NDSU Extension - Dickey County


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Diabetic Friendly Easter

Aimee Ellinger, 4H/Youth Development and FCW Agent

coconut cream pieEaster is fast approaching and personally for me, all I can think about is the delicious food I get to devour this Easter Sunday.  Easter is a time for family gatherings and family food favorites. Those special recipes that are saved for special events are broken out and has everyone looking forward to their favorite dish.  Personally for me, my Easter dinner memories include my Aunt Sue’s coconut cream pie and my grandmas honey glazed ham.  All I can say is Yumm! Another Easter memory for me includes healthy desert options that where on the low sugar side as well.  My family had a few members that suffered from type 2 diabetes. It was important to watch what kind of sweets we offered at our family dinner table.  In a growing trend in most families this is beginning to become a new normal. In Dickey County alone 11.2% adults 20 and older diagnosed with diabetes.  In North Dakota 49 thousand adults have diabetes. That’s 1 in every 11 adults. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2010 based on the 69,071 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. According to the American Diabetes Association, some of the factors that may indicate you have diabetes include: having pre-diabetes; being age 45 or older; having a family history of diabetes; being overweight; not exercising regularly; having high blood pressure; having low HDL, also known as “good” cholesterol and/or high levels of triglycerides. Certain racial and ethnic groups (non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaska Natives). Women who had gestational diabetes, or who gave birth to a baby weighing nine pounds or more at birth.

The good news is there are some ways you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes
     -Losing weight
     -Eating healthy
     -Being more active

This Easter I will not be able to make it home to Michigan, but I will be spending it with another great family. It just so happens they have some family members who are diabetic as well. While thinking about what I was going to bring I found this recipe below. I will still be able to get my coconut pie fix and bring something that the whole family can enjoy. Check out this yummy diabetic friendly coconut pie recipe! Happy Easter and I wish everyone safe travels this holiday weekend.

Diabetic Friendly Coconut Cream Pie
    3 eggs
    Baked Pastry Shell
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
    1 12 - ounce can evaporated fat-free milk
    3 tablespoons flaked coconut
    1 teaspoon coconut extract
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons flaked coconut
Separate egg yolks from whites; place egg yolks in a medium bowl and egg whites in another medium bowl. Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes for meringue. Meanwhile, prepare Baked Pastry Shell; set aside. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

For filling, in a heavy, medium saucepan, stir together the 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks with a fork. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Return all of the egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in the 3 tablespoons coconut and the coconut extract. Keep warm while preparing the meringue.

For meringue, add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites in bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 30 seconds or until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 2 minutes more or until mixture forms stiff glossy peaks (tips stand straight).

Pour hot filling into Baked Pastry Shell. Immediately spread meringue over filling, carefully sealing to edge of pastry to prevent shrinkage. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons coconut. Bake in the 350 degrees F oven for 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Chill for at least 3 hours or up to 6 hours before serving. Makes 10 slices.


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