9 Low Sugar/Carb Desserts

It’s the time of year that so many people overindulge in sweets – cookies, pies, candies, cakes, even cocktails – adversaries to people with diabetes. We are here to provide you with options for low sugar, low carbohydrate desserts you can make and enjoy this holiday season…. And year round!

And, the best part….. these recipes come straight from the nutrition experts themselves – Registered Dietitians! You are sure to find several you, your family, and your blood glucose will love!

Check out this FANTASTIC collection –

The Diabetes Council

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10 Diabetes Friendly Food Gifts

Skip the sugar-laden candies and cookies…. the list included in my article provides you with excellent food gift ideas for any special someone in your life, but especially for your friends and family living with diabetes.

The Diabetes Council

10 diabetes snacking mistakes to avoid

Recipe: Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

img_6323Holy delicious-ness!  These amazing cupcakes were the brainstorm of my teenager…. Basically, she doesn’t care for pie at Thanksgiving, and she found a similar idea on Pinterest.  The result was truly yummy and easy enough for her to make completely on her own!  Bonus!  Hope you enjoy them!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 french vanilla cake mix
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding (not sugar-free)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, but add in the instant pudding mix and 1-1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon to the batter.
  2. Line muffin tin with paper liners and fill 1/2-way.
  3. Bake according to package directions.
  4. To prepare frosting, beat together butter, powdered sugar and remaining ground cinnamon.  Gradually add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until frosting is desired consistency.
  5. When completely cooled, frost cupcakes. ENJOY!

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Recipe: Spicy Cocoa Mix

In need of a last minute holiday gift for your friends or neighbors?  What about for your co-workers or book club pals?  I have the answer for you!  Super quick to put together!  Cozy sweet goodness for the chilly season!  We have made this in huge batches and given it to many friends over the years!  I’ve even attempted making this with a group of elementary kiddos for holiday gifts for their parents!  It’s a win-win for everyone.  Enjoy!!

cocoaSpicy Cocoa Mix

Yield: 6 gifts

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, divided

Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into six gift containers (holiday decorated ziplock bags or mason jars work well).  Add approximately 1 tablespoon chocolate chips on top.  Include preparation directions:  Whisk 2 tablespoons spicy cocoa mix into 1 cup of warm milk.  Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.  YUMMMY!!

 

 

 

Recipe: Bacon-Apricot-Almond-Havarti Delight

img_6368Truth be told, this is my favorite part of the holidays!  My sister has made these for several family gatherings and I can be found gobbling them down as soon as they hit the serving dish!  The perfect blend of salty, sweet and creamy goodness!  A fantastic appetizer for your Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve party!  Your guests will devour and enjoy them!

Bacon-Apricot-Almond-Havarti Delight

Ingredients

  • 24 dried apricots
  • 3-4 oz havarti cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 24 whole almonds
  • 12 strips bacon, cut into halves

Turn on broiler and set a rack about 6-inches from heat source.  This can also be cooked in a toaster oven quite nicely.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut a slit into each apricot.  Squeeze a cheese chunk and almond inside.  Wrap each apricot with a slice of bacon and secure with toothpick.

Broil for approximately 10 minutes until the bacon is crispy, turning once or twice so that all sides are cooked through.  Serve immediately.

 

Recipe: Honey Rainbow Carrots

img_6321Simple, beautiful and delicious!

Of course, you can make these with traditional orange carrots for a gorgeous side dish.  I love the unique colors of the rainbow carrots, especially for a holiday celebration.  But, don’t limit these beauties to special occasions…. this dish is truly so simple to prepare you can make it on a busy weeknight.  Hope your family loves it as much as mine!

Honey Rainbow Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds rainbow carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook carrots with about 1/2 cup of water over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes in a large skillet.  Drain water.  Add butter, honey and salt back to carrots and toss over low heat until carrots are coated with sauce.  Display carrots on platter and garnish with salt and pepper, as desired.

 

Recipe: Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

img_6379Why do cooks take the beautiful, innocent, healthy eggplant and turn it into a fat-laden, calorie bomb?  Look no further than this Healthier Eggplant Parmesan recipe.  The secret is the fresh basil bursting with flavor…. and baking the eggplant slices coated in panko…. but, you can see for yourself!

Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • ½ – 3/4 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24-oz jar favorite marinara sauce
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray baking sheet and 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking oil spray.

To make eggplant, place 2 beaten eggs in a shallow dish. Combine panko and ¼ cup parmesan cheese in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then dredge in panko-cheese mixture.  Place eggplant on baking sheets.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden, turning once after 15 minutes.

While eggplant is baking, combine basil, 1 cup parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and garlic in a medium bowl.

To assemble, spoon ½ cup marinara sauce in bottom of a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Layer half of the eggplant slices over the pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with salt.  Top with about ¾ cup marinara sauce.  Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the cheese-basil mixture on top.  Repeat layers once, ending with ¾ cup marinara sauce.

Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and top with remaining parmesan cheese.  Bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Here’s the beautiful finished product…. soooo delicious and comforting!

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About a week later, I had 6 eggplant (!) from a gigantic haul from Produce on Wheels – Without Waste, a program from the Borderlands Food Bank.  (Check out their program – it is amazing & well recognized!)

I spent some extra weekend hours making 2 large batches of this recipe.  Off to my freezer these beautiful dinners went to save for a busy weeknight or a meal for a friend needing some help…. new baby, hospitalization/illness, or something like that.  This would make a fantastic holiday season meal, too!  Definitely worth the efforts!

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