My Easter Grocery Haul & Sugar-Free Easter Basket Cupcakes Recipe

There are 3 adults in my household and I am the only one with diabetes. We all eat pretty healthy and rarely buy processed foods. I go grocery shopping usually twice a month and probably spend about $750 each time for our household food. This figure includes paper products and basic toiletries too. I mention household food because we also own a bakery and delivery only restaurant, which is presently on hold due to my daughter, Tara, breaking her arm. Not sure at this point if we will reopen. We shop at a variety of different stores for quality, price, quantity, and variety including Restaurant Depot, Costco, the military Commissary, Fresh Thyme, Giant Eagle, and Walmart.

We are presently eating a lot of whole foods and we sometimes juice raw fruits and vegetables. We eat a lot of plant-based foods, but do not intend to give up meats. Being in the restaurant industry and my daughter being a savory chef, we’re used to large, gourmet-type meals, but due to her accident, which has temporarily disabled her, we’re currently not doing much cooking, and we’re eating a bit differently; better and healthier actually.

This week I stopped at Costco and purchased a large veggie tray with dip. It contains broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, and colorful peppers. This usually lasts us a week. We sometimes will add our own cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. We also like avocados, so we bought a bag of those to eat peeled and plain, or to make guacamole. Salads are big in our household therefore, we buy lots of salad fixings. Our house salad is fairly simple. It consists of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, olives, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese. I typically opt for buttermilk ranch dressing, usually made by me.

I bought a bag of Honeycrisp apples to make an Upside-Down Sugar-Free Apple Pecan Pie this week. Extra apples will be eaten with peanut butter, or used to top my homemade breakfast muesli, or to make sugar-free applesauce. We buy lemons for sugar-free lemonade and for a host of other things. Blueberries and raspberries to add to whole-grain waffles and pancakes. Bananas as a special treat. We did not need any pantry items like flour, sugar substitutes, beans, or oats this week.

Easter is next week and of course we had to buy a spiral-cut ham and lamb chops. We bought several packages of ground turkey this week instead of ground beef. We did buy a pack of frozen 100% ground beef burgers, however. Too we also bought a beef roast, salmon, and some flounder. We always have chicken in the house, both whole and various pieces. Tara likes to marinate the chickens when we get home from grocery shopping, and put them in the freezer until she’s ready to prepare them.

At my daughter’s suggestion, we bought some large Portobello mushrooms along with some crabmeat and hazelnuts for stuffing. She finished the dish with a balsamic glaze. This made a delicious meal along with a salad. I rarely touch white potatoes or white rice, but I did buy some large, organic sweet potatoes, broccoli florets, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, and greens. Of course we always purchase the basics like onions, shallots, celery, peppers, and garlic.

Nuts. We love nuts! This week we bought pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, and peanuts. Occasionally we’ll eat pistachios. We had just finished a bag of cashews and had, had our fill of those for awhile. We eat tons of nuts, but we also cook and bake with them. In addition, I picked up a bag of roasted, salted sunflower seeds. I like to snack on those sometimes. Tara likes to munch on freshly-popped popcorn. We were low on inventory, so we added a bag of popcorn kernels to the grocery cart.

Our dairy consists of butter, heavy whipping cream, milk, half and half, buttermilk, and unsweetened almond milk used for cereals, baking, and drinking. We almost always have plain, unsweetened yogurt containers in our fridge. I like to add sugar-free jam, nuts, and a sugar substitute to this. Makes a great snack. All of us like cheese. This week we bought American cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and provolone.

Eggs. Easter week means lots of eggs for eating, dyeing, and baking. Deviled eggs will be on the menu along with a brunch frittata or two, and perhaps a quiche served with a salad. Practically every year since I was in Junior High School, I have baked these Easter Cupcakes I learned to make in my Home Ec class, that was many, many moons ago, and now I make them sugar-free. Easter would not be Easter without them. Here is the recipe:

Vanilla Sugar-Free Cupcakes

1 1/4 cup cake flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp. cake enhancer, optional

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar substitute of your choice

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put 12 cupcake liners in muffin tin. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In mixer bowl, beat eggs for 20 seconds. Add sugar substitute and beat for 30 seconds. Add oil and vanilla and continue to beat until combined.

Reduce speed to low and add half of the flour mixture along with half of the buttermilk. Once combined add the other half of the flour and buttermilk. Mix just until combined. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to rack and let cool.


5 1/3 Tbsp. butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s erythritol

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp milk or unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In mixing bowl with mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add the rest of ingredients and beat for several minutes until fluffy frosting is obtained.

Green Grass

1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

a few drops green food coloring

Add coconut to small bowl. Add a few drops green food coloring and toss with fork until coconut is green and well combined.


12 pipe cleaners. These can be purchased online at Amazon, or at a craft store, or pipe shop.

Sugar-Free Jelly beans for the eggs


Frost cooled cupcakes. Add a layer of green coconut and slightly press down to adhere to frosting. Add 4 colored jelly beans to the top of each cupcake; press down slightly. Finish by curving pipe cleaners and inserting into the sides of the cupcakes. Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Note: For best results, I prefer to mix the sugar substitutes I use in the cake batter. I used half Whey Low D Granular and half confectioner’s erythritol for these.