Having a doctor tell you that your child could die is the scariest thing that could ever happen to you. And I pray that none of you ever have to hear those words. A few weeks ago, I rushed Aiyla to the ER after she woke up with extremely heavy breathing (turns out it was Kussmaul breathing) and a full day of throwing up without keeping much down. She had been peeing a little more than usual and extremely thirsty. I had taken her in to an urgent doctors appointment the day before, and she had said it was probably just the stomach virus and to wait it out. That even a high blood sugar reading was probably just a sign of her body fighting an infection. But I asked them to check her ketones and blood sugar at the ER, and I was unfortunately right. She was in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). My little girl was diagnosed with Diabetes at the young age of 10 months old.
The week of February 23rd was the hardest of my life so far. It took longer than usual to get her out of DKA, and I literally thought we might lose her at one point. It was practically impossible to get an IV in her because her veins are so tiny and she was so dehydrated, they had to take vials of blood by poking her tiny heels (which still have scars and looked like she had been walking on glass). I argued with nurses and doctors about every little thing they did because there were so many times they were poking her and taking more blood than was really necessary.
A lot of people have told us that if anyone can handle it, it would be us. Two diabetic parents, who better to take care of an infant with diabetes? Sure, it might be less of a learning curve for us. The signs might be more obvious. The science makes sense a little quicker. But it isn’t any easier. I know there are worse things out there. I know this is manageable. But that doesn’t mean I can’t wish for things to be different for my little girl.
I considered quitting Give. How tempting to a little girl to have your mom bake for a living, and not be able to eat cookie dough whenever you want? But after a lot of thought, I realized I don’t want her to feel like her diabetes should ever hold her back from doing anything she wants. And the best way to do that is by example. I don’t want her to ever hear that mama stopped doing something because of her diagnosis. Because we’re stronger than that. I wouldn’t have let her eat an insane amount of cookies regardless, and now, if she wants a cookie, she just has to know that she might need to take a bolus on her pump (which we plan on getting her when she’s a little older) or take a shot for it. Diabetes won’t stop her from doing anything her little heart desires. Which is why I can’t let it stop me either.
That being said, I am on a quest to make any dessert I can more friendly for this family of three diabetics. And I know it is possible. By using less sugar, finding sweetener alternatives, adding in protein. Desserts can have less of an impact on your blood sugars, require less insulin, keep you stable, all without compromising on taste. So I baked these sugar free mini yogurt loaves.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup swerve sugar replacement
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- lemon zest
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup canola oil
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8½-x-4½-inch loaf pan, or mini loaf pan and place on a lined baking sheet and set aside. Whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Combine coconut sugar and swerve in a medium bowl before adding the yogurt, eggs and vanilla and whisk vigorously until the mixture is well blended. Still whisking, stir in the dry ingredients, then switch to a large rubber spatula and fold in the oil. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
- Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes if using loaf pan, or 20-25 minutes for the mini loaf pan (or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan; it will be golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean.) Transfer the pan to a rack, cool for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.
I used some sliced almonds on one of the loaves and some granola on another. This recipe is pretty flexible in that you can add whatever mix-ins or toppings you’d like. The nutritional information included assumes that a serving is half of a mini loaf.