September 16, 2009 at 11:50 am , by Julia Kagan
I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. But when you write about health for a living you do get asked a lot of health questions. Which is why I find myself on a hunt for diabetic desserts. It would be the Jam Man—the person with the biggest sweet tooth in my family—who got chosen for this disease. The Carnivore, who could devour an entire Marcella Hazan roast lemon chicken if dieting would permit it, was not hit. Nor were Pasta Guy or the Chocolate Twins.
So far, various family members have tried making granulated Splenda versions of some of our favorite pies and cakes—it did a particularly nice job on apple crisp and made a tasty linzer torte, but doesn’t taste quite like sugar. It also made delicious, but rather fragile, peanut butter cookies. Haven’t tested the sugar blend or brown sugar versions, but I’m already finding web advice that recommends adjusting baking times and ingredients when baking with some sweeteners.
With one glass of alcohol a day on the diet, we tried a fresh lemon whiskey sour with agave nectar (blue agave is the succulent used for tequila). One dietitian green-lighted the nectar for its low glycemic index, which makes it digest slowly. The American Diabetes Association puts agave on its list of sweetener options but there’s still a lot of controversy about how healthy it is, especially for diabetics, because it has a high fructose content. The light agave has a very natural taste so I’m hoping to use it more when I find out more about it.
I also converted the famous Weight Watchers pumpkin mousse recipe (this blog has the recipe I remember from my WW class about 10 years ago) by using frozen raspberries (a Jam Man favorite) food-processed with a little milk in place of canned pumpkin. It tasted pretty good, but was more gluey than I remembered the original mousse being. Note for next time: Try just 1 box of pudding mix and stir in some Greek yogurt.
Do you have any great diabetic or sugar-free recipes? Please share them in the comments—we really need them!
In the meantime, I’m getting Jam Man a subscription to Diabetic Living magazine, which is owned by our parent company—and a good family to join when diabetes strikes someone you love.