Having type 2 diabetes doesn’t mean we have to cut out desserts completely. We could easily swap certain ingredients with healthier alternatives and get a healthy, baked sweet treat.
In fact, home baking is even better than buying baked products with suspicious amounts of sugar and unhealthy fat. We should only control our daily carbohydrate intake and keep it healthy.
What’s more, we don’t have to have a chronic disease to start eating healthier and reduce our risk of developing it in the first place.
Here are several helpful tips for baking without spiking our blood glucose levels.
11 Baking Tips That Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
1. Swap Butter for Avocado
We can use avocado in the same amount as we would use butter. Besides giving a creamy texture to our baked goods, it will also provide heart-healthy fats and fiber. Still, our baked goods will have a slightly different taste from those made with butter.
2. Use Unsweetened Applesauce in Place of Butter and Sugar
Swap half the butter and sugar for unsweetened applesauce. It will give our baked goods thicker consistency and sweetness without the calories and fat of butter.
3. Sugar Substitutes
We can use different artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, such as stevia, or simply reduce the amount of needed sugar by half. If we go with some artificial sweetener, we should first visit the brand’s website to see the amount that corresponds to the sugar amount in the recipe.
So, measurements, as well as baking times, vary according to the type of artificial sweetener we choose. We can find all this on their website. Stevia is considered to be the best plant-based alternative to sugar.
4. Use Nut Flours Instead of White Flour
Even though hazelnut and almond flour contain a bit more fat, they don’t affect blood glucose levels as much as white flour. In case we don’t want to make such a drastic transition, or we can’t find nut flour, we can just use half the amount of white flour mixed with half whole-wheat flour.
Then, gradually increase the amount of whole-wheat flour, while reducing that of white flour. What’s more, nut flours contain fiber which helps control blood glucose levels, according to the Comprehensive Diabetes Center of the University of Michigan.
5. Swap Chocolate for Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs don’t contain the sugar that milk chocolate does. That’s why they are better options than chocolate. Other alternatives include unsweetened cocoa powder, dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa, or using less chocolate than needed.
6. Add in Spinach, Zucchini, Carrots, and Other Vegetables
Adding half to one cup of chopped or shredded vegetables will only boost the nutrient content of muffins and similar goods, without changing their taste.
For instance, we can add 1/3 of an avocado and 2 cups of chopped spinach to strawberries, bananas, artificial sweeteners, an egg, and almond flour to make banana muffins. We can use both, fresh and frozen spinach.
7. Make an Open-Faced Pie
If we leave the top crust off, we will significantly reduce the amount of sugar, carbs, and butter in our pie. What’s more, if we swap the flour for groundnuts, we’ll make our baked goods even healthier.
8. Plan Overall Meal Ahead
If we know we’re going to eat a dessert, we should reduce the number of carbs in our lunch. Planning our meals ahead can be of great help for those with unstable blood sugar levels, says the American Diabetes Association.
9. Limit Portion Sizes
We can make smaller portions by using mini-muffin tins. Also, if we use only a serving of our baked goods, we can freeze the rest and avoid being tempted to overeat.
10. Add Fresh Fruit
Adding chopped or grated pears, apples, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and nectarines to our baked goods will boost their flavor and natural sweetness. In that way, we won’t have to use sugar or artificial sweetener to make our sweet treat.
11. Pureed Apple or Mashed Banana
Beat pureed apple or mashed banana with a little rapeseed oil and sugar and use it instead of creaming butter. The reason why this mixture is a better option than butter is that we won’t get the extra saturated fat from the butter while getting a natural sweetness.
However, be sure to beat it well to add air to the mixture.