17 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts for Diabetes
Ease some of the Thanksgiving cooking stress with these make-ahead dessert recipes. You can make components of these desserts a few days in advance (or even the entire dessert!). Desserts like Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Cookies and Hasselback Pear Cake are low in calories, saturated fat and sodium, which is perfect if you’re looking for a dessert that’s diabetes-friendly.
Crustless Pistachio-Topped Sweet Potato Pie
This no-crust sweet potato pie is a great addition to your holiday dessert table. Sweetened with honey and flavored with warm spices, it's topped with crunchy cereal and pistachios. Any leftover topping can be stored for up to a week and is delicious added on top of your breakfast yogurt.
Spiced Pumpkin Cookies
The deep flavors of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg make these wholesome pumpkin cookies delicious without the addition of butter--and they lend themselves beautifully to the inclusion of whole-wheat flour. They are also the perfect texture for a sandwich cookie--fill them with a slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.
Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars
These easy apple-cinnamon fruit bars make a big batch--perfect for fall potlucks and parties.
Bittersweet Chocolate-Orange Truffles
While orange adds an exotic note, much of the flavor of these simple yet sophisticated candies comes from the chocolate, so choose a semisweet or bittersweet with a flavor and level of sweetness you enjoy. The recipe makes a big batch of truffles--plenty for gift-giving. Although they should be stored in the refrigerator, they're best served after sitting at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Cranberry Crumble Bars
These cranberry-orange bars freeze well. Make a batch on a free afternoon and pop them in the freezer so you'll always have a healthy dessert on hand when company calls.
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Cookies
These spiced cookies are a wonderful treat in the fall or winter. Each bite offers delicious pumpkin flavor with chewy raisins and crunchy walnuts. Make and freeze an extra batch to keep on hand for up to a month.
Hasselback Pear Cake
This stunning pear cake uses almond flour in place of some all-purpose flour, reducing carbs and adding protein and fiber. But its real appeal is its presentation: display this pretty dessert on a cake stand for guests to admire before you slice and serve it.
Nutty Carrot Cake Bars
Loaded with carrot, nuts, and pumpkin pie spice and slathered with a velvety cream cheese frosting, these diabetic-friendly bars are sure to become a favorite dessert.
No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
This luscious swirled cheesecake dessert is a no bake, mix-and-chill recipe. Plus, each slice is under 200 calories!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Bark
With just a few simple steps, you can transform plain chocolate into a divine treat with this chocolate bark recipe. We stir in melted caramel then top this chocolate bark with more melted caramel and flaky sea salt--it makes a perfect gift.
Nut & Honey Biscotti
This crunchy Italian cookie recipe isn't traditionally very sweet, so just a touch of honey adds flavor along with mild sweetness. Dipping them in chocolate makes them extra special.
Vegan Sugar Cookies
It's hard to imagine a classic buttery sugar cookie without the butter, but trust us, it's possible. Here, we use coconut oil instead of butter for dairy-free eggless cut-out cookies that taste delicious and are fun to make and eat. Decorate with a citrus glaze colored with a little food dye, sprinkles and/or sanding sugar as you wish.
Cranberry-Orange Fruit Bars
These sweet-tart cranberry-orange bars are a great addition to a holiday cookie tray or cool weather grab-and-go treat.
Almond & Pear Rose Tarts
These pretty little two-bite almond and pear tarts are perfect for party buffets, especially in the fall when pears are in season. Thinly slicing the pears lets you roll up the tarts more neatly, giving you a bakery-worthy presentation. If you have a mandoline, this is a good time to pull it out. Cold puff pastry is important to ensure you get irresistibly flaky results. Want to make this easy, healthy dessert gluten-free? Just swap in gluten-free puff pastry, found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. And don't forget to use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend to roll it out!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Classic chocolate chip cookies get a fall update by mixing in pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Not only are these pumpkin cookies even more flavorful than regular chocolate chip cookies, they're also oh-so-soft and cakelike. Use chocolate chunks for big gooey bites of chocolate or opt for mini chocolate chips to ensure a bit of chocolate in each bite.
Sturdy apples are flavored with cinnamon and vanilla in this slow-cooker apple compote. Top with low-fat vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts for dessert.
Lemon Cardamom Meringue Cookies
Bite into one of these cookies and you'll discover the subtle flavor of spice kissed with a hint of citrus. And the best part? Just 9 calories each!