Food-heavy holidays, such as Thanksgiving, can be particularly hard for those with type 1 diabetes. Between carb-heavy foods, meals served at odd times to accommodate everyone’s schedules and perhaps even multiple meals with different sides of the family or groups of friends, keeping your blood sugar in check on Thanksgiving is no easy task.
However, with careful planning and some support from your family and friends, enjoying Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be difficult!
As you’re celebrating, keep the following in mind:
- Don’t show up hungry.
- Choose white meat turkey over dark meat, and skip the skin.
- Opt for steamed vegetables over casseroles. For example, serve seasoned steamed green beans with salt, pepper and garlic powder instead of green bean casserole.
If you’re responsible for preparing a dish for a potluck or an entire Thanksgiving meal, consider these T1D-friendly takes on traditional Thanksgiving favorites.
Cauliflower Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Makes 4 servings.
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
- Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
- In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
- Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.
Nutrition (per serving): 149 calories, 11.5 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 5 g protein
Pumpkin Pie (with Crust)
Makes 10 servings.
For the pie crust:
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 2 Tbsp. coconut flour sifted
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup palm oil shortening cold, or grass-fed butter, or a combination of both
- 1 Tbsp. Maple Sugar or coconut sugar*
- 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 egg
For the filling:
- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk blended
- 6 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or a tbsp. or 2 more if you’d like it sweeter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 2 large eggs room temp
- 1 egg yolk room temp
Make the Crust:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse all crust ingredients EXCEPT egg to create thick crumbs, then pulse/process in the egg until a dough forms.
- Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes prior to rolling or pressing into your pie dish.
- To get the dough into your pie dish, you can either:
- Roll out the dough into a circle between two sheets of parchment. Place your pie dish upside-down over the dough, then using the bottom parchment paper, flip the dough into the dish. Finish by pressing it into the bottom and sides of the pie dish to fit – this dough will break easily since it lacks gluten, however, it also repairs incredibly easily and can withstand a lot of manipulation without affecting the final product! *
- If you don’t wish to roll out the dough (or find it tricky) you can simply press evenly into 9-inch pie dish using your hands. Be patient and refrigerate dough as needed to make it easier to work with**
- Once pressed into the pie dish, gently pierce the dough with a fork all over so it doesn’t puff up while baking.
- Bake pie crust in 9” pie dish in the 375-degree oven for 12-15 mins until bottom is set, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before pouring in filling.
Make the Filling:
- Whisk all ingredients except eggs, then whisk in eggs and egg yolk 1 at a time, don’t overmix.
- Pour filling into partially baked crust, spreading it all around to seal edges. Cover top with aluminum foil and bake (at 375 degrees F) 40-45 minutes or until center is nearly set (still a bit jiggly) and crust is deep golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely at room temperature to avoid excessive cracking of the filling. Once cooled, serve, or, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days prior to serving.
*Coconut sugar will cause the crust to darken more than maple sugar
**Unlike a traditional gluten-containing crust, you can’t “overwork” the dough, so take your time as needed pressing it into the pie dish
Nutrition (per serving) 302 calories, 21 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 144 mg sodium
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