Happy holidays, y’all! We are officially in the very last month of 2020. Whew... it has been a rough year, hopefully things will turn around in 2021. End of the year, it is definitely the feasting month. To many of us, dessert/sweet treats are always a struggle (a big challenge, if you will), especially for individuals with concern of blood glucose issues and/or on some restricted diets. I know I have mentioned this (probably) hundreds of times, I am still going to say it again, MODERATION IS THE KEY! Other than that, smart planning is very crucial as well. Like I always suggest to my patients/clients, if you want to have a sweet treat after your meal, then for the food choice (during mealtime) you probably want to focus on non-starchy vegetables (salad, roasted vegetables) and protein foods (chicken, beef, turkey); and you want to skip the starchy food (for instance, mashed/baked potatoes, creamed corn, dinner rolls). By doing so, you save your carbs budget for the sweet treat. The term budget means it has its limitations. Therefore, you need to be mindful of the portion size of the sweet treats.
The next question is what kind of sweet treats are best. Many of the dietitians (so do I) will definitely suggest going with the natural/less processed treats, which is to choose a piece of fruit as your dessert choice. Fruit contains a lot of fiber and nutrients compared to other sweets. However, there are many other healthier sweet treat options available out there. I have compiled a list of healthier sweet treats for you! If you are interested, I highly recommend you to try these recipes. NOTE: the recipes I shared here mostly included artificial sweeteners, but when I made them I chose to use regular sugar instead (just my preference).
1. Chocolate covered almonds: I did not manage to make these chocolate covered almonds this time, but I am definitely going to make ‘em sometime in the future. Tree nuts and chocolate are my favorite, so when this recipe popped on my screen, I was beyond excited! If you are interested in making some chocolate covered almonds, I recommend you to refer to Dinner then Dessert for the recipe.
2. Apple-oatmeal squares: I used the recipe shared on Today’s Dietitian. It is super easy to make.
3. Stuffed baked apple: there is no actual recipe for this item. What you need to make this stuffed apple are apple(s) (divided into half, horizontally), rolled oats, some tree nuts (pecan/walnut/almond), dried cranberries, cinnamon, brown sugar, and pie crust (optional).
- Divide your apples into half, then core the apples, then set aside.
- Mix oats, nuts, cinnamon, dried cranberries, cinnamon, brown sugar in a small mixing bowl.
- Stuff the apples with the filling.
- Cut the pie crust into approximately 4” wide strips. Lay the strips of the pie crust on top of the apple in the lattice style.
- Place apples into a baking pan. Place a layer of foil on top of the apples to prevent pie crust from burning. You may remove the foil approximately 5 minutes before removing apples from the oven.
- Bake at 350-375ºF for 25-30 minutes or until the apples are tender.
4. Diabetes-friendly ricotta mini cheesecake: If you like to have some cheesecake, but do not want to feel super guilty, this recipe is the one you want to try. The recipe adapted from Today’s Dietitian.
5. Low carb chocolate lasagna: Where is my chocolate-lover fan out there? This chocolate lasagna dessert has your name all over it. Like I mentioned above, I used regular sugar to make this dessert, but cutting back on the amount of sugar used in the recipe. This is a pretty rich type of dessert. The recipe adapted from Low Carb Maven.
6. Low carb peanut butter cookies: These cookies contain no flour. Super duper easy to make ‘em. You only need peanut butter, egg, sweetener (or sugar), baking soda, and vanilla extract. The recipe is adapted from Diabetes Strong.
7. Chocolate fudge: Another rich chocolate dessert recipe. You only need three ingredients (butter/coconut butter, coconut cream, bittersweet chocolate chips) to make this chocolate fudge. Because I did not have coconut butter, I decided to use a regular unsalted butter instead. This recipe definitely needs to be chilled for at least 2 hours prior to serving. The recipe adapted from Happy Healthy Mama.