Cooks Exchange

Diabetes is a holiday concern for many people

The upcoming holidays can be torture for those who have diabetes.

Every party or dinner a diabetic goes to is filled with carbohydrate-laden or sugary foods. These goodies are hard to resist.

One way to stave off the not-so-healthy fare is to eat a light meal before attending, quelling the temptation of overindulge.

Offering to make a dish for the host or hostess is another way around all the sugary sweet and heavy entrees or starchy vegetables. He or she would probably be thankful for the help. This way the person on a restricted diet knows there will be something he can eat.

Deborah Colby, education director for the National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute, shares some recipes that will make the holidays a little easier for diabetics. Her recipes are anything but boring. Diabetics are not deprived when they bite into her pumpkin cake.

More than 370,000 Mississippians have diabetes or about 15 percent of the population. Florida being a larger state has more than 2,350,000 diabetics or 13 percent.

Programs in both states are available to offer help and diabetes prevention, and organizations throughout the world will come together on Nov. 14, World Diabetes Day, to promote prevention and ways to curb diabetes through education.

Diabetes month

Readers will be seeing more about diabetes in the next few weeks since November is National Diabetes Month.

The Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi, whose goal is creating a diabetes-free tomorrow, has started a chapter on the Coast. Colby, vice chairman, says the new group wants to serve as a unified voice to reduce the impact of diabetes. The group’s mission is to do this by improved policy, prevention and management of diabetes and its complications for all Mississippians.

“If you have diabetes, know someone with diabetes or work in diabetes management or prevention, you need to consider joining the Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi,” said Colby, who has worked with diabetes education and prevention on the Coast since the late 1990s. “The DCM just started the Southern Chapter in Biloxi.”

Check out the group’s website for more details,

The Southern Chapter’s next meeting is from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Jan. 11 in the third-floor board room in the administration building at William Carey Tradition Campus.

What’s up for holidays?

Readers, share your holiday recipes and ideas for the Thanksgiving meal. Who hosts the meal? How many attend? When do you start preparing?

Me, I am into no-stress holidays. Turkey in the slow cooker is an easy way to go.


(Serves 20)

1 cup Splenda, granulated

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup egg substitute

1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin puree

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less cream cheese

1/4 cup margarine, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup Splenda, granulated

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-by-13-inch pan with baking spray. Set aside.

Place the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour batter in pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool.

To make the frosting, place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until blended. Frost cake.

Submitted by Deborah Colby


(Serve 20)

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries

1 cup Splenda, granulated

1 cup water

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1 mango, peeled and diced

Place the first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled or overnight.

Add diced mango. Stir and serve. Great with turkey, chicken or pork.

Submitted by Deborah Colby


(Serves 8)

1/2 pound asparagus, cut in 2-inch pieces

1/2 medium cauliflower, cut in florets

8 ounces baby carrots

8 ounces turnips, peeled and diced

2 small sweet potatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons olive oil

1 packet Splenda

2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon onion power

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking pan with nonstick spray. Wash all vegetables, cut and mix together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix. Pour over vegetables and toss being sure to thoroughly coat all vegetables. Place vegetables on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring once.

Submitted by Deborah Colby


3 small (1 1/4 pounds each) acorn squash

5 tablespoons dry instant brown rice

3 tablespoons dried cranberries

3 tablespoons diced celery

3 tablespoons minced onion

Pinch of ground or dried sage

1 teaspoon butter, divided

3 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 cup water

Slice off points on the bottoms of squash so they will stand in slow cooker. Slice off tops and discard. Scoop out seeds. Place squash in slow cooker.

Combine rice, cranberries, celery, onion and sage. Stuff into squash. Dot with butter.

Pour 1 tablespoon orange juice into each squash. Pour water into bottom of slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low 2 1/2 hours. Serve with cooked turkey breast.

From “Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook”


(Serves 4-6)

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2-pound boneless, skinless turkey breast

1 1/2 cups orange juice

Place onions in slow cooker.

Combine garlic, rosemary and pepper. Make gashes in turkey about 3/4 of the way through at 2-inch intervals. Stuff with herb mixture. Place turkey in slow cooker.

Pour juice over turkey. Cover. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours or until turkey is no longer pink in center.

Exchange values: Fruit, 0.5; meat very lean 4.0.

From “Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook”