Food · Recipes

Faked apple pie filling for Keto? Try Chayote as an apple stand-in!

Apples are another no-no on the Keto diet. So how am I supposed to make my apple fritters? How about my cranberry chutney? I love cranberry chutney with diced apples and chopped dried apricots, but both fruits are a Keto no-no. As in NO!

Well, I haven’t figured out an alternative to the dried apricots, but the chayote squash is a success on the apple replacement. I had read about using chayote in Keto “apple” pies so I had to try it out. Score! You would never know that you were eating squash in the “apple pie” filling if no one clued you in.

Chayote squash cut in preparation for faked apple pie filling
You can see how the green skin of the chayote adds to the illusion that you are using granny smith apples in your pie filling.

When you cut into chayote it looks like it has the texture of a cross between apples and pears. It is firm like apples and when you eat it raw, it has a very, very mild squash taste. This is what makes the squash perfect for soaking up the taste of whatever you spice the dish with. In this case, I used McCormick’s apple pie spice. To the mixture I also added brown sugar flavor extract. That worked out perfectly in place of regular brown sugar.

Chayote "apple pie filling" as it cooks and after it's reduced.
The chayote pieces as they are boiling and (left) after reduction. With the apple pie spices and the brown sugar flavor extract boiling, the whole house smelled delicious!

Keto Friendly Faked Apple Pie Filling

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 large chayote squash, (I chopped the squash into small pieces so that I could use some of it in my cranberry chutney also)
1/3 cup Xylitol sweetener (or sweetener of your choice)
1 cup water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar flavor extract
1 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tsp apple pie spice
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1/2 tsp salt

1. Add all ingredients except the chayote and butter to a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk to combine.
2. Add the squash and butter and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling and stirring for about ten minutes.
3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cook until the squash comes to your desired consistency for apple pie filling. My chayote pieces were fairly small so this step took an additional 30 minutes of simmering.
4. Taste and add sweetener or pie spice if you like.

You can use the faked apple compote over or in whatever you like. Try it over cakes, cottage cheese, yogurt or your keto ice cream. Whirl it into your Keto smoothies for an additional flavor layer to the shakes.

Sugar free Faked apple pie filling over a vanilla mug cake
I made a sugar free vanilla mug cake to do a taste test with the “apple pie” compote spooned over the top of the cake. Yummy, it was delicious. BTW, I wasn’t sure how a mug cake would taste until I made this one. Perfect! It has the texture and taste of a real cake- like a coffee cake. Click here to get the recipe for the sugar free mug cake.
Sugar free trifle with chayote apple pie filling.
To make the individual trifles, I layered the chayote “apple pie” filling with pieces of the mug cake and whipped cream. Then I sprinkled a little nutmeg on top of the whipped cream. Be still my heart! You can see why, with my sweet tooth, Keto is the easiest diet that I ever stayed on.
Keto friendly, sugar free cranberry chutney over a sugar free vanilla mug cake.
I used some of the “ apple” compote in the making of my cranberry chutney.
Sugar free cranberry chutney over vanilla cheesecake mousse.
Here, the cranberry chutney tops a vanilla cheesecake mousse. Also YUM!

Happy Holidays!

Food · Recipes

Keto Chayote Cranberry Chutney

For years, my cranberry chutney has been a sweet and tangy mix made with whole cranberries, diced apples and dried apricots. Now that I’m on Keto, I wondered what the heck I could use instead of the apples and apricots. Let me tell you, chayote squash fit the bill. Chayote is a very mild flavored squash that looks like Granny Smith apples when you slice or dice it.

Instead of apricots I also added a cup of frozen 3 berry mix (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) to the chutney just for a little added flavor and visual texture.

Chayote squash
Chayote has a texture like apples and is so mild in taste that it absorbs the flavor of the spices that you cook it with.
Sugar Free Chayote-Cranberry chutney heaped over vanilla cheesecake mousse.
Sugar Free 3 Berry-Chayote-Cranberry chutney heaped over vanilla cheesecake mousse.

Keto Chayote Cranberry Chutney

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 (12 oz) pkg cranberries
1 large chayote, diced with the skin left on
1 cup frozen 3 berry mix (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
i cup water
3/4 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit classic granulated (or sweetener of your choice)
3/4 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit Brown (or sweetener of your choice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground dry mustard
3 tbsp cider vinegar

1. In a saucepan, boil the water and sweeteners, stirring until no granules remain.
2. Whisk in the dried spices.
3. Add the diced chayote and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to cook the chayote for15 minutes to soften it up.
4. Add the cranberries and bring back to a slow boil. Stir the mixture occasionally, cooking until the cranberries are popping and the chutney is reducing in liquid – about another 10 minutes.
5. Add the frozen mixed berries and return to a boil. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the chutney has a texture that you like.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

This chutney is excellent over buttered toast too. Additionally, it can be spooned over cottage cheese, yogurt, mousse, whatever you can dream up. Oh! And all of the ingredients are healthy so whirl some up into your smoothies as well.

lemon cookies with cranberry cream cheese
Cranberry chutney over sweet lemon biscuits slathered with cream cheese.
Keto Chayote Cranberry chutney over vanilla mug cake
Keto Chayote Cranberry chutney over vanilla mug cake

Happy Holiday Cooking!