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For years, diabetics believed they had to avoid sweets and desserts while everyone else around them enjoyed a festive food-filled holiday season. This is no longer the case for two reasons. For one thing, research is proving that sugar is not the culprit for those who develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, the biggest dietary risk factor for type 2 diabetics is weighing too much due to overeating. Eating small amounts of dessert and factoring in the carbohydrates is the approved method for enjoying after meal treats.
In addition, those who are still wary of eating even small amounts of sugar can enjoy recent advances in tasty sugar substitutes. Of all the sugar replacements hitting stores over the years, the cup-for-cup favorite is Splenda.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Whether diabetics choose to concentrate on carbohydrate substitution or they replace sugar using Splenda or another sugar replacement, they can, and should, enjoy eating desserts during the holidays. Here are several delicious treats to try this year.
Peanut Butter Cookies
This gluten-free recipe makes baking cookies quick and easy for busy moms. A good recipe to serve when hosts are unsure of guests food preferences. Ingredients in this recipe were adjusted to include low fat peanut butter, Splenda, and egg substitute:
- 1 cup low fat peanut butter
- 1 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute from sugar bowl
- 1 egg (or equivalent egg substitute)
- dash of pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Roll dough into balls the size of a walnut and then roll in Splenda. Crosshatch on the top of each ball with a fork dipped in the sugar.
Bake until set, about 7 to 12 minutes. Carefully remove the cookies to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Diabetics Dream Chocolate Cake
Enjoy this decadent dessert for a special occasion. Ingredients adjusted for individual family tastes and to include Splenda:
- 1 pkg (16 oz) angel food cake mix
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup Splenda or other sugar substitute
- 1/2 cup boiling water
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Combine cocoa powder, Splenda and boiling water. Mix with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Add to prepared cake mix.
Pour cake mix into loaf or round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees with the baking time according to package instructions.
- 1 pkg sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 sm container sugar-free whipped topping
Prepare the pudding mix according to package instructions. Fold in whipped topping and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can serve the topping as an icing on the cake or spoon onto the cake as you would a whipped topping.
Creamy Christmas Rice Pudding
For a surprise holiday dessert, try a creamy brown rice pudding everyone can enjoy. Ingredients include substitution of low fat milk, and addition of vanilla and eggs:
- 3 cups low fat milk
- 1 ½ cups brown rice
- ½ tsp pure vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 eggs (beaten) or egg substitute in equivalent amount
- ½ cup dried cherries
Step 1: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until milk is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Gradually stir beaten eggs into the saucepan. Stir in the dried cherries. Place saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve warm. Top with a dab of low fat whipped topping, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Quick and Easy Fruit Pie
Pies are a particular favorite for the diabetic in our home. Here is a delicious diabetic-friendly dessert for all to enjoy. Ingredients are:
- 2 cans favorite sugar-free pie filling such as cherry, apple or pumpkin (open with the best can opener)
- 1 box low fat piecrust, pre-made
Depending on whether you are making a fruit pie or making a pumpkin pie, open one plastic wrapped piecrust and place gently into a 9-inch pie plate. Gently poke several holes in the crust with a fork. Add fruit or pumpkin pie filling.
If making a fruit pie, open second piecrust and either place whole on top of filling, or cut into strips for a lattice top.
For the pumpkin pie, leave free of top crust.
Bake according to directions on side of fruit filling can. After pie cools slightly, top with favorite fat free whipped topping.
Diabetics do not have to go dessert-free during the holidays. Keeping portions small and planning meals around dessert options increases the likelihood for a tasty and guilt-free holiday season.
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