Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins for Breakfast, Brunch or Snacks

This content originally appeared on Low Carb Yum. Republished with permission.

When it comes to eating a low-carb diet, we often feel like we give up some of our favorite carb-filled recipes. But, it’s super easy to transition them to work with your new lifestyle.

Take for instance muffins. By subbing out all-purpose flour for cream cheese you are left with a keto version! Cream cheese is one of those staples that I always have on hand in my kitchen.

Cream cheese is a super versatile ingredient and a staple in many keto and low-carb homes. However, be sure to read the nutritional labels when you are shopping for cream cheese at your local grocery store. The amount of carbs varies from manufacture to manufacture.

Because of the high-fat content, cream cheese is sustainable on the keto diet, in moderation. Cream cheese is also high in Vitamin A.

These healthy blueberry cream cheese muffins are perfect to serve for breakfast or brunch.

blueberry cream cheese

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Blueberry Cheese Muffins

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These low-carb blueberry cheese muffins are more like cheesecake than muffins. They are gluten-free and can be eaten plain or with fruit and nuts on top.
Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesecake, muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 155kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup low-carb sugar substitute or equivalent
  • 2 eggs adding 4 will lighten the texture (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum optional
  • ½ teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  • Beat softened cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Add sweetener, xanthan gum, eggs and vanilla.
  • Beat with mixer until well blended.
  • Fold in blueberries and almonds.
  • Spoon into 12 muffin molds lined with the papers.
  • Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until set and tops just starting to brown. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Best served chilled.

Notes

Using room temperature cream cheese allows for a smooth cream cheese mixture.

Per reader comment, adding 4 eggs instead of two provides a much lighter cheesecake-like texture.

The following can be added in place of the blueberries:

  • sugar-free chocolate chips
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • nuts
  • broken low carb cookie pieces

Instant Pot Directions:

Put the batter into half-pint jars with rings and lids, not tightened, just loose, and steam for 15 minutes, then NPR (natural pressure release) for 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Our Community’s Top Picks of Low-Carb Protein Bars

If I was stranded on a deserted island and had to choose 3 foods to get by with, a protein bar would definitely be first on the list. These bars make for an easy-to-grab, healthy and satisfying snack and/or meal replacement and can help keep you on track with your nutritional goals.

There are so many different brands and types to choose from; it can get overwhelming. And I personally like to look for low-carb, high-protein bars that also aren’t too caloric. It is a tall order to fill, so I asked the diabetes online community what their favorites were, and here is what they had to say:

Built Bars

Photo credit: Built Bars

1. Built Bars

Containing between 4-6 grams of carbs in each bar, these tasty treats can easily be used as a meal replacement thanks to their generous amount of protein, ranging between 17-19 grams per bar, which will keep you full for hours. The best part for me is that each bar only contains between 130-140 calories, which is significantly less than a lot of other high-protein bars on the market. There is also a great variety of flavors to chose from, making this a new staple in my pantry.

Muck Pack Keto Bars

Photo credit: Munk Pack

2. Munk Pack Keto Granola Bar and Keto Fruit & Nut Bars

I had never heard of these bars until I reached out to the community for their suggestions. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor and nutritional information on this product. Munk Pack bars are plant-based and gluten-free and come in a wide variety of flavors. The bars contain natural ingredients such as almonds, flax, plant protein, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, peanut butter, and allulose, which is a natural sweetener that leaves no aftertaste. Keto Granola Bars and Keto Fruit and Nut Bars all contain a small amount of protein but come in at  2-3 grams net carbs and don’t contain a ton of calories.

Quest and Quest Hero Bars

Photo credit: Quest Nutrition

3. Quest and Quest Hero Bars

This is a great choice that won’t spike your blood sugars, and you can find a flavor for every palate. The consistency is chewy and delicious, and it packs in a ton of protein with bars averaging around 20 grams of protein and 5 grams net carbs or less. Thanks to our community, I also learned about Quest Hero bars, which is a new take on the old favorite, and instead of a chewy bite, it is packed with a tasty crunch. It’s around the same macros as the original, so you can’t go wrong either way.

Ratio Keto Friendly Bars

Photo credit: Ratio Food

4. Ratio Keto-Friendly Snacks

I was excited to learn about this brand as I had never seen it before. Thankfully, I looked and it is offered in a few locations near me. I look forward to trying their protein bars with 12 grams of protein and 2 gram net carbs each! They also offer Greek yogurt in some enticing flavors, and I will definitely be purchasing soon.

Kind Nut Bars

Photo credit: Kind Snacks

5. Kind Bars

In recent years, Kind has really upped their game. Offering many different bars, including thins (which contain a lot fewer calories with a crunchier texture), protein bars, and my favorite- their nut bars, to name a few. The nut bars have 5-6 grams net carbs and 6-7 grams of protein per bar. Also, look out for their latest, Kind Clusters, which is my new favorite bite-sized snack. Mix this with Greek yogurt for a great high-protein snack.

Power Crunch Bars

Photo credit: Power Crunch

6. Power Crunch Bar

This is my favorite protein bar and has been for years. I love the French Vanilla bar with coffee in the morning, and the peanut butter chocolate bar is a perfect sweet treat to end the day. Power Crunch bars average around 14 grams of protein and 5 grams net carbs per bar. The consistency can’t be beaten and is reminiscent of Kit Kat bars with their wafer-like crunch. Look out for some of their newest products, including bars just for kids and their Proto Whey Protein Powder; I am certainly going to give that a try!

Photo credit: Pure Protein

7. Pure Protein

Best known for their protein powder and nutritious shakes, their bars also do not disappoint. With 200 calories or less, this is a delicious treat that contains around 20 grams of protein and 3 grams net carbs or less. Be sure to also check out their newest bars, which stay chilled, and Pure Protein Puffs (a healthy take on cheesedoodles), and Pure Protein Cookie Sandwiches.

NGR Bites

Photo credit: NGR Foods

8. NRG Bites

These protein bites will be sure to keep you satisfied without elevating your blood sugars.  This low-carb, high-protein snack was developed by chef Paul Kahan, who lives with type 1 diabetes himself. I use these bars for a quick breakfast or a snack on the go or before the gym, and I never have to worry about a blood sugar spike.  I was glad to see so many others in our community enjoying them, too, as they were quick to recommend. I recently wrote a review on this company where you can learn more about their offerings.

Nature Valley Protein Bars

Photo credit: Nature Valley

9. Natural Valley Protein Bar

Once again, I am so glad I reached out for the community’s help on this because I had completely forgotten about this bar. I used to enjoy this years ago and will be sure to add them back on my grocery list since they only contain around 7 grams net carbs and 10 grams of protein… and they also happen to be absolutely delicious.

Perfect Bar

Photo credit Perfect Snacks

10. Perfect Bar

I first tried Perfect Bar’s original refrigerated protein bars a few years back and gave it rave reviews. I have watched this company grow so much in the past few years and am happy to see so many new products coming out. If I am watching my carb intake, these are a little high for me, ranging between 19 and 29 grams of carbs, but with some fiber to lower the total net carbs. They have a great flavor and taste like real, rich and creamy peanut butter. They also offer mini-bars, dark chocolate peanut butter cups (my favorite), and kid bars too!

Protein bars are healthy, tasty, and versatile, depending on your nutrition goals. These bars are a great choice for someone looking to get in more protein, less carbs, and enjoy a tasty treat!

Do you take advantage of the benefits of protein bars? Which is your favorite? Share and comment below!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Easy Breakfast Recipe: Spiralized Zucchini, Pesto & Egg Nests

This content originally appeared here. Republished with permission.

This zucchini and pesto egg nest recipe is a pretty perfect breakfast for me. Because even when there’s a time crunch and world is waiting, telling me to get moving, I like to start my day with a meal that makes me happy and tastes great.

It doesn’t have to be anything big or intricate at 6am (who has time for that?!), but it’s can still be something special. I just love to start the day with an easy and delicious breakfast, and this recipe is both!

Spiralized Zucchini, Pesto & Egg Nests

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Spiralized Zucchini, Pesto and Egg Nests

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A quick and easy gluten free breakfast made with zucchini noodles, eggs, and fresh pesto.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword zucchini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 424kcal

Ingredients

Zucchini Noodle Nests & Eggs

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 zucchini small to medium
  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp pesto
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Herby Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil packed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts *substitute unsalted walnuts or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic I prefer blanched garlic but raw works too!
  • 3 tbsp parmegiano reggiano grated
  • 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Make the Pesto

  • In a food processor or blender, add the basil, nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and cheese. Pulse until fully broken down.
  • Turn the food processor to low, and slowly pour in a steady stream of the olive oil until fully combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Zucchini Noodle Nests & Eggs

  • Cut the stem off the zucchini and spiralize on the smallest setting. Roughly chop the pile a few times so the noodles aren’t too long.
  • Heat the olive in a large pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini to the pan and lightly sautée just until softened, about 1 minute.
  • Using a spatula or wooden spoon, separate the zucchini into four round piles on the skillet. Make a small well in the middle of each one. Crack an egg into each well.
  • Cover and cook untouched for about 3 minutes. When the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, they’re ready, but if you prefer your yolks cooked more, break the yolks before you cover the pan.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper, drizzle with homemade herby pesto, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1127IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 2mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Spiralized Zucchini, Pesto & Egg Nests Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

10 Low-Carb Back-to-School Snacks

By Caroline Levens

24 count Crayola? Check. Pink Pearl eraser? Check. Expo dry erase markers? Check. There’s no doubt about it, back-to-school can take a lot of preparation, but back-to-school for families with children with diabetes adds an extra layer of complexity.

Wouldn’t it be nice if prepping for a school year with diabetes was as easy as the other line items on your back-to-school list? Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof solution to check the box off that line item, but there are snacks that can help children maintain normal blood sugars. I’ve gathered ten great-tasting, blood sugar-friendly snacks that children of all ages are sure to enjoy, whether for snack time, as part of their lunches, for classroom celebrations, or as after school snacks.

Even if your child with diabetes doesn’t follow a low-carb lifestyle, incorporating a low-carb snack here and there can make your life a whole lot easier. It can also help give them more time running to the monkey bars and fewer visits to the nurse’s office to treat highs and lows.

1. Low Carb Oven Cakes and Cookies

Low Carb Oven Cakes and Cookies

Is it me, or does it seem like there are more birthday celebrations than the number of children in the classroom? Of course, you want your child with diabetes to join in the festivities, but wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate the headache that can come with crazy blood sugars following those celebrations? Good news! Low Carb Oven makes homemade mini bundt cakes and cookie bars that are sugar-free, gluten-free, and certainly better tasting than whatever the school is serving. They freeze super well too, so you can simply pop one out the morning of an upcoming celebration, and your child is all set!

My personal favorite cake flavor as an adult is Lemon Poppyseed, but as a kid I’d probably have been crazy for the Vanilla and Triple Chocolate. The desserts are only 2-3 g net carbs, and most diabetics find that Low Carb Oven desserts don’t affect their blood sugar much. You may not even need to bolus!

If your school doesn’t allow peanuts, some of their products are peanut-free. Nut-free school? Maybe use them for treats off-campus, such as at birthday parties (because let’s be honest, there also seem to be more birthday parties than kids).

2. Quest Nutrition Chips

Quest Nutrition Chips

Who doesn’t love a good crunch? Leading chip brands may not have a ton of carbs compared to other popular snacks at 15-25 g per bag, but wouldn’t a five-gram total carb chip option be nice? Quest makes chips in tons of flavors, but my personal favorite is the Nacho Cheese flavor. Think of them as blood sugar-friendly Doritos.

And another great part? Normal bags of chips aren’t all that filling. The Quest chips have around 20 g of protein per serving or so depending on the flavor, so they’re sure to delay the amount of time it takes before you hear “I’m starving.”

3. High Key Snacks Cookies

High Key Snacks Cookies

High Key Snacks makes my absolute favorite blood sugar friendly packaged cookies. They could disguise as Mini Chips Ahoy in all aspects except their nutrition facts. Forget the high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients you can’t even pronounce; these only use natural sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol and monk fruit. They are crunchy and just the right amount of sweet. At just 2 g net carbs per serving, I can even get away with no bolus for their cookies.

These come in chocolate chip and snickerdoodle. Both are great, but I am definitely partial to the chocolate chip ones.

4. Kiss My Keto Gummy Bears

Kiss My Keto Gummy Bears

Kiss My Keto has had a tough time keeping these gummies in stock, and with good reason: they are awesome and super easy on the blood sugars. From the label, they may look high carb, but it’s nearly all fiber and barely budged my blood sugar level without any insulin.

Plus the cute little bears are naturally colored. Much better than red 40 and sugar-laden bears! Each gummy bear pouch only has 54 calories too, so it’s a great snack if your child is not actually hungry but wants something to nibble on.

5. Magic Spoon Cereal

Magic Spoon Cereal

Are you doing a double-take at the world cereal? Don’t worry, this cereal isn’t the nightmare cereal you’re probably used to. Even for the best sugar surfers among us, cereal is notoriously known in the diabetes community as one of the hardest foods to bolus for. Magic really is an appropriate adjective for the cereal; it’s ridiculously easy to cover with insulin. Each serving has only 3g of carbs but packs in 12g protein. It’s also gluten-free and has no artificial ingredients.

There are four yummy flavors to choose from: cinnamon, fruity, frosted, and cocoa. They sell a variety pack, too, if you want to offer your child some variety, or better yet, mix the flavors together.

6. Lily’s Sweets Peanut Butter Cups

Lily’s Sweets Peanut Butter Cups

You might be familiar with Lily’s for their chocolate bars, but what many people are less familiar with are their more recently launched peanut butter cups. If your child with diabetes loves Reese’s as a sweet treat, these are definitely an awesome substitute. They’re super convenient to send off to school too because each peanut butter cup comes individually wrapped.

The peanut butter cups come in milk and dark chocolate flavors. I’ve been a milk chocolate girl since childhood and always will be, but I can assure you both are great.

7. Notty Protein Chocolate

Notty Protein Chocolate

Yes, another chocolate recommendation right after Lily’s, because I consider them to be quite different (in fact, the biggest similarity is that they are both delicious). Notty is high-protein chocolate with no added sugar. It’s more bark-like than bar-like. Except whereas Bark Thins have 21 g net carbs and 11 g of sugar per serving, Notty has only 3 g net carbs and 1 g of sugar. Notty packs in 11 g protein per serving too, so it’s not just empty calories.

They have so many fun flavors. Fluffernutter is my personal favorite, and if I had to guess, I’d say it’d probably be the number one hit among kids too. Other flavors include peppermint bark, cold brew, lemon berry, and salted almond.

8. Curly Girlz Candy

Curly Girlz Candy

Like the idea of a blood sugar-friendly candy alternative but need something nut-free? Curly Girlz Candy makes some awesome sugar-free hemp brittle that doesn’t contain nuts. The brittle contains super low glycemic plant-based sweeteners. Now I know hemp brittle may not sound like the most kid-friendly option, but it’s buttery, crunchy and has a cinnamon flavor. They even sell “Snacker 2 oz” bags of candy on their site that are perfect for back-to-school.

Other sugar-free candy offerings on their site include pecan brittle, caramels, coffee toffee, almond toffee, pecan clusters, and coconut macadamia bites.

9. Smart Baking Company Smart Cakes

Smart Baking Company Smart Cakes

Smart Cakes are light, fluffy cakes that I personally don’t need any insulin for. They have 0 g net carbs. The carb count on the label all comes from fiber and erythritol, which is a non-glycemic sweetener.

Each individual cake is only 38 calories! Another cool thing about these for school is they can stay at room temperature for 120 days, so they can easily be stashed in a classroom cubby and taken out as needed.

Flavors include cinnamon, lemon, chocolate, raspberry cream, and orange. Lemon and cinnamon are my favorites. I will say that the texture and consistency of these are not like birthday cake, and nor do these cakes have icing. The texture and taste are really good, however, but it’s more snack-like or even breakfast-like than dessert-like in my opinion.

10. Keto Krate

Keto Krate

Hopefully, this suggestion isn’t considered cheating since it’s not a snack itself–but rather a snack subscription. I absolutely love Keto Krate because I get to discover new blood sugar friendly snacks each month. Low-carb snacks can be very expensive to buy, and Keto Krate allows me to sample everything before I commit to a bulk order of a particular product. Plus, you can use code KRATE15 for 15% off your subscription!

Their boxes are always aspartame-free and maltitol-free. As a heads up, I will say not 100% of their snacks are grab-and-go; occasionally there’s a mix, or something that needs cooking/preparation. But most of the snacks come ready to stuff in your child’s backpack.

Hopefully, this list makes back-to-school diabetes management a bit easier for you and your child. And who I am kidding, these snacks are just as yummy for adults, so no judgment here if you eat some before they make it to the lunchbox!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Sugar-Free Keto Coffee Ice Cream

This content originally appeared on Sugar-Free Mom. Republished with permission.

One bite of this creamy coffee ice cream and you’d never know it was sugar-free or low-carb! In fact, I think it might easily convert someone over to the sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle in just a single bite!

Best tips:

  • Best results for ice cream if you do use an ice cream machine!
  • The 2.4 sugar grams are coming from the natural sugars within the cream and half and half used here.
  • Use a food processor for the coffee beans and chocolate to make them finer in texture if you don’t like chunky bits in your ice cream or leave it out, totally optional.
  • The vodka helps make homemade ice cream retain its creamy texture and not get so icy once frozen overnight, but it is optional.
  • Allulose in the liquid form is best to retain the nice soft texture after freezing.
Coffee Crunch Ice Cream

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Sugar-Free Keto Coffee Ice Cream

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This Sugar-Free Keto Coffee Ice Cream is low carb, gluten-free and guilt-free! Just 3 total carbs per serving!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coffee, Ice Cream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 189kcal

Equipment

  • Ice cream machine

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coffee strong brewed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups half & half or more heavy cream
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder or coffee extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup Allulose liquid sweetener or Swerve confectioners
  • ½ tsp vanilla liquid stevia
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vodka optional
  • 2 ounces chocolate chopped, sugar-free, optional
  • 2 tbsp coffee beans crushed, optional

Instructions

  • Whisk the coffee, cream and instant coffee together in a saucepan over medium low heat until simmering, but do not boil.
  • In a bowl stir together the egg yolks, sweetener, stevia and salt.
  • Pour a small amount of the cream mixture into the egg mixture to temper it then gradually add the remaining egg mixture into the sauce pan on the stove.
  • Bring this to a boil, reduce to simmer, constantly stirring until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, 175 degrees F.
  • Once thickened, pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  • Once cooled, stir in vodka if using, then pour this into an ice cream machine and follow manufacturers instructions.
  • I used my KitchenAid ice cream attachment and it took about 20 minutes for the texture of soft serve ice cream.
  • When done, remove to a bowl and stir in chocolate and coffee beans. Pour into a container of choice and freeze for 3 hours or over night.
  • Allow to sit on counter to soften for about an hour before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 80mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: -1mg


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Sugar-Free Keto Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

6 Easy Summer Recipes: Fresh and Tasty Food to Try on Hot Days

The benefits of consuming seasonal food go beyond health and taste. Foods that are locally harvested and eaten during the natural growing season have a less environmental impact. With fewer production and transportation costs, they are budget-friendly as well. For all these important reasons, we put together six recipes to try this summer season.

Dairy-Free Pesto

Summer is the best time to prepare this healthy pesto sauce when basil pops up everywhere. With just a few ingredients and less than 10 minutes of your time, turn this fragrant herb into a flavorful condiment for your veggies, sandwich, pasta, mashed cauliflower, baked salmon… the list can go on and on.

Char-Grilled Avocado with Creamy Herb Dressing

Are you inviting friends over for some barbeque? Grill some avocados for your easy side dish or appetizer. Its creamy taste infused with a smokey flavor is hard to beat. Top it with this recipe’s tangy dressing, and you got yourself a low-carb, gluten-free treat.

Cucumbers with Chimichurri

Photo credit: Jennifer Shun

Cucumbers with Chimichurri

Would you like something hot and appetizing to accompany your crispy cucumber slices? You can whip up this chimichurri recipe with a few pantry ingredients in about 10 minutes! If served as a side dish to your summer barbeque fun, you can also spread the Argentinean condiment to your grilled meat for an extra kick.

Zucchini and Squash Salad

Need an alternative to your cucumber and tomato salad? Steam summer squash and zucchini for a short period and combine them with tomatoes and salad dressing. Slightly steaming the veggies gives them more flavor and brighter color without losing their texture.

keto fried okra

Photo credit: Wendy Polisi

Fried Okra

If you don’t like okra, this crispy recipe will turn you into a convert! It uses almond flour for the breading to keep this side dish low in carbs. For best results, use fresh okra a day or two after you bought it. If you have an air fryer, go for that option as it’s healthier than pan frying (and cheaper too since you don’t have to use oil).

Eggplant Parmesan

If you’re craving some Italian food, this classic eggplant parmesan recipe is a great option. With eggplant as the main ingredient, you’ll get a good amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in few calories. Not the quickest dish to prepare but its flavor and nutrition are worth your time and effort.

Care to share your go-to summer recipes in the comments? We’d love to try them!

Easy Summer Recipes Fresh and Tasty Food to Try on Hot Days

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Why You May Be Experiencing High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is part of a life with diabetes, whether it’s type 1type 2LADA, gestational diabetes, even the more rare forms of the disease. But sometimes, hyperglycemia can seem unexplainable, persistent, and stubborn.

This article will outline the reasons why you may be experiencing high blood sugar, and what you can do about it.

What Exactly Happens When Blood Sugar Is High?

High blood sugar, by definition, is when there’s too much glucose in the blood and not enough insulin to help the cells digest it. That extra glucose floating around in the bloodstream is what brings about symptoms of frequent urination, fatigue, brain fog, headache, body ache. In severe cases, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

People with diabetes manage their blood sugars by taking either oral medications or insulin, and monitoring both their food intake and exercise on a daily basis.

But even when you’ve done everything “right,” like counting carbohydrates and taking your medications, your blood sugar may rise and stay annoyingly (or dangerously) high. These are the top reasons why you may be experiencing unexplainable hyperglycemia.

You’re Stressed

Ever wonder why when you’re stressed about work or school your blood stays high? That’s because the release of natural hormones in your body, like adrenaline and cortisol, spike when you’re stressed, leading to insulin resistance, and in people with existing diabetes, high blood sugars. Whether you’re prepping for a big test, selling your home, hustling for that promotion at work, or fighting with your spouse, stress can send your blood sugars skyrocketing.

Dawn Phenomenon

Dawn Phenomenon describes the high blood sugars and insulin resistance people experience in the morning, usually between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. 

The phenomenon is natural: late overnight, the body releases a surge of hormones in preparation for the new day. These hormones can trigger the liver to dump glucose into the bloodstream. In people with diabetes, the body cannot produce a healthy insulin response, and therefore blood glucose levels spike up.

Many people with diabetes require more insulin during those hours, maybe even twice as much, to counteract this age-old hormonal effect.

A different, less common (but more dangerous) phenomenon may also explain morning blood sugar highs: Somogyi effect.

You’re Sick

When people with diabetes are under the weather (or fighting off an infection), their blood sugars tend to be much higher than normal, and they become much more insulin-resistant.

This can sometimes result in needing 75% (or more!) of your average daily insulin requirements. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, monitoring for ketones, and taking as much insulin as you need to keep your blood sugars in range.

If you cannot control your blood sugars during illness – especially if you’re having trouble eating or drinking – it’s very important to get in touch with your doctor.

You’re Eating Too Many Carbs

Let’s face it: carbohydrates spike blood sugar. It’s something that people with diabetes need to think about nearly every time they eat.

Test your blood sugar frequently to see how your own body responds to different foods. Some people may find that they can comfortably eat fresh fruit, but not added sugars or white rice. Some may find something completely different.

And if you use insulin before meals, you probably already know that carbohydrate counting can be an inexact science. The more carbs you eat, the more insulin you need to take, and the more difficult it is to deliver that perfectly dosed and perfectly timed pre-bolus.

Even a little carbohydrate restriction is likely to help reduce the frequency and intensity of blood sugar highs.

You’re Eating Hidden Carbs

Ever order a salad at a restaurant, thinking it will be a nice, low-carbohydrate option, only to experience debilitating high blood sugars for hours on end afterward? There are many deceiving foods that we think are low-carb, but are anything but.

Sugar and starches hide in many foods where you wouldn’t expect to find them, especially at restaurants and among the processed foods in the grocery store. Some examples of foods that seem “healthy” but can cause a blood sugar nightmare include:

  • Salads with sweet dressings and croutons or other toppings (or salad in a bread bowl)
  • Soups
  • Smoothies (especially fruit smoothies)
  • Fruit juice
  • Foods labeled “gluten-free”
  • Granola
  • Flavored yogurts
  • Fat-free ice cream
  • Restaurant foods (especially due to extreme portion sizes)

“Healthy” does not necessarily mean “diabetes-friendly.” Fat-free products are often fortified with sugars and starches. And many gluten-free products have even more carbohydrates than their standard gluten counterparts.

If you’ve chosen a restaurant that can provide nutritional information, ask for it, so you’ll know exactly how many carbohydrates you’ll be consuming. Consider asking for salad dressings and sauces on the side. 

Your Insulin Pump May Be Kinked

If you’re insulin-dependent, the first thing you should do at the sign of stubborn high blood sugar is to check to see if you have a kink in your insulin pump cannula. This can block the delivery of insulin, leading to a very frustrating day.

If you’re unsure, change your pump site! Make sure to call your insulin pump manufacturer to let them know of the issue, and they will usually mail you a replacement for free.

You’ve Injected Into Scar Tissue

If there’s no kink in the cannula, or if you’re using syringes to deliver multiple daily injections (MDI), you may have also just picked a “bad” site. When insulin is injected (either manually or with an insulin pump infusion set) into scar tissue, absorption suffers, resulting in unpredictable and high blood sugars.

Make sure to always rotate your sites as much as possible to avoid developing scar tissue and the inevitable high blood sugars they bring.

Your Medications Need Adjusting

Our bodies are constantly changing. It would be silly to expect the same insulin to carbohydrate ratio or insulin sensitivity factors or even the same number of milligrams of our oral diabetes medications for our entire lives.

Make sure you’re seeing your endocrinologist or diabetes doctor regularly; they can help refine your medication regimen.

You may be especially likely to require adjustments if you’ve recently lost or gained weight, have increased or decreased your activity levels, are going through a stressful life change, are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, or haven’t been to the doctor for a while.

Your Medications Are Expired

Always check to make sure your medications aren’t expired! At room temperature, insulin will lose potency

Oral medications can last much longer, but you still need to be cognizant of expiration dates and make sure you’re refilling your prescriptions regularly to avoid taking an expired (and potentially useless) dose.

What to Do When Your Blood Sugar Is High

High blood sugars can range from not-a-big-deal to a life-or-death emergency. Make sure to check your blood sugar often and monitor for any signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). If you have blood sugars that are over 250 md/dL for more than a few hours and you have moderate to high ketones, you will need to seek emergency medical care immediately. If you don’t have ketones, but want to feel better as soon as possible, try some of these tactics:

  • Exercise – cardio (a walk, jog or even jumping jacks) can bring blood sugar down quickly
  • Take a correction bolus of insulin
  • Change your pump site
  • Chug water
  • Take a hot shower or bath 
  • Manage stress with a quick yoga sequence or meditation
  • Test for ketones (if you have moderate or high ketones and your blood sugar has been high for several hours, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away)

Understanding why you’re experiencing high blood sugars is one more way to improve your life with diabetes! Always work with your doctor before changing your oral medication and/or insulin therapy.

Have you ever experienced a mystery, stubborn high blood sugar? What helped you to get it down quickly? Share this post and comment below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

One-pan dinners are a go-to for family night, but in most cases a bit too real for guests. This recipe will change your dinner parties. Hearty Swiss chard leaves wrap a savory treasure of salmon and snappy vegetables bathed in lemon-thyme butter. Recyclable foil packets jazz up the presentation and keep everything in place, while minimizing cleanup so you can spend time with friends outside your kitchen. Perfect al fresco with fresh greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

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Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps

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Hearty Swiss chard leaves wrap a savory treasure of salmon and snappy vegetables bathed in lemon-thyme butter. 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword fish, one-pan, salmon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 405kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thyme chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel grated
  • 8 pcs large Swiss chard leaves center stems trimmed. Remove stem to the leaf edge creating a solid surface
  • 2 cups summer squash sliced
  • 2 cups green beans trimmed
  • 4 6- ounce salmon fillets skinned
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup lemon sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine butter, chives, lemon juice, thyme and lemon peel.
  • Set lemon-thyme butter aside.
  • Tear four 12×12 squares of aluminum foil.
  • Working in batches, overlap two trimmed chard leaves stem-to-stem, making a rectangle.
  • Place arranged chard on each foil square.
  • Layer ½ cup summer squash and ½ cup green beans on each chard base.
  • Add one 6-ounce salmon fillet.
  • Sprinkle each fillet with ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • Dot each with one tablespoon lemon-thyme butter, topping with a lemon slice.
  • Fold bottom chard leaf over each fillet, follow with the top.
  • Holding closed, fold aluminum foil, creating a sealed packet.
  • Place prepared packets on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake until salmon reaches 145 degrees, approximately 12-15 minutes.
  • Open packets and serve.

Notes

* Naturally low-carb & gluten-free

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 552mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

Lemon-Thyme Vegetable Salmon Wraps Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Don’t Be Deceived: How Food Labels Mislead

People with diabetes have to be very conscientious about the foods they eat. This can sometimes be tricky in the world of 24/7 advertisements, fast-food billboards and commercials, and temptation around every corner.

Marketers and food conglomerates will try anything to appeal to an audience, even people with very specific nutritional needs, including people with diabetes.

The following food labels may be true, but they’re definitely deceiving. Next time you’re shopping or placing your takeaway order, be wary.

Gluten-Free

The explosion of gluten-free foods on the market has been a godsend for people living with Celiac disease. And because Celiac tends to affect people living with type 1 diabetes at higher rates, this is especially applicable to this population. There are, however, many misconceptions around gluten-free food.

Something being gluten-free doesn’t automatically make it “healthier” or even lower-carbohydrate. It simply means that the food was prepared without wheat proteins, a group of seed storage proteins found in certain cereal grains.

Prepackaged gluten-free foods can sometimes even have higher carbohydrate counts than foods containing gluten.

For example, Domino’s gluten-free pizza crust clocks in at 75 carbs (for a small pizza), whereas their crunchy thin crust pizza (for a small pizza) is only 67 carbs. If you’re Celiac, that’s great, but if you think going gluten-free will mean you’re automatically a low-carbohydrate eater, guess again.

Additionally, Domino’s gluten-free pizza dough contains the following ingredients: water, modified rice starch, rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, olive oil, potato flour, evaporated cane sugar, fresh yeast, honey, avicel (a “fat replacer”), salt, calcium propionate. These ingredients are not exactly the healthiest nor the cleanest.

No Sugar Added

A few years ago, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) overhauled their food label protocol by adding more nuance to the “sugar” category. Now foods will be broken down into two categories:

  1. Total sugars
  2. Added sugars

There is no Daily (recommended) Value on food labels for total sugars because no official recommendation has been made for the total amount to eat in a day.

The Daily (recommended) Value for added sugars is 50 grams per day based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.

This can be helpful for people with diabetes when they’re trying to decide what and how much to eat. It also distinguishes natural sugars, like those naturally found in fruit, milk, and vegetables, from added sugars, like the sugar, dextrose, or glucose added to popular children’s breakfast cereals, baked goods, and other sweets.

It’s healthier to choose a banana rather than two bowls of Cap’n Crunch, even if they have the same number of total sugar. But don’t be fooled! Just because something doesn’t have any added sugar doesn’t mean that it has no sugar (or no carbohydrates), and it definitely does not make it a low-carbohydrate food.

Fortified

If a food label says it’s been fortified or enriched, it simply means that nutrients have been artificially added to the product. For example, Vitamin D is often added to orange juice and milk, B Vitamins and Iron are often added to refined bread and granolas, and puddings, ice cream, and other children’s snacks are often fortified with Calcium.

But this doesn’t make any of these products inherently healthy. Be careful to read food labels and (especially) ingredient lists closely to make sure the “fortified” food you’re buying is worth it. You can always take a supplement of the Vitamin or Mineral you’re aiming to get, without the junk food accompanying it.

Organic

The organic food trend has hit the United States by storm, and as of February 2021, organic foods make up over 4% of overall food sales in the country. “Organic food” can be a few things:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.”

“As for organic meat, regulations require that animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones.”

Organic may mean more natural, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a food is healthier. Some organic products may still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories. For example, organic sugar is still sugar. An organic cookie might taste self-righteously good, but it’s still a cookie (and you’ll definitely still need to bolus for it).

Natural

One of the most misleading food claims is stating that something is “natural”. This is because there is no official guideline or definition from the FDA for what “natural” actually is, although the agency loosely has considered the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food (like artificial food coloring).

The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefits.

“Natural” simply means that at one point, the manufacturer or food-processing plant worked with a natural source like soybeans, corn, or rice, all of which can be heavily processed and turned into unhealthy versions of themselves (most notably, types of digestible sugars!).

Some “natural” yet not the healthiest foods include:

  • Natural fruit juices
  • All-natural ice-cream
  • Natural dried fruits
  • Natural potato chips

Be careful not to correlate the word “natural” with “healthy,” especially if you have diabetes.

The Bottom Line

The easiest way to avoid being misled by food labels is to avoid processed foods altogether, and to enjoy whole foods (that have no ingredient lists!) instead. If you choose to eat packaged foods, have a keen eye for the ingredient list, know how to properly read the nutritional label, and be wary of deceiving food labels and trendy terms. Bon appétit!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Crustless Butternut Squash Tart

This content originally appeared on ForGoodMeasure. Republished with permission.

While technically a winter fruit, antioxidant-rich butternut squash is available year around either fresh from the farm or frozen. Embracing spring’s yellow blossoms, summer’s golden sun, autumn’s amber hues & winter’s hearty recipes – this flavorful, crustless tart is perfect any season as a savory breakfast or light dinner alongside fresh greens tossed in a snappy vinaigrette.

Crustless Butternut Squash Tart

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Crustless Butternut Squash Tart

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This flavorful, crustless tart is perfect any season as a savory breakfast or light dinner alongside fresh greens tossed in a snappy vinaigrette.
Course Breads and Baked Goods
Cuisine American
Keyword Butternut Squash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 140kcal

Equipment

  • Immersion blender or processor

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash peeled, seeded & cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¾ cup goat cheese*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Toss squash in olive oil and arrange on prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast for 40 minutes, until tender.
  • In a small bowl combine roasted squash, eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, creme fraiche, salt and pepper.
  • Purée squash mixture, using an immersion blender or processor.
  • Grease a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.
  • Crumble goat cheese in prepared dish, distributing evenly.
  • Pour egg mixture over cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

Naturally low-carb & gluten-free

*I prefer creamy Capricho de Cabra for this recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 245mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g


Please note that the nutritional information may vary depending
on the specific brands of products used. We encourage everyone to check specific
product labels in calculating the exact nutritional information.

 

Crustless Butternut Squash Tart Recipe

Source: diabetesdaily.com

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