DIY Low-Sugar Berry Cherry Pie

I had purchased a bag of Bing cherries a little while ago, and they languished in my fridge for awhile. I guess I kind of forgot about them.

So when I pulled them out I realized that I had to use them up fast since they were turning a little brown here and there.

I made this Berry Cherry Pie to use them up.

I love that it doesn’t use canned pie filling (I like some cherry pie filling but not all – many are super-sweet and too syrupy, and make my throat hurt).  Since this version uses fresh cherries, it has an interesting, subtle taste.  And it doesn’t need a lot of sugar either – which is why I’m sharing with all of you!  (As you may have noticed – the recipes I’ve begun to share here are basically adapted recipes of sweet and decadent things…just made lower in fat and sugar and better for you.  I love my sweets – but I love them even more when they have more “good” than “bad”!)

Here is the recipe, which I found on (now and adapted.

DIY Low-Sugar Berry Cherry Pie Recipe

(serves 8)

*1 store-bought frozen pie crust

*4 c berries (I used cherries and frozen blueberries that I thawed in the microwave)
*1/2 c sugar (or you can use powdered fructose, but decrease to 1/3 c OR to taste)
*1/4 c water (I used the juice that drained off the blueberries when I thawed them)
*2 T cornstarch
*1 T lemon juice
*1 T vanilla
*1 dash salt

*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 c brown sugar
*1/2 c flour
*1/2 c oats
*1/4 c butter, melted

1. Bake the pie crust according to directions for a “one-crust filled pie” (usually 400 degrees for 10 minutes). DO NOT PIERCE PIE CRUST WITH A FORK PRIOR TO BAKING – if bubbles form, push them back down.

2. Meanwhile, cook all the ingredients to the Filling EXCEPT the berries together in a saucepan on medium heat, whisking, until well-blended (about 5-7 min).

3. Stir in the berries.

4. Fill baked pie crust with Filling.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

5. Stir all the ingredients for the Topping together EXCEPT for the butter.

6. Add the butter to the Topping and combine.

7. Sprinkle the Topping over the pie so there are no gaps.

8. Place some tinfoil around the edges of the pie crust to prevent browning and bake for about 45 minutes until Topping is golden and crunchy, and filling congealed.

Hope you try this some time when you have a lot of berries, fresh or frozen (strawberries? blueberries? blackberries?) to use up!


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DIY Healthy Like-a-Cheesecake Dessert

…Relatively healthy, I suppose.

I’ve seen the recipe for a ricotta-based faux cheesecake a couple places – probably starting with the South Beach Diet many years ago.  This is my version – and I’m always surprised at how full I feel afterwards…the protein in the ricotta is truly filling and more satisfying than real cheesecake, I feel. (I’m not really a cheesecake-person, to tell the truth – the restaurant version always makes me feel somewhat sick halfway through.)

DIY Healthy Diet Faux Cheesecake (Like-A-Cheesecake) Recipe

(makes 1 serving)


*2 graham cracker squares (or one long rectangle)
*1/3 cup lowfat ricotta cheese
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1 1/2 tsp agave nectar (optional)
*1 tsp sugar-free strawberry (or other fruit) preserves (optional)
*sprig of mint


1. Place the graham crackers in a bag and smash with a rolling pin until crumbs.  Using the back of a spoon, press the crumbs into the bottom of a small dish.

2. Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl and add the vanilla extract.  (You don’t need to be exact with the measurements; just mix and taste as you go.)  You don’t even have to add the agave nectar if you prefer a “cheesier-tasting” cheesecake.  Me, I like my desserts sweet, so I added a little agave nectar.

3. Once mixed, press ricotta cheese onto the top of the graham cracker crumbs.  If you prefer a more solid cake, chill in the refrigerator about 30 minutes.

4. Drizzle fruit preserves over the top.  (The sugar-free preserves tend to have more water than regular, and thus mimic a light “syrup.”)  Garnish with mint and enjoy!

On another note, I am also totally addicted to these:

Okay, I know they’re toddler-snacks (and Lil Tot is technically no longer a toddler)…but I buy them just for me.  Maybe I’ll share a few with Lil Tot…maybe.

They’re akin to Astronaut Ice Cream…well, Astronaut Frozen Yogurt (I know this doesn’t exist, at least for purchase by the average consumer, but bear with me).  They’re ridiculously low in calories, have no fat, healthy probiotic bacteria, and they slowly melt in your mouth as you suck on them.  And they don’t cost $5 (like a tiny little sliver of Astronaut Ice Cream does) – usually they’re 2 packs for $5 at my local supermarket, and a pack lasts quite awhile.  They come in Mixed Berries, Strawberry, and Peach.

Do any of you have any secret snacks that as an adult you’re technically not supposed to enjoy?


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