Being a vegetarian and a diabetic can turn meal time into a confusing situation. Vegetarians have to pay close attention to their protein intake to ensure they are meeting their needs, and diabetics have to carefully monitor their carb intake in order to regulate their blood sugar.
The following five recipes include foods from the American Diabetes Associations Diabetes Superfoods list. Each vegetarian recipe includes at least one nutrient-dense, low-glycemic food that will help boost your health.
Beans are a great choice for vegetarians because they are a high-protein food. Plus their fiber content will help keep your blood sugar nice and steady.
1. Black Bean Hummus Dip
- 1 15-ounce can black beans (preferably low sodium), rinsed and drained
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp minced jalapeño pepper
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Scoop out the hummus and put it in a serving dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil. You can garnish with fresh cilantro or a dash of ground red pepper.
- Serve with cut up fresh veggies instead of eating this dip with high-calorie chips!
Cinnamon is truly a diabetic-friendly spice! A study conducted by the US Agricultural Research Service found that type 2 diabetic who consumed just one gram of cinnamon per day experienced a 20% decrease in blood sugar.
2. Easy Baked Apples
- 5 large apples
- 2 tsp apple pie spice blend (or cinnamon if you do not have this blend at home)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 Tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 375° F and lightly grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
- Slice each apple into about eight pieces. Cut out the core and seeds.
- Combine the apples, apple pie spice, cinnamon, oats, vanilla extract, milk and water in the baking dish and stir until combined.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Take the dish out and stir.
- Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
Citrus fruits are low in sugar, high in fiber and also happen to be a terrific source of vitamin C. Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse that will add vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E and lycopene to your diet. Together these two fruits make for one very nutritious combination!
3. Tomato Cucumber and Citrus Salad
- 1 grapefruit, peeled, seeded and sectioned
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, each tomato sliced in half
- 1 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
- 1 roughly diced cucumber
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine grapefruit, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber in a large salad bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad and season with salt and pepper.
In spite of their name, sweet potatoes are a great choice for diabetics because they have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes. The sweet potatoes in this recipe for Sautéed Kale, Spinach, and Sweet Potatoes add a bit of caramel sweetness to these bitter but nutritious greens.
4. Sautéed Kale, Spinach, and Sweet Potato
- 1/2 pound kale, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, pre-boiled until just done and chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and pepper
- 1 sprig of thyme
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, but not browned.
- Increase the heat to high, add kale, spinach and water.
- Cover and cook for five minutes.
- Remove lid, add sweet potato and cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Season with salt, pepper and thyme to taste.
Recent research has linked vitamin D intake to good health. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics include low-fat dairy into their diets because it is a great source of vitamin D. In addition to having vitamin D, Greek yogurt is also a terrific source of protein for vegetarians.
5. Nutty Vanilla Blueberry Power Smoothie
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 of a frozen banana
- 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Make sure you peel and cut your banana before you freeze it.
- Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.
- If you’d like it to be a little sweeter try adding a drop or two of liquid stevia.
If you are a vegetarian and a diabetic, meeting your nutritional needs each day can be difficult! With these five vegetarian recipes, we hope to help make eating right easier for you!