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5 Delicious but Healthy Christmas Treats For People With Diabetes

Published on: Dec 23, 2022
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What is one of the first things that come to mind when you hear the word ‘Christmas’?

Treats! Christmas treats are one of the first things that come to mind when you hear the word ‘Christmas’, doesn’t it?

Christmas is a fun time, a time to celebrate with friends, family, and near and dear ones. And it is also that time of the year that we come together to enjoy special treats and some delicious food times with those we are close to. 

But what if you or a loved one has diabetes? Can you still have delicious treats at Christmas? Or do you have to stick to the same regular diet that you have been following throughout the year?

In this article, we will take a look at how you can have the best time during Christmas while keeping your blood sugar in control, and share some healthy delicious recipes with you that are safe even for those who have diabetes, the things that you can eat during Christmas, some cake ideas and basically, talk about all the good fun you can have while planning your Christmas treats! 

Diabetes and Christmas holidays

Meal planning and tracking are very important for those who have diabetes, especially during holidays. Because usually, this is the time when people reverse all the progress they’ve made in their health. 

You may feel that Christmas is a dreaded time because it is all about enjoying treats and loads of food and sweets. However, once you put a little thought into it, you can also enjoy Christmas the same way as anyone else, but all you need to do is make a few changes in the ingredients that you use for your Christmas treats.

Once you do that, and once you know how to control your diet portion, you are all set to enjoy your Christmas cheer!

Diabetes-friendly Christmas recipes

Here’s a list of healthy and delicious Christmas snacks and Christmas treats for people with diabetes. 

1. Christmas hummus platter

You will need

  • Chholey, soaked, boiled, and rinsed
  • Cauliflower with the heads broken into smaller pieces
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Any salad dressing of choice or homemade salad dressing (optional)
  • Red bell peppers or laal shimla mirch thinly sliced 
  • Chilli flakes
  • Sliced black olive (easily available in local grocery stores, if not, you can use black grapes) 
  • Til seeds or sesame seeds
  • Salt 
  • Olive oil 
  • Chopped garlic
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • Jeera powder or cumin powder 
  • Cheese or radish (mooli)

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How to make

  • The idea is to make a Santa Claus face using the above ingredients that you can then eat. This is especially a very healthy and delicious starter.
  • To make the hummus, heat a small pan on low flame and add the til seeds. 
  • Stir and roast them.
  • Once they start to crackle, remove them from heat so that the seeds can cool down.
  • Now grind the til seeds to make a fine powder. 
  • Add the garlic, olive oil, jeera powder, and lemon juice to the grinder and mix them all together to form a paste-like creamy texture. 
  • Now add the boiled chholey and grind them well to make a creamy paste. 
  • Take a platter or a big tray in which you want to serve the Santa hummus.
  • Now spread the hummus on this tray to make Santa’s face.
  • To make Santa’s beard, place the small cauliflower flowers in a circular shape.
  • Place a few cauliflower flowers on top of Santa’s head to make the base of the Santa hat.
  • Place the cherry tomato in the center of the face to make the nose.  
  • To make the eyebrows and the mustache, you can either use cheese cut up in strips, or mooli cut up in strips.
  • Place the cut olives or the grapes to form the eyes. 
  • Use the laal Shimla mirch strip to make a smile. 
  • Now sprinkle some chili flakes on the cheeks to make them look rosy. This is an optional step.
  • You can serve this with sliced cucumbers and carrots to have as a delicious fun dip.

2. Chocolate chip cookies

You will need

  • Oats 
  • Almond flour or badaam ka atta (badaam ground into a fine powder form)
  • Baking powder
  • Cocoa powder that is not sweetened
  • Vanilla essence
  • Choice of nuts 
  • Mashed ripe banana 
  • Unsweetened Peanut butter
  • A dash of salt 
  • Cinnamon or daalcheeni powder 
  • Stevia (optional)

How to make

  • In a large bowl, mash the banana and add the vanilla essence.
  • Add the rolled oats and the almond powder, along with a dash of salt. 
  • Mix everything together.
  • Melt the peanut butter and add to this mix. Stir everything in well to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Now add the cocoa powder, and if you are using stevia, add it in now.
  • Keep mixing till it all forms a nice and even batter.
  • Now add the daalcheeni powder and the nuts of your choice.
  • Keep the batter aside.
  • Preheat the oven and line the baking tray using parchment or baking paper.
  • Take a scoop of the batter and place it on the paper to make a cookie. Keep repeating till you have enough cookie batter in place.
  • Place this in the oven and bake at about 280 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. 
  • Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool down.

3. Roasted vegetables

You will need

  • You can take a choice of vegetables for the season, such as pumpkin, squash, cauliflower, carrots, and beetroots. Wash and peel them, then cut them up into wedges or cubes.
  • Italian herbs such as rosemary and basil (these are easily available online as well as in local stores). Alternatively, you can also use tulsi and pudina.
  • Any healthy virgin cold-pressed oil of choice
  • Grated cheese
  • Some fresh ground black pepper
  • Some red chili powder
  • Salt as per taste
  • Crushed roasted garlic or garlic powder
  • Butter for greasing

How to make 

  • In a big bowl, mix together all the vegetables that you will use.
  • In another big bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients.
  • Now pour the ingredients from the second bowl all over the vegetables and mix them all well.
  • Take a baking tray and grease it with butter. Place all the vegetables in the tray.
  • Bake the vegetables at about 218 degrees Celsius for about 40 to 50 minutes or till they become tender. You can stir them in between to ensure they are baking evenly.

4. Seasoned chicken breast 

You will need

  • Chicken breast 
  • Olive oil
  • Peeled and crushed garlic
  • Fresh rosemary that is crushed, alternatively, you can also use fresh and crushed pudina and tulsi
  • Salt as per taste
  • Some black pepper powder or kaali mirch powder 

How to make

  • In a food blender, add the oil, garlic, rosemary (or pudina and tulsi), and black pepper.
  • Blend till the garlic is finely chopped.
  • Spread the garlic mixture all over the chicken
  • Take an oven rack and place the chicken in a roasting pan. 
  • Bake this at about 165 degrees Celsius for about 2 hours. 
  • Bake it till the chicken gets tender.
  • Once done, let it cool down inside the oven and then serve.

5. Honey and garlic green beans 

This recipe is recommended for people who have high blood sugar as it contains honey. If your blood sugar is in control you can enjoy it. 

You will need

  • Organic honey
  • Minced garlic 
  • Soy sauce with less sodium content
  • Salt as per taste (remember that the soy sauce too will have some salt)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Washed green beans or gavar fali or regular beans
  • Water 
  • Ice water
  • Olive oil or any cold-pressed oil to grease

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How to make

  • In a big bowl, mix the honey, salt, red chili flakes, garlic, and soy sauce.
  • Keep this mix aside.
  • Take a big pan or pateela, add water and beans and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or till they turn slightly tender.
  • Strain and immediately put into the ice water.
  • Drain the water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Grease the cooking pot lightly with oil and add the beans.
  • Cook this on high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, till you start to notice some spots on the beans. 
  • Now add the sauce and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or till you see that the sauce has started to evaporate. 
  • Remove from the heat and serve. 

What can people with type 2 diabetes eat for Christmas?

You can eat almost all the types of Christmas treats that are usual during Christmas, as long as you know they are made with healthy ingredients that are safe for those with diabetes.

If you are not sure of what you may get at a friend’s place, you can always make your own healthy Christmas treats by using the recipes that we have shared here in this article.

But the best way for you to know which foods are best for you is by mapping your PGR or personalized glycemic response using a smart Accu-chek Instant glucometer or a CGM device. And if you are enrolled in the program, you can message your nutritionist to help you plan your meals for the week. 

How do you avoid sugar at Christmas?

There are many natural ingredients that have a sweet flavor and that you can add to your recipes to avoid having sugar, especially during Christmas.

If you are invited to someone’s house for Christmas, you can politely decline or bring some Christmas treats suitable for your health as a healthy and delicious treat for all. After all who doesn’t love a Christmas gift? 

Can people with type 2 diabetes enjoy Christmas?

Absolutely! Thanks to all the medical advancements and digital health services people with diabetes can say Yes to life without having to compromise just by making a few changes in their lifestyle and getting assistance from experts.

Here are a few tips that you can follow, especially during Christmas and also during any other festive season to manage your diabetes like a Pro!

1. Count your carbs

  • Once you make it a practice, you will generally get an idea of which types of foods are high in carbohydrate content, and which ones are alright and safe to consume in moderation. You can also use the Fitterfly Metabolic Health App to track your calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients. 
  • Start preparing a little in advance if possible, to understand how a particular type of food affects your blood sugar levels. Once again, the best way to do this is by mapping your PGR with a CGM device or a smart glucometer which are available as part of Fitterfly’s Diabetes Care and CGM programs. 
  • You do not need to entirely give up on delicious foods from the Christmas treats, but try and limit them as much as you can.

2. Have a variety of food types

  • It is human and realistic to give in and indulge every once in a while. Just enjoy and move on guilt-free
  • However, one of the ways to do this is by having a variety of foods on your plate.
  • Make sure that your plate has a higher percentage of fiber and protein over carbohydrates. 

3. Keep testing your blood glucose levels regularly

  • You may already have a routine to check your blood glucose levels, but Christmas is a time of fun and revelry and lots of treats, so it is a good idea to monitor your blood glucose levels a little more.
  • You can use a continuous glucose monitoring device to measure your blood sugar. A CGM measures your blood sugar every 15 minutes to give you a real-time picture or a smart glucometer like the Accu-Chek instant glucometer provided with the Fitetrfly Diabetes Care program
  • This will also give you a good idea about which foods are causing a spike in your blood glucose levels so that you can avoid it next time.
  • Also, make sure to update your doctor or diabetes management team about your blood sugar levels so they can make necessary changes in your lifestyle and medication. 

4. Carry some treats with you

  • It is not always possible to ask other hosts to make treats for you that are diabetes-friendly, and it may not always be possible for you to find Christmas treats that are entirely safe to eat for those who have diabetes. 
  • Instead of relying completely on your host, you can also make a few treats yourself and make them diabetes-friendly.
  • Try out some of the recipes that we have shared in this article, as well as more recipes that we have already shared on our blog.
  • It is very much possible that you may end up surprising your friends and family with how delicious these diabetes-friendly treats are, and they may end up asking for more!
  • If you are planning to host friends and family at an outside venue, such as a restaurant, speak to them beforehand and check their menu to understand whether or not they are equipped to make recipes that are safe for those who have diabetes. You can also send the menu to your coach if you are a member of the Fitterfly Diabetes Management programs and they will help you pick the healthiest foods. 

5. Worry less

  • This is one of the biggest tips that you should have when it comes to enjoying the Christmas season.
  • Yes, it is a time when you may not have full control over how you are managing your diabetes health, and you may end up having a few cheat days.
  • However, instead of constantly feeling guilty and berating yourself, congratulate yourself for following a healthy diabetes routine for so long, and give yourself a little room to occasionally indulge yourself.
  • Do not stress too much, and let yourself carefully and safely enjoy this festive time.
  • Remember stress can increase your blood sugar levels. 

Can people with diabetes eat Christmas cake?

Yes, but it depends on blood glucose control. If blood sugars are already high one cannot eat a dessert. moderate consumption is okay if blood glucose is in control. Even then desserts should be eaten in lieu of a cereal portion. 

We also have an alternate recipe for you to enjoy this delicious dessert

You will need

  • Atta 
  • Raisins or kishmish 
  • Water 
  • Eggs (optional)
  • Baking powder to make the batter rise 
  • Pumpkin puree without any lumps 
  • Skimmed milk or low-fat milk 
  • Chopped nuts 
  • Chopped almonds
  • Mix of spices that you want to add 
  • Ground cinnamon or elaichi powder 
  • Apple juice, preferably made at home without any sugar 
  • Ghee for greasing 

How to make

  • In a bowl, soak the kishmish in water and keep it overnight.
  • In the morning, take the pumpkin puree through a sieve or chhalni, to make sure that there are no lumps.
  • Mix the pumpkin puree, eggs, apple juice, and milk.
  • In a big bowl, add the soaked kishmish, different nuts, and spices of your choice. Whatever pulp is left in the chhalni, add it back into the batter and mix.
  • Add the eno and let it stay for a couple of minutes. Mix again. 
  • Take a cake baking tin and lightly grease it with ghee.
  • Now add this batter to the cake baking tin.
  • Bake the mix for about 10 minutes at a temperature of 200 degrees centigrade. 
  • Reduce the heat to about 180 degrees centigrade and bake for another hour or so, or till it starts to cook and is brownish in color.
  • Let it cool down inside the oven.
  • Use a knife and put it through the cake to see if it is baked. The knife will come out clean if the cake is properly baked.
  • The natural apple juice added to the cake will give it a nice sweetish flavor.

Can people with diabetes eat Christmas pudding?

Once again yes, but depends on your blood sugar levels. Here’s a healthy recipe for you to try out this Christmas. 

You will need

  • Butter 
  • Eggs
  • Stevia
  • Raisins or kishmish 
  • Multi grain bread made into crumbs
  • Stevia
  • Chopped orange peel
  • Lemon rind
  • Atta 
  • Baking powder
  • Chopped kaju or cashews
  • Nuts of your choice 
  • Vanilla essence
  • Saunth or dry ginger powder
  • Daalcheeni powder or cinnamon powder 
  • Stevia 

How to make

  • Break the eggs and separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Keep the egg yolks separately in a different bowl.
  • In a bowl, beat the egg whites till they become fluffy and soft. Keep it aside.
  • In another bowl, mix the butter, and stevia and keep mixing it well till it turns into a smooth mix.
  • Now slowly start adding the egg yolks and keep mixing everything together at the same time.
  • Add the stevia, the kaju, the peel of the oranges, the lemon rind, vanilla essence, and the kishmish.
  • Take a non-stick pan and add stevia and water. Cook this on a medium to low flame and keep stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Let this cool down for a bit, then add to the stevia, kishmish, orange, lemon rind, and everything that you made in the previous step.
  • Now take a tin and grease it lightly with the butter.
  • Pour the mix into this tin and steam it for about 15 minutes, with the lid closed.
  • Let it cool down and enjoy.

Fittertake

Managing diabetes is overwhelming and especially so during the holidays because there are so many traditions and social events to navigate through. But don’t worry, use the technology to your advantage.

Use a CGM or a smart glucometer to measure your blood sugar levels, keep your doctor or medical management team, make sure to keep your healthy habits of exercising, staying hydrated, and sleeping on time on the track, and enjoy the holidays.

To have 24×7 expert support to help you manage diabetes enroll in the Fitterfly Diabetes Management program by giving us a call at: 022 4897 1077.

 

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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- By Fitterfly Health-Team
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