After the pleasure of the succulent summer season, fall offers a harvest of yummy foods. As the leaves turn to beautiful hues, a selection of colorful fruits and vegetable become available. Discover the wide variety of delicious fall foods to choose from when you have diabetes.
- Apples are a convenient snack you can take anywhere. Apples of average size have about 15 grams of carbohydrates but are a healthy source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Apples also contain pectin to reduce your cholesterol level and help minimize your appetite. Shop for fresh apples at a local farmers market or go apple picking to get some exercise and fresh air. Try baked apples for a sweet dessert without the guilt. Fill the bottom of a glass baking pan with water. Place three peeled and sliced apples in the water with 1-2 tablespoons of Splenda, brown sugar and a dash of nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes then top with slivered almonds.
- Pears are another mouthwatering fall fruit. Pears contain fiber and phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Bartlett pears are ideal for snacking while D’Anjou and Bosc are great for cooking. Consume fruits such as apples and pears in moderation as they contain natural sugars and count as part of your total carbohydrates.
- Winter squash such as butternut, spaghetti and acorn are excellent sources of fiber and Vitamin A. October is the peak time to harvest winter squash. Butternut squash is starchy and one cup contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Spaghetti squash has just 10 grams per cup, making it an ideal substitute for pasta. It has a nutty flavor that perfectly complements a light tomato sauce.
- Go nuts for nuts in the fall. September starts the harvest season for nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts. Nuts are low in carbohydrates and do not have a major impact on blood glucose levels. They have unsaturated fats to help lower cholesterol. Remember to have small portions as nuts are high in calories and fat. Eating just a few nuts is quite filling and satisfying.
- Pumpkins are useful for more than jack-o-lanterns. This popular symbol of fall is a starchy vegetable that contains vitamins A and C. Make pumpkin muffins or whole grain pumpkin pancakes topped with sugar free syrup. Prepare a warm pumpkin soup on a cold autumn night. Save the seeds to serve as a high fiber snack. Simply wash the pumpkin seeds, bake them for a few minutes and salt them very lightly.
- If pumpkins represent October and Halloween, sweet potatoes are the symbol for November and Thanksgiving. These hearty vegetables contain complex carbohydrates, natural sugars, fiber and protein as well as calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes can be baked or mashed rather than smothered in sugar and marshmallows.
- Broccoli is another fantastic fall vegetable. It is a terrific source of folate, fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Broccoli is also a guilt-free food that is low in calories and carbohydrates. The healthiest way to cook broccoli is to steam it then season it with a dash of pepper and lemon juice. You can also serve broccoli raw with a low-calorie dip.
Fall is the time of year when people tend to get hungrier and consume more foods. Avoid the temptation of pumpkin pie and apple cider. Feast on mouthwatering fall foods (in moderation) such as fresh fruits, nuts and winter vegetables to feel full without all the guilt.