A Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving

pumpkin mashed potatoes

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 day 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:

  • Keep fat content of the foods you are eating in mind. For example, make your mashed potatoes with low-fat milk and margarine instead of butter.
  • 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.

Thanksgiving Recipes for Diabetes

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.

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

Recipe from Diabetic Living Online.

The addition of pumpkin makes for a flavorful, low-calorie twist on traditional mashed potatoes.

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe.”]

Makes 4 servings.

1 pound medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)

1 tablespoon butter or tub-style vegetable oil spread

1/8 teaspoon ground sage

1/4 cup fat-free milk

1.In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes and garlic in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

2. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed until nearly smooth.

3. Beat in canned pumpkin, cream cheese, butter, ground sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

4. Gradually add milk, beating until light and fluffy.

5. Return to saucepan; heat through.

Nutrition (per serving): 159 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 4 g protein


Sweet Raisin-Apple Strudel

Recipe from Prevention

Whole-wheat phyllo dough makes this dessert a slightly healthier replacement for apple pie.

[su_spoiler title=”View recipe.”]

Makes 12 servings.

2 granny smith or golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 3 c)

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

12 sheets (17″ x 11″ each) frozen whole wheat phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup apricot all-fruit preserves, warmed

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix the apples, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.

3. Mix the breadcrumbs and granulated sugar in a small bowl.

4. Place the phyllo on a dry kitchen counter and cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove 1 sheet, spread it flat, and mist with butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1 scant tablespoon of the crumb mixture. Repeat layering to use 4 more of the remaining phyllo sheets and about half of the crumb mixture. Top with 1 phyllo sheet and mist with the cooking spray.

5. Spread with 1/4 cup of the preserves to within 1″ of the edges. Spoon half of the apple mixture over the preserves. Fold 1″ of each long edge over the apple mixture. Starting with the short edge, roll up as tightly as possible. Gently place the strudel, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Mist the top with cooking spray.

6. Repeat to make a second strudel.

7. Using a sharp knife, make several slashes in the top of each strudel.

8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

Nutrition (per serving) 153 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 18 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 121 mg sodium


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