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Satisfying a Sweet Tooth Without Compromising Your Blood Glucose

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Satisfying a Sweet Tooth Without Compromising Your Blood Glucose

Are you hoping to do something sweet for yourself or someone you love? Living with diabetes can change the way you approach sweets as a gift. There are some processed foods or treats made with refined sugar that can be detrimental when living with diabetes. This can be discouraging, but fortunately there are great ways to enjoy other sweets while managing your diabetes. Here are a few sweet treats to incorporate into your life.

Diabetes-Friendly Sweet Treats You Should Try

Making better choices with your sweet treats can have a huge impact on your overall health and blood glucose. For a person with diabetes, having something sweet doesn’t have to mean worrying about glucose levels. A few simple switches can make a world of difference. Check out some of the best ways to enjoy sweets as a person living with diabetes.

Have Fun with Fruit

When switching to a diabetes-friendly way of eating it can be tempting to get upset about all the sweets you have lost. While you may not be able to eat what you used to, there are many sweet treats made by nature for you to enjoy. One of the best ways to enjoy a sweet treat is to have fun with fruit. There are many varieties of seasonal fruits and countless ways to enjoy them. Here are a few ideas for adding fruit in as a sweet treat.

Explore New Types of Fruit

Do a variety taste test.
There are a variety of different fruits on the market that many people have never tried. This could be a good time to have fun with a taste test of a variety of fruits. You could even build a mini-fruit charcuterie board of sorts featuring a multitude of fruit varieties to test out. Have a bit more fun with it by creating a ranking system to decide which new fruit is best.

Eat what is in season.
Another great way to enjoy new types of fruits is to make it a point to eat the fruits that are currently in season. So often when visiting the produce market or areas where we buy produce, it can be easy to go to old favorites. Instead, try something new each grocery trip to find your new favorite. You might find that you’ll reach for more variety and enjoy different fruits as time goes on.

Ask for recommendations.
Everyone has their personal favorites. Take some time to talk to friends, produce markets, and salespeople to ask for recommendations. Not only will you get recommendations for new types of fruits, but you may also get recipe suggestions. Asking other people for fruit recommendations can also prepare you for what type of flavor or texture to expect from a new fruit you haven’t tried.

Get Creative with How You Enjoy Fruit

So often people enjoy fruit by simply peeling/washing it and enjoying it. While this is a simple quick way, you may want to switch it up at times. Some of your favorite fruits can become a new sweet treat with a few simple changes. We have a few ideas to help you enjoy fruit as a fun sweet treat.

Don’t Underestimate Frozen Fruit

If you are wanting to give new life to some of your favorite fruits, try them frozen. Grapes, berries, bananas, and a variety of other fruits freeze well. Even better, they’re the perfect sweet treat to enjoy on their own as a quick snack. Fruits such as bananas and strawberries are often better if they are sliced before freezing. This will make it easier to portion out and eat them.

Smoothies, Sorbets, and Smoothie Bowls

Smoothies, sorbets, and smoothie bowls are all fun ways to enjoy your favorite fruit. The great benefit to these options is that you can add in spinach without impacting flavor. Talk about a great way to make your favorite sweets even better for you. You could even do a breakfast power bowl as a special way to enjoy something sweet. Another great way to boost the health benefit is to add a scoop of Amla Green Regular to your smoothie or sorbet while mixing it up.
*Pro-tip - Adding frozen bananas or fresh avocado to a smoothie will give it a thick creamy consistency instead of the consistency you might get from using ice.

Super Fruit Smoothie Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup of fresh papaya or mango
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green (Regular or Decaf)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water

Instructions:

  1. Blend the ingredients on high for 30 seconds or to a consistency you like.
  2. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

Try Produce Gifts and Fruit Fun

Edible arrangements have grown in popularity over the years as a fun way to enjoy your favorite fruits. This comes from a desire to have fun with food. You can easily design your own edible fruit arrangements. Another fun option would be to do fruit shish kabobs or a fruit dip station with a variety of fruits and a plant-based almond butter dip. You could also try making a beautifully put together fruit breakfast bowl.

Fruit Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups green apple
  • 2 cups banana
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds freshly ground
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green (Regular or Decaf)

Instructions:

  1. Wash all fruit.
  2. Slice green apples around the core and the bananas into coins.
  3. Place all fruit in a bowl and top with ground chia seeds. Enjoy!

Find the Desserts You can Make Yourself

When you find out you have diabetes there are many desserts that seem to be off limits. It can leave you looking for healthier treats you can enjoy. While this can be disheartening, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are many delicious desserts you can enjoy while eating for your body’s best. Many of these may involve you investing a bit of time preparing but we have a few suggestions for you to try.

Change Out Your Pudding

Pudding is a famous favorite for many when it comes time for a sweet treat. While it can be delicious, the refined sugar in most puddings isn’t always best for managing your blood glucose levels. The good news is, you don’t have to give up pudding. You will have to modify how you enjoy it though. Here is a recipe you won’t want to miss.

Creamy Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup banana
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green (Regular or Decaf)

Instructions by Layer:

Bottom Layer:

  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, if using frozen thaw slightly first

For the bottom layer:

  1. Add milk and raspberries to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Fold in the white chia seeds.
  3. Place this mixture into the bottom of a clear glass jar or dish.
  4. Put into the refrigerator to set overnight.

Middle Layer:

  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup banana, frozen
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, frozen
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green (Regular or Decaf)

To assemble the middle layer:

  1. Blend the almond milk, banana, a scoop of Amla Green Regular and blueberry together until thick and creamy.
  2. Pour on top of the bottom layer in a large glass.

Top Layer:

  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract with no alcohol

For the top layer:

  1. In a clean blender container place the almond milk, banana and vanilla extract.
  2. Blend until the banana is mixed in and put in a separate bowl.
  3. Fold in the black chia seeds.
  4. Let it set in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Stir the top layer and pour it on top of the middle fruit layer to complete the layering.
  6. Garnish with 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds.

Cookies Aren’t Off the Menu

Many people love a warm fresh cookie after a long day or as a special treat. Fortunately fruit can be used to make some delicious cookies. Natural sugar in whole fruits comes in a complete package with fiber and other nutrients, your body responds to it differently than it does to the refined sugars commonly used in traditional cookie recipes. The fiber in the fruit means the carbohydrates are assimilated more gradually, and you can enjoy these cookies with peace of mind, rather than with a significant blood glucose spike. Check out these delicious cookies you can enjoy!

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bananas (2 medium ripe (spotted), peeled and mashed))
  • 1/4 cup Medjool Dates (3 pitted and softened in hot water, if necessary)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green Regular

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to Bake at 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the chopped bananas, pitted (and softened) dates, ground flaxseed, amla green, and cinnamon. Blend or stir until the mixture is smooth and wet.
  3. If using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats to the wet ingredients, and stir until they’re thoroughly mixed.
  4. Divide the batter into 8 equal portions, and place them on your prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced. Each portion will be roughly 2 heaping tablespoons.
  5. The cookies will not change shape in the oven, so flatten them out and gently shape them into cookies before baking.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies’ edges begin to brown slightly.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer the slightly cooled cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make a Breakfast That Starts Your Day Off Sweet

Breakfast is often connected to many foods that aren’t beneficial to a person living with diabetes. Sweets filled with refined sugars, fats, and unhealthy carbohydrates that are hard for a person with diabetes to properly process are served all too often. Being prone to a sweet tooth in the morning is very common. The good news is, you don’t have to skip a sweet breakfast while enjoying your morning meal. Here’s a recipe you are sure to enjoy:

Clementine Cranberry Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 orange (juiced), plus enough water to reach 1 cup of liquid
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen (thawed))
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 clementine, peeled with sections separated and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp orange zest from the peel of your orange.
  • 1 scoop of Amla Green Regular

Instructions:

  1. If you’d like to add orange zest to your dish, zest the orange first, until you have 1 tsp of zest.
  2. Squeeze the juice from your orange into a liquid measuring cup. Add water to the juice until you have a total of 1 cup of liquid.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring your cup of orange juice and water to a boil. Add the rolled oats and reduce the heat to low, simmering while you stir frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Stir in the Amla Green powder.
  4. Add the cranberries and chopped baby spinach to the saucepan and stir them in. Cook for another few minutes, until the spinach wilts.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the cinnamon, ground flaxseed, and another scoop of Amla Green.
  6. Transfer the oat mixture to a serving bowl.
  7. Top with the sliced banana and clementine slices.
  8. Pour the plant-based milk over the oats, and add the orange zest if you wish.

Do You Need More Sweet Breakfast Ideas?

Check out this quick list of a few delicious breakfast recipes you definitely need to try. Make sure to add Amla Green to these recipes so they can have an even greater benefit to your overall health.

  • Mango Banana Spinach Bowl - Both the flavor and the texture of mango and banana go together very well. Pair these two fruits with any greens, and you will be nourishing your body with some of the most nutrient dense calories around. This bowl is easy to assemble and fun to dress up so get pumped to try a new fun and simple breakfast recipe.
  • Butternut Squash Mango Peach Smoothie - The butternut squash in this smoothie gives it a sweet and nutty flavor. Adding some greens will complete your daily serving of vitamin A & vitamin K.
  • Gratitude Chia Seed Fruit Bowl - Fresh, hydrating fruit combined with crunchy greens makes for a breakfast you’ll feel grateful for. We hope this one sticks with you, as it's energy-packed! No matter how big a task list you have for your morning, this recipe will keep you energized, hydrated, and satiated.
  • All Day Energy Bowl - Did you know that your brain requires at least 130 grams of glucose per day just to carry out basic functions? Fruit is a rich source of intact glucose and other whole carbohydrates that provide a clean source of energy to your brain and every cell in your body. Eating a big bowl of fruit like this is one of the best ways to fuel your brain for all-day energy!

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.

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