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Sugar-Free Brownies/Cake

r
recentfoodie Feb 5, 2009 02:30 PM

My mother's birthday is coming up. Since she is diabetic, I'm hoping to find a bakery that sells sugar-free brownies or cake. I tried to make sugar-free brownies last year and they didn't turn out well. Fruit and some other alternative sweeteners raise her blood sugar, so it probably needs to be sweetened with some artificial sweetener. I live in Pasadena, but will drive anywhere in LA area to find this birthday dessert! Thanks!

  1. l
    loreeLB Feb 5, 2009 03:20 PM

    My wife is an insulin dependant diabetic, most good bakerys can make something for you, if you choose to make your own the boxed reduced sugar cakes & brownies are not bad, I add a pinch more water/oil then they ask for and they always turn out moist!

    Good luck

    1. goodhealthgourmet Feb 5, 2009 03:20 PM

      unfortunately most packaged sugar-free desserts aren't very good, but it's worth checking out some of the low-carb specialty stores. i don't know if they're all still open, but these are the ones i remember from the LA area (you can Google for more info)...

      Viva Low Carb
      Bobbie's
      Heavenly Low Carb
      Low Carb U

      you might also try Mani's Bakery on Fairfax. they do desserts without refined sugar, and might be able to accommodate you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        Vaya Con Carne Feb 5, 2009 03:30 PM

        Mani's is big on using fructose, which is exactly what many diabetics must avoid (among other things) - but Mani's will still say it's sugar-free. So, be careful.

      2. p
        Poeticalmath Feb 5, 2009 03:23 PM

        i need to get on this, my dad is a light diabetic, so i cant really hook him up with snacks and what not

        1. Vaya Con Carne Feb 5, 2009 03:37 PM

          Jumping in on this one too, because I have yet to find a bakery in Los Angeles that understands what sugar-free truly means.

          Any chance you could make it yourself? Here's a great collection of recipes: http://www.lowcarbluxury.com/lowcarb-...

          I've found the Splenda-sweetened cheesecakes work best - I make variations of these for holiday gatherings, and even non-diabetics/non-low-carbers like them.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Vaya Con Carne
            b
            Ben7643 Feb 5, 2009 07:07 PM

            Unfortunately i think you're looking for a brownie sweetened with a 0 glycmic index sweetener like stevia. I don't know any bakeries in LA that make their brownies with stevia as most don't have a clue what to do with it. Even splenda has a GI so that won't be great for a diabetic.

            I'm not diabetic but i try to live a fairly balanced GI lifestyle and often cook with stevia. I've found the best stevia to cook with is this one http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.a... check it out. It doesn't have the licorice taste most stevias have and measures out similarly to sugar "but is more expensive". For every day coffee sweetner I use the KAL 100 percent organic pure stevia powder which is pricey but lasts a long time you can get it at whole foods but it isnt' so great for cooking you'll taste the stevia flavor fast with it in large amounts.

            1. re: Ben7643
              goodhealthgourmet Feb 7, 2009 07:37 AM

              Ben, for the record, NuNaturals contains Erythritol - the same sugar alcohol in Truvia, the new stevia-based sweetener from Cargill. since it passes through your system mostly undigested and the body doesn't break it down completely, the companies that sell it can technically get away with saying that you don't get energy/calories from it. we had a discussion about it in another thread recently, so i'll re-post what i said there in case you're interested...

              ...there are a number of different sugar alcohols (they're also called polyols) that manufacturers use in reduced-calorie and low-sugar food products, and each one has a slightly different digestibility, calorie count, & impact on your blood sugar & metabolism. unfortunately, the labeling laws in the US allow companies to label sugar alcohols as calorie-free, even though some are partially digestible and therefore technically contain as many as 3 kilocalories per gram. in the EU they're more stringent about it, assigning them a standard value of 2.4 kcal/gram.

              in terms of controlling your diabetes, regardless of the proportions, it's always best to focus on a food's TOTAL carb count - including sugar alcohols. however, if you want to get really specific about it, you can count half of the carbs from sugar alcohols in whatever you're eating, to account for the partial digestibility of some of them. for the record, sugar alcohols are also notorious for causing unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects in some people. personally, i think it's evil stuff.

              back on topic specifically with NuNaturals for a second - the packaging claims that the product contains zero calories or carbs, which isn't true. and for a diabetic who has to be extremely diligent about counting, that can be a problem. i'm a big fan of stevia, i just wish people would stop assuming that every product on the market is calorie- and carb-free.

              and as an aside, there have been studies to indicate that consumption of "calorie-free" sweeteners can impact blood sugar & insulin levels in some people.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                b
                Ben7643 Feb 7, 2009 07:48 AM

                Wow thanks for the info, I don't have diabeties, but I am interested in the benefit do cutting down on sugar. My daily stevia is KAL organics powder http://www.4allvitamins.com/product_i... which has no filler in it at all. But for cooking it leaves an aftertaste, thanks for the info on the Erythritol in the NuNaturals how can they call it carb free if it has Erythritol in it..... I don't get that unless they are subtracting the sugar alchohol from the carb!!!

                1. re: Ben7643
                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 7, 2009 09:03 AM

                  you're welcome!

                  i use the KAL powder too - it's the only one i like. but i only use it for sweetening tea, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. for baking, i use agave nectar. not sugar-free, but much lower glycemic load for blunted insulin response.

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  westsidegal Feb 7, 2009 03:38 PM

                  fwiw, i buy erythritol online from emerald forest--larger size packaging and much less expensive

                  also, combining erythritol with stevia will counteract the stevia aftertaste.

                  i find the best flavor combo to be erythritol , stevia, AND splenda combined.

            2. a
              attran99 Feb 5, 2009 03:44 PM

              The Torrance Bakery used to make sugar-free treats. It's been a long time, and I'm not sure if they still do, but you can check.

              -----
              Torrance Bakery
              1341 El Prado Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

              1 Reply
              1. re: attran99
                ozbuc Feb 5, 2009 06:55 PM

                I second Viva Low Carb

              2. Chandavkl Feb 5, 2009 07:14 PM

                No brownies, but Fortune Bakery, 700 W. Las Tunas Dr. in San Gabriel has a pretty good selection of sugar free baked goods. It's a pretty small place so I wouldn't be surprised if they'd make something to order for you. Strangely they also sell small figurines in the store, too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chandavkl
                  ipsedixit Feb 6, 2009 09:38 PM

                  They make a darn terrific sugar-free strawberry shortcake.

                2. ipsedixit Feb 6, 2009 09:39 PM

                  The bakery counter at Bristol Farms actually has a nice selection of sugar free items, incl. pies, cheesecakes and some tarts.

                  1. j
                    jay 1 Feb 6, 2009 11:35 PM

                    At Whole Foods and Bristol Farms there is a Brand called Fabe's in the bakery section. I've read the labels many times and believe all the products are free of refined sugar. The pies are very good (especially the cherry and pecan), the brownies good and the cookies vary. I used to really like the 6 carb cheesecake at cheesecake factory. it's been gone for a while, but i heard they were planning to replace it with another sugar-free item. don't know if they have.

                    1. l
                      LAChica Mar 2, 2009 06:28 PM

                      Go to:

                      Fortune Bakery 700 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel 91776. (626)576 0514.

                      San Gabriel is between San Marino/South Pasadena/Alhambra.

                      The cakes are very good. Here you will find a variety of sugar free cakes. Must call or go in to order a day in advanced. I like the vanilla cake with strawberries. They even make a chocolate cake with banana. The cakes are made of splenda. That is absolutely safe for diabetics. Obviously, the fruit has natural sugars. But, you don't need to order fruit if you don't want it. Also, there are an assortment of cookies, brownies, and pieces of Sugar Free cakes to buy. The sugar free marble cake is great.

                      Tell them christina sent you.

                      1. c
                        Cinnamon Mar 4, 2009 08:30 PM

                        If you haven't already considered it, you might also consider a no-sugar apple pie. I've seen these done better and more commonly than brownies/cake. Doesn't even Denny's do one?

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