Apricot Cashew And Coconut Bites Diabetes Friendly
Diabetes Friendly Thursday
Creating Recipes With A Cause!
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To learn more about DFT click here. To check out other recipes this week, read until the end of this post.
Celebrate Father’s Day with DFT Team with healthier and diabetes friendly desserts, this week.
Father’s day celebrated on the third Sunday of June which falls on the 21st this year, it’s a day to honor fathers, to celebrate fatherhood and celebrate paternal bonds.
DFT suggests to consume desserts during day time and avoid after dinner.
Choosing a diabetes-friendly dessert needs a lot of considerations such as the choice of ingredients, the proportions of ingredients, the method of preparation and most importantly the portion size. We do not wish for the blood sugar levels to have a sudden spike what so ever following consumption of such a dish.
Well, is there a definite need for a dessert with every meal? The answer is NO. We, as a DFT team discussed this and came to a conclusion that – Since the main meals offer a sizable filling portion, a ‘dessert’ is perhaps only needed to satisfy a sweet tooth or a craving and no more. This would mean bite sized portions will do very well indeed.
Now, coming to the choice of ingredients for my dish. I gave a careful thought towards this after much reading around decided on the below. Please read the footnotes about information regarding the specific nutritive value of each such ingredient.
Let me explain to you as to how these, Apricot Cashew And Coconut Bites taste. The first bite will give you the satisfaction of having something ‘sweet’, ever so mild; you will then enjoy the delicious flavor of coconut followed by a mild crunch here and another one there caused by the cashew ‘meal’ and the very occasional seeds from the figs and also the flax seeds. Towards the finishing stage you will bite into the tiny slightly bitter cacao morsels, cleansing the palate, leaving you with a thought – ‘did I just eat a sweet??’ kind of feeling.
This recipe has no added sugar, no sugar substitutes, no butter, no milk and needs no cooking. It is vegan, wheat-free, soy-free.
If you are looking for a ‘sweet’ tasting dish similar to Indian desserts, this may not be for you.
The recipe here inspired me to create this dish. I have used fresh apricots instead of dried apricots to make it diabetes friendly since the sugar load is higher in dried fruits.
Portion Size – 2 per person.
- slightly less than 1 cup of roughly chopped apricots with stones removed (approx ¾ cup)
- ½ a cup of UNSWEETENED ORGANIC desiccated coconut
- ¼ cup of cashew nuts to be soaked in warm water for 1 hour
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon of rolled oats (use gluten-free oats for gluten-free version)
- ½ tablespoon of flax seeds (alternatively use chia seeds or hemp seeds)
- 1 & ½ (only) dried figs to be soaked in warm water for 1 hour
- 1 & ½ teaspoon of melted ORGANIC coconut oil
- 2 green cardamom pods, the seeds of which powdered using a pestle and mortar
- small amount of powdered cacao nibs(pure cacao nibs) to sprinkle (this is optional)
- first line an 8" baking tray with grease-proof paper.
- grind the soaked and drained cashew nuts without adding any water to bring it to a cashew meal consistency. keep this aside until needed.
- next, grind the chopped apricots with soaked, drained figs using the same grinder jar.( you may need to pulse it a few times instead of running the grinder/blender since the quantity is small and we are not adding any liquids.)
- to this now, add the desiccated coconut, oats, flax seeds/meal/chia seeds/hemp seeds, coconut oil, cardamom powder and grind together without adding any water.( you may need to pulse it a few times instead of running the grinder/blender since the quantity is small and we are not adding any liquids.)
- now add in the ground (soaked and drained) cashew meal, run the grinder/blender again briefly to ensure mixing.
- at this point add another teaspoon or so of oats and blend if the consistency appears too thin. the mixture should be of thick dropping consistency as you see in the pictures.
- now, transfer this mixture onto the lined baking tray.
- spread it using your clean hand or a spatula or back of a spoon to even out the surface.
- freeze this for 1 hour.
- then, remove from the freezer, cut into squares or rectangles as desired and serve immediately.
- this quantity yields 25 pieces of about 1 cm thickness, 1"X1" each.
- the pieces can then be stored in an air tight container for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
use chia seeds or hemp seeds instead of flax seeds if so preferred.
These notes pertain to the role of the ingredients w.r.t diabetes as also associated conditions such as heart disease.
If you have diabetes, eating fruits every day provides you with essential nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals), helps control your blood sugar, reduces your risk for other illnesses such as heart disease. Diabetes UK explains here that it is a myth that diabetics can’t eat fruits. But this has to be in advised proportions as per your everyday calorie needs. Fruits also provide the essential fiber as most of you are aware.
Apricots are loaded with vitamins, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. 1/2 a cup of fresh apricots contain 7.5g of carbohydrates (one apricot contains just 17 calories and 4g of carbohydrates), glycemic load being 3 which is low and hence the impact on blood sugar is also low.
Coconut: The oil content in coconut (coconut oil) is said to be ‘healthy fat’ which again slows down the digestion thereby regulating the rise in blood sugar. While fats associated with fat storage are made of what are called ‘long-chain-fatty-acids’, coconut oil is made of ‘medium-chain-fatty-acids’ which are more suited for energy use. They are also said to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance over a period of time. Read here for more information. However WebMD says more evidence is needed to prove its use in diabetes.
Cashew nuts have lower fat content compared to most other nuts, with 82% of the fat is unsaturated fat, and 66% of this unsaturated fat is heart-healthy similar to those found in olive oil. In people with diabetes, studies have shown that, diet with such high unsaturated fats can reduce high levels of triglycerides(bad cholesterol).
Oats even if hulled, retain their bran and germ accounting for a concentrated source of fiber and nutrients. Studies have shown that patients with Diabetes Type 2, when given foods rich in oatmeal or oat bran which contain beta-glucans, had lower rises in blood sugar after consumption as opposed to rice or bread.
Oats also are rich in magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes including the ones involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion. Read more here (whfoods.com)
Figs are a great source of potassium (which helps in lowering blood pressure), dietary fiber. They are rich in antioxidants(prevents cancer) , calcium, iron. Buy organic to avoid sulphites. Since dried fruit is in general not good for diabetics, a very minimal quantity has been used in this recipe. The intention here is to use natural sweetners which are definitely better than any form of artificial sweetners, commercially available sweetening syrups.
Flax seeds are a good source of soluble fiber and lignans both of which have reported benefits for pre-diabetics and type 2 diabetics. Flax seeds may offer reduction in insulin resistance in obese diabetics.
It is believed that flax seeds might have a role in lowering the risk for atherosclerosis (thickening of the walls of the arteries), protection against several cancers, helpful in SLE also.
However, it is also said that since they have a role in blood sugar levels, they may affect the dose needed for other anti-diabetic medications which one might be on. Therefore, it is essential to discuss with your doctor prior to using flax seeds and the blood sugar being monitored. If in doubt do consider using chia seeds or hemp seeds instead in the recipe.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
For other recipes this week check the below –