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Healthy carbs for diabetics

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Healthy Carb Recipes

If you have diabetes, you may think that carbohydrates are the enemy. Truth is, maintaining consistent blood glucose levels can be done deliciously and easily with recipes consisting of healthy carbs. Chef Jennifer Bucko and Registered Dietician Lara Rondinelli offer you scrumptious recipes that contain a balance of carbohydrates, lean protein and heart-healthy fats in the American Diabetes Association's The Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook. Try these healthy carb recipes for your next breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Whole grain rice and pasta
When you have diabetes, you have to regulate carbohydrate intake to maintain consistent blood glucose levels. This does not mean you must eliminate carbs from your diet. It simply means adopting a healthy-carb lifestyle. It can be a carb conundrum to determine which foods are good and which ones are best eaten only on occasion, but The Healthy Carb Diabetes Cookbook is full of healthy carb recipes created by Chef Jennifer Bucko and Registered Dietician Lara Rondinelli. By following the 2005 USDA Dietary Guidelines that indicate that eating at least three servings of whole grains per day may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, this cookbook is an invaluable resource in maintaining your healthy-carb lifestyle.

What is a healthy carb?

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are encouraged to choose a variety of fiber-containing foods, fiber-rich cereals and whole grain products. Healthy carbs come from foods that are high in fiber, particularly whole grains.

At least half of your grains should be whole grains, such as whole wheat, whole oats, brown or wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, bulgur, whole grain rye and whole grain barley. In addition, people with diabetes should consume other healthy carb foods like fruit, vegetables and low fat dairy products. The ideal meals are a tasty balance of healthy carbs, lean proteins and heart-healthy fats. The following recipes are designed for every day ease and dining pleasure.

HEALTHY CARB RECIPES


French Toast Muffins

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups egg substitute
1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons Splenda
2 tablespoons milled flaxseed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 slices whole bread, cut into chunks

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg substitute, half-and-half, cinnamon, Splenda, flaxseed and vanilla. Gently fold bread into the mixture and let sit 5 minutes fo soak.

3. Divide mixture evenly among six muffin cups, overfilling slightly. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and set. Serve immediately with sugar-free syrup, if desired.

Exchanges:
Starch 1
Lean Meat 1

Caprese Panini

Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced into 8 slices
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
8 whole basil leaves
3/4 cup reduced-fat, shredded mozzarella cheese
8 slices whole wheat bread
Olive oil spray

Directions:
1. Prepare an indoor or outdoor grill or panini maker. Sprinkle tomato slices with garlic powder. Add two tomato slices, two basil leaves and 3 tablespoons shredded cheese to one piece of bread. Top with another piece of bread.

2. Spray both sides of the sandwich with olive oil spray. Repeat for the remaining three sandwiches. Grill sandwiches on heated panini maker or on a heated indoor or outdoor grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, pressing down as they grill.

Exchanges:
Starch 1
Fat 1/2

Penne with Pear and Gorgonzola Alfredo

Serves 5 to 6

Ingredients:
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta, uncooked
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 pint fat-free half-and-half
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and set aside.

2. In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add pears and sauté 7 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add white wine and cook until wine is almost completely reduced.

3. Heat half-and-half in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Pour over pears and bring to a low simmer. Do not boil. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Using the back of a large spoon or plastic spatula, mash pears roughly in the sauce.

4. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper, and simmer 1 more minute or until cheese is melted. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.

Exchanges:
Starch 2
Fruit 1
Fat-free Milk 1/2
Fat 1

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