It's that time of year again. Time for lots of yummy holiday sweets and goodies. And that, in turn, means time for lots of extra pounds! Well, for me, the holidays are especially tricky. I'm not so much worried about gaining extra weight, but I'm more worried about My Man's blood sugars.
Sure, I could just tell him, "No, you can't have that. You're diabetic, and it will make your blood sugar go way too high. Now where are your sisters, so I can cut them a piece?" Now what kind of mother would I be to do for all three of the girls and not My Man? A TERRIBLE ONE!
So instead of saying "no", I say, "Let's find a better alternative." And it's an alternative that can be used for the entire family, and not just my diabetic. No one needs all the sugar that we are so willing to eat this time of year, and yet we eat it anyways - and in LARGE quantities.
So what's my alternative? STEVIA! Stevia is a plant that has been used for centuries for its sweet taste. It has been used to sweeten many different foods in many different cultures. I won't make my case for stevia today. I'll save that blog for another time. But I will tell you that you'll find a WEALTH of information at www.stevia.net and www.stevia.com. Go check out those web sites and see what a great natural sweetener this is!
But being that this is the holiday season, I wanted to share with you my chocolate pie recipe that I have made with stevia. It tastes every bit as delicious as a full sugar pie, but it is very low carb, and you don't have to worry about an insulin spike in your body. (Yes, even non-diabetics need to be careful, because, when eating too much sugar at one time, your body will cause an insulin spike to cover that sugar. Too much of that and you're playing around with insulin resistance.) I actually found this recipe somewhere online, but I cannot remember exactly where. But I can't take the credit for it. All I can say is that I make it, and it's GREAT! Here's the recipe.
Stevia Chocolate Pudding Pie
1/2 C cocoa powder
8 Tbsp cornstarch
3 slightly rounded scoops Stevia powder (found at a health food store or online at www.swansonvitamins.com)
2 C milk
1 C whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter
2 egg yolks, tempered
cinnamon to taste
Combine the cocoa, stevia, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Whisk in the milk and cream, and cook on medium high until just boiling. Cook until you have it as thick as you want it. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Remove from the heat. Temper the egg yolks. (To do this, you beat the egg yolks a little in a separate bowl. Then, slowly add about a spoonful of the hot pudding to the egg yolks while you're still stirring them. Then add another big spoonful. This helps to bring the eggs to the temperature of the pudding mix more slowly before adding it in.) Add the tempered eggs back to the pudding mixture and add the butter. Stir really well. Pour into a pre-baked pie shell. You can cover it with wax paper to prevent a "skin" from forming on the top. Or, if you like, make a meringue to go on top. You can even add a few scoops of the stevia to your meringue in place of the sugar. It does cook a little differently, but it still tastes wonderful! Another option is to top it with whipped topping.
If you cut this pie into 10 pieces, each piece will be 26 grams of carbohydrate. (I don't figure anything else, like calories or fat, because, with diabetes, this is all I really ever keep up with. If you want to figure more nutrition facts, visit www.calorieking.com.)
This makes a DELICIOUS chocolate pie! All my children LOVE this recipe, and especially my son, who knows this is on his "OK to eat" list. Quite honestly, I don't want any of my kids to think that it's OK to eat lots and lots of sweets, even if it IS the holidays. I want them to have good, healthy eating habits, and, instead of eating lots of sugar or artificially sweetened foods, to know how to make good alternative choices. Stevia is an herb that helps me to be able to make alternative choices. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. I PROMISE you will LOVE this recipe. And if you don't, I promise to take it off your hands!!