I’m really not a fruit person but when I do eat fruit, especially desserts, it needs to be apples. Unfortunately, on Keto, apples can be a little tricky but not impossible to fit into your macros. That’s where chayote squash comes in!
Chayote squash kept popping up on my Instagram feed during the fall of 2018 so I got really curious about it. Most IGers were calling it a perfect alternative to apples in baked goods.
I knew I had to give it a try after seeing it for what felt like the 50th time.
What is chayote squash?
Chayote is a member of the gourd family that’s native to North America and Mexico. It’s basically a Mexican squash.
If you do a quick Google search for this vegetable you’ll find almost entirely savory recipes. The flavor of the squash is so neutral though, I think it would a versatile addition to many different recipes.
How many carbs are in chayote squash?
Chayote has 6 total carbs with 2.2 grams of fiber. This gives chayote a total 3.8 net carbs for 1 cup.
For comparison Granny Smith apples, one of the most popular types of apple, contain 23 grams of carbs and 4.4 grams of fiber. That’s 18.6 net carbs for about a cup.
Was that confusing for you? Checkout my in depth guide to the Keto Diet for beginners.
Sure, apples may fit into your macros. You could similarly use a less sweet apple variety like Gala or Fuji.
Or you can go with the chayote and get to eat more slices of this Keto friendly dessert.
Choose your fate.
Looking for more Keto desserts? Click here to find more goodies!
Keto friendly “apple” dessert
While I will admit, as an apple pie aficionado, the chayote doesn’t have the exact texture of apples but it does come pretty close.
Chayote releases moisture when cooked but absorbs it again once it’s cooled, making it a pretty interesting vegetable.
Sounds kind of weird doesn’t it? Well don’t worry, it not a bad thing.
As a result of this water release though, this Keto faux apple tart is best after its good and cooled. This will make the tart less messy to eat and the chayote pieces more flavorful.
How to make this Keto Chayote Squash tart
To make this tart I washed, peeled and cored the chayote before I chopped it into cubes and added them to a small pot. I added water and my spices then boiled the chayote on medium heat until softened.
When I make apple pies for the holidays I always boil down the juices the apples released to make a caramel of sorts. So, naturally, I had to do that here.
Fat head dough is the base of this low carb tart. It’s always a great go to for anything where you need a crust because it’s pretty neutral in flavor. All of the ingredients are usually pretty hand for everyone as well.
Fat head dough is made up of cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, egg, and almond flour. For this recipe I added a little baking powder to give the crust some lift.
Once I got the dough rolled out I added my chayote squash and drizzle on the caramel. It’s important to be careful when crimping the edges so there aren’t any holes where juice can leak out and make the crust soggy.
This is a recipe that not only tastes amazing but looks gorgeous too. It’s important to eat with your eyes, especially when your eating plan may be viewed as “restrictive”.Print
This Keto chayote squash tart will satisfy your craving for a low carb and gluten free apple dessert. Cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg are stars here! This is recipe is made sugar free by using monk fruit sweetener.
For the chayote:
- 1 chayote
- 3 tbs brown sugar sweetener (I use this)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Dash of nutmeg and clove
For the caramel:
- 1/2 tbs Maple Pecan Sugar Free Syrup
- 1 1/2 tbs heavy whipping cream
For the crust:
- 1 oz full fat cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (part skim)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 8 drops liquid stevia*
For the chayote:
- Under running water, peel the chayote squash. I recommend doing this under running water because the squash can feel a little slimy otherwise.
- Once the chayote is peeled, cut into bite sized pieces. And the squash and seasonings to a small sauce pan. Fill the sauce pan with water until the chayote is just covered. Simmer on medium heat until the chayote is tender but not mushy.
- Remove the sauce pan from the heat and allow to cool. Once the chayote has cooled, remove about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the chayote and discard the rest of the liquid.
- Return the reserved liquid to the sauce pan and simmer on low heat until the liquid is thickened and reduced by over half. Add the heavy whipping cream and sugar free syrup, whisking to combine well.
For the crust:
- While the caramel is reducing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, scramble the egg and set aside.
- Add the cheeses to a medium sized bowl and microwave in 30-45 second intervals until melted completely but not bubbling hot. Stir the cheeses to combine.
- Add the egg to the cheese mixture, making sure to incorporate the egg completely. Be sure to set the egg bowl aside. We’ll use the little bit of egg left behind in the bowl later as egg wash.
- Add the remaining ingredients and knead until well combined. You could probably combine the dough with a stand mixer but that seems like more trouble than its worth. Just wash your hands and get in there!
- Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper. You want to have about a 10 inch circle. Add the cooked chayote to the middle of the crust and then drizzle with your homemade Keto caramel.
- Crimp the edges over and brush the crust with the remaining egg from the egg bowl we used earlier. It should be more than enough and we don’t have to waste an entire egg for egg wash!
- Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet and back for 22-25 minutes, until the crust is nice and golden.
- Sprinkle with a little confectioner sweetener if you want. Serve with your favorite Keto ice cream or sugar free whipped cream.
*Some vanilla flavored Stevia would probably be really amazing here!