Blood sugar spikes are all too common around the holidays. With treats at every corner from office parties and leftover treats in the office break room to the cookies your neighbor brings over, sweets are synonymous with the season. What’s a person with diabetes to do?
- Oranges, tangerines and grapefruits are in season. Snack on these for a healthy sweet fix.
- Have your cake - without the icing. An unfrosted 2 inch square of cake equals about one serving of carbohydrate. So, skip the frosting (or take half off) to avoid the extra calories, fat, sugar and carbohydrates and high blood sugar that follows.
- When it comes to pies, go for pumpkin pie over pecan pie and skip the double crust cobbler and pies which pack on the pounds.
- If you’re contributing to a potluck, consider taking a diabetes friendly dessert like crustless pumpkin pie cups, sweet potato pudding or a fruit tartlet.
- Instead of the typical French toast or pancake breakfast Christmas morning, start a new family breakfast tradition that everyone can enjoy. Try the versatile crepe recipe below.
Crepes are thin, French style pancakes. Because they are so thin compared to traditional pancakes, crepes are a great choice for people with diabetes. A typical crepe weighs in at just 15g of carbohydrate (one serving). Crepes are easy to make but you can buy them if you’re so inclined. Just look for a good quality product that’s lower in carbohydrate.
Basic Crepe Recipe:
1 cup flour (try ½ whole wheat flour for a healthier crepe)
1¼ cup skim milk
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
Cooking spray for the pan
In a blender, combine and pulse all ingredients just until blended. (You can refrigerate the batter for up to 2 days.) When ready to cook, heat a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the skillet with cooking spray.
Add 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce of the batter to the pan. Immediately begin tilting the pan to evenly spread the batter creating a thin crepe covering the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds and flip to lightly brown on the other side. Invert the pan to remove the crepe onto a plate or cutting board. Repeat until the batter is all gone.
Fill crepes with the filling of your choice. Wrap the crepe around the filling like a burrito or fold it in half.
The filling will make or break your diabetes diet. Stick to fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Fresh pears and apples are also great choices with walnuts or almonds. Add creaminess with whipped ricotta cheese with cinnamon and a tablespoon of sugar or a sweetener of your choice.
Marisa Moore, MBA.RD.LD. is a registered and licensed dietitian in Atlanta, GA.
Marisa works with corporations, groups and individuals to improve health outcomes in wellness, weight management, heart health and disease prevention. She also works with the food industry to develop healthy recipes, products and campaigns.
She is a media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and adjunct faculty at Georgia State University. Moore holds a BS in nutrition and dietetics from Georgia State University where she also earned a master’s degree in business administration.