Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Recipe for Low-Carb, Diabetic-Friendly Coconut Clusters

Yesterday evening, I found myself baking a diabetic-friendly dessert for the very first time in my life.  In the past couple of years, I've learned of several family members and friends who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and others who are trying to control their blood sugar levels for various reasons.  The incidence of diabetes is increasing and society as a whole is becoming more and more aware of the dangers of sugar to our bodies.  

Those of you who know me, know that I love to cook and bake.  I enjoy making dessert to take to dinner parties and such, but increasingly, I have found that not everyone has the luxury to indulge in these sweets. Yesterday, I was invited to my in-laws' house for dinner. I wanted to bring a dessert that could gratify everyone.  It always breaks my heart when I see one or two people unable to enjoy a treat.

I found a wonderful low-carb, diabetic friendly recipe that truly surprised my taste buds.  The recipe is from one of my cookbooks, "The Low-Carb Gourmet", written by Karen Barnaby.  The ingredients are things I usually have around the house and the recipe is so easy, anyone can make it.  The best part is that the coconut clusters were enjoyed by all, not just those watching their blood sugar.  Oh, and the aroma they leave in the house is heavenly.  

Some of my friends have requested the recipe, so I am sharing it with you, precisely as written on page 162 of Karen Barnaby's book...

Cream Cheese, Coconut,  and Lemon Mounds

Makes 20 mounds

90 g (3 oz) unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 tbsp Splenda
120 ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
60 g (2 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind

In a medium bowl, mix the coconut, sweetener, cream and vanilla.  Let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F / gas 4.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the cream cheese into the coconut mixture until blended.  Add the egg and mix well.  Stir in the lemon rind.

Drop by level tablespoons (making macaroon-shaped mounds), 5 cm (2 in) apart, on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are lightly speckled with brown.

Per mound.  Carbohydrates: 0.7 g;  Protein: 0.8 g;  Fat: 5.4 g;  Calories/kJ: 54/226

And voila!  The coconut clusters are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!  I promise!  The best way I can describe their taste and texture is a cross between a macaroon and cheesecake.  Keep in mind that they do need to be refrigerated or frozen overnight to prevent spoiling (because of the cream cheese).  That is if they last that long!  Hope you enjoy!