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A Couple of Sweet Things

Published: 6/20/22
14 readers recommend
By Catherine Newman

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to miss out on tasty sweets. Try these two low-carb desserts to satisfy your cravings.

If you are trying to eat a very low-carb diet, sweets are tricky. As a rule, we want to be eating nutrient-dense foods so, carb-wise, that means something more like a bowl of strawberries and less like a glazed donut. But this pair of desserts is something in the middle. Both are sweetened with erythritol, an ingredient made from corn, which is not absorbed by your body in a way that increases your blood sugar. And it appears to be safe. Do you want to go on an all-erythritol diet? Probably not. But to treat yourself with a little hit of sweetness, we feel pretty good about it. It doesn’t hurt that the total hands-on time of these two recipes combined is 15 minutes. Try one or both and report back! We want to know what you think. 

Vanilla Panna Cotta

Panna cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian, and it is so incredibly easy to make and so deliciously fancy that you’ll feel like you’ve performed a magic trick. It’s gently set with gelatin, and virtually any combination of dairy or nondairy will work here – plain yogurt, milk, cream, half and half, coconut milk, whatever you’ve got. However, if you reduce the fat to nothing you will definitely lose the velvety richness that makes this so wonderful. I like adding a little sour cream to recreate the vibe of a favorite old-fashioned dessert of mine called a Russian Cream, but you can skip it if you like.

Chocolate Mug Cake

A mug cake is the perfect way to satisfy a little after-dinner craving. It’s quick, easy, and fun to make – and it doesn’t produce an entire cake that will sit around tempting you with its carbohydrate siren song. Plus, this particular mug cake is quite low in carbs to begin with, thanks to the substitution of erythritol and almond flour for the more usual sugar and flour. Two small caveats: 1) There’s a bit of a learning curve with the timing, because it really depends on your microwave – just try to remember for next time what ended up working. 2) Yes, I’m saying this makes 2 servings, and I realize it’s a single cake in a mug. But you can just spoon half of it into a different mug for your cake partner. (Or you can divide the batter and bake it in two mugs or ramekins.)

About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »

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