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Suggestions for a fruit dish and a pastry for a church brunch that would be reasonable for diabetics

I'm planning a brunch for 30 to 60 people which will take place at my church.

We will be limited on helpers and somewhat limited on budget. I'm hoping to break even at $5.00 a ticket.

Very tentative plans include

serving tomato juice and orange juice as people arrive. Also maybe diet sparkling cranberry juice.

Then an egg casserole with ham; biscuits and gravy; and a fruit something or other. I would like to serve the fruit something or other in a cup, both for convenience and for appeaance.

I would like to have a platter of ???at each table to be passed: mini cinnamon rolls and I don't know what else.

This will take place in June. I can't count on any specific fruit being available in good condition. Most likely strawberries, but who knows? Blueberries and raspberries would be too expensive and their quality at my store is medocre anyway.

I have read various threads on fruit for brunches but haven't encountered just the right thing.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

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  1. may seem cheesy - but sugar free jello - cube it and put it on some kind of toothpick? It's refreshing and if you use sugar free whipped cream its amazing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pitagirl

      Well, that's a thought, pitagirl.

      I have never cubed jello for sixty people. Would that be labor intensive? Does it stay on the toothpick easily?

      ARe you suggesting that be served on platters?

      Thanks very much for your kind help!

    2. how about individual cheesecakes (baked in mini muffin tins) served with berry sauce or compote? use a diabetic-friendly recipe for the cheesecake, a nut crust instead of pastry, and frozen berries or cherries for the sauce. you can get pretty much everything you'll need at a warehouse store (based on your Chow name i'm guessing Sam's Club), which should keep your ingredient costs down.

      5 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Thanks, ghg.

        I was impressed that you cooked for your heart patient husband with such dedication (hope I am remembering correctly).

        I assume your cheesecake suggestion was for something to be passed with mini cinnamon rolls? I have successfully made cheesecakes with nut crust for my father, but never tried to make individual ones, but I could give it a try although it might be too time consuming. I don't know yet how much help I will have..

        (By nut crust do you mean ground nuts, flour, butter?)

        At present I probably need to solve the fuit dish first.

        I am not trying to make an *ideal* menu for diabetics but certainly want to have plenty that they can choose from. This will be a middle-aged group for the most part, so most likely ten percent will be diabetics. Unfortunate statistic.

        And yes, I have access to a Sam's Club!

        Are you familiar with south Texas? :<)

        1. re: laredo

          wasn't me, as i've never been married. but that's a sweet sentiment for whomever it was!

          i must have read the part about the cinnamon rolls too quickly & somehow took it to mean you were looking for an alternative suggestion (i figured the cheesecakes would be a good compromise that could act as pastry and fruit). i thought it might be a light yet decadent way to end the meal that most of the guests could enjoy...and the bonus with a nut crust is that it's gluten-free in case anyone has issues (no flour, just nuts, butter/oil/shortening, a pinch of salt and a hint of sugar or substitute). they're not all that labor intensive. use paper liners for the muffin tins, press a little of the crust mixture into the bottom of each one, and then depending on the viscosity of your cheesecake batter, pour or spoon it into the cups.

          no personal familiarity w/the Lone Star State at all, really. but warehouse clubs came up in another recent thread and i looked into Sam's locations for another Texas Hound so i knew you had one nearby.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Yes, I was mistaken and my face is red. I beg your pardon!

            Can you please give proportions for a nut crust?

            BTW, it's been decades since I lived in Laredo but I'm half Texan at heart. Have worked in several areas of the state, all tremendous places.
            Nevertheless, I do have a Sam's nearby.

            Thanks so much.

            1. re: laredo

              i *knew* you would ask me for the nut crust proportions! honestly i mostly do it by feel & taste. you just kinda "know" when it's right. but for a general formula, i'd guesstimate:

              (1 cup nut meal/ground nuts) + (1Tbsp butter/oil/shortening) + (1 Tbsp sugar or substitute equivalent) + (small pinch salt) + (1/4 tsp vanilla extract)

              multiply as needed, and par-bake at 325 for 10 min just until firm and slightly golden.

              if it needs more moisture, mix in a little cream, almond milk, or lightly beaten egg white.

              honey or maple syrup instead of sugar adds extra moisture and great flavor.

              if grinding your own nut meal, toast the nuts first to enhance the flavor. see here for more tips: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/843989

              for a lighter texture, substitute toasted oats or unsweetened dried coconut for half the nuts.

              you can flavor the crust with extracts besides vanilla, or spices like cinnamon.

          2. re: laredo

            how about some kind of fruity"gaspacho" or smoothie? served in small cups ala "shooter" i think there may be one in the silver palate ckbk...

        2. Fresh whole fruit like Bananas, Grapes, or Clemintines or Sliced other fruits (melons are decent priced that time of year).
          Serve Coffee or Tea to keep costs down, and Many may prefer this to juice.
          Love the cheesecake idea. Also Mini Muffins are easier than cinnamon rolls.
          I have done a quick buffet with Fruit, 3 kinds of Mini Muffins, Egg Cups (like egg cassarole in muffin size portions), Store bought Yougurt cups, Coffee, Tea (bags and Hot Pot of water) Milk and Orange Juice. Came out around 3.50 per person for 50, not counting plates/cups/silverware/napkins.

          4 Replies
          1. re: MISSYME2440

            Thanks, Missy.

            Do you have recipes for mini muffins that don't dry out? That has been a frequent problem for me.

            I have a good bakery source for cinnamon rolls and might have to go that direction account of time.

            Re the juice, I just thought it would be hospitable and a little bit of an extra treat. Probably more for effect than drinking! :<))

            Thanks so much for your kind help!

            1. re: laredo

              The trick with the muffins is to not overbake them. That is hard to do. You can also use applesauce instead of oil, I have used the trick for lower fat but it makes them so moist!!!

              I found many of the older people just wanted Black coffee, so it would be good to have on hand as an option.

              1. re: MISSYME2440

                Definitely on the coffee, Missy. Black and strong.

                I'm one of those "older people!" :<))

            2. I'd look for strawberries, especally in June when they may be local, and make strawberry shortcake using Splenda or Truvia. Another dessert may be panacotta made with cream and a fruit coolie, very diabetic friendly.

              8 Replies
              1. re: treb

                I've never made panna cotta, treb. Have you made it with Splenda?

                1. re: laredo

                  Yes, can't tell the difference, also made tirra misseau with splenda/truvia.

                  1. re: treb

                    That is good news, treb. I will try to do a trial run tomorrow. I have cream, gelatin, vanilla, and Splenda on hand. Thanks very much.

                    1. re: laredo

                      I usually puree some fresh raspberries with some truvia/splenda and sive to make a seedless coolie and layer that over the panna cotta after it's set and then add a dollop of whipped cream, made with a touch of splenda as well, on top and serve. Enjoy your test run!

                      1. re: treb

                        sorry, but "coolie" is a racial slur. the word you're looking for is "coulis."

                        to querencia, i'm not quite sure why tomato juice is "brilliant"? fruit juice of any kind is terrible for diabetics.

                        juice can be spendy and i think hot coffee and unsweetened iced tea will be cheaper and more of a crowd pleaser.

                        any kind of custardy dessert, like panna cotta or cheesecake will cook off very nicely with splenda, instead of sugar. most people won't be able to tell the difference.

                        you can buy sugar-free jello, and chill it in a jellyroll pan. you can add a different color layer when the first is partly set. cut up the next day, just using a knife or cookie cutters.. according to martha stewart, jello is making a comeback!

                        if the cinnamon rolls don't blow your budget, then yes, mini-muffins will be nice. or perhaps make mini loaves of banana bread and offer small slices with cream cheese.if fruit availability is iffy, you can make small yogurt parfaits with sugar-free jam and chopped nuts, or flaked coconut on top.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          frozen thawed fruit like berries are an option too, especially if you have a sams membership. I have seen huge bags.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            I'd vote for fruit-flavoured iced tea rather than juice. It's a lot cheaper, and a lot more diabetic-friendly.

                  2. Tomato juice is brilliant as fruit juice is a big hit of sugar, without even the fiber that a piece of fruit provides. How about a tomato gazpacho (Cuisinart tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, and onions, add to a big can of tomato juice, season with salt, garlic powder, and cumin and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar that gets spread out among a huge quantity of gazpacho---very low calorie and very low carb).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Querencia

                      am sorry, but gazpacho is NOT low-carb. we had this discussion on another thread. juice of any fruit (Yes, tomato is a fruit) is not good for diabetics.

                    2. Thanks to all for your help. It is greatly appreciated!

                      After I meet with my committee, I will come back for additional suggestions.

                      I may have stated my topic incorrectly/misleadingly: my goal is not a diabetic menu, but rather one from which a diabetic would have good choices.

                      Hence the choice of juices:
                      orange juice: about 26 carbs per cup

                      tomato juice: about 10 carbs per cup

                      sparkling diet cranberry juice: about 3 carbs per cup

                      All your input is helpful. Please continue!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: laredo

                        well...the orange juice is out for the diabetics, the tomato juice is a no-go for anyone watching their sodium intake, and the diet cranberry won't fly with people who [for whatever reason] don't consume or like artificial sweeteners.

                        so the moral of the story is: provide what you think will appeal to *most* of the guests, and don't make yourself crazy over the rest, who are probably used to this kind of situation anyway and know how to navigate it for their needs.

                        i say go with the OJ, and perhaps also provide a few bottles of club soda or seltzer for people who'd like to mix the two to cut the sugar.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Yah, skip the tomato juice, way to much sodium. For the OJ, I've seen some at the market that are low sugar, diluting with seltzer may work. I've also had seltzer infuzed with some fresh strawberry puree, or other berry, you get a mild berry taste.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Not meaning to be argumentative, but it seems to me that 140 grams of sodium per cup is acceptable, and that's what low sodium tomato juice has.

                            Am I mistaken?

                            1. re: laredo

                              ah, well you didn't specify low-sodium above ;)

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                You are right! Sorry! It's such a matter of routine for me I didn't think to say so.

                        2. For the fruit dish, could you do an apple and blackberry crumble - make the topping with whole oats, chopped nuts, and some unsweetened coconut and use a little splenda to sweeten. Splenda works really well in fruit dishes and whole oats are MUCH lower on the glycemic index than flour. You could spoon the crumble into individual cups and add some natural Greek Yoghurt for topping.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Kajikit

                            mmmm, Crumble sounds amazing now! Good option!

                            1. re: MISSYME2440

                              Thanks, everybody. Will report back.

                              1. re: Cynsa

                                Wow! Interesting recipe! Thanks so much, Cynsa.

                                My committee will meet in a week and I will share your idea. Thanks again.

                            2. For a fruit dish, you really can't beat rhubarb cobbler, with or without just a handful of berries. Very high fiber, low sugar to start with.

                              I make a topping (no measuring) of almond flour, chopped pecans, butter, Diabetisweet brown sugar substitute and some carbalose flour. Anything you can't find in the store can be had from netrition.com... been buying from them for years.

                              I never use granular Splenda due to the high carb content from bulking agents like maltodextrin. I use liquid sweetzfree 50% with xylitol or other granular sweetener 50%. I use xanthan gum sprinkled in the filling for thickening, sparingly. And I always add a bit of lemon and salt to fruit bakes. I mostly don't make sweets and avoid chemical sweeteners, but by using liquid sucralose for half, I can dramatically cut the carbs and bg results when I do make sweets.

                              1. I'm not diabetic, but I appreciate water at events like these. I'd just rather eat the calories than drink them. Maybe water with orange slices, cucumber cucumber slices or lemon slices with mint leaves. I'd even say water, coffee, hot water with a selection of tea bags (maybe hot choc. mix) and one juice (most likely orange) would be plenty for the $5 ticket price. For a June brunch, an iced coffee (I've had one with ice cream that was sooo good) would be a treat.

                                You can make crustless quiches/fritatta in cupcake pans (reg. or mini), or a larger fritatta that you cut into squares. That would also be gluten-free, so if you label it as such that will appeal to nearly everyone.

                                Bacon is always good, and a very non-diabetic treat is to sprinkle it with brown sugar and red pepper flakes and bake it. May be too expensive to serve so many, but it's a treat for your own breakfast! :)

                                Bowls of (lightly sweetened, if at all - and can be made with frozen berries) berry compote, granola and a honey next to a bowl of plain yogurt would be great. I

                                As far as baked goods ... I don't know how to include diabetics in this. But I've found mini anything beats full-sized anything. Mini cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins, quick bread slices, whatever, all tend to get taken before anything full-sized.