Thanksgiving is next week, and for many Americans that means spending time with family, friends … and food. Lots of food. People who live with diabetes might find this food-centered holiday challenging, and no wonder: The traditional Turkey Day plate – think high-carb stuffing, sauces and gravy, side dishes and desserts – can pack more than 2,000 calories.
If you are watching your weight or blood sugar levels, it’s still possible to indulge by eating mindfully and keeping on top of portion sizes. Consider some of the following diabetes-friendlier options for holiday favorites. (Be sure to talk to your diabetes care team if you are considering making changes to your meal plan.)
Lemon-herb roasted turkey breast with pan gravy
The main event! If you’re hosting a smaller gathering, or just want to bring along an easy-to-make, diabetes-friendlier entrée, this garlic-, sage- and thyme-infused, skinless half turkey breast is especially moist and flavorful – and requires only 20 minutes in the oven. Get the DX Exclusive Recipe.
Whole-grain stuffing with apples, raisins and pecans
Sweet raisins, toothsome apple bits, earthy pecans and a hearty whole-grain bread make for a stuffing that you may be tempted to return to throughout the colder months – and it goes just as well with roast chicken or pork tenderloin as it does with turkey and gravy. Prepping the stuffing is easy, though it needs an hour of cooking time to blend all of its many (scrumptious) notes. Get the DX Exclusive Recipe.
Sweet potatoes with caramelized sherry onions
Warm, fluffy potatoes can be a great complement to Thanksgiving turkey, and sweet potatoes are especially rich in flavor, high in fiber and packed with beta-carotene. The sherry-caramelized onions add a complexity that will make this staple stand out. Get the recipe.
Green bean and almond casserole
Don’t forget the green! This contemporary take on a classic side dish is less dense than its traditional counterpart, yet still includes the traditional oniony flavor and crispiness. Get the recipe.
Room for dessert? Gingersnaps and pecans add crunch and extra flavor to this light and fresh take. The satisfying ending to a memorable holiday meal. Get the recipe.
While many consider Thanksgiving a time to loosen the belt and overindulge, what makes this holiday truly special is not what’s on the table, but the family or good friends gathered around it – and the opportunity to express our thanks for everything we have.
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© 2015 The DX: The Diabetes Experience