Food for Diabetics Can Be Delicious for All in the Family!

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Ward Alper is a type 2 diabetic and chef who lives and eats decadently in Portland, Maine. Since his diagnosis more than four years ago, he has refocused his recipes and eating to support his diabetic health. In this article, Ward shares his most requested recipe that both diabetics and non-diabetics love.

As a chef and a diabetic, I am well aware that many of us cook for others as well as ourselves. This does not mean you have to cook separate dishes just for you or just for your family.

Is it possible that a food intended for a diabetic's diet can really be good? Can it be so good that people who are not diabetic would choose to eat it?

Tips and Tricks

Adding different spices to vary your diet makes eating more exciting by totally changing the flavors of boring foods, and it gives us the upper hand in sticking to our diets.

Using nuts to replace some of the flour when baking not only lowers the carbohydrate count but also adds a wonderful, toasted nutty flavor to desserts. There are so many studies on the health benefits of nuts.

Most Requested Recipe

You might think that my recipes for cakes and desserts are those most requested by my fellow diabetics, and they are right up there. But man/woman/diabetic does not live by dessert alone. With no intended pun, dessert is just the cherry on top.

We got a call last week from our friend, Cindy. She had seen my recipe for mashed cauliflower (lip-smacking, plate-scraping, scrumptiously good) and thought she might try it for her family. She was intrigued by my sharing that while mashed cauliflower started out as a poor diabetic's substitute for mashed potatoes, it has become a much-requested staple in my meal-planning.

The substitute, with more nutrients (very high in vitamin C) and fiber, and much lower in carbohydrates, turned out to be better in many ways than the food it replaced. My trick is to treat it exactly the same way I treat potatoes: to slightly over-cook it and “mash” it with a hand mixer. I also use the same cheese, sour cream, butter and onion that I have used in making my mashed potatoes. What happens with the cauliflower is that it adds a very subtle flavor to the dish.

A Dish for Everyone

You don't have to be diabetic to use this dish regularly. You can have a family with finicky kids who won't eat their veggies, or just be trying to get more fiber in your diet or trying to cut your carbohydrate intake to lose weight. You can also be a person like me who loves cauliflower and never seems to find enough ways to use it. That it works for a diabetic-compatible diet is great, but the dish all by itself is just great.

Don't believe me? Cindy called after she served the dish to her family. She and they just loved it. I add Cindy to the list of my non-diabetic friends who love this dish. This list includes Meredith, who is slim as can be and tried the dish a year or so ago and makes it more often than I do.

So, clearly, the answer is yes. If you make your food taste wonderful enough for you to enjoy, the world will enjoy it along with you.

Here is that recipe for lip-smacking, plate-scraping, scrumptiously delicious Mashed Cauliflower. It is so rich and flavorful that you will be satisfied with less and still keep the carbs down.

Get more nutrition tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.