My great-grandmother had diabetes. My grandmother has diabetes, and her sister has it as well. 

According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million adults and children in the U.S. have diabetes. One of them is Carrie Mae McKoy. A lot of you may not know Ms. Carrie Mae, but she is a very special person to me… she’s my grandmother.  Growing up in a family that has deep Southern roots, I remember hearing adults talk about “having Sugar”. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood the effect it has had on my family.

For those who don’t know too much about diabetes, here’s a brief overview.  If you have diabetes, it means you have too much glucose in your blood. There are two main types of chronic diabetes:

  •  Type I: can develop at any age, and typically appears during childhood or adolescence.
  •  Type II: most common type of diabetes. Develops at any age and is often preventable.

Two potentially reversible diabetes conditions are prediabetes, when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not enough to be classified as diabetes; and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.  No matter what type of diabetes you have, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and keep a healthy weight. 

Although there is no specific diet for people with diabetes, foods high in nutrition and low in fat and calories should be staples in your daily meal plan.  Sugary foods are okay once in a while, as long as they’re included in your meal plan. One of the things that my grandmother loves is sweets – I think that’s where my sweet tooth comes from. I wanted to find some tasty recipes for her that will satisfy her sweet tooth and help her to keep her diabetes in control.  I found two recipes that I think she will enjoy – I hope you try them too (even if you don’t have diabetes)!

Honey Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup smooth unsalted almond butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or ½ cup each all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mist baking sheet with cooking spray. Beat butter, canola oil, honey, egg, almond butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with a mixer until combined. In another bowl, whisk the dry milk, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the oats and raisins. Scoop tablespoonfuls of batter, about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in a loosely covered container for up to 3 days.

Makes 30 cookies

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Peach Crumble

Recipe courtesy MayoClinic.com.

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 8 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons trans-free margarine, cut into thin slices
  • ¼ cup quick cooking oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pan with cooking spray. Arrange peach slices in the prepared pie plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and brown sugar. With your fingers, crumble the margarine into the flour-sugar mixture. Add the oats and stir to mix evenly. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the peaches.  Bake until peaches are soft and the topping is browned, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

 Makes 8 servings.

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Maintaining a healthy weight, a good diet, and plenty of exercise are key in managing all types of diabetes. And don’t worry; you won’t have to give up your sweets either!  Consult a registered dietician and create a meal plan that fits your health goals and lifestyle. Then, STICK TO IT!

For more information, check out these links:

www.diabetes.org – American Diabetes Association

www.diabetic-recipes.com – Online diabetic recipes

I hope you learned something new – I did!

Happy Eating!

The Fab Foodie

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