Archive for November, 2012
Chef John Wright uses a Spring Mix in this cooking demonstration. It is a mixture of small, young salad greens, herbs and edible flowers. The greens are a mixture of textures and sweet, spicy and bitter flavors. Spring mix is also known as mesclun, mesculum, field greens, spring salad mix, spring mix or field greens.
Spring mix is available throughout the year, found in many supermarkets and specialty produce markets. When selecting, look for small greens that have fresh-looking, crisp leaves. When wrapped in plastic and stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, the greens will stay fresh for a week.
The dressing can be made with your choice of sweetener, but Chef Wright used Truvía®. The makers of Truvía® say the sweetener is made from three natural ingredients: stevia leaf extract that comes from best-tasting components of the stevia plant; erythritol, a sugar alcohol found naturally in various fruits; and natural flavors.
The product has been shown to be diabetic-friendly. Studies show that consumption of Truvía® natural sweetener has no effect on the glycemic index and is well tolerated by type 2 diabetics. Truvía® Baking Blend contains 1 gram of sugar per ½ teaspoon.
Eating Wright recipes:
Cranberry and Blue Cheese Salad
3 cups Spring Mix or Spinach
2 tablespoons Sun-dried cranberries
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds-shelled
2 tablespoons blue cheese-crumbled
4 ounces Sun-Dried Cranberry Vinaigrette (Click here for recipe)
Toss all ingredients together in a salad bowl thoroughly and serve.
Sun-dried Cranberry Vinaigrette
1 cup Grape seed Oil
½ cup Raspberry Vinegar
½ cup sun-dried cranberries (Craisins)
¼ cup Sweetener (Truvia, Splenda)
½ cup water
Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender or food processor.
While most experts will agree that too much sugar in any form is bad for your health, the jury is still out whether any one form of sugar is worse than another. A study released this week adds to the debate by showing a link between high fructose corn syrup and diabetes. Researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of Oxford say they have found an association between countries that use more high fructose corn syrup in their food supply and those that have higher rates of diabetes.
High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks. Research has shown that high-fructose corn syrup is chemically similar to table sugar. Controversy exists, however, about whether or not the body handles high-fructose corn syrup differently than table sugar.
High-fructose corn syrup may or may not be less healthy than other types of sweeteners. We do know, however, that too much added sugar — not just high-fructose corn syrup — can contribute unwanted calories that are linked to health problems, such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high triglyceride levels.
Visit the LaTimes.com for the complete discussion.
People carrying excess weight might get too accustomed to hearing how every health condition will improve “if you just drop some pounds.” Obesity and metabolism affect diabetes and, in some cases, maintaining a healthy weight can prevent diabetes or help you avoid serious complications.
The Obesity Society explains that more than 23 million Americans, or nearly 8 percent of the population, have diabetes. More than 90 percent of all diabetics have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed after age 40, but the disease is being found in all ages including children and adolescents.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity and physical inactivity. In this form of diabetes, your body makes insulin but can’t use it properly. At first, your body will over-produce insulin to keep blood sugar normal, but over time this causes your body to lose its ability to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range and blood sugar levels become too high.
If you are overweight, you have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than a normal-weight person. Being overweight puts added pressure on the body’s ability to properly control blood sugar using insulin and therefore makes it much more likely for you to develop diabetes. Almost 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
A good step in prevention or lowering your risk of complications is taking charge of your weight. Speak with your health care provider to determine your ideal weight and discuss ways set and reach weight loss goals if you are carrying excess weight.
But northern-tier states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, are still among those with the lowest prevalence of the disease – if only because residents are not caught in a “culture of obesity,” a Fargo, N.D., diabetes educator said.
Sky-rocketing obesity rates in Southern states are linked to increased cases of type 2 diabetes in that region.
Visit Detroit Lakes-Online for the complete article.
Turkey is a big part of Thanksgiving Day tradition, but diabetics and health-conscious diners can’t go wrong with the variety of lean protein menu items that provide a great balance to the usual carb-heavy holiday fare.
Eating meats that are not breaded or fried is a great goal. The American Diabetes Association explains that meats do not contain carbohydrate so they do not raise blood glucose levels.
A balanced meal plan usually has about 2-5 ounces of meat. All the plant-based protein foods and any breaded meats contain carbohydrate. It’s best to read food labels carefully for these foods. In general there is about 15 grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup beans, and between 5 to 15 grams in soy based products like veggie burgers and “chicken” nuggets.
Lean protein options include seafood, poultry without skin and certain cuts of beef, veal lamb and pork. Years ago, pork was heralded as “the other white meat,” but holiday cooks may also like the versatility of pork dishes and the ability to slice and present it much like turkey.
A pork loin, for example can be seared, baked or roasted and sliced before tabling or it is plated. Three ounces of roasted pork loin has 122 calories, 22 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat. There are no carbohydrates in the pork loin, but cooking it with carbs like fruit or fruit juice will add carbs to the dish.
If you are looking for a turkey alternative, check out Chef John Wright’s Pork Tenderloin.
- 16-ounce pork tenderloin
- Creole seasoning
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Season pork tenderloin with Creole seasoning of your choice. Put pork tenderloin on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil and finish under the broiler for another 8-10 minutes. Slice & serve.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Recipe yields 16 ounces, serving size 4 ounces 290 calories per serving 8 grams fat per serving 0 grams carbohydrates per serving
If you are celebrating and giving thanks this week, it is normal to want to top off your holiday table with festive desserts. Diabetics and those watching their intake of sweets might experience the “feast or famine” holiday affect: Avoiding desserts all together or throwing caution to the wind since it’s “just for one day.”
Diabetic-friendly meal plans focus on healthy foods, but you can eat sweets once in a while without feeling guilty or interfering with your blood sugar control. The key to maintaining control is moderation.
The Mayo Clinic explains that sweets count as carbohydrates in your meal plan. The trick is substituting small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates — such as bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt or potatoes — in your meals. To allow room for sweets as part of a meal, they suggest two options:
- Replace some of the carbohydrates in your meal with a sweet.
- Swap a high carb-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates and eat the remaining carbohydrates as a sweet.
Another strategy for holiday desserts is the use of sugar substitutes for cooking and baking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved six artificial sweeteners for use: sucralose, saccharin, stevia, aspartame, neotame, and acesulfame potassium. Out of these six, three are widespread — saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose — while the newest sweetener, stevia, is rapidly gaining in popularity.
Chef John Wright uses Splenda in an Eating Wright recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake. Find a compatible sugar substitute that works for you and have one less worry when giving celebrating and giving thanks.
Click here for Chef John Wright’s Blueberry Cheesecake.
- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup Splenda
- 5 Tbsp. Smart Balance, melted.
- 3 (8oz) packages of reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Mix graham cracker and melted Smart Balance in bottom of 8 or 9 inch spring form pan; reserve 2 Tbsp. of the crumb mixture. Pat remaining mixture evenly on bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of the pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until crust is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack and lower temperature to 300 degrees.
Beat cream cheese until smooth in mixing bowl; mix in blueberries, eggs, Splenda and cornstarch. Pour mixture into crust in pan. Wrap bottom of pan with aluminum foil and place in roasting pan on middle oven rack; add 1 inch layer of hot water to roasting pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove cheesecake from roasting pan; sprinkle with reserved crumbs and return to oven. Turn oven off and let cheesecake cool for 3 hours. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of spring form pan before serving.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Yields 8 pieces, serving size 1 piece Calories: 168 per serving Carbohydrates: 16 grams per serving Protein: 8 grams per serving Fat: 8 grams per serving