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April 26, 2013

Diabetes: Creating Your Own Recipes

I’ve talked a bit before about making substitutions from “regular” foods to those that are more “diabetic friendly.” Today I’m going to walk you through making some of those substitutions, taking a favorite recipe and turning it into a diabetic friendly recipe.

Everyone loves chicken quesadillas, right? And while they aren’t horribly high in carbohydrates, it’s easy to make them even more diabetic friendly. First, there are low carb tortillas available at just about every local grocery store. Regular tortillas have about 16 carbs each. Low carb tortillas only have six (after subtracting for dietary fiber), for a difference of ten carbs. Since most people can eat two quesadillas, that’s a difference of 20 carbs total. Using 1/4 cup of fat free cheese for each quesadilla only adds two carbs, but regular shredded cheese is only one carb per 1/4 cup. The choice is yours on this one. Many people like sour cream on their quesadillas. Two tablespoons of regular sour only has two carbs, while fat free is also two carbs, to go ahead and splurge. Top with diced tomatoes and salsa, both of which have zero carbs! Just by using low carb tortillas, you have taken a simple, easy dish that the whole family will love from 20 carbs per quesadilla to only ten. You just cut your carbs in HALF without losing any taste at all. You can eat two quesadillas and only have 20 carbs for an entire meal!


Another family favorite is fried chicken. But as diabetics, we all know that breading and frying are big no-nos. I have an easy way around that, using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Depending on how much chicken you are cooking, take some plain old corn flakes, put them in a baggie and crush them. Make them as big or as small as you want. Beat a few egg whites (no yolks) with a little water. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then coat with the corn flakes. Bake them in the oven for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You will get the crunch that you love without all the carbs. Using this method, you will save about 20 carbs per chicken breast. Using corn flakes only adds 15-17 carbs. Using regular bread crumbs can add anywhere from 25 to 35 carbs. You do the math.


One of my favorite desserts is fresh fruit. And it’s easy to make it even better. Slice up about 1/2 a pint of fresh strawberries. Place them in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of artificial sweetener. Simmer for about ten minutes, adding small amount of water if needed to keep it from getting too thick. Add more sweetener to taste. When done, cool and refrigerate for an hour. When you are ready to eat, mix the sauce with other fresh, sliced berries and use them as a topping on just about anything. It’s simple and delicious.

These are just a few ways you can change an old time family favorite recipes into something more carb and diabetic friendly. Using a little creativity can go a long way towards making your foods not just healthier, but delicious!

Next time we’ll talk about other ways you can take control of your diet without losing any of the taste and flavors you love!

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