Holiday season are upon us, and that means lovely holiday desserts. To continue with your health journey, does not mean you can’t have that cookie you love or your favourite baked dessert. I am going to give you a few tips on how you can change your dessert recipe to lower the amount of sugar entering your blood and help you to have better blood sugar control and weight management:
1. Add Protein
By adding protein to our desserts, we can lower the Glycemic index. So in this cookie recipe, we use almond flour, which is a higher protein flour, instead of regular wheat flour, which is mostly starch. In other recipes, you could add nuts or nut butters, or try recipes that include beans or lentils like black bean brownies! Chickpea flour is also a high protein flour and can be used in baking. It’s delicious to make crepes.
2. Cut the Sugar in Half
I’m adding some sugar to this recipe. There is no need to cut out all sugar and substitute with sweetener. You can enjoy a little sugar here and there, but try to reduce it in dessert recipes. Generally you could cut the sugar by ¼ or half and still really enjoy a dessert. You can also use ‘natural sweeteners’ like Stevia chocolate chips instead of your regular chocolate chips. By using spices like cinnamon and other flavour enhancing ingredients like vanilla, you can ensure your dessert is still really yummy without loads of sugar.
3. Have some Fat
I use real butter in this recipe because it is of course delicious! You could use coconut oil or vegan margarine as well, but the butter adds that buttery flavour of course. We also added some ground flax to this recipe. By adding healthy fat like that in nuts, nut butters, avocado or flax seed, you can lower the effect of a treat or dessert on your blood sugar as well. This helps to lower the Glycemic index. The almond flour we used today is high in protein as well as healthy fat. So we are actually consuming less starchy carbohydrates and more fat and protein with this choice.
4. Find the Fibre
The last thing you can do to your dessert recipes it to add some fibre! We know fibre helps our bowels move, but because it doesn’t digest in our bodies, this actually helps slow down the absorption of sugar into our blood stream and bodies. In today’s recipe we have flax for some added fibre. Again, lowering the impact of sugar on our blood sugar, effectively lowering the Glycemic load of the dessert (or meal). Recipes that include beans & lentils, like Lentil Apple Muffins, or have added Chia seeds like a Chocolate Chia Pudding, or even pureed pumpkin or berries are all great sources of fibre. Oatmeal is high in protein and fibre – so choose recipes like oatmeal cookies or apple crumble that include oats. Even substituting half whole wheat flour for white flour in a recipe can work to increase the fibre in that dessert and lower the impact on blood sugar.
Low Sugar Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
• 2 cups almond flour or meal
• 3 tablespoon Maple syrup or 2 tablespoons Xylitol or stevia
• 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ cup butter, softened (room temperature) or coconut oil
• 2 tablespoon maple syrup or equivalent Stevia
• 1 egg
• 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup mini Stevia chocolate chips
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F and move one rack to the top shelf.
2 In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, brown sugar, flax seeds, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, cream together the butter and maple syrup. Then add the egg and vanilla and whisk together until combined.
3 Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until a moist batter is formed. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4 Scoop batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to make 12 cookie mounds. Flatten each mound with wet fingers or the back of a spoon.
5 Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and cookies are baked through, but still moist inside. Allow to cool on pan for 10 minutes.
6 Serve warm or cool.
*Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for one month.
Nutrition label reading tip.
Energy 193 calories per cookie, eat one cookie as dessert or treat / snack. 10% of total calories of 2000 calorie diet
Total fat and saturated fat: >15% High fat, only eat as a treat.
Dietary fibre: >15% High, which is a good thing, because of addition of flaxseeds