Nut and Berry Chocolate Drops

Low in carbs and high in antioxidants, these little treats are a favorite in my household. They are the perfect answer for a sweet tooth without sending blood glucose levels sky high. Each drop has about 8 carbs.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dark chocolate chips (I use Giradelli 60% cacao chips)
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (I use a mix of dried apricots, craisins, and raisins)
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

Heat chips in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir and return to microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until chips are melted, stirring after each heating. Drop onto parchment or waxed paper with a spoon. Let set for 5 minutes. Arrange fruit, seeds, and nuts on each chocolate drop. Let set for another hour, or place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Apple Snacks

Apple-Slice-Snacks_002Test time is right around the corner. In the state of Virginia, public school students are gearing up to take SOLs (my son included) and college students are heading into final exams in a few weeks. So I thought I’d share one of my son’s favorite test-time snacks. We fondly call these “Apple Snacks” and they are super easy and inexpensive to make and they are filling and nutritious to boot. To make them:

  1. Slice an apple into about 4 slices (about 3/4″ thick).
  2. Blot the juice from the apple slices with a paper towel–this will help the peanut butter stick.
  3. Spread 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter on each apple slice.
  4. Sprinkle 1 T. of your favorite granola on top of each slice.
  5. Top with chocolate chips (if you are a chocoholic like we are!))
  6. Enjoy!

Forget the pumpkin pie this holiday season

I hate pie crust. It’s true. So when my son asked me to make pumpkin pie without the crust so he could eat a lot of it (pie crust is high in both carbs and fat) I was on it! I found a recipe for a Pumpkin Pudding Pie and adapted it to suit our needs. Here’s what we came up with:

pumpkin-chia-pudding-600x500-115020

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Parfaits

1 pkg. sugar free vanilla pudding mix

1 c. fat free milk

1 15 oz can pumpkin (not the pie filling)

3 c. whipped cream (I used the Redi-whip in a can)

2 t. Splenda-sugar mix

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

Directions:

Beat the pudding mix and milk with a mixer for three minutes. Fold in pumpkin until thoroughly integrated. Chill for 20-30 min. Meanwhile, mix the Splenda and spices in a small bowl.  Layer 1/3 c. pudding mix, followed by 1/4 cup cream and then another 1/3 c. pudding in a parfait dish. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle the spice mix on top. Serve and enjoy! Makes 8 parfaits, each containing 9 g. carbs and 6 g. fat.

The Verdict:

My son and family loved the parfaits, but we all agreed that a bit of pumpkin pie spice mixed into the pudding would improve the already yummy dessert even more. My husband, a pie fanatic, missed the crust and ended up dipping Girl Scout Trefoil cookies into his parfait. Next time I make it, I will layer crushed cookies on the bottom of his parfait.

The travails of dining out

This past week, my family and I traveled to Baltimore so I could present a paper on T1D at a conference. We had a great time, but we failed to manage my son’s blood glucose levels and keep him in a healthy range. At one point, his BG was over 400 for several hours. The difficulty we ran into is a lack of available nutritional info. At restaurants. We tend to stay away from local restaurants unless we know the cooking methods are clean–without added chemicals and unnecessary fats and sugars, as all of these wreak havoc on bg. Local restaurants do not have the means to do food analysis, so it’s chains for us. But even then, a lot of chains do not provide nutritional info despite federal mandates that they do so. Some of the offenders we have encountered in the past include:
– Cracker Barrel
– Texas Roadhouse
– Quaker Steak and Lube
– Plaza Azteca
– Hard Rock Cafe
– Buffalo Wild Wings
– cookout
– Planet Hollywood
– Phillipp’s Seafood

Still, even when restaurants do provide nutritional info, it can be inaccurate due to inconsistent portion size. For example, even though Outback provides nutritional info, we’ve found that Cole’s bg goes high every time we eat there. Same goes for Red Lobster. Panera and Chick-fil-a seem to have the most accurate nutritional information based on Cole’s post-prandial bg (that’s a bg two hours after eating–if it falls between 80 and 180, we assume we dosed correctly based in the nutritional info). Some places we’ve learned to avoid because provided carb counts are exceptionally high. For instance, even if you skip the cheesecake, you can count on eating at least 100 carbs at The Cheesecake Factory. If you indulge and enjoy cheesecake, be prepared to consume an additional 100-200 carbs. Yikes! That’s probably as much as you should consume in an entire day!

It usually takes several days for bg to recover from a weekend trip–which is why we travel only when necessary these days. Unfortunately with the holidays around the corner, the necessity will be rather frequent, but we have plans to pack lunches while we travel. It’s just a shame roadside picnic tables no longer exist!

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