Diabetic-Friendly Meals for Summer Gatherings

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Diabetic-Friendly Meals for Summer Gatherings

When the temperature begins to rise and we start spending more time outdoors, we know that picnic, potluck, and cookout/barbecue season is just around the corner. It’s also a great time to try some new diabetic-friendly recipes. People living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) spend a lot of time thinking about food—managing carb counts, keeping snacks on hand—but this doesn’t mean our community can’t enjoy the spreads at summer gatherings.

We asked you for your favorite summer picnic, potluck, and barbecue diabetes-friendly recipes and you delivered! Below, see the crowd-pleasing, diabetes-friendly recipes including appetizers, dips, salads, and sweet treats we collected. Bon appétit!

Lentil Salad

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 can hearts of palm, chopped

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Start by preparing your lentils; rinse and drain your lentils thoroughly, then add them to a saucepan with three cups of water and a generous pinch of sea salt.
  2. Bring the lentils to a boil, then once they’re boiling, cover the pan, reduce the heat to “low”, and let your lentils simmer for about 25 minutes.
  3. While your lentils are simmering, prepare the rest of your salad. Wash and chop your cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, hearts of palm, and mint, and set them aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, add all of your dressing ingredients together and whisk them to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper levels as needed / desired.
  5. Once your lentils are finished, strain the water from them and rinse them with cold water to cool.
  6. Add your cooled lentils to a large bowl along with the rest of your vegetables.
  7. Finally, pour your dressing on top and toss to fully combine.
  8. Once your salad is done, serve it right away, or store any leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to one week. Enjoy!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 envelope Knorr Vegetable Soup and Dip Mix
  • 8 oz. mayonnaise
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Directions:

  1. Combine/mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  3. Serve with vegetables (baby carrots, broccoli florets, grape tomatoes, etc.)

Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of golden corn, drained
  • 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2-3 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp cumin powder (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Combine/mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate until cold.
  2. Pair with your favorite nacho chips and enjoy.

Black Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of fresh cut, whole kernel corn, drained
  • Oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Combine/mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serves six as a side dish. Double all ingredients to serve 12.
  3. Keeps well refrigerated for a day, travels well.
  4. Enjoy!

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1lb asparagus
  • 1lb thick cut bacon
  • Your seasoning of choice

Directions:

  1. Wrap one slice of bacon around three asparagus stalks.
  2. Season with your choice of seasoning.
  3. Cook on grill until asparagus is tender or cook in oven on a pan at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Peach Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of frozen peach slices (bag says 3 cups), Don’t thaw.
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Directions:

  1. Lightly butter a 9″ x 9″ glass pan, and then put frozen peaches in the pan.
  2. Mix softened butter, brown sugar, and flour until crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle topping on peaches.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.
  5. Let cool about 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh whipped cream.
  7. Enjoy!

No-Bake Energy Balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups creamy almond butter
  • 1½ cups organic honey or agave
  • 2½ cups Chocolate flavor Arbonne protein powder*
  • 1½ cups brown Rice Krispies (found in organic section of grocery or health food store)
  • 1½ cups gluten-free oats

Directions:

  1. Melt almond butter and organic honey/agave in the microwave for 40 seconds and then stir.
  2. Add in Arbonne protein powder, brown Rice Krispies, and oats.
  3. Mix up with hands.
  4. Roll into small balls.
  5. Place balls on wax paper or parchment paper-lined tray and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. After balls have chilled, remove from tray and place in a big bowl.
  7. Refrigerate.
  8. Enjoy.

By Maggie Barrett

More Diabetic-Friendly Recipes and Resources

  • Explore additional diabetes-friendly recipes at the Boot Diabetics website.
  • Read Dick and Julie Roettker’s story and learn more about the history of JDRF Ride.
  • Learn about the common and less common symptoms of type 1 diabetes (T1D) at Boot Diabetics.
  • JDRF celebrates Pride Month with stories about the LGBTQ+ and type 1 diabetes communities, and how critical their support is to families. Read more.

*Please note that the recipes and resources mentioned are for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making any changes to your diet or diabetes management plan.

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