07/14/2020 Summer Fun with Fruit: Diabetes-Friendly Desserts

Allison Walsh

Summer Fun with Fruit: Diabetes-Friendly Desserts

Monitoring sugar intake is a challenge for the 34.2 million Americans with diabetes.1 Nutrition labels are confusing with differing names and titles used to represent the kinds of sugar and sweeteners that elevate blood sugar; things like dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin. Simplify by focusing on fruit for dessert. Fruit is simple, safe and sweet and the perfect ending to a meal on a warm summer day.

But we’re not talking about an apple or orange to cap off your dinner, we’re talking dessert! Check out these light, fun ways to get some sweet satisfaction this summer, but before you do, be sure to also consult your doctor or nutritionist to make sure they safely fit within your eating plan.

Hit the coals.

Take fruit to the next level of deliciousness by popping it on the grill. The caramelization that covers the delicate flesh draws out natural sugars and makes for a delectable treat. Favorite fruits for this technique include stone fruits—think peaches, plums and nectarines—but others, like pineapple or bananas work great, too. Add sugar-free whipped cream or ice cream for an added level of richness.2

Poach away.

Stone fruits are up again, but this time on the stovetop. Poach apricots or peaches in some water, a bit of agave or sugar-free sweetener and your favorite citrus zest. Enjoy their lusciousness on their own or with sugar-free frozen yogurt. Get creative here – choose the flavors you love for sweet end result!3

Crisp, crumble or cobble it.

It’s a common misconception that more traditional desserts are off limits for diabetics. By swapping out a few ingredients, most recipes can be adapted to diabetic needs. Believe it or not, this is even possible with crisps, crumbles and cobblers.  The internet (Pinterest in particular—just search “diabetic desserts”) is full of recipes for diabetic-friendly treats chock full of whole grains, heart healthy nuts, very little sugar and your favorite summer fruit, like blueberries, blackberries or peaches.4

Shake it up.

Trade your favorite milkshake for a delicious fruit-based smoothie. As scrumptiously simple as your favorite ripe, in-season fruit, sugar-free yogurt and ice, smoothies are simple and satisfying. Raise your smoothie game by adding fresh herbs from the garden—think basil or mint—or a spoonful of almond butter. A little herbaceous component or healthy fat adds a whole lot of gourmet.

Say cheese.

What goes perfectly with fruit? Cheese! Macerate berries with a bit of aged balsamic and place on top of creamy mascarpone dotted with vanilla bean. YUM. Or choose your favorite cheese and pair it with a slice of Honeycrisp apple or Comice pear. The classics are always delicious and in this case, easy!5


1 National Diabetes Statistics Report. (2020, February 14). Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics/statistics-report.html

12-Kim, Frances. "20 Easy Diabetes-Friendly Desserts." Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart, 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

3-Nall, Rachel. "Diabetes and Dessert." Healthline. Healthline Media, 07 July 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

4-"Tips for Enjoying Summer Gatherings If You Have Diabetes." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

5-"Tasting Notes: 10 Types of Pears." SAVEUR. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

This blog is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.  

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