Gifts From the Diabetes-Compatible ….Oven?

chocolate cake with whipped cream

I was sitting in my dentist’s office waiting, and waiting to be seen. To keep us occupied in the waiting and waiting and waiting room, they had the television on. A commercial came on about the special joys of baking. I had to wonder how sad, maybe even depressed, a person with Diabetes might feel seeing the advertisement. Oh great, here is something else I can’t have.

I wondered about how many people with Diabetes KNOW that baked goods of all kinds are available to them? I know that when I was diagnosed eight years ago, I was sure that baked goods were a thing of the past.

Sure, there have to be some alterations to recipes, but the joy of baking is not lost to us. We maybe should consider not eating our neighbor Evelyn’s peppermint, chocolate, marshmallow, and gummy bear brownies; but there are gazillions of really great Diabetes-Compatible recipes for baked goods out there.

For the world of me I can’t figure out what my first decadent Diabetes-Compatible dessert was. My best guess is that it was some kind of cake. I do know it was a recipe of my own imagination and carbohydrate research.

In my early investigations of low carbohydrate foods, I saw almond flour on the “stupidmarket” shelves. I knew from past baking experience, that a cake could be made completely flour-less. The Queen of Sheba cake is the first of those I made ages ago (pre Diabetes). First thing that came up was how expensive almond flour is. Heck, I can make my own. Toasting the almonds brings out more flavor. I thought, if I do toast and grind my own almonds, why not walnuts or pecans? Years later in response to some of my readers, I replaced the nuts with toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Sometimes we forget that people with Diabetes may also be dealing with other food issues. The sunflower cake is scrumptious and has such a wonderful flavor. I make it even though I don’t have the nut allergy.

My thought process must have been, if I can make a flourless chocolate cake, why not an orange or lemon cake? If I use a sugar replacement, and replace some of the flour…how low can the carbohydrate count go? The ONLY question was: how good will it taste? It turned out really great. I must have looked like some kind of possessed mad scientist mixing ingredients together, toasting and grinding nuts and tasting along the way.

I want to be crystal clear. The cakes and tarts and cookies that I make are ONLY lower in carbohydrates. They are not necessarily lower in calories or fat. Most important in my view is that they are NOT lower in flavor or texture. They are lower in height. The combination of sugar and flour gives you a higher cake.

I love coffee cake. Hey I was raised in New York City, I love the “special flavors that are part of my heritage and the flavors of New York. When I got really proficient at Diabetes-Compatible baking, I looked back to those flavors. Cawfee cake was a staple in every New York bakery. I started out playing with a nut filled cake, and then went to a raspberry filled cake. The sky is the limit with what I can fill these cakes with.

From figuring out cakes, I moved on to tart crusts. My favorite tart crust (of old) recipe did not involve blind baking. I hate blind baking. Changing out a few ingredients did not change the taste and the flakiness of my crusts. As it turned out, the tart crust also made the most delicious butter nut cookies.

I continued on trying Diabetes-Compatible muffins to go with my morning coffee. The first was blueberry crunch muffins. Today I pulled a batch of cranberry orange muffins out of the oven. Biscuits are also back on my table. My oven is pretty busy these last 8 years, and it ain’t just baked chicken.

The desert recipes turned out so good I had no hesitation in making my own wedding cake. Well cakes, actually. My cheesecakes have been a crowd pleaser forever, so it only made sense to make batches of cheesecakes to serve as our wedding cake. I promise you, they did not disappoint.
Can I make bread? Never say no. I am working on it. My biscuit recipe from a few weeks ago is really similar to Irish soda bread. I have not yet gotten around to yeast bread yet. As I said my oven is pretty busy. Also, I was never much of a bread baker. There are people out there that do it so well; I figured my poor attempts are not needed.

I do not want to ignore other types of baked goods. I have an amazing version of rice pudding for our desert tonight. Instead of rice (and all those carbohydrates) I used spaghetti squash. I still use eggs, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon to make the creamy custard. The scent of it coming out of the oven makes me forget I have Diabetes.

The funny thing is that this desert, because of its creamy goodness, led to my creating “Almost” Mac & Cheese. The concepts are similar. The sauce/ custard are what we really crave; why not find a replacement for the high carbohydrate ingredient?

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!