Guilt-free summer dishes for people with diabetes can tantalize their taste buds and help them stick to a healthful diabetes meal plan. During the easygoing season of backyard barbecues and outdoor soirees, there are plenty of mouthwatering options to try. Grab a diabetes cookbook to discover delightful dishes that are spicy, sweet, smoky, cool, tart, and tangy this summer.

Spicy

Hot sauces and spicy cuisine are a mainstay during the summertime. When people eat spicy foods, they should be prepared to quench their thirst with cold sugar free beverages. Water is always the best choice to stay hydrated during the heat of the summer. Fortunately, people with diabetes can satisfy their urge for spicy foods without making their blood sugar rise.

Hot Chicken Burritos

Bring some Tex-Mex flavor to outdoor parties with low-fat chicken burritos. Use white meat chicken for less fat and calories. Put a dash of cayenne pepper in the pan while sautéing the chicken. Dried spices can be rich in taste and calorie/guilt free. Add some spicy mango salsa to heat up your palate. Spicy seasonings and flavors go a long way and only a little bit is required. Finish off with spicy sliced green onions to add more heat without any sugar.

Peppery Steak

Rare SteakSteak is often served at outdoor BBQs and summer gatherings; now you can have your share of meat with a zing. Get lean cuts of steak and trim away all fat. Grill them with ground black and red pepper. Add color to the dish with red and yellow peppers, red sliced onions and snow pea pods. Red peppers offer a burst of flavor and nutritional benefits but are low in carbohydrates. Mix in a dash of hot sauce at the very end for real spice.

Spicy Bloody Mary’s With or Without Vodka

Use pre-mixed bloody Mary blend (look for low sodium) and doctor it up with a bit of lemon juice, ground, black pepper and white horse radish. Mix all ingredients, pour over ice and add 3 green olives and a celery stick. Add a shot of vodka if desired. This will increase a spicy, bold taste to any meal you serve.

Sweet

A sweet treat is often a craving for people with diabetes but they need to be careful about their sugar intake. Maintaining blood sugars are important at any meal. This means staying satisfied without turning to sugary options such as candy, rich desserts or soda. Fortunately, there are many choices that can satisfy your sweet tooth without causing a blood sugar crisis.

Pineapple Tilapia With Lime

Nothing is more enticing than an outdoor luau. Consider serving grilled, lean tilapia fillets covered in fresh or canned in own juice pineapple chunks and lime slices. Pineapple is filled with healthy nutrients but moderation is important as it is high on the glycemic index. Add a small amount of unsweetened coconut flakes to the finished grilled fillets for even more tropical flavor. The coconut will bring more sweetness to the dish.

Chicken and Fruit Jamboree

Make the party more fun by mixing up lean white chicken pieces with spinach, orange slices, and grapes in a fat-free ginger dressing then chill and serve. Moderate amounts of ginger have been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Sweet dessert options to top off the meal include sugar-free Jell-O and sugar-free pudding with homemade whipped cream made with Sucralose or Stevia instead of sugar. You can also thread chicken chunks on skewers and alternate with fresh peaches, plums and grapes. A shish kebab meal can offer a sweet taste using only wholesome, natural ingredients and no blood sugar spikes.

Smoky

The alluring scent of backyard barbecues can make people with diabetes crave a smoky dish that won’t disrupt their diabetes management plan. Most smoky flavor sauces are filled with fat, calories, and sugar. Instead, consider a smoky option that is sure to satisfy the most discerning diner with diabetes.

Sensational Cedar Grilled Salmon

Cedar Grilled SalmonMany people with diabetes miss greasy BBQ ribs dripping in heavy, sugar laden sauces which are high in salt and calories. Get rid of those cravings with sensational cedar grilled salmon which has a great smoky flavor. The salmon is grilled on a cedar plank and seasoned with rosemary, chives, black pepper, and slices of lemon. Serve with roasted asparagus and a small sweet potato on the side. Wild salmon is a great choice since it contains heart-healthy Omega-3s people with diabetes can feel good about.

Magnificent Mediterranean Tuna Steaks

Fish is a favorite meal during the summer season. Try magnificent Mediterranean tuna steaks seared with coriander and topped with chopped tomatoes and green onions for a smoky flavor that is sure to make you want more. Coriander has been shown to help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Home Smokers

The end of summer is a great time to search for home smokers on sale. Remember that Thanksgiving is around the corner and a whole smoked turkey or turkey breast will “wow” your guests. Ham or pork ribs can be made in the smoker with just wood chips. These delicious dishes will taste great without a lot of sweet /heavy sauces which only add sugar and calories.

Cool

Eating or drinking cool items on a hot day can give your taste buds and body a sense of relief. Instead of serving hot coffee or tea think about the iced version to help cool you down at the end of a delicious summer meal.

Ravishing Red Salad

Colorful fresh foods are chock full of antioxidants which is a major benefit for people with diabetes. Cool off the day with a robust and ravishing red salad that includes fresh strawberries, beets, tomatoes, watermelon, arugula leaves and slivered almonds. Beets contain an antioxidant called lipoic acid which may help to prevent cell damage as people get older.

Classic Salad

Nothing is cooler and more refreshing on a hot day than a chilled salad. Mix your favorite greens such as spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, and iceberg lettuce, with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, celery, radishes and mushrooms. Top it off with grilled, lean lamb, pork, turkey, tofu or eggs and a fat-free, sugar-free dressing of your choice. You can also use balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a fresh light taste. Green, leafy vegetables are filled with nutrients and antioxidants. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins C and E as well as iron. No heating up the kitchen or starting the grill which will cool things off immediately.

Tart

Tartness on the tongue is a feeling many people crave. Tart foods can also be sweet and may raise concerns for people with diabetes. Learn how to experience the seductive sensation of tartness without worrying about your blood sugar levels.

Tart and Tasty Fruit Cup

Summer Dishes - Tart Fruit CupFrom a light lunch or dinner to a refreshing dessert, a tart and tangy fruit cup is sure to be satisfying. Mix fresh, seedless, green grapes, melon balls, peaches, and strawberries with lime juice and shredded lime peel. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve with a dollop of vanilla, low fat yogurt and cinnamon on top. The sweetness from the yogurt and cinnamon and the tart taste from the lime really create a mouth explosion. Limes contain soluble fiber that may slow your body’s absorption of sugar and help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Lemon Orzo

Lemon orzo pasta can be tart and satisfying. Cook dried orzo and mix with shredded lemon peel, thyme, basil, and black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and chunks of white meat, packed in water, canned tuna. Add fresh steamed green beans to the dish at the end. Orzo is one of the whole grains preferred for people with diabetes over white pasta. This is an easy and quick summer dish which can serve as a main meal.

Tangy

Savory foods are a traditional part of outdoor parties. Unfortunately, certain home recipes are filled with unhealthy ingredients people with diabetes should try to avoid. Consider a tangy option that brings the taste of summer to life without all the guilt.

Grilled Fish with Bok Choy

Grilled white fish such as halibut or flounder, tastes tangy topped off with bok Choy, ginger, and shredded orange peel. Bok Choy is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and calcium. Add a scoop of brown rice for a complete meal.

Crispy Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry

Vegan meals can be packed with flavor, nutrients, and antioxidants. Consider this crispy Brussels sprouts stir-fry for meat-free Mondays. Sauté chopped garlic, Brussels sprouts, and kimchi in olive oil and serve on a bed of whole-grain rice or quinoa. Fermented vegetables such as kimchi may help reduce the health risks associated with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

During the food-focused season of summer people with diabetes have plenty of irresistible options. Bring your own dish to the party and everyone is sure to want to share it with you. You can enjoy all the bold flavors you love without worrying about blood sugar spikes!

ADW Diabetes

ADW Diabetes is a diabetic supply mail order company that is dedicated to keeping diabetes management affordable. ADW takes a leading role in offering free diabetic education through Destination Diabetes, an informational component of the ADW website featuring tips and advice from diabetes and nutrition experts, diabetic recipes and more.