When you crave something sweet sometimes it can be a sign of stress, dehydration, tiredness, or just being human. We all have a sweet tooth from time to time. I believe the point of the low nickel diet is to reduce your nickel intake to relieve symptoms, but not to deprive yourself! The best desserts are those you make yourself where you know all the ingredients involved. Plus homemade sweets taste better than processed.
Here’s a list of desserts you can cook. Though I haven’t written recipes for each, I list of the common ingredients I use. Ingredients higher in nickel commonly used in dessert recipes I avoid or substitute include seeds, nuts, oats, pineapple, raspberries, soy, whole wheat, peanut butter and of course chocolate.
As a disclaimer, I personally eat white flour and cornstarch. I also bake with both baking soda and baking powder, as most recipes don’t require more than 1-2 teaspoons. Some experts argue both baking soda and baking powder contain higher amounts of nickel, yet I haven’t found ingesting the minimal amounts of either to cause me a serious reaction.
Pies – I suggest making your own pie crust using cold water, flour and palm oil shortening or butter instead of a soy-based shortening. I enjoy cherry, strawberry, blueberry & peach, apple, and pear & cranberry fruit pies. I also make pumpkin pie and one day hope to make a sweet potato pie. My absolute favorite pie, is lemon meringue. You can make your own lemon pudding filling using milk, flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, egg yolk and butter. If you’re into cheesecake and want to make a graham cracker crust, I am not aware of any processed graham crackers without oats, whole wheat or seed based oils.
Lemon bars are one of my favorite citrus treats. They are made with eggs, sugar, lemon juice, flour, water and butter.
Breads – Banana bread and zucchini bread have always been my preferred foods. They are both easy to make without making a mess of the kitchen. The ingredients usually include overripe bananas or zucchinis, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and baking soda.
Cookies – Sugar, ginger snap, and forgotten cookies all typically include sugar, flour, milk, egg, perhaps vanilla (which can be problematic, if it includes true vanilla nut extract.) Here’s a great post about nut free vanilla extract options.
Smoothies – When you want to make a quick treat, why not make yourself a smoothie? I purchase frozen fruit packs that don’t include either raspberries or pineapple. I blend my smoothies with water, frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, milk, plain yogurt and sometimes orange juice.
Fresh fruit with homemade whipping cream. In the summer I devour sliced peaches or nectarines with or without homemade whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, I make my homemade whipping cream by beating heavy whipping cream with sugar. Fruit salads with apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries also provide a healthy alternative. In the fall I enjoy cooking homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, orange juice and sugar on the stove. Also check out my strawberry soup recipe.
Cakes & Cupcakes – I make my own white flour cakes or cupcakes. Many recipes only require white sugar, white flour, almond extract, butter and baking powder. My partner also made me divine butterfly cupcakes that involved placing lemon pudding inside the cupcake. When I’m celebrating in a fancy restaurant, I also like to enjoy Tres Leche cake!
Caramel Popcorn – Popcorn cooked in a saucepan on the stove is always an easy and high fiber treat. If you want something a little more sweet than salty, check out my nickel free caramel popcorn recipe using honey.
Ice cream – I admit, I don’t make my own ice cream or popsicles. From time to time I do savor Haggen-Dazs vanilla, strawberry, coffee, lemon sorbet or mango sorbet ice cream. Their simple ingredients make the choice an easy one when I want to treat myself without dirtying a single dish.
I’d love to hear what sweet treats you’ve enjoyed while eating the low nickel diet.