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10 diabetes friendly recipes for a tasty and nutritious life

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Living with diabetes doesn’t have to be bland and diabetes-friendly recipes show that flavourful and indulgent meals are possible while managing blood sugar levels. With nutrient-packed ingredients, these dishes redefine the idea of luxury in diabetes management so why not enjoy the taste and health benefits with some delicious recipes?

10 diabetes friendly recipes for a tasty and nutritious life (Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels)
10 diabetes friendly recipes for a tasty and nutritious life (Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Mickey Mehta, Holistic Health Guru, shared that Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in India, emphasizes a holistic approach to health and wellness and suggetsed some Ayurveda-inspired, diabetes-friendly Indian recipes that focus on balancing flavours and incorporating ingredients that are considered beneficial according to Ayurvedic principles –

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  1. Methi (Fenugreek) Paratha made with Khapli flour:

Ingredients:

• 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves, finely chopped

• 2 cups khaapli wheat flour

• ½ tsp each of sesame seeds, kalonji, whole jeera seeds

• Water for kneading

• Salt to taste

• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

• Cow Ghee for cooking

Method:

1. Mix fenugreek leaves, khaapli wheat flour, salt and spices in a bowl.

2. Gradually add water and knead the dough.

3. Divide the dough into small balls and roll them into parathas.

4. Cook each paratha with a little ghee until golden brown.

2. Moong Dal (Green Gram) and Vegetable Soup:

Ingredients:

• 1 cup split moong dal (soaked for 6 to 8 hours)

• ½ cup diced bottle gourd (lauki)

• 1 small chopped tomato

• 4 cups water

• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

• ½ teaspoon pepper

• ¼ teaspoon ginger

• 1 tablespoon ghee

• Salt to taste

• Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

1. Boil moong dal and lauki in water until soft.

2. In a separate pan, heat ghee, add cumin seeds, and let them splutter.

3. Add tomato, ginger, turmeric powder, pepper powder to the ghee and mix well.

4. Combine the ghee-spice mixture with the boiled moong dal and lauki. Add salt. Blend if preferred.

5. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

3. Quinoa and Vegetable Salad:

Ingredients:

• 1 cup quinoa, cooked

• Mixed vegetables (cucumber, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes), chopped

• Fresh coriander leaves, chopped

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil

• Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. In a large bowl, mix cooked quinoa with chopped vegetables.

2. Add fresh coriander leaves, lemon juice, coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well.

3. Allow the salad to marinate for a few minutes before serving.

4. Millet Salad Recipe:

Ingredients:

• 1 cup millet (any variety), soaked, washed and drained

• 2 cups water

• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

• 1 cucumber, diced

• Few leaves iceberg lettuce

• Few leaves baby spinach

• Mix bell peppers, diced

• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

• 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

• 1/4 cup green / black olives, sliced

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• Pepper to taste

Method:

• In a saucepan, combine the millet and water. Bring it to a boil.

• Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the millet is tender and water is absorbed.

• Fluff the millet with a fork and let it cool.

• In a large bowl, combine the salad vegetables. Add the cooked and cooled millet to the bowl of vegetables.

• In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the millet and vegetable mixture.

• Toss everything together until well combined.

• If using, sprinkle crumbled feta cheese and sliced olives on top.

• Before serving, garnish with mint leaves and adjust the seasoning if needed.

These recipes incorporate ingredients and spices that align with Ayurvedic principles, aiming to create balanced and nourishing meals suitable for individuals’ managing diabetes. Bringing her expertise to the same, Shivani Bajwa, Functional Medicine and Health Expert, CEO and Founder at YogaSutra Holistic Living, said, “Maintaining a low glycaemic diet is crucial for individuals managing diabetes, emphasizing foods that are low in fat and calories while being high in fibre and proteins. Such a diet not only helps improve blood sugar levels but also aids in weight loss and reduces the risk of various health issues.” Below are some delicious and health-conscious recipes she recommended that are suitable for those with diabetes –

1. Multi-Flour Idli:

– Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup urad dal

– 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

– 1/2 cup bajra flour

– 1/2 cup jowar flour

– 1/2 cup ragi flour

– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

– Salt to taste

– Veggies of choice

– Method:

– Soak dal and fenugreek seeds overnight, blend to a smooth mixture.

– Add various flours and water to the mixture, let it ferment.

– Mix in veggies and salt, steam in well-greased idli stands for 10 minutes.

– Serve with sambar or chutney.

2. Muffin Tin Scrambled Eggs:

– Ingredients:

– 6 eggs

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 1 finely chopped mushroom

– Green chilies to taste

– 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

– Method:

– Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper; stir in mushrooms, onions, and chilies.

– Pour mixture into 6 greased muffin cups.

– Bake at 350°F until set, about 18-20 minutes.

– Wait for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

3. Buckwheat Dosa:

– Ingredients:

– 1 cup buckwheat (kuttu atta)

– 1/4 cup dal

– 1 tbsp oil

– 1 tbsp mustard seeds

– 1/4th tsp hing

– 2 tsp finely chopped green chilies

– 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

– Salt to taste

– Oil for greasing and cooking

– Method:

– Blend buckwheat and dal to a fine powder.

– Heat oil, add mustard seeds, hing, green chilies, coriander, salt, and water.

– Make dosa on a non-stick tava, cook until both sides are brown. Serve with green chutney.

Incorporating these recipes into a diabetic-friendly diet not only helps in managing blood sugar levels but also adds variety and deliciousness to the meal plan. Remember to stay hydrated and maintain an active lifestyle for overall well-being.

Echoing that diabetes-friendly living doesn’t mean compromising on taste, Dr Hansaji Yogendera, Director at The Yoga Institute, advised the following three recipes redefine indulgence for those managing diabetes. Each recipe promises a delicious journey that aligns with health goals. Let’s explore these culinary delights, proving that a luxurious and diabetes-friendly lifestyle can coexist –

  1. Jamun shots/JamunBlend Diabetea

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Jamun powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Method:

  • In a pitcher, combine Jamun powder with 2 cups of water.
  • Include one lemon’s juice into the mixture. Stir well.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure the Jamun powder is well-dissolved.
  • Pour the Jamun powder drink into glasses.
  • Garnish with mint leaves for a refreshing twist.

2. Mint Millet Pulav Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup millet (Foxtail/Kodo/Little millet)
  • 1-1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup mint leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • Whole spices (1 bay leaf, 2 cardamom pods, 2 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Rinse the millet thoroughly under cold water and set it aside.
  • Heat the coconut milk in a different dish. Once warm, turn off the heat and keep it aside.
  • Clean the mint leaves and put them aside.
  • In an enormous dish, heat ghee or oil over medium intensity.
  • Include the whole spices, including the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick, and cardamom. Sauté until they release their aroma.
  • Add chopped leaves to the pan. Saute for a couple of minutes until the mint leaves wilt and release their flavor.
  • Add the rinsed millet to the pan. Stir well to coat the millet with the aromatic mixture.
  • Pour the warmed coconut milk into the pan. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients.
  • Season with salt according to your taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once it boils, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and let it simmer until the millet is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Fluff the millet with a fork after it has been cooked to separate the grains.
  • Remove the whole spices if desired.
  • Garnish with additional mint leaves if you like and serve the Mint Millet Pulav hot.

3. Moringa Leaves Stir-Fry (Moringa Poriyal)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh moringa leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp oil (preferably olive oil or any other cooking oil)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 tsp chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional, for extra flavor)

Method:

  • Wash the moringa leaves thoroughly and chop them finely. Set aside.
  • Keep the grated coconut ready. In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Stir in the mustard seeds and allow them to smoke.
  • Saute until the dals become brilliant brown. Add the chopped moringa leaves to the pan. Stir well.
  • Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the moringa leaves cook on low to medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. To keep from sticking to the bottom, stir occasionally.
  • Once the moringa leaves are cooked and tender, add grated coconut to the pan. Mix well.
  • Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the coconut is heated through.
  • If you like, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the stir-fry for extra flavor.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the Moringa Poriyal to a serving dish.

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