In the Kitchen with Henny: The sugar lowdown

I love getting creative with food, so I developed recipes that give me the satisfying tastes I enjoy, without spiking my sugar levels.

 The writer making low-sugar treats (photo credit: HENNY SHOR)
The writer making low-sugar treats
(photo credit: HENNY SHOR)

One thing that I have become more and more aware of in the last decade is that sugar is not as sweet to us as it tastes. I am not a nutritionist, but processed sugars especially are something we need to use in moderation.

Many of my clients and readers (thank you!) have approached me, asking for some sugar-free, low carb foods that can be suitable for diabetics. Many others simply want to eat a more healthy diet and keep their sugar down.

Nine years ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my daughter. I was assigned a nutritionist to help me with a food plan, and I followed it to the T. The doctors wanted me to sit with their other patients and inspire them, since I was able to keep my sugar intake down.

Since then, I have always tried to keep my sugars at a low level, and I love the feeling of eating healthy foods. I also love getting creative with food, so I developed recipes that give me the satisfying tastes I enjoy, without spiking my sugar levels.

Please note: Some of these recipes are higher in fat, so please check with your doctor/nutritionist to see if these recipes are appropriate for you.

 Almond biscuits (credit: HENNY SHOR) Almond biscuits (credit: HENNY SHOR)

Almond Biscuits

I started making these a couple of years ago for Passover, but now you can find me enjoying them with my morning coffee or having one or two with my salad. These are very easy to make, are very filling, and contain about 6.5 grams of carbohydrates per biscuit.

Yields 10-12 rolls.

  • 3 cups almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Stevia powder (sugar substitute)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • Poppy/sesame seeds for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 170°C/350°F.

Place almond flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and mix together. Add grated lemon peel and stir. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add vanilla, eggs and oil.

Mix together until a slightly sticky dough forms.

Using an ice cream scoop or simply by measuring out 2 tablespoons, scoop out about 10 same-sized balls of dough. Roll each ball in your hands, and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, leaving space between them. If you are topping them with sesame or poppy seeds, you can sprinkle them on now.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top and bottom. Let cool completely, as these taste best once they settle. They freeze well, too.

 Mashed Cauliflower (credit: HENNY SHOR) Mashed Cauliflower (credit: HENNY SHOR)

Mashed Cauliflower

At first, the idea of having to keep potatoes to a minimum (in accordance with my new, healthy eating habits) seemed like a real sacrifice. But then I met my new BFF – cauliflower!

I know, I was skeptical too, but I made it work with onions, garlic, and lots of love. And now, whenever I have cauliflower as a side dish with chicken or meat, I get the flavor, texture, and satisfying feeling of mashed potatoes – without a high carb content. Each serving contains about 13-15 grams of carbohydrates.

Yields 4 servings.

  • 800 grams frozen cauliflower
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup olive or coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh or dried parsley

You can cook cauliflower a number of ways to soften it: Either bake it covered in the oven for 45 minutes; pop it in the microwave for 2-4 minutes; or steam it on your stove top until soft.

Mash the cauliflower in a bowl using a potato masher or large fork.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the diced onion, and sauté for about six minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the crushed garlic, salt and pepper and continue mixing in the pan for another two minutes. Add the sauté mixture and chopped parsley to the mashed cauliflower, mix well and serve.

 Almond Butter Brownies (credit: HENNY SHOR) Almond Butter Brownies (credit: HENNY SHOR)

Almond Butter Brownies

We all enjoy a good fudgy brownie. In trying to keep my sugars down, I set out to create a brownie recipe that is gluten-free with all-natural ingredients. It took a few attempts, but the effort was well worth it! 

I love making this recipe in muffin tins because it’s easier for portion control, and great for on the go. These have become my year-round brownies that are enjoyed by all.

Total carb content: 13.5 grams per muffin; 11.5 grams per slice of brownie.

Yields 16 muffins (or one 9”x13” pan).

  • 1¼ cups almond butter
  • ¼ cup oil (vegetable, olive, coconut)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or Stevia)
  • 1/3 cup honey or date honey
  • 1 Tbsp. instant coffee, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 170°C/350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, pour in the almond butter, oil, honey, syrup, and eggs, and mix until smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water and add to the mixture. Then add the cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and non-dairy milk – mix until well combined and no clumps.

Pour into paper-lined (size 4) muffin tins, or onto a lightly greased 9”x13” pan.

For muffins, bake for 18 minutes. For cake, bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Tip: This cake gets better with age; best to make it a few days ahead of time for fudgy results.

 Peanut Butter Cookies (credit: HENNY SHOR) Peanut Butter Cookies (credit: HENNY SHOR)

Peanut Butter Cookies

What’s better than eating a delicious cookie that is actually full of protein and low in sugar?

These cookies are so quick and easy to make and can even be made in a pan as blondies if you’re short on time.

These cookies have less than 6 grams of carbs per cookie.

Yields 18 cookies.

  • 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup Truvia sugar (or Truvia brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup 66% dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 170°C/350°F.

In a bowl, mix the peanut butter, Truvia/sugar substitute, and egg until the mixture thickens, then add in the chocolate chips.

Shape the batter into balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool, then store in a glass jar or airtight container. 

The writer is a kitchen coach, inspiring confidence and creativity in the kitchen. For more info on online workshops, private events and one-on-one coaching: