Enjoy a flavorful and healthy treat by making one of these delicious dessert recipes. You might wonder if it’s ok to eat sugar, flour and other refined grains when you have diabetes. Luckily, all foods can fit into a diabetes-friendly pattern, including sugar, so long as they’re enjoyed in moderation. To help make them more diabetes-friendly, these dishes include complex carbs like fruits and whole grains to help slow down the absorption of foods like sugar and flour. Not only is each dessert under 225 calories per serving, but they also are made with sodium-conscious ingredients, low amounts of saturated fats and servings of carbohydrates that meet our nutrition parameters for a diabetes-friendly eating pattern. Recipes like our Lemon-Blueberry Nice Cream and Air-Fryer Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls are tasty ways to enjoy something sweet that aligns with your nutrition goals.

Air-Fryer Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Tahini Cookies

Photographer: Brie Passano Food Stylist: Greg Luna Art Director: Stephanie Hunter

We put a twist on a classic oatmeal-raisin cookie with the addition of tahini and walnuts. Tahini adds a hint of salty, nutty flavor, while toasted walnuts bring a satisfying crunch.

Espresso Walnut Marzipan Cookies

William Dickey

Marzipan is typically made with almonds, but here we use walnuts to make the marzipan for these nutty cookies. The espresso flavor is delicate, but adds a nice bitterness to the cookie. If you prefer, you can brew your own espresso and use that instead of instant espresso.

Almond Confetti Mandel Bread

Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Lauren McAnelly, Prop Stylist: Holly Raibikis

Not unlike biscotti, mandel bread (also called mandelbrot) are twice-baked, crunchy cookies that make a perfect coffee-dunking treat. This mandel bread recipe is packed with chopped almonds and rainbow sprinkles for a family-friendly cookie. The dough is endlessly customizable by using your favorite nuts, flavorings and sprinkles!

Lemon-Blueberry Nice Cream

Brie Passano

Nice cream is for everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions. This dairy- and lactose-free, no-added-sugar version requires only five ingredients, including cold water, and comes together as fast as the blades in your food processor can spin. It’s bright with blueberries and creamy from bananas, making it a simple and easy dessert with a good dose of dietary fiber—how much more can you ask from a delicious frozen summer dessert?

Zucchini Bread

Photographer: Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

Zucchini and cranberries star in this tender loaf that is sure to become your go-to bake. The liquid from the zucchini helps keep the loaf moist. The best part of this zucchini bread recipe? It only requires one bowl, so cleanup will be effortless.

Air-Fryer Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Jason Donnelly

Don’t skip the rise time before air-frying these cinnamon rolls. It helps make them pillowy instead of dense. Raisins and walnuts are packed into each bite of these sweet rolls.

Lemon-Raspberry Blondies

Photographer / Brie Passano, Food Stylist / Annie Probst

These blondies, made with whole-wheat flour and the bright and refreshing combination of raspberries and lemon, provide an invigorating snack for any time of day.

Apple Crisp for One

Sara Haas

If you have an apple in your refrigerator, then you’re just a few steps away from a simple, delicious dessert. We like green apples for their tart flavor and firmness, but Honeycrisp, Jonagold or Braeburn apples will work too.

5-Ingredient Chocolate-Peanut Butter Nice Cream Sandwiches

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Holly Dreesman

“Nice cream” is a nondairy alternative to ice cream that uses frozen bananas whirled in a blender to achieve a creamy texture. Natural peanut butter helps keep the mixture soft and adds a nutty flavor to complement the chocolate. If the mixture becomes too loose to spread, pop it back in the freezer to let it firm up again before continuing.

Sokolatakia (Chocolate-Dipped Walnut-Stuffed Prunes)

Leigh Beisch

Adjust these boozy, nut-stuffed, chocolate-dipped prunes to suit your taste buds. While prunes are traditional for the bite-size Greek treats, you can substitute apricots, dates or dried figs, or play with the flavor by using rum, cognac, amaretto or cherry liqueur in place of the whiskey.

Raspberry Almond Bars

Jason Donnelly

These simple raspberry almond bars marry the flavors of tangy raspberries and sweet, nutty almonds. Almond flour gives them a rich flavor that’s accented by a dash of almond extract.

Lemon Poppy Seed Hamantaschen

Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Lauren McAnelly, Prop Stylist: Holly Raibikis

Hamantaschen are a traditional, triangular Jewish cookie served during the holiday of Purim. They can be filled with jam, poppy seed filling or chocolate, and are typically folded into a two-bite treat. This version includes poppy seeds and lemon zest and juice in the dough, and their centers are filled with puckery lemon curd. Unlike traditional hamantaschen, this recipe uses whole-grain flour for added fiber.

Tart Cherry Nice Cream

Andrea Mathis

This easy vegan tart cherry nice cream—made from only a few simple ingredients—is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth and also deliver a boost of melatonin that may help you get a more restful night’s sleep.

My Plum Clafoutis Is an Ode to My Late Father

Ali Redmond

Clafoutis is a classic French dessert of fruit baked in thick custard-like batter. It often features cherries but this healthy clafoutis recipe features plums. Feel free to experiment with other fruit if you’d like.

Citrus Salad with Pomegranate & Mint

Brittany Conerly

This citrus salad, made with grapefruit, tangerines and navel and blood oranges, is equally at home as part of your brunch spread or served as a refreshing low-sugar dessert. A sprinkle of orange blossom water gives it a heady fragrance.

Matcha Castella Cake

Keiko Oikawa

Castella cake is a Japanese confectionary staple based on the Portuguese bolo de Castela (or cake from Castile). Originally brought to Nagasaki by Portuguese merchants in the 16th century, it has changed over time to be uniquely its own type of wagashi (or traditional Japanese sweet). Castella is classified as a sponge cake with just four ingredients: eggs, sugar, mizuame and flour. Mizuame is a malt sweetener that gives the cake its distinctive sheen. The cake is typically baked in rectangular pans and served in thick slices, with its signature color being a deep yellow from the inclusion of egg yolks. The addition of matcha powder adds color and an earthy, sweet nutty flavor. Often, the cake is served with trimmed sides, but you can skip that step if you prefer. There is also a Taiwanese adaption of castella cake that is more fluffy and spongy, versus the firm-yet-moist version from Japan. It typically calls for egg whites to be whipped, then folded into the base, whereas most Japanese castella recipes will call for whole eggs to be whipped before adding the other ingredients.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Protein Ice Cream

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Chocolate protein powder adds staying power to this tasty protein ice cream. Maple syrup lends a touch of sweetness, while peanut butter powder provides nuttiness for a flavorful sweet treat. Toppings like cacao nibs and crushed peanuts provide a satisfying crunch.

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies

Carolyn Hodges, M.S., RDN

Natural almond butter gives these gluten-free cookies a wonderfully rich flavor and tender, slightly chewy texture. Folding in chopped toasted almonds along with mini chocolate chips ensures plenty of chocolate and crunch in every bite.

Pfeffernüsse (German Spice Cookies)

William Dickey

Pfeffernüsse are small spiced German cookies commonly seen during the holiday season. Translating to “pepper nut,” the aromatic cookie gets its name from the pinch of pepper added to the dough—here, we use white and black pepper for a punch of flavor. The sweet orange glaze helps balance the pepperiness of the cookie’s spices. Serve with a cup of warm mulled wine.

Strawberry Shortcake

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

These light and fresh strawberry shortcakes lean on nonfat Greek-style yogurt instead of butter or cream in the shortcakes. Just a small amount of sugar and a pinch of lemon zest is all you need to bring out the flavor of fresh strawberries in this easy diabetes-friendly dessert.

2-Ingredient Banana Bread Cookies

Jennifer Causey

To create these cookies, all you need are a few overripe bananas and some old-fashioned oats. When combined, they bake into soft, chewy cookies that are especially delicious when warm—and will fill your kitchen with the sweet smell of banana bread. If you’re OK with just a few more ingredients, try tossing in some chocolate chips, raisins, a spoonful of peanut butter or a handful of nuts.

Fudgy Flourless Pumpkin Brownies

Teresa Sabga

Pumpkin spice meets chocolate: a match made in heaven. The hypnotizing smell that fills your kitchen when these brownies are done baking is unbeatable. If you don’t have canned pumpkin puree on hand, you can make it from scratch. If you don’t like pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato purees will work interchangeably, too. And feel free to store any extra brownies in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Low-Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Sara Haas

Rhubarb and strawberries are signs of spring in much of the United States. Rosy rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but it’s quite tart, making it a bit more at home in the sweet kitchen. Strawberries share the same season and temper rhubarb’s astringency, making the duo a classic pairing.

Cranberry-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Brittany Conerly

In this installment of Diaspora Dining, Jessica B. Harris’ series on foods of the African diaspora, the author and historian rings in some changes to the Christmas traditions of her own childhood.

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