Diabetic cookie recipes bring comfort food into your diet. Some simple substitutions will make your favorites diabetes friendly.
Diabetic cookie recipes are not just sugar free versions of regular cookies.
Some replace sugar with artificial sweeteners but have other ingredients that give them the same carbohydrate count as their sugary cousins.
For diabetics who want to avoid simple carbohydrates, here are some things to watch for.
Let's start with an example. I found a diabetic coconut macaroon recipe that uses Splenda instead of sugar, and it is 50 calories per cookie.
However, it uses evaporated milk which is another form of sugar. A different recipe uses sugar and has a calorie count of 48 per cookie which means it has fewer carbs in it.
That makes it a better choice despite the use of sugar instead of artificial sweetener. There are some good reasons to avoid sugar substitutes.
What makes good diabetic cookie recipes is not just reducing simple sugar. Replacing the white flour with a low glycemic substitute works as well.
Often making a cookie recipe diabetic friendly means replacing the white flour.
Why replace white flour?
All of the fiber from whole wheat has been processed out, so white flour has to be "enriched" to add some vitamins back in.
Because it has no fiber, white flour digests to glucose almost as fast as sugar, causing beta cells to overreact.
It is empty calories that give you the same blood sugar spike with a feeling of hunger an hour or two later.
So use something else. Try whole wheat, spelt or rye flour. Another great substitute is almonds ground into a meal.
Almonds are a diabetic superfood with fiber, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, riboflavin, niacin and iron.
Just 3 ounces of almonds a day reduces bad cholesterol by 14%, plus the fat in it is the good kind, something we all need.
Find almond meal at a health food store, or make your own. Here is how.
Use your food processor and a steel blade. But stop processing before the almond meal turns into almond butter. (If it looks like peanut butter you went too far.)
When the almonds look like corn meal, they are ready to use. It is best to make only as much as you need.
If you try to store it, almond meal goes bad because of the high fat content.
Almond meal adds to the calorie count because of the fat but it makes good diabetic cookie recipes with its nutty flavor. There is no need to add any other oil to your recipe.
But you might need to add an extra egg or egg white to the recipe. When you are learning how to use almond meal, try using half wheat and half almond until you get the results you want.
Many diabetic cookie recipes use Splenda, but there are other ways to replace simple sugar. Two of the most popular are applesauce and pineapple juice.
Now that Stevia has been approved by the FDA it is being used more in recipes as well. But as with all artificial sweeteners, the sweet taste is concentrated to the point of bitterness if you use too much.
One bonus to cutting simple sugar out of your diet, I have found, is that your taste for sweet things is stronger. That means a cookie can taste sweet to you when others do not think it is sweet enough.
Here are three diabetic cookie recipes I like.
Toast the coconut on a cookie sheet 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees, then cool. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until they are stiff enough that you can make a mark with a knife that stays. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and flavoring, and continue to mix on low speed.
Fold in the toasted coconut with a spoon or spatula. Use a teaspoon to spoon the mixture onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
At 250 degrees, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are dry and you can peel them off the parchment paper with ease. Cool and store airtight at room temperature.
They are 48 calories each if you make 5 dozen cookies.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Spray a parchment lined cookie sheet with cooking spray.
In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the ground almonds, cocoa and cornstarch.
In a glass bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high until it is frothy. Ad cream of tartar and beat again until frothy.
Gradually add the vanilla and sugar. Beat until it is stiff and shiny. Fold in the almond mixture gently.
Drop the mixture by teaspoons full onto the cookie sheet making small mounds 2 inches apart. Bake at 250 degrees for 40 minutes. The cookies should be dry and slightly brown.
This cookie is only 18 calories with 4 grams of carbs and almost no fat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter, peanut butter, Splenda, egg, applesauce and vanilla. In another bowl whisk the baking powder, soda, flour and salt. Add the mixtures together and stir well.
Drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten them out with a fork. Use parchment paper if you like.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes and remove them from the oven when they are set but not brown. Do not overcook them.
The calorie count depends on how large the cookies are. If you make 24, each one is 63 calories.
It is not just being sugar free that makes good diabetic cookie recipes. Look for the cookies you like to compare calories and ingredients.
Some will be easier to make diabetic than others. Stay away from the recipes that use high glycemic foods like sweetened condensed milk and lots of simple sugar.
After you've tried one of the recipes above, will you let us know how you liked it?
Please share your favorite recipe with us to show us how you made diabetic cookie recipes work for you. We will post your recipe and a picture if you include that too.Labels can fool you. Here are the ABCs of reading diabetic food labels.