Holiday Cooking and Baking Without Sugar or Flour?

Good Questions

Q: As a consummate baker I have been asked my partner to bring a dessert to Christmas which can A) travel nicely (as we are driving 2 hours) and B) be diabetic friendly.

I have done a quick internet and book search, and apart from making a normal dessert with a sugar substitute, everything sounds just awful. Not one dessert I can find stands to be something that can be revealed post-Christmas dinner. Please help!

Sent by Matthew

Editor: Matthew, we've had a veritable flood of similar questions this holiday season. It seems like quite a few of you are looking for diabetic-friendly and gluten-free recipes for the holidays. Here are a few more of the questions we've received.

I'm putting together a Christmas care package for my aunt. She's mildly gluten intolerant and type II diabetic. Do you have any recommendations for good gluten free and/or diabetic-friendly cookbooks I could get her? Also, do you have any suggestions for gluten-free staples she could use, like rice flour? (I've never done any gluten-free cooking, so I haven't got a clue what she would need.) — Sent by Gwyn
My mother had gastric bypass surgery a few months back. Because of this, she is no longer suppose to eat foods with sugar and flour. I've been looking for ways to adapt some family recipes so she can still enjoy them while keeping with her doctor's orders. I can replace sugar easily with alternates like Splenda, but what can I use for flour? I would really like to find a good flour alternative for her favorite desserts like buttermilk pie and peach cobbler. — Sent by Bob
I was recently diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and was told to cut down sugar, refined carbohydrates, and butter. With the holidays coming up and all the delicious recipes you have, I'm worried about caving in and indulging in too many sweets!

Can you recommend low-sugar, non-white flour, no butter sweets, desserts, or holiday treats?— Sent by Kathryn

Quite a list of questions! Readers we just wanted to open this up as a mini-forum and see if you could offer some good advice on gluten-free baking for the holidays, as well as sugar-free desserts.

Our main advice for Matthew is to take a chocolate cake, accompanied by a beautiful platter of cheeses, nuts, and fruit — perhaps with some sugar-free chutneys. That way those who want a sugary dessert can have it, but a splendid cheese can satisfy those who cannot have sweets.

Do you all have advice for Bob, Gwyn, Kathryn, and Matthew?

Related: What Are Good Cookie Recipes for Diabetics?

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