No matter the type of dessert – whether diabetic or not, dessert is still dessert. There is added caloric intake resulting from desserts of any kind. Calories do not disappear just because the label reads “non-fat”, “diet” or “sugar substitute”. Here’s a short story you’ll get a kick out of: I remember a junior high school biology teacher – about a thousand years ago now – that told us that his wife, in an attempt to lose weight, would crumble cookies into little tiny pieces figuring that the little tiny pieces of cookie contained less calories than one big cookie. She never lost weight.
Dr. Brett Ferdinand offers this information about desserts and diabetes: “Desserts, for the most part, are still a sugar and a carbohydrate. If you do consume a diabetic dessert, we recommend that it is consumed a few hours after you’ve completed your main meal. By allowing the diabetic meal to digest, the necessary nutrients have been absorbed by the intestines allowing for optimum energy absorption. In addition, the stomach gets cleared and thus, the aforementioned meal does not combine with the dessert. When combined, a meal and a dessert make for an awful scene in the stomach and requires more energy than normal to digest. In short, the energy you use to break down improper food combinations in the stomach could have been energy sent to the body’s cells.”
Diabetic Dessert Recipes
I love coffee and nothing goes better with coffee than a good dessert. I’m not alone. My diabetic uncle still drinks coffee with two sugars and will partake of a good diabetic dessert once or twice a week. I don’t think we’re ever going to give up desserts entirely but we should be moderate in our consumption. “Diabetic dessert recipes will often avoid using white cane sugar and supplant it with brown sugar”, explains Dr. Ferdinand. “White refined sugar is devoid of all nutrients. Only the carbohydrates remain. Brown sugar is thought to be a healthy diabetic dessert recipe substitute for white refined sugar but brown sugar contains white sugar as well – its just coated with molasses.” So, in our opinion, why not avoid non-nutritious white refined sugar altogether and opt for a tastier substitute: molasses. Whether you’re looking for a diabetic dessert recipe or just want to eat healthier, try to avoid white refined sugar.
One sugar substitute that is great for diabetic dessert recipes is blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is made from sugar cane which grows 15 feet into the ground. As you can imagine, the earth, especially at 15 feet, is full of trace elements and minerals. So, how do we get to the good stuff while leaving behind the white sugar? In one word: molasses. Molasses is what’s left over after the white sugar is removed.
Diabetic Dessert Recipe #1: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bars
The idea behind a diabetic dessert recipe is to not lose the taste and comfort that a dessert is supposed to give.
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bars Ingredients:
- Non-fat, non-stick vegetable cooking spray
- 1/2 c vegetable shortening
- 1/2 c molasses
- 1/4 c sugar (molasses minimizes the need for more sugar but there’s always sugar in a dessert)
- 1 egg
- 1 c grated, raw sweet potato
- 1 tsp grated orange rind
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp of salt & baking soda
- 1 tsp of baking powder & ginger
- 1 c whole wheat flour
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Bars Preparation:
- Preheat oven to 375F for 10 minutes
- Spray a 9×13-inch pan or casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Mix shortening and sugar until creamed
- Add egg and beat thoroughly
- Add molasses, sweet potato, and orange rind
- In a bowl, place flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and ginger. Sift.
- Stir in whole wheat flour
- Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to the sweet potato mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture
- Spread in prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. While warm, cut into bars.
Diabetic Cookie Recipe #1: Oatmeal Cookies
We love coffee and in our minds nothing goes better with coffee than an oatmeal cookie. One sip of coffee and one bite of oatmeal cookie is heaven-sent. Or dunk the cookie into the coffee for a mocha-oatmeal flavor. This seemingly high calorie oatmeal cookie that follows is perfect for those searching for diabetic cookie recipes because it is lower in sugar than regular cookie recipes and is low in calories for those watching their weight.
Oatmeal Cookies Ingredients:
- 1/4 c unsalted margarine
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c molasses
- 1/4 c egg substitute
- 6 oz thawed, frozen Orange Juice concentrate
- 1/2 c rolled oats
- 1/4 c raisins
- 1/4 c chopped walnuts
- 2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Oatmeal Cookies Preparation:
- Preheat oven to 325F for 10 minutes.
- Coat 9×13 baking pan or casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray
- Combine margarine and sugar in a bowl. Stir until creamed.
- In same bowl, stir in molasses, egg substitute, and Orange Juice concentrate.
- Combine remaining ingredients.
- Spread the mixture out in the baking pan/dish.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes then cut into bars of any shape.
When selecting from various types of diabetic candy, try to stay away from artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin. Many websites believe that aspartame and saccharine cause many health problems.
Others opt instead for natural sweeteners to add that sugary flavor to their diabetic candy. “Natural sweeteners include malitol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, both derivatives of corn”, says Dr. Ferdinand. “Since natural sweeteners in diabetic candies are said to provide a slower glycemic response (which means your blood sugar level rises at a slower rate) they are sometimes preferred to unnatural sweeteners.” However, Internet research also indicates that there are side effects with these natural sweeteners, as well.
In the end, opt for diabetic candy that contains natural sugars (if you are allowed by your doctor to consume them) like molasses, brown sugar or white sugar (not too much!). Although brown or white refined sugars are not optimum, according to Internet research, they appear to be healthier alternatives – if consumed in less-than-moderate amounts – to unnatural and some natural sweeteners.
Disclaimer: NanasDiabetes.com is not a medical website. Therefore, consult with your doctor before placing any type of sugar (or ingesting any type of sugar) into your diabetic cookie or dessert recipes especially if you are a diabetic, think you have diabetes or are prone to diabetes.
We thank our contributors: Dr. Brett Ferdinand of Montreal, Quebec