ADW Diabetes recently had the chance to speak with the winner of TLC’s “The Next Great Baker”, Dana Herbert, about how people with diabetes can enjoy sweets during the holiday season. Herbert offers several tips that can benefit a person with diabetes, and focuses on his #1 rule – everything in moderation.

  1. You have won countless awards, including TLC’s “Next Great Baker” contest, for your ability to create art out of food. Has this affected your passion for healthy cooking and baking even more as your audience grows?
    • Celebrity Chef Dana HerbertI feel blessed for the accolades that I have been able to garner. I feel as though with great exposure comes great responsibility. I will always love cakes but I also know that with my family history, I have an increased responsibility to continue to educate and teach healthy cooking techniques nationwide.
  2. As we head into the holiday season, sweet foods and snacks are going to be prevalent. Do you have a favorite dish or dessert that you like to prepare during this time of the year?
    • When it comes to desserts that are favorites for diabetics, I lean towards my sugar free cheesecake or my sugar free red velvet cake.
  3. Sounds Great!! Any tips on making that a little healthier, keeping diabetes in mind?
    • When making red velvet cakes or cheesecake, look for the fat free cream cheeses to reduce fat intake.
  4. With your experience, what are some things that you have learned about baking for a person with diabetes that you can share?
    • Celebrity Chef Dana HerbertVanilla is a great addition to recipes when you are looking to balance the flavor of aspartame. For diabetics looking to get into making desserts, start off with cobblers and pies. It’s much easier to flavor and sweeten the fillings with Splenda, Truvia, etc. Making cakes is a whole other ball of wax.
  5. And when making these sweets, what is the #1 tip for a person with diabetes to utilize when enjoying these fantastic treats?
    • Everything in moderation.
  6. They call you the “Sugar Daddy” – not exactly a diabetic friendly moniker. When cooking and baking sweets, is it hard to get the message across that sugar can be substituted easily without losing too much taste and texture in the final product?
    • Celebrity Chef Dana HerbertBecause I also teach healthy cooking, it makes it easier to deliver the message that you can substitute alternative sweeteners for sugar without sacrificing the final product.
  7. Have you ever been asked to make a Sugar-Free wedding cake? If so, how did that go?
    • Yes, so far we have made 2 sugar free wedding cakes. And both parties enjoyed them!!
  8. Any last minute words of advice that you can offer to anyone that will be cooking and baking for a person with diabetes this holiday season?
    • Yes, I go back to rule #1 – Everything in moderation.