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When hosting a holiday dinner or party most hosts and hostesses want their guests to feel comfortable and enjoy the food and beverages served at the party. When you have people at your party who happen to be diabetics things can become a bit more challenging, especially when it comes to baking.
Sugar free baking can be very challenging. But the concerned host or hostess should be a aware that diabetics who have their sugars under control should be able handle the occasional sweet. Even so you may find that making baked items using fruits and vegetables will help to keep the baked items lower in calories, fats, and bad sugars.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Try serving a carrot cake made with a cream cheese icing. Or an angel food cake topped with fresh fruit and sugar free whipped topping. Use your favorite zucchini bread recipe and form it into a bunt cake. Top it with a light drizzled glaze of melted chocolate.
Cheesecakes can also be made with very little sugar and low in carbohydrate, since they are made with cream cheese which is a low carbohydrate food. Of course not all cheese cakes are created equal. Most cookbooks that deal with low carbohydrate cooking will have some type of cheesecake recipe, that should be fine for most diabetics.
If you would like to venture into the world of sugar free baking and cooking there are of course sugar substitutes that you can use. This is really tricky though, and I suggest you make a recipe in advance and taste it before actually baking it to serve to guests. I have followed recipes very strictly using sugar substitutes and they usually just don’t taste right to me, it usually involves some tinkering around with the recipe. If you do plan to attempt baking with sugar substitutes the following conversions should be helpful to you. Note that Equal and Nutra Sweet are not really meant for baking.
- Sweet and Low (Powder)
- 1 packet = 2 teaspoons sugar from sugar bowl
- Sweet and Low Brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon = ¼ cup brown sugar
- Sugar Twin
- 1 teaspoon = 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 packet = 2 teaspoons of sugar
- NutraSweet amp; Equal – can be used as sweeteners for items that are not being baked or are already made but they are not good for baking.
- 1 teaspoon equals 1 teaspoon of sugar
If you are too shy to venture in to cooking with sugar substitutes you can give premade baking mixes that are sugar free. They will still appear and taste homemade yet all of the guess work will be eliminated.
When it comes to making diabetic safe desserts I actually prefer to make no bake pie recipe using sugar free puddings, or some type of dessert using sugar free Jello or Pudding but since this is an article about baked items I will reserve those recipes for another article. There are however a couple of tried and true low to no sugar free recipes for baked items that I can give you.
Spice and Applesauce Cake
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 cup of raisins
- 2 ½ cups of unsweetened applesauce
- 3 Eggs beaten
- 6 Teaspoons of Sweet and Low Powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups Self rising flour
- 2 tbls ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- cooking spray
- ½ cup of additional water
Boil the raisins in the 2 ½ cups of water. The water should be completely evaporated by the raisins. Remove from heat
In the same pan add the applesauce, beaten eggs, sugar substitutes, oil, and the other ½ cup of water. Stir until it is all combined well.
In a separate bowl sift the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Slowly add the sifted mix into the raisin mixture. Add a little stir well, add a little more stir well, etc.
Spray a bunt pan with cooking spay and pour in mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan for aprox. 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 3 mashed bananas
- 3 cups quick cooking oats (uncooked)
- ¾ cup raisins
- 1/3 cup diet margarine
- ¼ cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer. making sure to blend everything together really well. Let the mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Mix for a moment more.
Now drop spoonfuls of the dough on to a lightly sprayed cooking sheet. Bake at 350 for approximately 18 minutes. Allow to school slightly before removing them from the cookie sheet.
Before going to a great deal of trouble to bake specific dessert items for a diabetic attending your party you may want to discuss it with them first. They may have planned out their day to allow themselves a treat, and they may just want to eat what everyone else is eating and therefore you may be wasting your time making them a special dessert and they may feel obligated to eat it even though they were looking forward to eating a piece of pecan pie.
Let them know you are prepared to make them a low sugar or no sugar dessert and see what kind of reaction they give you. If they seem happy about the low sugar or no sugar dessert then by all means proceed.
Also remember to have low sugar beverages available for your diabetic guests.
At very least you can keep a package of diabetic cookies in your home just in case.
Your diabetic guests will certainly appreciate your extra effort on their behalf.
Sugar substitutes conversions provided by the Cookbook for Diabetics and the families.
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