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Three-Ingredient Low Sugar Desserts

by
author image Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a chef, nutritionist, recipe developer, media personality and award-winning cookbook author. She’s a cooking instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and frequent contributor to Rachael Ray Every Day magazine. Her newest book is the second edition of "The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook." Instagram/Twitter: @jackienewgent
Three-Ingredient Low Sugar Desserts
Pan-grilled nectarines are sweet but NOT loaded with added sugar! Photo Credit: Jackie Newgent

Overview

You may be living with diabetes, but that's no reason to deprive yourself of dessert. After all, sweet treats don’t have to be loaded with added sugars; they can actually provide some nutritional benefits while still tasting totally decadent. Intrigued? Read on for seven delicious and good-for-you desserts made with just three wholesome ingredients. All you have to do is make room for the calories and carbohydrates within your overall meal plan. Then, stick to one serving and savor every bite.

1. Cocoa Mint Soft-Serve "Nice" Cream

This nice cream counts as a fruit serving, but it tastes like dessert!
This nice cream counts as a fruit serving, but it tastes like dessert! Photo Credit: www.livestrong.com

You can get all of the sweet taste and creamy texture of ice cream in a diabetes-friendly way thanks to “nice cream.” For this refreshing version, peel, slice, and freeze a couple bananas. Next, whirl them in a food processor with unsweetened cocoa powder and a few drops of pure peppermint extract until velvety smooth. The dish counts as a fruit serving, yet it’s all dessert!

Recipe + Nutritional Info: Cocoa Mint Soft-Service "Nice" Cream

2. Nutty Buttons

These energy balls are a quick snack and a nutritious treat to satisfy a sweet tooth.
These energy balls are a quick snack and a nutritious treat to satisfy a sweet tooth. Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Energy balls are quick snacks that can do double-duty as nutritious treats to satisfy a sweet tooth. But unlike store-bought versions which can be high in sugar, these round bites contain only peanuts, cacao nibs and dates. (Added bonus: Research has shown that dates are not a high glycemic food!) Shape your ingredients into buttons rather than balls — just to be different — and enjoy them straight from the freezer for a frozen candy bar-like texture.

Recipe + Nutritional Info: Nutty Buttons

3. Dark Chocolate-Raspberry "Mousse"

This mousse's velvety texture comes from avocado and is colored with unsweetened cocoa powder.
This mousse's velvety texture comes from avocado and is colored with unsweetened cocoa powder. Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Whipping cream may be the base of most mousses, but it’s nowhere to be found in this inspired take on the French classic. The velvety texture comes from avocado, giving this dessert healthful monounsaturated fats, which may help in managing blood sugar and insulin levels. Plus, several studies suggest that avocado provides an anti-diabetic effect. Whip the avocado in a food processor with 100 percent raspberry fruit spread and unsweetened cocoa powder, and you’ve got dark chocolate-raspberry “mousse”!

Recipe + Nutritional Info: Dark Chocolate Raspberry "Mousse"

4. Pan-Grilled Nectarine Sundae Cups

The creamy Greek yogurt topped on pan grilled nectarines enhances its natural sweet flavor.
The creamy Greek yogurt topped on pan grilled nectarines enhances its natural sweet flavor. Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Make fruit the star of your sundae! Grill the nectarine halves to warm them up and enhance their natural sweetness. Next, add cool and creamy plain Greek yogurt, and top with crunchy, roasted pistachios. If possible, opt for grass-fed Greek yogurt since it contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than conventional yogurt (studies suggest CLA may be better at regulating blood sugar). But don’t overthink it, eat it! You’ll adore the contrasting tastes and textures of this nutrient-rich dish.

Recipe + Nutritional Info: Pan-Grilled Nectarine Sundae "Cups"

5. "Banana Bread" Cookies

This batch of homemade cookies doesn't require any butter, flour or sugar!
This batch of homemade cookies doesn't require any butter, flour or sugar! Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Bake a batch of homemade cookies — no butter, flour, or sugar required. These treats contain three ingredients you may already have in your kitchen: banana, almond butter and oats. While you may be tempted to add other cookie-friendly ingredients, like chocolate chips, to the batter, try this basic recipe as is first. Each two-cookie serving is a good source of dietary fiber, while the soluble fiber in the oats can play a key role in helping to regulate blood sugar levels. So how do the cookies taste? Like healthy banana bread!

Recipe + Nutritional Info: "Banana Bread" Cookies

6. Balsamic-Grilled Grape Skewers with Goat Cheese

These balsamic-grilled grape skewers are deliciously sprinkled with goat cheese.
These balsamic-grilled grape skewers are deliciously sprinkled with goat cheese. Photo Credit: livestrong.com

If you’re looking to add a gourmet touch to your post-dinner fare, then this recipe should fit the bill. It pairs grilled red grape skewers with aged balsamic vinegar and crumbled goat cheese for a dessert that's as tasty as it is elegant. The grapes provide a low glycemic load (along with beneficial polyphenols that may potentially reduce high blood sugar), while the aged balsamic vinegar and goat cheese add a touch of tartness to delight your taste buds.

Recipe + Nutritional Info: Balsamic-Grilled Grape Skewers with Goat Cheese

7. Petite Peach Melba Ricotta Parfaits

Layer thinly sliced peach halves into a martini glass and top it with a scoop of ricotta cheese and raspberry syrup.
Layer thinly sliced peach halves into a martini glass and top it with a scoop of ricotta cheese and raspberry syrup. Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Martini glasses aren't just for martinis. Skip the vodka and serve a parfait instead. To make this dish, layer thinly sliced peach halves into glasses, topping each with a scoop of ricotta cheese, and then drizzling on warm raspberry syrup (made by simmering 100 percent raspberry fruit spread for a couple minutes). The peaches contain ellagic acid, which has antioxidant properties that may play a beneficial role in chronic diseases like diabetes. Cheers to that!

Recipe + Nutritional Info: Petite Peach Melba Ricotta Parfaits

What Do YOU Think?

Stop skipping dessert and try a nice cream recipe or a peach parfait.
Stop skipping dessert and try a nice cream recipe or a peach parfait. Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Do you skip dessert most of the time? Why or why not? What’s your favorite diabetes-friendly dessert? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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