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm
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    I have found several hard cheeses I can tolerate but butter is a definite not. Thanks for the info on cream cheese.

    August 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm

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