Diabetes Diet: Enjoy Autumn’s Fruit And Veggie Bounty

The air may chill, and the leaves fall, but autumn boasts an amazing bounty all its own.

The versatile vegetables and fruits that reach their peak this time of year, such as sweet potatoes, grapes, cauliflower, butternut squash, and pears not only add interesting textures and flavors to our dinner table, they are also loaded with vital nutrients that help us thrive.

Here are some simple ways to prepare and enjoy these seasonal treasures.

Sweet Potatoes

Yes, sweet potatoes are a bit starchy; however, they hold a wealth of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. One fourth of a large sweet potato has about 15 grams of carbohydrate, as does a half cup cooked sweet potato. Enjoy sweet potatoes by:

  • Adding cooked and diced sweet potatoes to chili, soups, and stews.
  • Toss sliced or diced sweet potato with olive or coconut oil, your favorite spices and herbs, and roast until the potato starts to brown.
  • Cut baked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and top with salsa, some sauteed peppers and onion, and a sprinkle of grated cheese; or, top with chili and a bit of sour cream.

You might also Google slow cooker recipes that call for sweet potatoes.

Cauliflower

People with diabetes can pile their dinner plates with non-starchy vegetables such as cauliflower. Like most veggies, cauliflower is teeming with minerals, vitamins, advantageous phytochemicals, and fiber—and there are so many ways to prepare it, for instance:

  • Make a tasty soup by pureeing cooked cauliflower with some low-sodium chicken broth; add your favorite herbs or spices.
  • Steam cauliflower until cooked through and toss with ground pepper and lemon juice, or with a bit of butter and grated cheese.
  • For a crispy side dish coat fresh cauliflower florets with olive oil, chopped garlic, and pepper; then, roast the florets in a 425 degree F oven until caramelized. If desired, top with a dusting of Parmesan cheese.

You can also add cauliflower to your favorite salads, stews, curries, or stir-fries.

Grapes

Grapes are generally inexpensive this time of the year, and at their peak for vibrant color, and flavor. A serving of 17 small grapes, or approximately one cup, provides about 15 grams of carbohydrate.

A bowl of grapes in the refrigerator creates a ready-to-grab snack, and they are easily bagged and carried for a treat at work or on the go. For a cool and simple dessert, store some grapes in the freezer.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is another starchy but nutritious and versatile veggie. One cup of cooked butternut squash provides about 20 grams of carbohydrate. Many of us have enjoyed roasted, mashed, and seasoned butternut squash, but we can also:

  • Roast a pot of diced butternut squash with some garlic and other autumn vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.
  • Roast some diced squash that has been tossed in olive or coconut oil; season as desired.
  • Enjoy butternut squash soup by pureeing baked squash with low-sodium veggie or chicken broth, and adding favorite herbs.

For cooks short on time, diced butternut squash is often available in a grocery’s frozen vegetable section.

Pears

Pears are so delicious right now, and beside enjoying them as a stand alone snack, they make delightful additions to leafy green salads, along with a smattering of cheese, toasted seeds or nuts, and a light vinaigrette. Four ounces of fresh pear (or a half cup of canned) contains about 15 grams carbohydrate.

You might also Google “baked pear recipes” to find some outstanding dessert ideas.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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