Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Ultimate Diabetic Cookie


New diets come with new recipes. With gestational diabetes, I missed carbohydrates like rice, pasta, and fruit more than anything else. Occasionally, I would crave for a sweet treat like a brownie or cookie. Sweet treats at the store contained way too many carbohydrates in the form of sugar or were way too small in size to satisfy any craving I had. I would often just avoid sweets altogether. My husband and son would eat chocolate, cookies, and ice cream bars in front of me while I nibbled away at my raw carrots. I felt lonely, much like a lone vegan would feel at a restaurant table full of company that ate meat. Ha! Eventually, it just didn't bother me anymore.

There had to be a way for me to eat at least two decent size cookies without feeling guilty about it. I searched online for diabetic cookie recipes and found that diabetic cookies were pretty much your regular cookie. They were loaded with sugar. Many even used white sugar and white flour. Were these so-called diabetic cookies for diabetics on insulin medication?!? I don't think you can call it a diabetic recipe if it's loaded with bad carbohydrates and you can only enjoy one of them at a time. So I was determined to come up with my own diabetic cookie. One that would satisfy my sweet cravings, be healthy and I could eat two of without spiking my glucose.

After a few experiments, I think I have finally found that recipe. It's based off on one of my favorite easy and healthy cookie recipes by Chef Heidi Fink. I drastically reduced the sweetness, added more fiber and protein, and used ingredients with lower glycemic indices. I basically applied everything I have learned about being on a diabetic diet and used that to make the cookie as diabetic friendly as I could, without compromising its taste. I have to admit, it doesn't taste much like the original cookie at all but it's still very good. I can easily substitute one cookie in place of half a slice of bread with peanut butter for breakfast and it won't affect my glucose level very much. I can eat two of them at a time with my lunch and be okay. I like to crumble the cookies up and use them in place of granola in my homemade yogurt parfaits. I don't normally have yogurt parfaits but I am really enjoying them these days.

Breakfast: 1 cookie, 1 slice of bread with peanut butter, 1 decaf almond latte.

Homemade yogurt parfait with diabetic cookie crumbled on top.


The diabetic cookie I created is worthy of its name. It's also gluten-free. Yay! It's got banana, coconut, almond, and very little sugar in it. The recipe makes about 3-4 dozen medium cookies and uses only 1/2 cup of golden sugar. The rest is sweetened by bananas and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The almond meal and extra eggs add extra protein, which is needed to keep your glucose from rising too quickly. The extra eggs are needed because coconut flour acts much like a sponge and I didn't want the cookie to be too dry. Coconut flour and almond meal make good substitutes for the flour because they have much lower carbohydrate content. Almond meal is basically grind up almonds with the skins on them and are chunkier and oilier than almond flour, which are blanched almonds grind up to a fine powder. Almond meal is much cheaper than almond flour, easier to find, and I like the fact that the skins are on them since that's extra fiber. In addition to the almond meal, I also added wheat bran to the cookies for even more fiber. Fiber is the good kind of carbohydrate that you want since it will slow down your glucose. I love the cookies the way they are but if you find them a bit dry, you could always add another egg or two. Keep in mind that may dilute the taste a bit so you may need to compensate by adding a bit more banana. Enjoy and feel free to experiment away! :)





The Ultimate Diabetic Cookie
Makes about 40 cookies
(Adapted from Almost Like Muffin Tops at Lip Smacking)

DRY:
1 1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda


WET:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup golden or brown sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, smashed

2 cup quick oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with silicon liners or parchment paper.

Mix together all the wet ingredients until smooth. Add the dry ingredients on top and mix until combined. Stir in the oats, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips.

Scoop little balls of dough on cookie sheet, press down gently and bake. I used 1 1/2 tbsp balls of dough for mine. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway. I like my cookies a bit toastier but you could bake them for less time, if you don't. These cookies don't spread very much due to the coconut flour and almond meal. Cool on cookie racks.

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