It’s nearly Christmas again, time for snow, lights, chilly weather, and don’t forget the sweets! Unfortunately, if you are a diabetic, finding those homemade treats are not as easy as one might think.
With the number of diabetic people, including children, on the rise in the United States, it is becoming more popular to find new options to enjoy the holiday season. Within my own circle of friends and family, at least half of them have what I have termed “sugar issues” resulting in the need for low-sugar treats that taste as good as the real thing. Often I have found ways to create a low-sugar goodie that is better than the original.
The great thing about living now versus just a few short years ago, is the abundance of artificial and natural sweeteners now available to the diabetic. You can choose from Splenda, Sweet n’ Low, Equal, Stevia and many other options, all of which come in powdered or liquid form for your baking. There even make sugar-free syrups, brown sugar substitutes, and sugar-free honey, which will really open the door to holiday baking and cooking.
Often I am able to simply substitute for the sugar already in the recipe. A favorite of my southern friends is my low-sugar pecan pie. The only thing I do differently than the original recipe is replace sugar-free maple syrup, just make sure it is thick like Smucker’s or Log Cabin, instead of using corn syrup and Splenda instead of sugar. Bakes the same, turns out beautiful and add a touch of maple bringing out the nuttiness just a bit more.
I also have had great success with sugar-free blueberry pie. Once again, I only replace the sugar with Splenda and it’s wonderful. I have found, though, that cooking the filling first works just a little bit better.
Following is the recipe for my five-minute mock key lime cheesecake that has become a staple among both sugar and non-sugar eaters.
- 1 pkg cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 tub whipped topping (sugar free)
- ¾ cup Splenda
- 2 Tbsp limejuice
- 1 pkg sugar-free lime jell-o
- 1 lime
Blend above ingredients using only ½ tub of whipped topping very well. Spoon into a graham cracker crust. You can reduce the sugar here by not using sugar to create the crust; you just have to chill the crust well, first. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and slices of lime. Enjoy!
You can replace the jell-o with other flavors or use pudding and milk instead of juice and create a whole new flavor just for your family.
Don’t forget the cookies, they turn out lovely with Splenda, just add an extra egg so they hold together a bit better. They will not rise and spread like regular cookies, but they are delicious. One other tidbit, if you try to make sugar-free fudge, using Splenda gives a great flavor, but it never completely hardens. It is better to roll them as drops in a light dusting of cornstarch.
Your diabetic friends and family will adore you for following these simple ideas and making their holiday just a little bit sweeter.
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