Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, celebrate the season, and eat. Food has become so central to the holiday that we even refer to it as “turkey day.” Managing diabetes during this time of year can be a struggle, but it’s not impossible. We’ve rounded up seven delicious diabetes-friendly recipes that you can share with everyone at Thanksgiving.
Cauliflower “Caviar” With Frizzled Prosciutto
This delicious appetizer will help keep the crowd satisfied until the meal is ready. Cauliflower adds fiber, which slows the release of glucose to the blood, and vinegar is thought to slow the absorption of carbs.
Roast Turkey With Rosemary-Garlic Butter Rub
Turkey is one of the most diabetic-friendly foods on a Thanksgiving table, with high protein and virtually no carbohydrates. This recipe dresses up the traditional bird with a heavenly mixture of rosemary, garlic, butter, and a bit of ground coriander seed. Nutritional bonus: Studies suggest that coriander may help in controlling blood glucose.
Basic Turkey Gravy
Fear not, for even if you’re watching your carbohydrate and fat intake, you do not have to take gravy off the Thanksgiving table. This recipe adds rich flavor by using the giblets along with the “holy trinity” of flavor called mirepoix, which is the combination of carrots, celery, and onion.
Baked Butternut Squash
Baked butternut squash is a healthier alternative to the ubiquitous sweet potato, with about half the carbs. Vitamins, minerals, and fiber pack this bright orange gourd, and the addition of cinnamon gives the squash that familiar fall flavor, and may even help control blood sugar.
Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are one of those foods that almost no one ever eats without added sweeteners. In this version of cranberry sauce, artificial sweeteners tame the bright-red berry’s tartness. Although sugar substitutes have no nutritional value and do not control blood sugar, they do offer sweetness without adding glucose.
Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasting brussels sprouts mellows the bitterness that turns some people off, and balsamic vinegar adds the delicious richness of caramelization for a guilt-free side dish. Pancetta lends a crispy saltiness that brings out the best of these miniature cabbages.
Low-Fat Pumpkin Panna Cotta
No Thanksgiving table would be complete without a pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the classic version of this fall favorite tends to top the scales with almost 50 grams of carbohydrates, and nearly 15 grams of fat. This delicious take on traditional pie uses a noncaloric sugar substitute and nonfat Greek yogurt. Portion control is simple with individual ramekins for serving.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Managing diabetes doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the food, though. By limiting nibbling before dinner, being conscientious about portions size, and limiting your alcohol intake, Thanksgiving can be a festive, fun-filled occasion.