Trying to find healthy recipes you can eat when you have diabetes can be a difficult task.
You ideally want to pick recipes that are low in carbohydrates and higher in proteins, healthy fats, and fiber to keep your blood sugar under control.
Thanks to healthline.com, here are five healthy recipes to try if you have diabetes.
1. Make-ahead breakfast options
Usually, common breakfast items such as bagels, cereal, muffins, and even granola bars are commonly not diabetes-friendly because of the refined sugar and starch content they have, which can lead to having unstable blood sugar levels. “Leaving off the traditional pie crust is not only a way to reduce carb count. It also makes it effortless to throw together ahead of time and reheat throughout the week”, says Nicole Villeneuve, a certified diabetes prevention lifestyle coach at PlateJoy.
Recipe provided by the PlateJoy Blog:
Crustless Asparagus and Mozzarella Quiche
Time: 50 minutes, Serves: 4
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz asparagus
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Grease a 9-inch pie pan or cake tin. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Trim tough bottom ends off asparagus, then cut spears into 2-inch lengths. Place in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes, until bright green. Transfer to a plate.
- Add spinach to the empty skillet (adding a little more oil if the skillet is dry) and cook 2 minutes, just until slightly wilted. Transfer spinach to the prepared pan.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs and garlic until even in color. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in half the shredded mozzarella. Pour over the spinach. Top with the sauteed asparagus. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded mozzarella and the parmesan.
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until eggs, are set and the top is golden.
2. Anything-but-boring salad with nuts
Another wonderful diabetes-friendly ingredient is nuts. Nuts bring new and exciting flavors to recipes, especially salads. Nuts have shown to help reduce blood sugar and insulin. “With 6 grams of carbs per serving, this salad is a great addition to any meal or snack,” says Lori Zanini, a registered dietitian, and certified diabetes educator. “Additionally, both pistachios and cucumbers are available year-round, so it’s an easy way to get more fiber and plant-based protein.
Recipe provided by Lori Zanini:
Spicy Cucumber and Pistachio Salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serving Size: 1/2 cup salad
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into half-moons
- 1/4 cup shelled and unsalted pistachios
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sesame oil, salt, soy sauce, honey, and chili pepper flakes. Mix well.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the cucumbers and pistachios. Add the sauce and stir to combine. Serve.
3. Main course with plant-based protein
If you go with a meatless meal you can great plant-based protein into your diet, like lentils. Research also suggests that switching out animal-based proteins with plant-based proteins could help increase glycemic control in people who have diabetes. “Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) have an exceptionally low glycemic index, so adding them to any meal helps to slow the rate that the glucose of the meal is absorbed into the bloodstream”, explains Cyrus Khambatta, Ph.D., and Robby Barbaro of Mastering Diabetes.
Recipe provided by Mastering Diabetes Blog:
Sweet Potatoes Loaded With Lentil Stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 3 servings
- 3 Medium sweet potatoes
- 1 cup Green or brown lentils, dry
- 1 Red onion, diced
- 3 Celery stalks, chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 46 Garlic cloves
- 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 0.25 cup fresh thyme
- 0.25 cup fresh rosemary
- 23 Swiss chard, chopped
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Poke sweet potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until soft.
In a pot, combine lentils, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer for approx. 30 minutes.
Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and spices, and simmer another 7-10 minutes.
Check to be sure that lentils are soft. Remove from heat. Stir in swiss chard and lemon juice.
Slice open the sweet potato and spoon lentil stew into the crevice.
4. Light Carb Fried Rice
Cauliflower rice is pretty popular nowadays… it’s a nice fiber-rich, low carb choice that provides a nice rice-like replacement for rice. The cauliflower rice takes on the flavor whatever the dish is you have paired it with. Cauliflower rice is a very versatile dish that makes eating the takeout we love so much, that much healthier! “This healthy meal is great for people who have diabetes because when pairing high-fiber carbohydrates with protein, there will be less impact on blood sugar”, notes Haley Hughes, a registered dietitian, and certified diabetes educator.
Recipe provided by RD RX Nutrition Recipes:
Healthy Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice
- 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Medium Chopped Onions
- 1 Cup Sprouts (Optional)
- 4 Medium Shredded Carrots
- 1 Chopped Red Pepper
- 1 Head Chopped Broccoli
- 1/2 Cup Diced Green Onions
- 4 Cloves Minced Garlic (I use extra)
- 1 Bag Frozen Riced Cauliflower or about two head of cauliflower
- 1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Fish Sauce (I used extra)
- 1 Tsp Hoisin Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce (2 Tbsp)
- 1/4 cup Cilantro
- 4 Scrambled Eggs
- 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 12 Large Shrimp You can use frozen too!
- Add olive oil, onions, carrots, broccoli, red pepper, garlic to large saute pan on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until cooked.
- Add in riced cauliflower, cook the rice until it looks soft (5-7 minutes).
- Add in the spices, stir in coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce. Cook on medium-high heat until the cauliflower rice reaches your desired doneness (5-8 minutes). Add cilantro and green onion.
- Scramble eggs and mix them into riced cauliflower and veggies.
- Bring a large pot of water just to a boil. You want enough water to comfortably hold all the shrimp.
- Boil the shrimp until a few starts floating on top of the water. Typically 2-3 minutes is all it takes! Drain and add to fried rice.
5. Low-sugar sweet treat
Most desserts are packed with sugar which causes blood glucose swings. However, dessert doesn’t have to be packed with sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, chocolate can even be part of a healthy diabetes-friendly diet, as long as it is enjoyed in moderation. “Instead of enjoying a sugar-laden ice cream on a hot day, this healthy swap packs all the same great taste with significantly less sugar, along with a good source of protein and fiber,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, a registered dietitian.
Recipe provided by Erin Palinski-Wade Blogs:
Flatout Greek Yogurt Ice Cream Sandwich
- 1 Flatout 5 Grain Flax Foldit
- 2 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp mini dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
Cut the Flatout Foldit as it’s most narrow part to make two even pieces and place onto a sheet of wax paper.
Place two tablespoons of the mini dark chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals until melted.
Spread the melted chocolate evenly over each Flatout Foldit piece until the surface has been covered. Place the pieces in the refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden. Once the chocolate has hardened, remove from the refrigerator.
Spread ½ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt evenly over the top of one chocolate-covered piece
Sprinkle the remaining one teaspoon of mini chocolate chips on top of the yogurt.
Place the remaining chocolate-covered Flatout Foldit on top of the yogurt, with the chocolate side facing up. Place sandwich into the freezer and allow the yogurt to harden.
Once the yogurt has frozen, slice the sandwich in half and serve
All of these sound delicious and they’re healthy for ou whether you have diabetes or not. Dig in and enjoy without risking a blood sugar spike.