Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler, I have been in the mood for some fall comfort foods. A fan favorite in my house is certainly the sweet potato. My son and husband have yet to meet a spud they didn’t love 😉 As much as I also love sweet potatoes, I find myself lacking creativity when preparing them. I pretty much either bake them or mash them. Occasionally when I am very motivated I will also cook up some sweet potato pancakes as well, but baking and mashing are my go-to choices. Don’t get me wrong, I love a sweet potato no matter how it is prepared, but I have wanted to get a little more creative.
For some reason, this entire pregnancy, I have just wanted smoothies everyday. It doesn’t matter how cold it gets in the morning, a smoothie still sounds amazing right now. So why not put two of the things I love together? Enter the Sweet Potato Smoothie! I feel like this time of year pumpkin gets so much love, yet no one really talks about the poor little sweet potato as much. So I’m out to change that. Get ready to treat your taste buds. This creamy, filling smoothie packs in all the flavors of fall and is sure to be a hit with your whole family. It is definitely a hit over here!
- 1/4 cup sweet potato puree
- 1/4 cup non-fat Greek plain yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 each banana frozen or add ice with banana
- 3/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Add more water for smoother consistency. Top with chopped pistachios or your favorite toppings!
Nutrition per serving: 230 Calories, 55g CHO, 0g Fat, 9g Protein, 70mg sodium, 28g sugar
Your eyes are not deceiving you. You read that headline correctly. You can actually make a cookie dough that’s truly safe to eat raw AND offers health benefits! I know it sounds to good to be true, and I will be honest, it’s not 100% like the original. But it is delicious, super easy to make, and you can have it everyday if you really want. That in my book makes it a win!
The best part about this recipe is the chickpea (or garbanzo bean) flour. This bean is packed full of soluble fiber and resistant starch. Soluble fiber has been found to help lower unhealthy LDL-cholesterol levels while resistant starch has been found to potentially offer many health benefits such as a providing you with a slight boost in metabolism. In addition, this starch may even heighten the immune system.
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp agave
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp stevia
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp low-fat milk (you can also use almond or soy milk)
- 3 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
In a bowl or food processor (I used both when testing this and found the food processor to be much easier, but you can use a bowl as well if you don’t have access to one) mix together the flour, vanilla, agave, salt, syrup, and stevia to form a dough. Add in the milk as needed to moisten the mixture until you get the perfect cookie dough texture. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips and form into balls to eat and enjoy. You can eat right away or store in the fridge for up to one week (or freeze and enjoy for up to 2 months).
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Total Calories: 202 Total Carbs: 33 gm Fiber: 5 gm Protein: 7 gm Fat: 5 gm
I have partnered with Sunsweet PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light to bring this content to you. Although I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.
If you are like most of my clients, from the day you heard the words “you have diabetes,” you have probably felt like the list of foods and drinks you need to avoid is a mile long. Trying to keep a list of “good foods” and “bad foods” in your head is not only exhausting, but it can also be unnecessary and even unhealthy. To manage diabetes, you need to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet. That means that very few foods or beverages need to be completely off limits. Sure, portion control and moderation are key, but the same can be said about any food that any of us eat, whether we have diabetes or not. Telling yourself you can never have a certain food or drink can backfire. As soon as you tell yourself you can never have something, guess what you want way more than you ever did before? Telling yourself a food or drink is completely off limits causes feelings of deprivation, which lead to cravings, and eventually may even lead to binge eating. As we kick off National Diabetes Month this November, my mission is to show you how you can still eat and drink what you love while successfully managing diabetes.
One big myth I hear from my clients time and time again is that juice is a complete no-no for anyone with diabetes. Most individuals that I meet with who have diabetes think that juice needs to be reserved only for times when blood glucose levels are crashing. But that’s actually not the case. If you love juice, you don’t have to feel like it is completely off limits. Sure, water should always be the go-to beverage for people with diabetes, but small amounts of juice can still be included as part of a healthy diabetes meal plan. The key is knowing how to choose the right juice and the best portion for your own individual health needs.
Not all juice is created equal
Some brands of juice are a better choice for those with diabetes than others. Two brands I like to recommend are PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light. I prefer these varieties since they contain fewer calories and sugar compared to full sugar beverages. Less sugar and less carbohydrates per serving means that these juices still provide great flavor without having as large of an impact on blood glucose levels. For instance, per serving Amaz!n Prune Light contains only 100 calories and 8 grams of sugar and is good for helping to regulate digestion. PlumSmart Light provides a good way to get in your daily fiber contains with only 60 calories per serving and 60% less sugar and calories than other leading juice cocktails.
How to Work Juice Into Your Meal Plan
How to Choose The Right Juice For You
When you are choosing a beverage, it’s not just calories and grams of sugar that matter. Fiber matters too. Fiber helps to slow digestion, allowing you to feel full longer and allowing blood glucose levels to rise and fall more gradually. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can be helpful in managing blood glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels. There is a misconception that fruit juice contains very little to no fiber at all, but that isn’t true for all juices. Both PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light contain fiber from the fruit of the plum, which can be a helpful way to boost your overall daily fiber intake. A high fiber diet is essential to good health. Taking in enough fiber each day can help promote weight maintenance and blood sugar control, in addition to digestive health. So how much juice is okay to have when you have diabetes? When choosing a fiber containing juice, such as PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light, you can determine the appropriate portion of juice based on your carbohydrate counting goals. If you are allowed 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal, an 8 ounce serving of PlumSmart Light or a 4-ounce serving of Amaz!n Prune Light could be balanced into a meal containing 30 grams of other carbohydrates.
Boosting Hydration with Flavor
Having juice on hand can also be beneficial in helping you to reach your daily hydration goals. If you struggle to drink enough water each day, adding a hint of flavor to your glass may help you to consume more. Staying hydrated is essential when it comes to managing diabetes. Even slight dehydration can cause your energy levels to drop. And as I am sure you know, it is a lot harder to be motivated to eat well, prepare healthy foods, or exercise when you are tired. In addition, dehydration can cause higher blood glucose levels. As blood glucose levels rise, you can become even more dehydrated as your kidneys try to flush out the excess glucose by producing more urine. Making sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day (64 ounces total) is key to keeping energy levels up and blood glucose levels down.
If you struggle to drink plain water, why not try adding 2-3 tablespoons of PlumSmart Light or Amaz!n Prune Light to an eight-ounce glass of water for a hint of sweetness. This is a great way to boost the flavor of your drink while consuming minimal amounts of carbohydrates. You can even take it a step further and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. Then simply add 2-3 cubes per glass for a refreshing beverage that will stay chilled and flavored while you drink.
As you celebrate National Diabetes Month this November, remember that following a diabetes meal plan means that you are eating a well-balanced, nutrient rich diet- a diet that everyone could benefit from regardless of if they have diabetes or not. Don’t set yourself up for feelings of frustration and deprivation by focusing on “yes” and “no” foods, but instead, understand how can you balance the foods and drinks you love into a healthy meal plan.
Who doesn’t love pizza? About 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 2 consumes pizza on any given day. Kids tend to eat pizza for lunch or dinner, while adults typically eat pizza only for dinner. (1) Eating fast food or ordering take out may be more convenient then cooking at home, but the benefits of cooking at home with family can improve your diet and eating habits—not to mention, you can spend more time with the kids!
A great way to get the kids to enjoy their meal is by having them join you in the kitchen. One of my favorite and healthier take on pizza includes this pesto-based pizza. Usually pizzas are high calorie and high in saturated fat due to an overload of marinara and cheese but a great substitute for the sauce is pesto (homemade or store bought) and less cheese. Pesto has great flavor and is a lighter way to enjoy one of your favorite meals…and the kids will love it too!
- 2 each ready-to-eat pizza crust (I used Boboli Mini Pizza Crust)
- Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup pesto
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 large sweet pepper seeded and sliced
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernals
- 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 packet ranch dip seasoning season to your taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
On a clean surface, remove crust from package and brush both sides with olive oil.
Pour ½ cup pesto on each crust, fully covering the crust.
Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella on each pizza. Add a few sweet pepper slices and sprinkle with sunflower seeds (or make a smiley face!)
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, or until crust edges are golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts per serving (without dipping sauce): 340 calories, 29 g CHO, 19 g FAT, 13 g PRO, 2 g Fiber, 3 g Sugar