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Sugar-Free Candied Nuts (low carb)

If you look on my side bar or in my recipe index, you will see I have a category for sugar-free desserts.  And in that category, there are only eight recipes.  Considering I have posted over 200 dessert recipes, the sugar-free ones make up a very small percentage.  There is a reason for this.

Sugar-free desserts are just not as good as sugar-filled ones.  There are exceptions, but in my humble opinion, that is the rule.

I may not be a brilliant chef, but I do pride myself on my desserts and I simply refuse to let any sweets come out of my kitchen that taste like a chemical explosion.  Which means I usually refuse to make anything sugar-free, but there are certain occasions when I have no choice but to give in and find something that is sugar-free and also tastes delicious.

Such an occasion has arisen, with the birthday of a brother in Christ who is a type 2 diabetic.  Since I am a member of a small Church, I am able to give food gifts to everyone for their birthday, but I always flounder when it comes to the birthdays of those with diabetes.  I am a diabetic myself, but I’m insulin-dependent so I can eat dessert if I choose to, since I can give myself the insulin required for my body to process it.  Bob doesn’t have this luxury and controls his diabetes through food and exercise.  Which means no (or very little) sugar!!  My worst nightmare.  But what sort of Dessert Queen would I be if I couldn’t rise to this challenge and come out victorious?

I prefer to use fruit to naturally sweeten sugar-free desserts, such as in this rugelach, but since that still has a lot of carbohydrates that would send Bob’s blood sugar soaring, I knew I had to do the unthinkable and reach for the Splenda.  I decided to go for a very low-carb treat that would have minimal impact on his blood sugar and created a candied nut that is surprisingly delicious!  Granted, you can tell the difference between these and the real thing, but even my husband, who can’t take a sip of my Diet Dr. Pepper (one of the few sugar-free things I love) without shuddering, thought these nuts were superb.

If you are making these for a person accustomed to sugar-free sweets, it will likely be a welcome reprieve from all the awful chemical explosions that have been happening in their mouths over the years.  They are crispy and cinnamon-sweet on the outside and toasty and crunchy on the inside.  They truly are addictive!

Sugar-Free Candied Nuts

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 ½ cups nuts of choice
1 egg white
½ cup Splenda granular
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 15x10x1 inch pan with foil and spray with cooking oil. Place nuts in a bowl and stir if not already mixed. Beat egg white in a separate bowl until foamy and stir into the nuts until evenly coated. In another bowl, mix the Splenda, cinnamon, and salt and pour over the nuts. Stir until evenly coated, then scoop onto the baking sheet, using a spoon or fingers to get the nuts in a single layer. Bake for thirty minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until toasted. Allow to cool on wax paper and store in an airtight container.

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

53 responses »

  1. WWWAAAIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!! I have a solution for you, Truvia. It tastes like vanilla-sugar and its made from stevia, not chlorinated sucrose. When I am not using stevia from my plant, it is all I use now and I love, Love, LOVE it! They might even have samples still on their website so you can try before you buy.

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    • I love it too, which is why I didn’t have any on hand for this–I used it all! All I had was the abandoned Splenda. Good idea–I will use it next time. It doesn’t have the chemical aftertaste like Splenda, or doesn’t seem to.

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      • sorry for the delay in response….

        It tastes good b/c stevia is an actual plant (currently growing in my kitchen window). Splenda is a sugar molecule treated with chlorine. No wonder it tastes like garbage

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        • yeah. But isn’t Truvia treated somehow? I mean the real stevia is like….gross. At least the kind I had. It had a flavor to it I couldn’t abide. Anyway, after you gave me the idea of using it in cooking/baking, I made some pumpkin cornbread muffins with it. They were good! The picture and recipe is in my “diet food rox” f/b album.

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      • Not only does it NOT have the chemical after taste, Stevia is NOT chemicals. My Alternative Dr said not to use Truvia – Stevia only. I have Type 2 diabetes also and am going to get off my organ damaging Metformin. Diabetes CAN be reversed! ! !

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        • I really love NuNuturals brand stevia! I wrote this post before I’d ever tried it. I imagine you’d need a lot less stevia for the recipe since it’s so sweet.

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        • please tell me what you know…I want to stop metformin…what plan? what doctor?

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          • There is no “plan” per se for stopping Metformin. I have three friends, all of whom were diagnosed with diabetes in the last nine months. Two of them are eating six meals a day (three 300-calorie meals and three 150-calorie snacks, never more than 20 carbs per meal/snack). They do NOT need metformin and their sugars are “normal.” My other friend is eating WAAAAY too many carbs, altho a lot less than she used to, eating only two or three meals a day, which means TOO MANY CARBS AT ONCE (more than 40 carbs per meal) and has to take metformin to keep her sugars down. So eat tiny meals with low carbs and you can learn to skip the metformin.

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            • Metformin is a good drug. Glyburide is one that will burn out your pancreas forcing your already stressed organ to make more insulin. It will cause you to be a type 1 diabetic if you aren’t already. Metformin makes your body use the insulin you have. Read The Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein a type 1 endocrinologist. He changed my life, I’m on the keto diet now my bs is in control, cholesterol is cut in half, kidney function is back, arthritis is gone, bp is normal, lost 35#. And hallalujia! Neuropathy pain is gone in 4 months! I’m passing it on to everyone. Husband lost 3 pant sizes just half way following it. We are thrilled. It is a miracle!

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            • Find the group Reversing Diabetes on Facebook.they aren’t selling ng anything, no fees, nothing to buy, just some awesome people teaching how to get off diabetes amess nd get blood sugars under control.

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  2. Wow, you’re a candied nut genius. I’m sure your friend is sooooo greatful for that treat (I know I would be).
    Have a beautiful celebration of the birth of Christ, sister! )

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  3. Mmmm! I love candied nuts in any capacity…I supose sugar-free is just a bonus ;) They sound awesome! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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  4. Pingback: weight loss » Sugar-Free Candied Nuts

  5. Those look so yummy! Thanks for the low-carb recipe!

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  6. Sorry you feel that sugar free desserts suck. I was a type 2 dibetic for six years and learned to use sugar free recipes for all my treats. The thing I found was that if you use the amount of sugar substitute that the recipe calls for it is too much. I generally cut the amount in half. That makes the dessert more palatable and doesn’t leave the taste of chemicals in your mouth. Sugar free was right for me. My diabetes is gone now but I will still use a sugar substitute in my recipes.

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  7. Just got these out of the oven! These are so good to be so easy to make. I recommend this as a gift to ANYONE not just diabetics. I had gastric bypass and sugar is not my friend. These are perfect…protein, fiber, good fats and cures the sweet tooth that creeps up every no and then. Thanks for the post.

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  8. Veronica,
    I recently “discovered” your blog and am enjoying it very much. I already have a couple of recipes to try real soon. I watch my carbs and at the same time am horribly alergic to sugar sustitutes (besides I hate them), but my world changed when I discovered WheyLow. Go to their site, they make the best tasting (just like sugar), good for everything product, and no matter where you live, they deliver. If you have a problem with your order online, just call them and they will call you back and help you in no time. I hope this help. It has worked for me like a charm; no more horrible tasting, migraine producing, stomach cramps causing sugar sustitute, Whey Low rocks!!!
    Best regards,

    Norma

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    • I’ve heard good things about Whey Low but haven’t tried it. I’ve had some success with NuNaturals brand stevia products but it doesn’t behave like sugar so I can see the advantage of Whey Low. I will ave to try it!

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  9. Try Stevia in the Raw, we really like it!

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  10. Have you tried raw agave syrup for sweetening things? The lighter colored stuff has a bit of an odd taste, but the raw blue agave (very dark color) that I have has a lot of the same types of flavors as molasses. It is super yummy. Not sure how it will work for something like this (since it is a liquid), but I’m going to experiment!

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  11. Sharon Hartwig

    I use Diabeti-sweet and it doesn’t leave an aftertaste either. Thanks for the recipe!

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  12. What nuts are those of the pictures Veronica? Cheers

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  13. God bless you for this recipe! I LOVE candied pecans and now I can have them daily! So yummy!

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  14. I just finished making these. YUM. I used Pecan halves for a Christmas treat for my dad. I added about a heaping tbsp of melted butter to the mix for an even richer bite. They are too die for! I have some Stevia powder I made from my plants this summer so next batch will try that instead of splenda for an even more natural snack. I’m also going to use some of the candied pecan halves to top his flourless peanut butter cookies. Thanks so much!

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  15. Do use Truvia or Swerve what amount of the sweetener would you use? Would it be the same amount as the Splenda?

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    • To use Truvia or Swerve not “Do” :) They are what we have in the house

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    • I would Google it to see how those sweeteners compare. As far as I recall, Truvia is sweeter than sugar & Splenda so you can’t measure it cup for cup like sugar…but I think Swerve measures like sugar too. Please don’t take my word on it and check first!

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  16. I have been making these for years and add some Cayenne which heightens the taste of the Cinnamon. I don’t use enough to make them hot, just a quarter of a teaspoon or so.

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  17. I may have read something more stupid in my life, I just very highly doubt it. Bob doesn’t have the “luxury” of using insulin to control his diabetes? You can’t be serious with that statement. Bob is trying to live a long and healthy life instead of stuffing his face with desserts and them using the crutch of insulin to reduce his blood sugar. Bob may actually want to keep all his limbs and not stuff his fat face with things that his body has no natural way to deal with. I really hope you reread what you wrote and realize how appallingly repugnant it is. Basically you are gluttonous and Bob is not. I’m sure Bob could just stuff his face and have the “luxury” of being insulin dependent. Shocked no one else said a thing, speaks to how screwed our country is.

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    • This is a very hateful and judgmental comment that makes unfounded assumptions about other people’s lives as well as showing ignorance around the different types of diabetes.

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    • I’m a type 1 diabetic and became that way b/c of autoimmune disorder that first caused Graves Disease, and then my pancreas shut down. So I do have to take insulin to live and do not have the luxury of being able to control my disease through what I eat. Even on a very low carb/high protein diet, I still have to take insulin as my pancreas doesn’t work. At all. And yes, I do take advantage of that and do find it a luxury to be able to enjoy sweets, usually moderately, because I have to take insulin and act as my own pancreas and I’m able to give myself more insulin if I have cake on my birthday. I don’t believe that makes me a glutton, though I won’t deny that I’m an emotional eater and really struggle during hard times with eating. I agree that Bob is doing what is right, being a type 2 diabetic, but as a type 1 diabetic, I will also still insist that insulin is a luxury. I wouldn’t be able to eat at all, or even live, without it. Thank goodness for modern medicine. :)

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      • I developed diabetes after becoming septic from an infection that damaged several of my organs, including my pancreas. This set up a chronic pancreatitis, that results in the need for higher insulin doses, after each occurance of pancreatitis. Yes, I often eat wrong and gluttony is a sin. Must be nice to only commit hidden sins that people can’t immediately see and judge. Eventually all that is hidden, will be made known. I am a sinner, who often needs to repent and ask for forgiveness and pray for strength to not sin. I love people and pray only good things for them, and know I too have caused others pain. Can we not focus on loving each other? Even when fasting, my blood sugars rise without the use of insulin. I pray that once I am given a resurrected body, this won’t be a problem. I don’t think I will even remember all the times people hurt me with ignorant comments. I will be basking in the light of my God and Saviour and serving whatever need they ask. Thank you, Veronica, for taking the time to make something for friends that is a treat, while keeping in mind their individual needs. I pray God’s blessings to all who visit here. Again, thank you, Veronica.

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        • Bless you, Mary, thank you for your sweet comment! I’m so sorry to hear of your health troubles, they can be such a trial. It will be nice not to have the burden of disease we have now in our next life, although I do find so much to enjoy in my current one, food included. It’s quite a balance to enjoy what God has given without OVER-enjoying it sometimes! Thank you for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment, it’s so much appreciated. <3

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    • I was a little surprised that it was called a luxury, but just because a diabetic wants a little dessert, does not make him/her gluttonous. I, as other readers, find your remark extremely hateful and aggressive. These people are adults and are fully capable of informing themselves with information and making their own choices. I choose to use food to control my diabetes, my sister uses a combination of food and insulin. It would never occur to me to make her feel less than human because she does so. Sounds like this was an emotional trigger for you and it may be a good idea to find out why before you attack someone else.

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      • (…These people are adults and are fully capable of informing themselves with information and making their own choices….)

        It is so difficult to reject dessert, cake, ice-cream, tart with milk sweet or jam, pastries, etc that one might well say that we are NOT capable of making our own choices. Or at least acknowledge the struggle. At that moment it is hard not to throw all caution and knowledge we have informed ourselves with out the window and say “Aww, F it, just this once”. The pleasing sight of the treats, social pressure, desire… at that moment of truth, when our ‘adultness and reasoning is put to the test, all too often overpower us and win out. Time and again. Sugar is a drug, albeit a legal one.
        To eliminate the temptation factor we would have to go live as hermits in the woods.Rather unrealistic.

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        • Very true. The struggle is real. However, the choice is still ours. We can choose what we put into our mouths, moment by moment. The choice I was referring to is the choice to use insulin and still eat some sugary sweets or carbs as desired, or to not eat sugar or simple carbs. Most people with Type II diabetes, or prediabetes have that choice.
          I am thankful Veronica is inclusive in this area. I still make some fabulous sugary desserts for friends who can eat them, I just don’t eat them. So, I am thankful she has decided to include some amazing sugarfree desserts.

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  18. I am making these today to add to a spinach salad. This is the best recipe I have found. I wanted to let you know that Xylitol is also a wonderful alternative to sugar. I also control my diabetes through food alone and eat no sugar or anything that becomes sugar. Have been off meds for several years and doctor says I have no sign of diabetes! So, I am always on the lookout for sugarfree dessert recipes! Thanks so much!

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  19. Veronica, I did make these last night -to put in a spinach salad. They were the hit of the meal!! The only problem is that now I have to go buy more pecan halves (lots more!!) because we all want to snack on them!Thank you!

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  20. Hello I wanted to thank you for the wonderful sugar free nuts recipe. I’m 38 and have 2 little girls who have been very supportive at their young ages with my diabetes. I’m type 1 insulin dependant 2 years now. I don’t cheat ever want to stay healthy for my girls God willing. I also have addisons disease as well. Anyway thank you so much again they are a great treat. All my best.

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  21. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes: Christmas Edition - Jean M. Heimann

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