Healthier Holiday Recipes for National Diabetes Month

November 12, 2020

Did you know November is National Diabetes Month? Clark Memorial Health dietitian and diabetes educator Terri Simonton wants to remind people with diabetes to prioritize their health as the holidays approach.

“As much as you've worked to keep your blood sugars under control, the holiday season may become a challenge,” she says. “Plan ahead and keep yourself at the top of your priority list.”

Pies, sweets and dips are popular dishes at holiday gatherings, but they can also send your blood sugar careening. Terri shares two healthier recipes to try from the American Association of Diabetes Educators. 

Pumpkin Maple PiePumpkin Maple Pie

Servings per recipe: 8
Carb grams per serving: 32


  • 1 recipe Lower-Fat Oil Pastry
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
    • 3 Tbsp cooking oil
    • In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Combine milk and oil; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir with a fork until dough forms. If necessary, add 1 to 2 teaspoons additional milk. Shape the dough into a ball.
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup maple-flavored syrup
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 packets heat-stable sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
  • 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)
  1. Prepare Lower-Fat Oil Pastry. On a lightly floured surface, flatten pastry. Roll into a 12-inch circle. Wrap pastry circle around the rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pan, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp the edge as desired. Do not prick pastry.
  2. For the filling, in a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, maple-flavored syrup, flour, sugar substitute, and pumpkin pie spice. Add egg product. Beat lightly with a fork until just combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and vanilla; mix well.
  3. Place pastry-lined pie plate on oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. If desired, top with dessert topping and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 216, Protein: 8g, Carbohydrate: 32g, Total fat: 6g, Saturated fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Fiber: 2g
Diabetic exchanges: Milk(d.e.): 1, Starch(d.e.): 2, Fat(d.e.): 1

Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Serving size: 1 Tbsp
Servings per recipe: 36Spinach and pepper dip

  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise dressing or salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 red and/or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and cut into strips, or desired dippers
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, stir together mozzarella cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise dressing, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, flour, and Dijon mustard.
  2. Stir in the spinach, roasted red peppers, and 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Spread the cheese vegetable mixture evenly into a 1-quart ovenproof shallow dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake the dip uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until edges are bubbly and mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Serve with red and/or yellow sweet pepper strips. Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories: 21, Total fat: 2g (0g saturated fat), Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 47mg, Carbohydrates: 1g, Fiber: 0g, Protein: 1g