Are cinnamon rolls good for me if I have diabetes?
Traditional cinnamon rolls use refined sugars in the dough and the filling, making them not suited for people who have diabetes, or even those who want to lose weight.
Our vegan zucchini cinnamon rolls don't have any added sugars, only a splash of maple syrup. So people on a weight-loss diet can rest assured their intake of sugars is going to be minimal.
Now let's look at how we can improve our low-sugar zucchini cinnamon rolls for folks with diabetes.
The two sources of sugars are dates and maple syrup. We have used a homemade dates paste as a replacement for white sugar in the cinnamon rolls filling. We then added some maple syrup to the dough to make it sweeter.
Dates are diabetes-friendly, so no problem there. Our date paste has a low GL and GI and will not spike your blood sugar levels.
Maple syrup, not so much. It's not as bad a refined added sugar, with a GI score of 54 compared to 65 of table sugar . But if you have diabetes, you should either limit the consumption of maple syrup or remove it altogether.
Luckily, it's easy to adjust our healthy recipe to meet those needs. We only have to replace the two tablespoons of maple syrup with a suitable low GI sweetener, like erythritol. For this recipe, you could use 2 1/2 tablespoons of erythritol, for example.
A simpler solution is to ditch the maple syrup altogether. The date paste and the zucchini are flavourful and sweet enough on their own! If you are quite accustomed to a low-sugar diet, this last suggestion is likely the one you should follow.
Can I make cinnamon rolls dough ahead?
If you were thinking of cooking lots of these courgette cinnamon rolls, you could either batch-cook them and store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or better yet make the dough ahead.
By making more dough than you need, and only using enough to make your daily dose of cinnamon rolls, you can enjoy fresh-baked rolls every time.
You can store the excess cinnamon bun dough in the fridge, or even freeze it.
If you opt for freezing, then make sure you partition the dough into single-use portions first. You can refer to our recipe above and even adjust the quantities of ingredients to find the right portion for you. It's also vital that you allow the dough to rise before freezing it. To then use it, let it warm up at room temperature and use as indicated in our recipe.
The same applies to the filling. Prepare more of it and store it away in a cold place. To use it, let it soften at room temperature and spread on the dough before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
Are all cinnamon rolls vegan?
The traditional cinnamon roll has eggs, milk, and butter. So if you love the bun but are following a vegan diet, you will have to look into alternative recipes.
There are many vegan recipes out there. If eating healthy and nutritious food with low-sugars is a priority, then our vegan zucchini cinnamon rolls are perfect for you.
Our recipe above was designed with health in mind. We have replaced all forms of dairy and eggs. Then we got rid of all refined sugars and swapped them for tasty dates and a splash of sticky maple syrup. Finally, we spiced things up by using some refreshing courgettes, that contribute to one of your 5-a-day portions of veggies.
Which is the best yeast for cinnamon rolls?
When we bake sweets and cakes, we use baking powder. Yet, we used dry yeast for our zucchini cinnamon rolls. Why is that?
Cinnamon rolls are more similar to bread than a cake or pie. Raising agents in bread act differently than in a cake, and the same applies to cinnamon rolls.
When baking a cake, the dough rises in the oven. Bread instead wants to prove slowly before cooking, so that we can mould it in the final desired shape.
So the best type of raising agent for cinnamon rolls is fast-acting dry yeast, like the one for bread or pizza.
An exciting alternative to dry yeast is sourdough. When delicate zucchini and sweet cinnamon powder blend with the intense flavour given by this natural yeast, you know you have baked something remarkable.
If you have never made sourdough before, check out this video by Patrick Ryan from ILoveCookingIreland. Following Patrick's simple instructions, we have been baking our sourdough bread for a few months now. We love the results. It's easier than you think, give it a go!
Can cinnamon rolls be made without yeast?
The cinnamon roll dough is very similar to bread or pizza dough. As such, we need to have some raising agents to help the rolls grow tall, thick and chewy.
You can make cinnamon rolls without yeast, but the result will differ from the traditional recipe. The buns would be shorter, and the rolling folds wouldn't be as soft, all else being equal.
But the yeast is not impacting the flavour of this zucchini cinnamon rolls, only the consistency and the look. So if for whatever reason you can't use yeast and you don't care about appearance, you can still bake tasty cinnamon rolls without raising agents.
How to keep cinnamon rolls soft?
Few things are as indulgent as taking a bite from a freshly-baked, soft cinnamon roll, still warm from the oven. But leave them outside for a few hours, and that bouncy dough will start to turn stale.
What can we do to preserve these vegan cinnamon rolls and keep them soft for longer? Let's look at a few options below.
If baking is a passion and a relaxing way to spend your time, then there's no better option than making them on the go.
Prepare enough buns for you and your love ones in the late evening, and let them prove overnight covered by a blanket or tea towel. Then, pop them in the oven in the morning and cook them for 15 minutes, as mentioned in our recipe above. Enjoy them right out of the oven or pack them in a lunch-box for later!
By the way, you can save time by making the dough in advance, cut it into portions and freeze it. Then take it out the day before you make the cinnamon rolls and let it thaw in the fridge. Refer to the FAQ above for more info.
If you prefer to batch-cook the cinnamon rolls, you can preserve their softness by sealing them in an air-tight container. It is ideal to use a food vacuum sealer if you have it.
When using an air-tight container, try to pack in a single box or bag only as many cinnamon buns as you would eat in one go. The less you open and close the container, the better.