Diabetes Diet #5: A Sweet Thanksgiving

Diabetes Recipes:

Crunchy Cranberry Cookies
Pumpkin Mousse With A Snap
Warm Apple Pear Cake
Pumpkin Pie, Of Course!

A Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving from Judith’s Cyber Kitchen

Picture this snug and cozy scene, tempting aromas wafting throughout the house as family and friends gather around the thanksgiving table By the time all the platters and bowls laden with steaming hot dishes have been brought from the kitchen, the table is groaning. Golden orange baked yams with toasted sunflower seeds, creamy mashed potatoes, steamed brussel sprouts and roasted chestnuts, baked acorn squash filled with fennel puree, batter fried cauliflower, glazed turnips, creamed onions, buttered green beans with sliced almonds, cranberry relish, cornbread stuffing, mushroom gravy laced with sherry wine, celery stuffed with blue cheese, and of course the star of the day, that succulent, crispy, mahogany skin, roasted big bird, the symbol of Thanksgiving. This is the day we give thanks for all our blessed bounty and feast like there is no tomorrow.

With a little of this, a little of that, a second helping of mashed potatoes maybe, and oh, why not pur some more gravy on that mountain of stuffing. A day of eating, perhaps enjoying a glass of red zinfandel or Beaujolais Nouveau, conversation, laughter, memories. Then, a couple hours later, the table is cleared. Everyone moves around for a while until the desserts are brought in. Pies, cookies, mousses, nuts, dried fruit, and bowls of tangerines. By the time everyone has had their fill of sweets, one by one, they fall by the wayside to watch football games on TV, after all it is too raw and bitter cold outside to go for a walk, they say. The weather report says a chance of snow. Better just sit by the fire place and snooze a little.

Very charming.

But not very healthy, if you do the arithmetic:

3 oz white meat without skin   =   Cal 120, Protein 23 g. Fat 2.5 g. Cholesterol 55 g.
3 oz. dark meat without skin   =   Cal 145, Protein 22 g., Fat 6 g., Cholesterol 65 mg.
1 / 2 cup yams   =   Cal 130, Carb 20 g., Protein 1 g. Fiber 2.5 g.
1 / 2 cup turnip   =   Cal 65, Carb 6 g., Protein 1 g., Fat 4 g. Fiber 1.5 g.
3 T. cranberry relish   =   Cal 25, Carb 7 g., Protein 1 g., Fiber 1 g.
1 / 2 cup mashed potatoes   =   Cal 80, Fat 2.5 g., Carb 27 g., Fiber 4 g.
8 small Brussels sprouts   =   Cal 130, Carb 23 g., Protein 5 g. , Fat 3 g. , Fiber 7 g.
1 / 2 cup dressing   =   Cal 160, Carb 20 g., Protein 5 g., Fat 6 g.
1 / 2 cup green beans   =   Cal 64, Carb 7 g., Fat 4 g., Protein 2 g.
2 T. mushroom gravy   =   Cal 40, Carb 2 g., Protein 1 g. Fat 4 g.

As you can see that turkey dinner cost over 1000 calories and more than 100 carb grams. We won’t even discuss fat. AND, this is without considering everyone’s favorite part of the thanksgiving dinner dessert.

Here are a few ways to painlessly ease the heavy burden of Thanksgiving dinner

  1. Offset balance of rich versus light foods by going for more plain choices and using the mashed potatoes and stuffing to garnish, rather that scooping mounds of these carb and fat laden foods in the middle of your plate.
  2. Eat slowly and really enjoy each bite. Get involved in conversation instead of buzzing into an eating frenzy.
  3. Drink a couple glasses of water a half hour before you sit down to feast. Water gives the filling of fullness and thus quells the appetite.
  4. Move around. Get up. Help with dishes. Take the garbage out. Take a five minute stretch. Anything!
  5. Walk away from the table without refilling your plate. Remind yourself second helpings might mean skipping dessert. What fun would that be.

Ah dessert! Most traditional thanksgiving desserts are replete with white flour, sugar, corn syrup and other nutritionally empty ingredients. Don’t despair. Join me in the Recipe Central pantry, where I’ll teach you how to bake up a few healthy and delicious Thanksgiving desserts that everyone around the table can enjoy without guilt. After these light and lovely treats, you may even inspire a few friends or cousins to join you in a half hour brisk walk around the neighborhood before settling down for a fireside snooze.

You can have it all cookie, pie, mousse, or cake. Plus a Good Blood Sugar, if you consider the entire meal, and make any necessary insulin adjustments, you will have another reason to give thanks a beautiful sampling of autumn desserts

Diabetes Recipes
Crunchy Cranberry Cookies (12 servings)
Sometimes after a big meal all you need is a crunchy cookie dipped in a steaming cup of cappuccino. This is the perfect solution. Use the very best vanilla available and the freshest pistachios. Quality ingredients make a difference. Your digestive system will love you.

350 degree oven
2 eggs
1 / 3 cup sugar
2 T. Butter
2 t vanilla extract
1 / 2 cup each: unbleached and whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1 / 3 cup shelled natural pistachio nuts
1 / 3 cup dried cranberries
Grated zest from 1 lemon

  1. With electric mixer beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy.
  2. Add butter and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Add flours and baking powder to incorporate well.
  4. Add nuts, berries and zest. Mix into batter.
  5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, shape dough into log about 2 ” wide and 15 ” long. Bake 25 minutes.
  6. While still warm, cut log into 1 / 3 ” slices. Using a serrated knife will make it an easy task.
  7. Lay cookie slices on same baking sheet and bake another 5 minutes. Shut off oven, but let cookies remain inside for another half hour to dry. Cool before attacking.

Nutritional Value (3 cookies): Serving Size: 3 cookies, Calories: 120, Carbs: 17 grams, Fat: 5 grams, Fiber: 1 grams

Pumpkin Mousse With A Snap
I have been making this recipe since the mid 80’s when someone made it for me as a gift. I hope you like it as much as I do.

1 / 4 cup cold water
1 generous t. unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 pasteurized egg*
1 cup low fat cottage cheese or ricotta
1 1 / 2 cup pumpkin puree
3 T. sugar
1 / 2 t. ground cinnamon
1 / 4 t. each: nutmeg and cloves
16 gingersnap cookies, crumbled

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water, wait about 2 or 3 minutes then pour in boiling water.Whisk until gelatin dissolves completely.
  2. Transfer to electric mixer if you have one. If not, beat with hand held mixer or blender. Add egg* and cheese. Mix until very smooth.
  3. Add pumpkin, sugar and spices. Beat well until smooth. Pour a third of the mixture into a 9 x 12 pan. Sprinkle with half of the gingersnaps. Add another third of pumpkin mix and repeat with gingersnaps. End with smooth pumpkin on top.
  4. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.

*You can serve by cutting squares right out of the pan, or unmold the mousse by dipping the bottom of the pan into a very warm water bath for a minute. Then flip to unmold.
* Use a pasteurized egg (or Eggbeaters) to prevent Salmonella infection.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 square (24 total), Calories: 75, Carbs: 10 grams, Fat: 3 grams, Protein: 3 grams

Warm Apple Pear Cake
24 squares, 350 oven
This cake takes advantage of using the end of season, but still good, fresh pears and apples. One the east coast we have Comice and Bartlett pears and Cortland apples. Use your own personal faves.

1 / 2 cup canola oil
1 / 4 cup honey
1 egg
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 / 2 cup unbleached flour
1 / 2 cup oatmeal, (not instant)
1 t. baking soda, 1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon and ½ t. freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 apple, 1 pear, peeled and cut into slices

  1. In bowl of electric mixer, beat oil, honey and egg until well incorporated.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Beat until nice and smooth.
  3. Pour batter into 9 x 12 pan that has been lightly misted with cooking spray. Bake about a half hour. Test with toothpick for doneness.

*To dress up this very plain cake, sprinkle with 1 t. cinnamon mixed with 1 / 2 t. sugar while cake is warm. You can bake this the day before and keep it in a warm oven once you take the turkey out. By dessert time, it should be warmed. through. And, if you feel like being a little decadent, very gingerly place a scoop of Breyers vanilla no sugar ice cream on the side. I won’t tell.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 square, Calories: 90, Carbs: 11 grams, Protein: 2 gram, Fat: 5 grams

What Would Thanksgiving Be Without Pumpkin Pie?
12 slices, 375 oven
This is so- oo easy because I use Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. I think it is the next best to making our own.

2 generous cup pumpkin
2 eggs
2 T. honey
1 T. OJ concentrate
1 cup evaporated skim milk
2 t. cinnamon
1 / 2 t. freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves and allspice
1 pie crust

  1. With electric mixer beat all ingredients together until smooth, creamy and fluffy.
  2. Unfold and roll out dough and place in 9″pie tin. Pour pumpkin mix into shell and crimp edges of dough with a little flair of creativity to make it look homemade.
  3. Bake for about 45 minutes until set. Wait until cooled to eat. This couldn’t be easier nor more delicious.

Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 slice, Calories: 110, Carbs: 14 grams, Protein: 4 gram, Fat: 5 grams