Sinless Sweet Treats


by Sandra Woodruff, RD

Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it too...and your pies, cobblers, crisps, puddings, and cookies. Here are recipes for several delectable desserts prepared in accordance with the latest diabetic guidelines. These recipes contain low to moderate amounts of sugar and are greatly reduced in fat. Experienced cooks and novices alike will be amazed by the number of creative and healthful ways in which fat and sugar can be reduced in sweet treats.

1/2 cup reduced-fat margarine or light butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3 Tbs. fat-free egg substitute
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup dark raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds

1. Place the margarine or butter and the brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, and process until smooth. Add the egg substitute and vanilla extract, and process until smooth.

2. Place the flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl, and stir to mix well. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture, and process to mix well. Stir in the raisins or other fruit and the nuts.

3. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto the sheet, spacing them 11/2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the tip of a spoon.

4. Bake at 300 degrees F for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the cookies on the pan for 1 minute. Then transfer the cookies to wire racks, and cool completely. Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container. Makes 45 cookies.

Per serving (1 cookie): Calories 52; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fat 2 g; Sodium 37 mg. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 Starch, 1/3 Fat.

5 cups sliced peeled apples (about 7 medium)
1 cup pitted fresh or frozen (thawed) cherries
1/3 cup dried cherries
Sugar substitute equal to 3 Tbs. sugar

4 1/2 large (21/2-x-5-inch) low-fat graham crackers
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. reduced-fat margarine or light butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

1. To make the filling, place the apples, cherries, dried cherries, and sugar substitute in a large bowl, and toss to mix well. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Set aside.

2. To make the topping, break up the graham crackers, place them in a blender, and process into crumbs. Measure the crumbs. There should be 3/4 cup. (Adjust the amount if necessary).

3. Place the crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and stir to mix well. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in the margarine or butter until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Stir in the pecans, and sprinkle the topping over the filling.

4. Bake uncovered at 375 degree F for 35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last few minutes of baking if the topping starts to brown too quickly. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: Calories 164; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fat 4.8 g; Sodium 86 mg. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Fruit, 1 Fat.

1 pkg. (4-serving size) instant sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix
1 1/4 cups mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups light whipped topping

1. Place the pudding mix, pumpkin, milk, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium-sized bowl, and stir to mix well. Using a wire whisk or electric mixer, beat the mixture for 2 minutes, or until well-mixed. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until thickened.

2. Gently fold the whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture. Divide the mixture among four 8-ounce wine glasses, and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve chilled, refrigerating any leftovers. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: Calories 121; Cholesterol 1 mg; Fat 2.8 g; Sodium 207 mg. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1/2 Skim Milk, 1/2 Fat

1/2 cup reduced-fat margarine or light butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 egg whites, or 1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup oat bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. dried grated orange rind

3/4 cup whole fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries, finely chopped
3 Tbs. finely chopped pecans
Sugar substitute equal to 1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. dried grated orange rind
2 tsp. orange juice

1. Place the margarine or butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat in the buttermilk

2. Place the flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and orange rind in a medium-sized bowl, and stir to mix well. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture, and beat just until well mixed.

3. To make the filling, transfer 3/4 cup of the batter to a small bowl. Add the cranberries, sugar substitute, and nuts, and stir to mix.

4. Coat a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, and spread two-thirds of the plain batter evenly in the pan. Spoon the cranberry batter in a ring over the center of the plain batter, and top with the remaining plain batter.

5. Bake at 350 degree F for 35 to 40 minutes, or just until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then invert onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

6. To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, orange rind, and orange juice in a small bowl, and stir until smooth. Transfer the cake to a serving platter, and drizzle the glaze over the cake. Let the cake sit for at least 15 minutes, allowing the glaze to harden, before slicing and serving. Makes 20 servings.

Per serving: Calories 150; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fat 3.2 g; Sodium 111 mg. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Fruit, 1/2 Fat.

From Diabetic Dream Desserts, by Sandra Woodruff, RD. Illustrated by John Wincek. 1996 by Sandra Woodruff. Excerpted by arrangement with Avery Publishing Group. $12.95. Available in local bookstores, or call 800-548-5757.