Make fruit the base of your sweet treat and you will be off to a good start. Fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries, can be mixed in with sugar-free pudding, yogurt, or sugar-free jello for a quick treat. Grilling fresh fruit is a great way to bring out its natural sweetness. Try grilling peaches or strawberries and top with some light whipped topping and you'll have a mouthwatering treat. Quick breads such as pumpkin bread, can be made using sugar substitutes and whole-wheat flour (substitute for half of the all-purpose flour) to decrease carbs and add a fiber boost. A lower carb cheesecake can be made using sugar substitutes — then top with fresh blueberries or raspberries. You can make a reduced-sugar fruit topping by heating some sugar-free jam over low heat with fresh fruit – this can be poured over sugar-free ice cream or cheesecake.

Try this Banana Split Cake for your next sweet indulgence.

Banana Split Cake
Makes 16 servings

6 1/2 graham cracker sheets
1-ounce sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups fat-free milk
8 ounces light cream cheese
10 ounces canned, crushed pineapple, packed in juice, drained*
4 medium bananas, sliced*
8-ounce container light whipped topping
3 tablespoon pecans, chopped

1. Cover the bottom of 9x13 inch pan with graham cracker sheets.
2. In a medium bowl, prepare pudding 2 cups milk, according to package directions. Add cream cheese to pudding and whip together. Spread pudding mixture over graham crackers.
3. Spread the crushed pineapple over the pudding layer and top with bananas, then whipped topping. Sprinkle with pecans on top.

* If you are would like to use lower-carb, lower glycemic-index fruit, you can omit the bananas and pineapple and substitute 1-2 cups sliced strawberries. The vanilla pudding mixed with the berries will still be a scrumptious treat.

Nutrition Information: 156 Calories, 6g Total Fat, 4 g Saturated Fat, 11 mg Cholesterol, 194mg Sodium, 21g Total

Carbohydrate, 1g Dietary Fiber, 11g Sugars, 3g Protein

Copyright © American Diabetes Association from Healthy Calendar Diabetic Cooking. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. To order this book, please call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at http://store.diabetes.org/.

Read Lara's bio here.

Read more of Lara Rondinelli's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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Last Modified Date: June 17, 2013

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