Thanksgiving dinner is a great time for good food and family. BUT in most families there are family members have dietary needs such as diabetics. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a diabetic does not mean you have to sacrifice taste. There are simple ways to make the meal more healthy for the diabetic you love to cook for.
*Don't miss the great diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes at the end!
Tips to Cook Diabetic Recipes for Thanksgiving
- Avoid Sugar
This may seems like common sense but sugar can creep into cooking faster than you thinik.
High sugar foods often served at Thanksgiving include:
Desserts, cookies, cakes and pies
Little chocolates and candies set around the house
Offer Sugar Smart Desserts
Consider offering lower sugar dessert options such as:
No sugar added apple pie and no sugar added ice cream
Fruit bowl with low sugar cool whip, berries, apples and melons are lower sugar fruits
Or considering cooking your favorite desserts with sugar substitutes such as Splenda .
Stay Away from Carbs
Carbs (carbohydrates) are converted to sugars and processed as such in the body. This means your body must process chocolate and bread using insulin the virtually the same way. For a diabetic diet this means carbs are nearly as bad as foods that are obviously sugar based like desserts and candy.
Carbs to avoid on Thanksgiving are usually foods like:
Breads and rolls
Foods for Diabetics to Load Up Their Plate
Proteins, vegetables and low fat foods are best for diabetics. This includes turkey!
Green beans, corn, carrots, broccoli and other vegetables
Dish the Bad Foods in Moderation
On Holidays it is easy to veer off course from you normal diet. Many people splurge on the Holidays or let themselves have treats and foods they normally avoid.
Living a healthy life as a diabetic means your dietary choices have to be manageable for you. Making things too strict might lead to a diabetic abandoning the diabetic diet all together.
On the Holidays have SOME of the foods you like but normally avoid. This may mean a small piece of pie or a roll or a little bit of mashed potatoes and gravy.
The important thing to remember is MODERATION. Have a little bit but do not go overboard.
Tips for Maintaining a Diabetics Health on Thanksgiving
-Have the diabetic at your Thanksgiving dinner check their blood sugar throughout the day
-Offer to make dish the plate for your diabetic guest(s) and dish portions according to the tips above: lots of proteins and vegetables, light on the sugars and carbs
-Consider serving foods that stick to the above recommendations. While these tips are specific to diabetics, these food choices are healthier for all people.
-Most of All Enjoy the Time with Your Family and Friends!
Here is a great Diabetic Turkey & Stuffing Recipe:
Roast Turkey with Wild Rice, Sausage, and Apple Stuffing
1 cup wild rice
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cooking apple, such as a Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, or Rome, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Pinch ground mace or nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound fresh Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted (see note)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (8 to 10 pound) turkey, fresh or thawed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffing: Combine the wild rice, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and just bursting, about 30 minutes. (Times may very depending on the brand of rice used.) Drain and set aside. Adjust an oven rack to lowest position and remove other racks. Preheat to 325 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apple, celery, garlic, thyme, mace, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook until it loses most of its rosy color, but not so much that it's dry, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the cooked wild rice, pecans, and parsley into the vegetable mixture. (This can be made the day before.)
For the turkey: Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavities and reserve for other uses, if desired. Dry bird well with paper towels, inside and out. Melt the butter together with the poultry seasoning. Salt and pepper inside the bird cavity. Loosely add the stuffing to the cavity and set the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, breast-side up, and brush generously with the seasoned butter, then season with salt and pepper. Tent the top of the bird with foil.
Roast the turkey for about 2 hours undisturbed. Remove and discard the foil. Baste with the remaining butter. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, about 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove turkey from oven and tent with foil for 15 minutes before carving.
Note: To toast nuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350 degree F oven until golden, about 7 minutes
Saturated Fat 5 grams
Carbohydrates 22 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Protein 42 grams
Unsaturated Fat 12 grams
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