Healthy Treats for the Holidays
by Dr. Ileana Vargas

Making healthy desserts for the holidays can be tricky as we are lured toward very low carb recipes due to our concerns about increasing blood sugars, but instead could be adding many unhealthy ingredients such as oils high in saturated fats especially omega 6 fatty acids, as well as adding non-nutritive artificial sweeteners to our recipes. 

Ideally finding healthier replacements and/or substitutes for some baking ingredients can allow you to enjoy tasty, healthier desserts. For example, agave nectar has about the same number of calories as table sugar, but it has a much sweeter taste than sugar, so you can use way less. I would suggest this over the non-nutritive artificial sweeteners.

Health Meets Food recipes from CulinaryMedicine.org try to balance both and are personally are my favorites. Here are two recipes that I highly recommend: 

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Green Sunflower Cookies (Gluten Free) 

In addition, I was recently interviewed by Berrie Center patient Emily Goldman for Martha Stewart Living. In the article, I talked about healthier desserts for individuals living with diabetes. I do recommend dark chocolate covered fruits and nut recipes. They are easy to make, delicious and do not spike your blood sugars due to the higher fiber content. 

Read the article here! 

We need to develop our palates to accept foods that are delicious and more healthful. We can practice by varying the amounts of sugar added and substituting some unhealthy fats in our recipes.