Diabetes Friendly Cooking Tips and Recipes

Diabetes Friendly Cooking Tips and Recipes

 A guest post by Kara Ellis, MS, RD

Nearly 26 million Americans are currently living with Diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association estimates that someone is diagnosed with Diabetes every 17 seconds.  Last month was Diabetes Awareness Month, so the Community Health Center geared up to help take action.  On two separate days in November the CHC of New Britain andMeridenset up a Diabetes awareness booth. The Registered Dietitian, Diabetes Educator, and Pharmacist and pharmacy residents teamed up for question and answer sessions, prize give-a-ways, and diabetic friendly cooking demonstrations and food tastings.  That’s right – free food.

Diabetes Day was a great success at both CHC sites. One of the things that were asked most often was, “How do you make some food-favorites appropriate for diabetics?”  It was a great question.  Many diabetics are concerned that they have to cut out their favorite flavors. Don’t worry! In fact, you can keep all your favorite foods – you just have to modify them using some simple cooking techniques:

  1. Use a meal planning method (carbohydrate counting, diabetic exchange system, points programs, etc). By using these methods you can select meals that are well balanced – high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients, low in fat, and include whole grains.
  2. Use liquid fats in place of solid fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. This is because solid fats tend to have more saturated fats, which are not good for your heart.
  3. Use less fat. Use 25% less fat that the recipe calls for. Use applesauce or mashed bananas to reduce fat when baking. Additionally, drain fat when cooking meats, or skim off hardened fat off the surface of soups and stews.
  4. Always use fat-free or low-fat dairy products when cooking. Swap fat free plain Greek yogurt with sour cream to keep foods creamy without the added fat.
  5. Select carbohydrates that have fiber in them. Fiber helps maintain glucose levels. When a recipe calls for white” flour, white rice, or other refined grains try substituting whole-wheat flour, brown rice, or other whole-grain flours or grain products.
  6. Use sugar wisely! Try using less sugar that what the recipe calls for. For example, if baking cookies and the recipe calls for 4 cups of sugar, use three. Reducing sugar not only reduces calories, but also helps prevent glucose levels from going sky high.
  7. Use sugar substitutes. Be sure to read the cooking directions on the back of the package to make sure that it’s appropriate for baking.
  8. Use fresh herbs and spices to add flavor, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, etc.
  9. Stay away from the saltshaker. Use a salt substitute (Mrs. Dash) to help satisfy salty cravings.

Combine these techniques with your favorite recipe. Here are some additional recipes that are tasty, easy, and diabetic friendly. They’ll help keep your sugar levels and your waist line in check! 

*All recipes were taken from Health.com

Applesauce Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
Sugar-free maple syrup (optional)

Preparation

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle, spreading to a 5-inch circle. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked; turn pancakes, and cook other side.

Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit, if desired (syrup and fruit not included in analysis).

Tip: One tablespoon of sugar-free maple syrup has 8 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrate.

Nutritional Information

Calories:

74

Calories from fat:

0.0%

Fat:

1.8g( Sat. 0.4g, Mono 0.0g, Poly 0.0g)

Protein:

3g

Carbohydrates:

11.5g

Fiber:

0.6g

Cholesterol:

22mg

Iron:

0.0mg

Sodium:

143mg

Calcium:

0.0mg

Barley and Black Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quick-cooking pearl barley
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

Preparation

Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain barley in a colander, and rinse with cold water until completely cooled.

Combine black beans, next 6 ingredients, and, if desired, cilantro and red pepper in a medium bowl. Add barley to black bean mixture; toss gently.

Nutritional Information

Calories:

349

Calories from fat:

31%

Fat:

12g (Sat. 3.8g, Mono 6.4g, Poly 1.1g)

Protein:

11.9g

Carbohydrates:

53.5g

Fiber:

12.2g

Cholesterol:

13mg

Iron:

2.9mg

Sodium:

874mg

Calcium:

156mg

Snapper with Tomato-Caper Topping

Ingredients

2 cups halved grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
4 (6-ounce) snapper or grouper fillets (about 3/4 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Preparation 

Preheat oven to 450º.

Combine first 6 ingredients and crushed red pepper, if desired; set aside.

Place snapper on a broiler pan lined with aluminum foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Sprinkle snapper with paprika; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 450º for 10 minutes.

Top snapper with tomato mixture; bake 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Information

Calories:

215

Calories from fat:

21%

Fat:

4.9g( Sat. 0.9g, Mono 2.1g, Poly 1.1g)

Protein:

36.1g

Carbohydrates:

5.8g

Fiber:

1.7g

Cholesterol:

63mg

Iron:

1.4mg

Sodium:

391mg

Calcium:

85mg

Deep-Dish Taco Pizza

Ingredients

1 pound ground round
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon salt-free Mexican seasoning
1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar or part-skim mozzarella cheese
Salsa (optional)
Reduced-fat sour cream (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Cook beef and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well, and return beef mixture to pan. Stir in tomatoes and seasoning; cook over medium-high heat 1 minute or until thoroughly heated; set aside.

Unroll pizza crust dough. Press into bottom and halfway up sides of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon beef mixture over pizza crust dough.

Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Top with cheese, and bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts and edges of crust are browned. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm. Top with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:

306

Calories from fat:

29%

Fat:

9.8g( Sat. 4.1g, Mono 1.9g, Poly 0.2g)

Protein:

27.9g

Carbohydrates:

25.6g

Fiber:

1.3g

Cholesterol:

57mg

Iron:

2.9mg

Sodium:

693mg

Calcium:

183mg

Seared Chicken with Avocado

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons blackened seasoning
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lime, cut into fourths

Preparation

Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of chicken. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.

Add chicken to pan, smooth side down; cook 1 minute or until seared. Reduce heat to medium; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Combine avocado, cilantro, pepper, lime juice, and salt. Squeeze one-fourth lime over each piece of chicken before serving. Serve with avocado mixture.

 Nutritional Information

Calories:

221

Calories from fat:

42%

Fat:

10.3g( Sat. 1.8g, Mono 6g, Poly 1.4g)

Protein:

27.4g

Carbohydrates:

5.2g

Fiber:

2.9g

Cholesterol:

66mg

Iron:

1.4mg

Sodium:

370mg

Calcium:

22mg

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Crunch

Ingredients

1 (6 1/2-ounce) package sugar-free chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine, melted
1 quart vanilla no-sugar-added, fat-free ice cream, softened

Preparation

Combine first 3 ingredients; reserve 1 cup mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly in bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Freeze 10 minutes.

Spread ice cream over crumb mixture in pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over ice cream; gently press mixture into ice cream. Cover and freeze at least 8 hours.

To serve, let stand at room temperature 5 minutes; cut into 9 squares.

Nutritional Information

Calories:

232

Calories from fat:

0.0%

Fat:

10.1g( Sat. 1.7g, Mono 0.0g, Poly 0.0g)

Protein:

6.3g

Carbohydrates:

34.2g

Fiber:

0.7g

Cholesterol:

0.0mg

Iron:

0.0mg

Sodium:

182mg

Calcium:

0.0mg

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