The Diabetes Lie

This article was first published in July 2015 and is being re-published today 14 November in honour of World Diabetes Day.

Anyone who’s ever lived with a Diabetic will be able to tell you, All Diabetics Lie! These were the words of my family doctor not long ago when my mother ended up in hospital with Diabetic complications of the foot. She managed to overcome that infection only to have the other foot affected 6 months later. It’s been a trying time in and out of hospital mostly for my mum but also for the rest of the family and my siblings, worrying, fretting and generally organising every day around hospital runs.

The lie about Diabetes is 2-fold. One is that we think it’s not that serious. Every other person you know has it, especially in the Indian community and they’re managing fine with it so far, right? Wrong! It’s not called the slow killer for nothing. My mum was diagnosed about 6 years ago but I suspect she may have had it for many years before that and not even known about it. The most difficult thing about being diagnosed late in life is making the changes you need to make to your diet and lifestyle to fight it. And that’s where the second lie comes in.

You lie to yourself about what you can and can’t allow yourself to eat. You think that little bit of mithai, or that half glass of cooldrink won’t make a big difference. And you don’t check your sugar readings regularly because you feel fine so you must be fine, and yes, you will fill your prescription just as soon as you get a chance. Life is so busy…

If only we had more education about Diabetes, in school, in the media, people would be so much better prepared. I found some very scary statistics from the International Diabetes Association from 2014. This infogram explains how prevalent this disease is globally. And make no mistake, it’s serious as cancer!

I’m having to think carefully about what this means for me and my family. My risk is higher because of it’s prevalence in my family. And in truth, I don’t eat that healthily. My work is in front of a computer screen and I don’t place enough effort on a physical lifestyle. All things that are going to change in the immediate future. 

To help me on my way and perhaps some of you as well, I’ve collated some sugar free muffin recipes, mostly to bake for my mum but also to spark the seeds of change. I haven’t tried them all yet and they’re from different sources. So do enjoy and please leave a comment if you try any of them. And if you have great Diabetes tips, recipes and resources please share them in the comments section.

Cranberry Mix Muffins

I tried this yesterday and it’s a great basic recipe which you can add anything to. I added the Cranberry, dark chocolate and nuts mix from From Fruit and Veg City. It could have been a little sweeter and I might increase the sweetener next time, but that’s a matter of taste. 


500ml Cake Flour
15ml Baking powder
2ml salt
50ml sugarfree sweetener (I used Canderel granular sweetener)
60ml oil
1 egg beaten
125ml milk (I used fat free vanilla yoghurt instead)
125ml water
1/2 cup
Cranberry, dark chocolate and nuts mix roughly chopped


Sift dry ingredients together. Lightly mix through Canberry mix. Whisk together egg, oil, milk and water and pour into a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Mix lightly and quickly. Do not beat. Fill oiled muffin tins two thirds full. Bake at 200˚C for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly before removing. Makes about 12.

Sugar free Muffin with Oats

This recipe is from www.sugarfreekids.com.au. This Australian site has lots of diabetic friendly recipes and I can see I’ll be using it alot.


  • Spelt Flour – 1 cup (this can be substituted with any flour)
  • Oats – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Natvia – 2 Tablespoons (or Stevia Powder) or sugarfree sweetener
  • Cinnamon – 1 heaped teaspoon
  • Salt – A large pinch
  • Coconut Cream – 3/4 cup (any milk can be used here)
  • Butter – 50g butter (can substitue with 1/4 cup Coconut Oil for Dairy free)
  • Apple Puree – 1 cup
  • Eggs – 2 XL Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut Spread – 3/4 cup This is a new product from Spiral Foods, available in the Asian section of Woolies. Another great and filling option is Frozen Berries
  • Pistachio – Optional: about 1/4 cup for the topping only, Almond Meal or Desiccated Coconut also work well


  • Preheat oven to 180C fan forced
  • Add 12 patty pans to muffin tray and spray with coconut oil
  • Add shelled Pistachio to your food processor and pulse a few times them set aside
  • Add all dry ingredients (not the Pistachio) to the food processor and blend on medium high speed for a few seconds – this will sift your flour for you! and chop the oats into smaller pieces
  • Add wet ingredients to the processor and blend on medium for about 10 seconds until all combined (the Coconut Spread or Frozen berries will still be partially formed, this is perfect)
  • Spoon into Muffin pans
  • Sprinkle your chopped pistachio on top, or desiccated coconut is great if you are nut free
  • Bake for 25 minutes and test with a tooth pick – it should come out clean
  • Perfect fluffy muffins for breakfast or snacks for a healthy long lasting energy kick

This Banana Muffin recipe from www.sugarfreerecipes.co.uk doesn’t use any sugar but rather gets it’s sweetness naturally from the bananas.

Banana Muffins

Sugar free banana muffins are delicious when newly baked and served fresh from the oven. Try them when drizzled with hot sugar free custard.


  • 250ml full fat milk
  • Two eggs
  • Four ripe bananas
  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • One tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Half tsp baking powder


Preheat your oven to 200 deg C/400 deg F/gas mark six. Peel your ripe bananas and mash them in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat your eggs. Stir the eggs and milk into the bananas. Puree with a hand blender. Sieve your flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, and fold into the batter. Spoon a generous amount of the mixture into each muffin case. Bake for 20 minutes, until risen and golden brown. These sugar free banana muffins are delicious when served with fresh cream.

Also from www.sugarfreerecipes.co.uk 

Strawberry and Vanilla Muffins

A delicious summer recipe, these sugar free muffins are scrumptious. They are best served with fresh cream or even sugar free ice-cream. Those who do not like strawberries can simply leave them out of the recipe.


  • 150g (5oz) butter
  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • Two tbsp granulated sweetener
  • Two medium eggs
  • One tsp vanilla essence
  • One tsp baking powder
  • 150g (4.5oz) strawberries


Preheat your oven to 200 deg C/400 deg F/gas mark six. Cream your butter and granulated sweetener in a large bowl. Beat your eggs separately, then mix them in. Wash and hull your strawberries. Chop into quarters and add to the mixture. Sieve your flour and baking powder, and stir in. Place a generous spoonful of your mixture into each muffin case and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden on top.

This recipe from www.sweeterlifeclub.com uses Natvia, which is a bit like Canderel but completely natural.

Lemon and Orange Muffins


225 g Self-raising flour
90 g Natvia
1 ea. Orange, zested and juiced
1 ea. Lemon, zested and juiced
2 ea. lightly beaten eggs
375 g Natvia Vanilla yoghurt
125 g Butter

Topping (if desired):
28 g Natvia
60-80 ml Lemon Juice
5-7 g Tapioca Starch


Preheat oven to 180˚C conventional. Lightly spray muffin pans or use non-stick. Blend Natvia and butter and beat in eggs. Thoroughly mix in yoghurt, citrus rinds and juices. Carefully add the wet mix to the flour  and roughly combine using a metal spoon. Do not over-mix. Dollop into muffin pans and bake on an upper wrack for 20-25 minutes or 10-15 minutes for mini muffins.

Instant syrup
Gradually add tapioca to lemon juice and stir slowly (tapioca loses strength if stirred rapidly). Once dissolved, mix in Natvia as you heat slowly over a low heat, adding Natvia and stirring slowly until all dissolved. Stop heating as soon as it just reaches simmer. Do NOT let the mix boil if possible: once it boils the tapioca begins to lose thickening strength. If you do, don’t worry, just let it cool to about room temperature (it will thicken as it cools),
Add 1-3g tapioca and reheat. If it’s too thick, 3 just add a water.


1. If it’s not sweet enough, add a bit more of Natvia, etc. I test by pouring some of the mixture in a small glass jar and microwaving for roughly 30-45 seconds. 

2. Syrup topping can be stored in the fridge for at least a week so make a double batch to use on other baked desserts. 

3. Once muffins are cooked (inserted skewer comes out clean), remove from oven and spoon topping mixture over muffins while still hot. 

4. Decorate with extra rind curls.








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