Holiday Dessert Makeovers!
Choose Diabetes-Friendly Desserts!
You don't have to give up every speck of sugar during the holiday season -- just plan ahead. To save carbohydrate counts for a special dessert, omit a carb-heavy item you'd otherwise eat during the meal, such as a dinner roll or potatoes. When it's time for dessert, keep portions in check and be smart about your sweets with the help of these 11 tips.
Go Whole Grain
Boost fiber and antioxidants in desserts, such as our Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Brownies, by making them with whole wheat flour. Indulge for just 17 grams of carb per serving.
1 frosted fudge brownie = 370 calories, 54 g carb.
1 Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Brownie made with whole wheat flour = 149 calories, 17 g carb
Make Fruit Festive
Thread any combination of seasonal fruit pieces onto skewers. Try kumquats, pineapple, kiwifruit, clementines, Anjou pears (dipped in citrus juice), and star fruit slices. Pair with a simple dip such as fat-free Greek vanilla yogurt.
6 ounces fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt = 150 calories, 28 g carb.
4 skewers with 2 Tbsp. yogurt = 70 calories, 16 g carb
Choose Low-Fat Sweet Dippers
Any holiday host would welcome a pretty basket of low-fat dipping cookies, such as these homemade Coffee 'n' Cream Biscotti. With just 14 grams of carb per cookie, it's the perfect partner for after-dinner coffee.
1 boxed almond biscotti = 130 calories, 18 g carb
1 Coffee 'n' Cream Biscotti = 89 calories, 14 g carb
Choose Healthy Baking Mixes
When your cookie-baking plans meet a time crunch, try a healthful whole grain mix, such as this Snow Angel Sugar Cookie Mix ($4.99 at kidscentralkitchen.com) featuring organic whole wheat flour. Enjoy two unfrosted 2-inch cookies for a total of 16 grams of carb.
two 2-inch frosted sugar cookies = 160 calories, 22 g carb.
two 2-inch Snow Angel sugar cookies = 80 calories, 16 g carb.
Keep Fruit Fresh & Tasty
Dip apple slices in citrus juice to prevent browning, and then serve with a dip made of 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Half of an apple plus 2 tablespoons of dip is just 125 calories and 16 grams of carb.
1 small caramel apple = 370 calories, 64 g carb.
1/2 apple with 2 Tbsp. dip = 125 calories, 16 g carb.
Split Dessert in Half
It's the first few bites of rich holiday pies (like our Coconut Cream Pie) and other desserts that are the biggest treat to your taste buds, so why not split a serving to cut the carb count in half? Savor small bites while enjoying good company and conversation.
Full piece Coconut Cream Pie = 250 calories, 32 g carb.
Half piece Coconut Cream Pie = 125 calories, 16 g carb.
Make It Mini
Bite-size sweets are a top dessert trend and allow you to enjoy some of the most indulgent treats. Try our Mini Maple Pecan Pie, buy mini cream puffs, or downsize your own recipes by serving in tiny tins or ramekins.
1 piece pecan pie = 541 calories, 67 g carb.
1 Mini Maple Pecan Pie = 182 calories, 19 g carb.
Opt for Chocolate Curls Instead of Frosting
Swap high-cal frosting for a few flavor-rich dark chocolate curls on your favorite cake. Skipping the frosting on a small piece of cake could save you about 15 grams of carb.
one 2x3-inch piece of cake with frosting = 235 calories, 35 g carb.
one 2x3-inch piece of cake with chocolate curls = 155 calories, 20 g carb.
Cut the Crust
Not only is crustless pie easier to make, it also saves on fat and carbs. Our Crustless Pumpkin Pie is especially easy (and still indulgent). Adorning it with tasty toppers adds texture and festive crunch!
1 slice pumpkin pie with crust = 255 calories, 31 g carb.
1 slice Crustless Pumpkin Pie = 95 calories, 20 g carb.
Skip the Baking!
You don't have to be a raw foodist to enjoy uncooked desserts. Toss the chilled segments from 2 navel oranges and 1 grapefruit with 2 tablespoons light agave syrup and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, then garnish with fresh mint leaves, suggests Jennifer Cornbleet, author of Raw for Dessert (Book Publishing Co., 2009). This dessert makes four servings. It can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 24 hours.
3/4 cup fruit salad in heavy syrup = 140 calories, 36 g carb.
3/4 cup raw citrus dessert = 61 calories, 16 g carb.
Delight In Dark Chocolate
Share a tempting tin of dark chocolate and bypass sugar-filled fudge and other holiday candies. Dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa) saves you about 8 grams of carbohydrate, ounce for ounce, compared with fudge.
1 ounce fudge = 196 calories, 22 g carb.
1 ounce dark chocolate = 140 calories, 14 g carb.
FREE HOLIDAY RECIPES! Print the Holiday Mini Cookbook to get all of your favorite holiday recipes (think green bean casserole, turkey, and sugar cookies!)