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Pumpkin Muffins

Enjoy the flavors of fall with this pumpkin muffin recipe from the Pediatric Diabetes Clinic.  Did you know: pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, which can help keep your pumpkineyes healthy.

Kitchen Tools:

Cupcake tins
Cupcake papers
2 Large bowls
Large spoon
Large whisk
Wooden toothpicks
Wire cooling rack

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15oz) 100% pure pumpkin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Paper line or grease 30 muffin cups.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Place sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in a separate bowl and whisk until just blended.  Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir just until moistened.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove muffins from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

Store muffins in covered container or resealable plastic bag.

Prep time: 10 min l Makes: 30 servings l Carbs per serving: 30 grams

Recipe adapted from verybestbaking.com
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Grilled Summer Vegetables

Enjoy the fresh flavors of summer with this easy recipe for grilled veggies from the MGH Be Fit Program.

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini, cut into large slices (about 1½inches)
2 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green), cored and cut into large chunks (about 1½inches)
1 large eggplant, cut into medium slices(about ¾inch)
1 red onion, peeled and cut into ¼ inch rounds
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (basil, thyme, chives,etc.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:
Turn grill on medium-high heat.  (If using a charcoal grill, see note below.)

Place all the vegetables in a bowl and add in herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss together until vegetables are well coated.

Spread vegetables on grill grate. Cook until they soften and start to show grill marks (about 10 minutes). Use grill tongs to flip them once or twice during this time to ensure even cooking.  Keep an eye on the vegetables as some may cook faster than others.

Note: To judge heat on a charcoal grill, hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill grate. Keeping your hand there for 4 to 5 seconds (before it becomes too hot) is roughly medium-high temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 120 • Protein: 4g • Sodium: 160mg • Carbohydrate: 22g • Fiber: 9g •
Fat: 3g • Sat fat: 0g

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7 Ways to Increase your Fiber Intake

Jordan Shute
Dietetic Intern

As the weather starts to warm up flowers begin blooming, trees start budding out, and fresh, local produce is right around the corner. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals our bodies need to work correctly.  Now is the time to check out local farmers markets to taste and experience fruits and vegetables grown right here in Massachusetts! Click here to find a market near you, or check for locally grown produce at your grocery store. Worried about produce spoiling before you can eat it? Buy frozen– it’s still full of the same nutrients as fresh produce.

Fiber is a weird word, right? You may have heard that eating fiber is good for you and your health, but what foods have fiber and how much do you need each day?  Fiber is a carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Our bodies can’t actually break down fiber to use for energy. However, fiber helps us feel full longer which helps keep hunger at bay and blood sugars in check.

Fiber comes in two different forms:  soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can help lower blood sugar.  Foods with soluble fiber include apples, blueberries, oatmeal, nuts, and beans. Insoluble fiber helps keep your trips to the bathroom regular and prevents constipation. Foods with insoluble fiber include carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, legumes, and brown rice.

Adults and children need 20-30 grams of fiber per day. Increase your fiber intake by:

  • Eating whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice
  • Snacking on raw vegetables and fruits instead of chips or candy
  • Eating whole grain pasta, bread, and brown rice instead of white bread, white pasta, and white rice
  • Eat beans or legumes a few times per week

Try one of these ideas to increase your fiber intake:

  • Layer low fat Greek yogurt with ½ cup blueberries and 1 tablespoon chia seeds (7 grams of fiber)
  • Dip raw vegetables in ½ a mashed avocado (½ avocado has 6.5 grams of fiber)
  • Steam 1 cup of edamame, top with a pinch of sea salt (8 grams of fiber)
  • Make peanut butter & banana sandwiches: spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter between 2 slices of banana (1 banana has 3g of fiber)
  • Make an apple donut: core an apple, then lay it on its side and slice in rounds. Top with peanut butter or Greek yogurt, then add chopped nuts, berries, or dried fruit.
  • Try a fruit pizza
  • Cut 1 head of broccoli into small pieces, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (1 cup of broccoli has 5 grams of fiber)
Post content reviewed by Melanie Pearsall, RD, CDE
Nutrition

Why pair carbohydrates with protein or fat?

By Lindsay Boland, dietetic intern

Blood sugar spikes
Changes in blood sugar levels over time 

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of fuel. When we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose (sugar) which gets absorbed through the small intestine into the bloodstream. Normally when sugar enters the bloodstream, insulin moves the sugar into our cells to where it is either used for immediate energy or stored for energy to be used later.

When you have diabetes, this process may take a little bit longer either because the body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes properly. This leaves sugar hanging out in the blood stream for longer than it should. Therefore, when carbohydrates are consumed in large quantities, it often causes a spike in blood sugar.  Sometimes it may be necessary to take medications or insulin to help move the sugar out of the blood and into the cells.

The good news is we can help prevent these spikes in blood sugar by pairing certain foods together. Protein, fat and fiber require a little more work to be broken down than carbohydrates. This means these foods stay in our stomachs longer and take more time to enter the bloodstream. Pairing carbohydrate foods with a source of protein or fat and some fiber helps slow the absorption of the sugars into the bloodstream. This helps us maintain more steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, which allows our body to use these sugars appropriately for energy.

Snack examples:

CARBOHYDRATE PROTEIN/FAT
1 Medium Apple 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
5 Whole Grain Crackers 1-2 Hardboiled Eggs
1 Cup Grapes 1oz Cheese
¾ Cup Berries 6-8oz Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp Dried Fruit 12-15 Almonds
Post content reviewed by Melanie Pearsall, RD, CDE

 

 

 

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Be Fit Basics: Roasted Winter Vegetables

This recipe from the MGH Be Fit program is an easy way to enjoy seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients:
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:
Set the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the vegetables between two sheet pans (space out in a single layer).  Drizzle equally with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until vegetables are tender (about 25 to 35 minutes), tossing them once with a metal spatula about halfway through the cooking process.

Note: Using two sheet pans, instead of one, will allow for even cooking. Overcrowding the pan will prevent the vegetables from caramelizing.

Yield:  8 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 180 • Protein: 3g • Sodium: 200mg • Carbohydrate: 34g • Fiber: 8g
Fat: 5g • Sat Fat: 1g

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten