Posts Tagged ‘diabetic food’

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information” (TM)

As “Indian Summer” brings its reprise, here are some herbal recipes for beating-the-heat, and they are helpful alternatives for diabetics. Many herbs are effective in ameliorating symptoms and causes for diabetic reactions. This series has been highlighting some of the best. The first recipe helps to make ice-cream just a bit more useful — as the Lavender is a stress-reducer. ===========================================================================================


2T lavender flowers 500ml spring or filtered water
1T liquid organic honey
65 g sugar [[Em: use organic brown sugar and I’ve halved it already, to start]]
5 organic egg yolks
200 ml organic milk [NOT ultra-pasteurized]
80 g white chocolate [dark chocolate is far healthier, so consider it]
240 ml organic cream
1/4 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
(stevia, as needed)

___   Cook the lavender flowers in the water over a low heat until the water reduces to 1/10th of the original volume. This makes an infusion. Remove from the heat and strain. Stir in the honey and set aside, covered.
___   Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, over water.
___   Beat the sugar and egg yolks together just until pale yellow. Meanwhile …
___   Bring the milk to a low simmer, and watch it the whole time. If you have one, using a cast-iron plate for the burner distributes the heat better and protects from hot-spots which can burn the milk.
___   Remove the milk from the heat and beat the milk into the egg and sugar mixture in a slow stream. Pour the mixture back into the pot and place over low heat. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly (around 65-70C) and just coats the back of a spoon. But, at this temperature, you have not got a pasteurized egg mix.

To pasteurize the eggs: heat the custard to 73C and maintain that temperature for at least 5 minutes. Use a cooking thermometer, and definitely keep stirring! Don’t over-heat, though, because at around 76C you will scramble the eggs! Immediately remove from the heat, and then cover and place in the freezer to cool slightly, as the custard must still be warm to mix with the chocolate — so aim for about 70C.

___   The chocolate and the custard must both be warm when you mix them so they emulsify well. If not, the chocolate will clump at first when you add the liquid, but if you keep adding liquid and stirring, it will come smooth. Add only small amounts each time.  It is now safe to taste the product and add stevia, if needed.

___   Allow to cool, then mix in the vanilla and strained lavender water.
___   Whip the cream until it has doubled in volume; it should have soft peaks. Don’t over-whip! Next, fold the cream into the custard using a gentle motion to stir (with a vertical, slicing, circular motion).
___   Taste the cream-base now, again,  and adjust with stevia and vanilla.
___   Freeze using a home ice cream machine, or cover and place in a shallow tray or cake pan  in the freezer, stirring every few hours to break up the ice crystals (my father used to make ice-cream this way 60 years ago!).

If you’re using a home ice cream machine, then transfer the mixture to a freezer-proof covered container when the ice cream has just achieved a semi-solid consistency (around 15 minutes). Place it back in the freezer, and let it continue to freeze until it is solid. Clean your machine — it did its job.

Notes: The pot in which you melt the chocolate must be completely dry or the chocolate can clump. Vanilla essences vary, so make sure you taste the custard and are happy with the flavor before you freeze it! =====================================================================================================
Next, an effective diabetic-friendly beverage to slake your thirst effectively, especially in the hot dog-days of Summer. It’s a traditional American drink, now making its way around the world. When the farmers were bringing in the harvest under the hot American sun in the early 1800s, they couldn’t drink the copious amounts of water they needed not to become dehydrated as that amount would have bloated their stomachs and made it uncomfortable to work … and springs were sometimes far away, too.

So, building on a much older tradition (from approx. the 1600s), a new version of the Oxymel drink from Medieval times. The new drink was called “Haymaker’s Punch” and also, later, “Switchel“.

As the hay is about to be brought in during the next few weeks, this is the perfect time for this refreshing, satisfying Summer drink!

Not only will the apple cider vinegar help with blood-sugar control (as shown in many studies), but it will help with weight-loss and purportedly also help with better sleep and more comfortable GI tract.

The maple is actually a good sweetener for diabetics, if in small portions. Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and that’s important for diabetics, too.

Haymaker’s Punch is a healthy beverage, especially in comparison to modern commercial beverages.

Here are a couple of recipes and I may share more next week. The essential ingredients are:
___   Bragg’s or Spectrum’s organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother of vinegar). Only use these brands, not Heinz etc.,
___   filtered or spring water, never tap water
___   organic honey or organic Grade B maple syrup
___   organic blackstrap molasses (in some recipes)
___   fresh, grated ginger

======================================================================= DAVE’S PORTLAND SWITCHEL WITH STEVIA

2 C filtered or spring water, chilled
1 T Bragg’ apple cider vinegar
1/4 t stevia extract ( PureVia or TrueVia) **
1/8 t ground ginger*

For a 5-cup thermos bottle, use about 3 T ACV, 3/4 t stevia, and 3/8 t dry ginger. Then add chilled, filtered water to the top.

Coconut vinegar has got an amazing flavor, and this is a healthy experiment:
3 T coconut vinegar (I think Whole Foods carries it)
3/4 t stevia powder
3/8 t ground ginger *
1/8 t ground cinnamon
all in a 5-cup thermos bottle, then fill to the top with chilled, filtered water

Dave says “The hint of cinnamon really perked up this drink. It’s now sort of like drinking a spiced vanilla cookie with a slightly tangy spark”.

* Food.com says 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger is equal to about 1 Tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger, but it notes that “the flavor of ground ginger can be significantly different from fresh”. If using fresh ginger, slice it thinly or grate it. Put into about 4 cups of water and bring to simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and squeeze out the solids (you can still use them in cookies).

** If you are trying liquid stevia, then use 1 dropperful per 10 – 12 fl.oz of water and per 1T apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar. ============================================================== Best to all — Em

REFERENCE: to access more of the series: Diabetic Herbs The extra page links to the whole series are on that page.

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Last time you learned that certain herbs can be helpful for diabetics when using them directly for the condition or for likely companion concerns. Today, here’s some recipes to help with the fabulous 10 – Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

After visiting beautiful lavender fields in California and Oregon, I have to say that I want to speak about this time-honored herb first, as it is the one which you are least likely to be familiar with (although you may already have some in the famous herb mix called Herbes de Provence).

The owners of Hood River Lavender Farm provide some great recipes for their Organic Lavender as well as a place to purchase it dried.  The link is in the Reference section.

Every time I have tasted lavender in food, I have been intrigued. As with all food-stuffs, I recommend only organic produce, so if you are just grabbing lavender at the nursery or from a friend’s garden, please be sure that it has not been chemically-sprayed (as outside France or England, it’s not likely to have been regarded as a food plant).

The Farm site gives a little history of the herb:

” While most of us know about the beauty and fragrance of Lavender, somehow we have forgotten that it is indeed an herb. An herb that may not be common place in American spice cabinets, it has been in use as a culinary herb for centuries … One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this varable herb.

Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the prefered lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of it’s milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia.

Our personal favorite is a pink-flowered English lavender known as Melissa. It has a sweet, yet floral note, and enhances dishes from soups, to meat, and even drinks and deserts.

All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, drinks, and one should use some caution to not use too much.

Lavender should be a background flavor, not in the forefront, and when used in proportion enhances foods with a distinctive and mysterious flavor, while adding a lovely color to your dish.”

Here are some Lavender recipes to try!

Honey Lavender Shake – Rockin’ Raw-style Vegan

2 T Raw almond butter
2 T Raw honey (not for use for children under 3 years old) *
3 vanilla beans (use vanilla extract, if more flavor desired; less expensive, too)

1 t organic Lavender – minced

1 tray of small ice cubes
1/2C spring water (to desired thickness for the shake)

Blend until smooth. Serve in tall glass and garnish with a little of the Lavender

Variation: Almond milk can be made with soaked almonds and
water in a blender. Then strain it through a nut milk bag. Omit the 1/2 cup of water in recipe above if using almond milk.

You can also purchase almond milk in cartons (and the protein content of this recipe will be better than when just using water).

This is a useful recipe for those with sensitivities to dairy.

* Raw honey is not acceptable for the immune systems of children under 3, so use pasteurized honey in this case.

Lavender Grilled Salmon or Steelhead

3 pounds of wild salmon (filet)*
4 T raw honey
6 T organic extra-virgin or virgin olive oil
1 T organic Lavender, crushed or run through a spice grinder
1/4C white wine
1 T Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice

* do NOT use farmed fish!

Place all ingredients, except salmon, in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until the ingredients are reduced by 1/3, to create a sauce.

When sauce has cooled slightly, divide the sauce into halves. With one portion, baste the raw salmon filet.

Grill or bake salmon until flaky (don’t overcook), about 10 minutes, basting with the same portion of sauce, if desired.

Use the second sauce portion to pour on salmon just before serving, as it has not been in contact with the raw fish at all.


Sweet Potato Pie with Lavender

This recipe also uses Cinnamon, another one of your diabetic-friendly herbs and spices. I did not use the sugary topping in the original recipe, but rather added the lavender into the pie itself. Sweet potatoes are also a fabulous food for diabetics!

2 medium, organic  sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
4 T unsalted organic butter, melted
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
3 lg free-range, vegetarian-fed, eggs, separated
1/2C sugar (better: use the equivalent of Stevia! Check the box for the amount.)
2 T all-purpose whole-grain flour OR ground quinoa
3/4C organic buttermilk

1/2t organic lavender, minced (or use a spice grinder)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Pour 1 1/2″ of water into a medium stockpot (with a strainer basket) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Next, add the sweet potatoes to the basket, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Let them cool to near room temperature, covered with paper towel to absorb the steam.

Mash the potatoes to a smooth puree, (about 1 1/4 cups). Add the organic butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix after each addition.

2. Then, in a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a whisk for about 30 seconds. Add sugar/ Stevia and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and then stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and filling is consistently bright-orange in color.

Next, add flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated.

Finally, add the buttermilk and lavender. Stir until mixed in.

3. With a clean, dry whisk and in a clean, dry, separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes or use your mixer until results are achieved.

Gently fold egg whites into sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until blended, using a vertical figure-8 motion with a spatula.

Pour the mixture into a prepared piecrust. Bake on the middle rack of your oven until the center is firm and set, about 35-40 minutes.

4. Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!


Lavender Infusion

This can be used in other recipes — as varied as cheescake, sorbets, ice-cream, lemonade and more.

Measure 2T Lavender buds for each cup boiling temperature liquid (water) or (organic milk // organic cream).

Steep for 30 minutes.  Strain the lavender from the liquid.


Lavender Tea

Steep 1 t lavender in 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes.
This is a good recipe for insomnia, or when relaxation is the goal.

Lavender Lemonade

1 quart fresh squeezed or pre-made lemonade
1 t to 1T culinary lavender
1C boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the lavender in a heat-proof bowl and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lavender and add to the lemonade. Serve well chilled.

Lavender-Ginger Apple Cider

This recipe includes Ginger — another one of our 10 helpful-to-diabetics herbs and spices!

1 gallon organic apple cider
6 T organic Culinary Lavender “Signature Blend” (Hood River Lavender Farm)
2 t fresh grated ginger
1 med. culinary muslin bag or some cheese cloth

Bring the apple cider to a simmer, and then turn heat to low. Add the muslin bag filled with culinary lavender and ginger (or several layers of cheesecloth and some thread). Cover, and simmer 15 minutes to infuse. Remove the spice bag. Serve warm.

You can use this as a cool drink, too. The recipe makes 16 cups.


Lavender, Rosemary, Garlic, Black Olive Foccacia Bread

You struck the Mother-Lode. This recipe includes Lavender, Rosemary, and Garlic and Black Pepper or Chili Pepper — more of those diabetic friendly herbs and spices as well as heart-healthy olives!

Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 12-15 min.
Servings: 6

1 lb fast pizza dough OR 1 pound frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ C pitted, chopped imported black olives – like Kalamata
2t chopped lavender buds
1 – 2T chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t coarse Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste OR a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (better)

Lightly oil a large baking sheet. On a work surface, roll pizza dough out into an 8 x 14 rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel, let rise at room temperature for 20 min.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F.

After this final rising on the baking sheet, gently make dimples into the  dough with finger tips.

Brush on 2 Tp olive oil; then add herb mixture, pressing it gently into the top of the dough.

Herb Mix is:  1 -2t chopped lavender, 2T rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic and the chopped olives.

Sprinkle with 1 t coarse sea salt and a little fresh black pepper or cayenne. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack, then cut into pieces to serve.


Enjoy the recipes and be sure to check out Hood River Lavender Farm.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

The statistics are staggering! In America, one out of every 400-600 elementary school aged children has type-1 diabetes, and 2 million adolescent Americans have it, too!  And, although these 2007 are the “latest” statistics available, I am sure that the numbers are far worse in 2010! We have to actively search for solutions.

It may seem strange that I have spent SO much time talking about gardening on my blog recently, and finding techniques with the best chance of success and greater yields, but a lot of the source of diabetes and pre-diabetes is because of poor food choice.

That food choice may or may not be from ignorance about what constitutes a “healthy diet”. Certainly everyone needs to be taught what a healthy diet is, — early in school and then updated all the way to high school graduation.

But, along with moderate daily exercise (just the chance for kids to “play” outside, for at least an hour), there are economic factors, worsened by the current financial downturn and parental unemployment. Sometimes, too, even in good times, individuals and families do not have enough money to buy enough healthy food, even though they know what they need to buy.

So, the answer, for many reasons, is to grow-your-own!

Fresh, alkaline, organic food from plenty of healthy vegetables and a few fruits can make a difference for everyone’s health. And, it is like money in the bank, to tide your family over rough finances and other emergencies.

Accommodate your lifestyle to learn these skills and teach these basic survival skills to your children!

Knowing how to garden and accurately forage are critical. If you don’t know how, you are putting your whole family at risk.

Eating more fresh, organic food is very likely to help you if you are overweight or obese, as alkaline vegetables are your first line of defense. They are calorically small, nutritionally huge and alkaline to help you get rid of acidic pH tissue toxins (which need to be encased in fat to protect the rest of your body).

So, before it’s too late, this month get started on this garden project.  Transplants will become harder to find as the season continues (and then you’ll need to grow from seed, which means you will be “late” with smaller chance to harvest).

Get organized, then go-with-the-flow of Life. Gardening is usually considered stress-reducing and good therapy.

The techniques I show let you get away for a few days of traveling, and not have your whole garden at risk, but you should get someone to check it daily in summer (it may or may not require any water for most days with this technique, but when the plants NEED water, they MUST have it!).

Both youth and seniors need this superior nutrition from fresh food, even more than the rest of us do.

Whether you are pre-diabetic, undiagnosed diabetic, a type-1 diabetic or type-2 diabetic, this is fundamental to returning to Health: 70% of your diet must be green, leafy vegetables, low glycemic fruits and vegetables and a few higher glycemic vegetables once in a while. The rest of your plate should be the equivalent of a palm size portion of protein and about 2 teaspoons of a monosaturated oil (organic canola or olive oil) or flax or hemp oil, per meal. Never cook either flax oil or hemp oil; just use them in dressings. Other articles here on the blog will help you. See the archive.

Now, for this week’s hydroponic technique which utilizes, specifically, RUBBERMAID brand totes. These are made of LDPE type plastic and are made to food-grade specifications. You should only use food-grade plastic in food production and preparation.

Most plastics are not food-grade. You can use clean, recycled food containers and buckets OR items like the Rubbermaid totes which are made properly.

Use no PVC and nothing which has housed chemicals, kitty litter etc. There are instructions to set up gardening systems all over the Internet which use PVC and these other items. Do Not!

Polypropylene is an acceptable plastic when food-grade, as is PET or PETE. This is the plastic used in clear water bottles. HDPE and LDPE are used in milk jugs and (maybe) distilled water jugs. Check the recycle number on the bottom of the container. HDPE and LDPE is OK when it is food-grade (already having been used only for food, and sometimes labeled as such). The manufacturer will only have been allowed to use designated food-grade for American food products. Bets are off if the food is imported.

In past sections of this series, I have explained these designations. See links below. Double-click on the images to enlarge them.


There are 2 forms of gardening in Rubbermaid totes. One system uses potting mix and can use rainwater or tap water or a combo.  The second system uses a “growth medium and must use hydroponic nutrient solutions, only.


System 1 –  Gardening with Potting Mix and Water:

And, I do mean “potting mix” NOT “potting soil”; there are important differences.

In your 10 – 18 gallon Rubbermaid tote, photo 3, if you are using potting mix, you can leave the tote’s rim + about an inch just inside it, and cut the rest of the lid’s center section off, in one piece, to become a support platform between the potting mix and the air / water reservoir (photo2). Or, you can keep the lid intact, as in Photo 1. Instructions are below for each set-up.

You will need to drill holes into the lid cutoff to make the horizontal  “aeration bench” platform plastic. And, you will need to cover the top surface of the tote’s soil mix with a white plastic bag in summer and a black bag in winter. A hole must be cut in the bag for EACH plant to come completely through, when planting.

The plastic bag needs to be brought all the way down the side to protect the Rubbermaid tote, as UV rays will destroy the tote, otherwise, in about 3 years if your sunshine is strong. This is needed in both systems.

Notice, in Photo 2, that you must also have a food-grade perforated “wicking pot” filled with potting soil, sitting all the way down to the bottom of the tub OR suspended well into the liquid reservoir (in this case, cotton string wicks must reach from the base of the wicking pot all the way to the bottom).

Drill a support hole for the basket in the horizontal “aeration bench” center. Perforated large yogurt containers work well for “wicking pots”, or you can get large perforated pots (net pots) at a hydroponic supply. The size holes used to perforate the yogurt containers is about 7/64 inch. Start with 4 – 6 per container and see how that works for your climate.


If you keep the lid intact, as in photo 1, this lets you use either potting mix OR growing medium*in any future season. However, you must then use other options to make the “aeration bench” platform:

___   plastic pegboard exists, but I doubt it is food-grade plastic

___   plastic needlwork “canvas” from craft store –  would be unknown plastic

___   moderate-size surgical stainless steel mesh or fiberglass screen – good

___   perforated steel gutter covering strips – may contain unacceptable metals in the alloy, but also might be a possible choice – ask alloy questions

___   surgical-grade perforated stainless steel (but you will have to watch the pH of your hydroponic nutrient solution, in any of the metal suggestions, as metal may require you to balance pH) – otherwise, good (unless you have a real allergy to nickel, which is the metal used to prevent the iron in the steel from rusting).

___   “landscape fabric”, “shade cloth” – of unknown content

___   untreated polyester** quilt batting OR organic cotton batting OR coconut coir mat to serve as a filter barrier – good. Use it in combination with the next idea; let it rest on top of the following …

___   PREFERRED: a number of perforated plastic milk jugs and juice bottles to cover the whole bottom of the tote, to serve as the platform, and the vertical fill tube will be inserted in one. The perforations are at all levels as the jugs lie. The water flows into and back out of all the jugs, eventually, through all the holes. Use an amount of water which will leave about 1/2″ – 1″ airspace at the top of the bottles. There must also be one potting mix-filled or “growing medium-filled” “wicking pot” sitting on the bottom, too, connected to the rest of the soil mix (open a circle in the barrier fabrics mentioned immediately above). This “wicking pot” will get all the moisture to the bottom of the tub, when most of the containers are nearly empty, as long as there are holes in the jugs on all sides.

The perforated platform “aeration bench” barrier ideally rests on the “connected milk jug fill-tube system” described, or you can just leave a big, undifferentiated water reservoir  area, which is fed by the fill-tube (bottom end cut on the diagonal) as long as the horizontal aeration-barrier is supported above the air-water reservoir, probably by 4 – 6 vertical, totally perforated juice bottles,  to the floor of the tote, as well as by side-pressure (as the tote is tapered). Again, one, potting-mix filled  “wicking pot” must reach all the way to the bottom, suspended from the platform. Look at the diagram in Photo 2 and just pretend the water is encased in perforated bottles, as I have described.

There must be airspace.

An overflow hole must be drilled. This is explained below, as it is needed for both systems. Suggested hole-size for all holes is 5/16 inch. Use a drill.

I believe that the system using potting mix and regular water / rainwater is by far the easier system. It can grow any vegetable, plant, flower or dwarf tree, as long as organic fertilizer is used to replace soil mix nutrients through the season.


System 2 – With just Growth Medium and Hydroponic Nutrient Solutions

Acceptable soiless growing “medium” = perlite, washed pea gravel, “rockwool”,  or coconut coir. This replaces the spaces shown with potting mix in Photo 2, above.

If using  a growing medium, then you cannot use regular water.

Larger systems like the 5 gallon buckets and 10 quart to 18 quart Rubbermaid tote need to aerate the roots, in either system.

You also must use nutrient solutions mixed up from ingredients found pre-made, just for hydroponic growing. So, for this type of totally soiless system, you will need to set-up an air pump outside, and submersible aquarium pump and airstone in the tote.  And keep the original lid, with desired number of pots inserted.

There are more instructions to set-up this equipment, on the Internet.

Using pure hydroponics, you will also need to segregate your types of plants.

Group 1 – leafy vegetables, which do not flower in order to make fruit e.g. salad greens, lettuces, parsley etc.

Group 2 –  tomatoes, eggplants, melons etc. which produce flowers which then produce the fruit or vegetable.

Each of the 2 groups requires different hydroponic nutrient solutions, in a completely hydroponic system, so any individual planter can only grow one group type.

In a totally hydroponic solution system, without soil, use the top of the Rubbermaid tote to have holes and hydroponic “net pots” or perforated large yogurt containers, with a plant and medium inside the small pot. Most of the tote will be nutrient solution, with wicks from each pot to the bottom of the tote. Leave an airspace pocket, too.

The plant roots need to dip into the nutrient solution for at least 1 inch, after seedling stage is finished; they automatically will grow as long roots as they can, but you still need the wicks, as insurance.

The hydroponic nutrient solution needs to be changed every 2 weeks, as well as having healthy liquid levels at all times


Either system needs an “overflow hole” with a piece of drinking straw inserted in it to keep it freely flowing. The height of the hole is just at the lower level of the airspace near the platform, as shown in Photo 2. The hole size should start at 5/16 inch.

Either system needs a fill-tube indicator — this is just a the thinnest diameter wooden dowel with a cork inserted in the end. It sits in the vertical fill tube and you mark the level on the dip-stick which correlates to the tote being at 25% full of liquid in the reservoir. When that mark is level with the top of the fill-tube, at that point, I recommend watering!

Both systems need a vertical fill-tube which is cut on a 45-degree angle at the base. All over the Internet, the plans ‘just use PVC pipe’ for this, but I have taught you NOT to use PVC! So, what you will do is to use PET or PETE clear plastic 1 liter or 2 liter water bottles to “make” the tube.

This can be made either by cutting the bottoms off and have them all wedged together in a tower — using food-grade silicone sealer on the outside seams, only if the bottle seams leak.

OR, you just make a small hole in the bottom of each bottle, smaller than the bottles’ opening. Push hard to insert the open bottle neck into the bottom of the bottle above it. It should be snug from starting with a slightly too-small hole.  Same deal with the food-grade, kitchen silicone.

There’s no set height for how tall the fill-pipe should be. It must reach up just beyond the top of the tote as a minimum. Method 2 will make a sturdier fill-pipe and use fewer bottles.

In photo 1, the number of holes cut into the intact, whole lid of the Rubbermaid tote depends on which plants you are growing. For guidelines, please see the EarthBox site (link in Part 4D). The tote box can support the growth of an amazing amount of food.

As the seasons change, sometimes not all the holes in the lid will be used. Make sure to cover all unused holes and the fill tube top with shade cloth, fiberglass screen or a piece of panty hose, to prevent access by mosquitoes to lay eggs!


A plastic bag needs to be brought all the way down the side of the tote or taped around the outside (lid and sides). This is to protect the Rubbermaid tote, as UV rays will destroy the bin, otherwise, in about 3 years, if your sunshine is strong. This is needed in both systems.

The Rubbermaid totes can be made to contain tomato cages and trellises, either internally or nearby. They can be placed on movable pallets, but mobility is confined if it is a truly hydroponic system with pumps and electrical connections. That’s another reason why I prefer the potting mix – regular water system.

Personally, I think the potting mix, liquid fish emulsion fertilizer and regular water is the way to go. It does not require pumps or aeration, either. And, if you do not want to have to check the fill-pipe everyday, then except in the hottest days of summer, having an external reservoir connected (see diagrams in Part 4D), will give you more time between waterings.

I am not going to provide instructions for more complex ebb and flow or NFS (Nutrient Film Systems) hydroponic systems, but this information is on the internet.

If you want to buy commercial units to replicate the tote systems shown here, then check into Earth Tainer(TM) and EarthBox(TM), Emily’s Garden (TM) from hydrofar,.com and AeroGarden (TM) online.

* acceptable soiless growing “medium” = perlite, washed pea gravel, “rockwool” or coconut coir.

** PET and PETE plastics are made into polyester fabric, often, when they are recycled. Top tier fashion designers are now using this recycled bottle-cloth!


Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 1
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 2
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 3
Hydroponics with Safer Plastics
Small Food-grade Self-watering Planters Part 4B
Hydroponic Gardening in Glass Bottles Part 4C
5 Gallon Bucket Hydroponic Gardening Part 4D

Please read the Titles Archive to find 3 years of posts to help you learn more about alternative ways to help your diabetes.

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

In Part 2 I’ll get you started a bit more on gardening sprouts indoors. Sprouts are an excellent alkaline food source and they are low on the glycemic index. Children love them and this is a skill you can teach them easily which will help solidify their interest in growing their own food.

If you have had a deli sandwich, chances are you’ve had some alfalfa sprouts or in Chinese food, you’ve had mung bean sprouts stir-fried in something or had them raw as a garnish on Pad Thai. People eat sprouts because they have all the healthy enzymes that we need from plants, and as they are eaten raw most times, they retain the enzymes, which otherwise would be deactivated by heat at 118F. (Many dried beans will not sprout if they were dried too hot.)

The vitamins, minerals and enzymes that sprouts contain are critical for health. That’s why during World War I, the British Army grew sprouts as a preventative food source against scurvy. In 1940, the US Army studied how to grow sprouts to provide soldiers in the field with a fresh food source during World War 2.

You will find kits in health food stores and plans to build your own can be found online. It’s an inexpensive, high yield return for your money and time.

You cannot use seeds in regular seed packets at the gardening center, unless they are marked specifically for use for food sprouts. That means, you cannot buy regular broccoli seeds; you must use only broccoli seeds that say they are for sprouts. Otherwise, all seeds have fungicides applied to them, as they are meant to be put in the ground to grow plants!

You may be surprised that there are so many things you can sprout: grains, legumes, seeds and even some vegetables. Importantly, sprouting neutralizes many of the anti-nutrients which are originally in grains, legumes and seeds. It helps them also become more easily digested vegetables, while dramatically increasing the nutrient-density of the food.

For example, in bread when comparing sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, the sprouted wheat contains:

1. four times the niacin
2. nearly twice the vitamin B6 and folate
3. five times the vitamin C amount
4. significantly more protein as well as fewer starches and sugars
5. sprouting beans before cooking them makes them more digestible and decreases flatulence

Wheatgrass is a very powerful detoxifier to use in small amounts, especially in the beginning. I also do not recommend growing wheat grass at home. Few people, even commercially, can grow it without molds. It may be possible to do it hydroponically, and I am including a link for that. No idea if this conquers the mold problem. You also need a juicer to use wheatgrass. Other sprouts do not require juicing.

I always try to eat my sprouts raw. Cooking them undoes the best nutrition that they offer. Puree them if their consistency is wrong for a recipe or use them in salads, as lettuce substitutes in sandwiches and as garnishes.

DO NOT TRY TO SPROUT RED OR WHITE KIDNEY BEANS (also known as “CANNELLINI BEANS”)! They have toxins which are not changed by sprouting and should never be eaten raw.

Here are seeds which I suggest you look for in the “For Sprouting” versions or buy some of them when you see them in the produce section already sprouted:

___ broccoli
___ micro greens
___ chia seed
___ buckwheat
___ lentils
___ sunflower
___ clover
___ pea sprouts
___ soybean sprouts
___ mung beans
___ radish
___ daikon radish (kaiware)
___ fenugreek
___ pumpkin
___ garlic
___ alfalfa sprouts
___ barley grass*
___   wheat berries to sprout, dry and grind into sprouted wheat flour

Sprouting Your Sprouts

The first step is to remove any broken or damaged seeds, as damaged seeds won’t sprout; they’ll rot or ferment, and then ruin your whole sprout garden.

You’ll need enough seeds to cover the bottom of a one-quart glass jar. Use a clean spaghetti sauce jar** which you have run through the dishwasher.

Depending on the size of the sprout-seeds you’re growing, it may be as few as one tablespoon or as many as one-quarter cup of seed.

When calculating how many to use for a batch, remember that your sprouts will increase in volume up to eight times in size. So, don’t fill your bottle any more than 1/8th full.

Next, soak your seeds for 2-12 hours (depending on the size of the seed) to allow it to absorb as much water as it can; you can find charts to help.

This soaking softens the outer shell of the seed and makes it easier for sprouts to begin to germinate. It also washes away the natural enzyme inhibitors which you do not want to ingest. Flush the seeds until the water runs clear after soaking. Learn more:
excellent raw food site’s sprout chart
Sprout Soaking Chart and
Chart – Sprouting Information

After each rinsing, you must drain the seeds thoroughly, rinse them one more time, and cover the opening of your jar with a piece of stainless mesh screening (available at Whole Foods), cheesecloth or clean nylon stocking. Secure the open-to-the-air cover with a jar ring (canning supplies) or a rubber band. DO NOT USE A CLOSED JAR CAP!

Again, don’t use canning lids to cover your sprout jar; just use the open ring portion.

Your sprouts need plenty of fresh air! Tilt the jar to provide continued drainage and air circulation, making sure the seeds are along the long sides of the glass bottle.

Be sure your seeds never sit in water. Sprouts need to be kept moist, but sitting in water will also make them rot.

Keep your sprout garden in a dark place for the next four to seven days. Again, check the online charts for the timing for your seeds. Take your sprout jar out two or three times a day to repeat the rinsing and moistening process.

As soon as the sprouts are ready to harvest them, let them sit in the light for a few hours to “green up” and then refrigerate. Use within a couple of days. Now you know how to grow sprouts!

Here are some resources:
Diabetics Need to Garden, 1
Diabetics Need to Garden, 3

the original online expert, Steve Meyerowitz – Sprout Supplies and Info
Organic Seeds for Sprouting
Source for Organic, non-GMO Sprouting Seeds
SproutGarden – intermediate level.
Wheat Grass – hydroponically
sprouting process and recipes MotherEarthNews
Step-by-step Sprout Growing Pictures and Instructions

* dehydrate the sprouted barley grass or wheat grass at very low heat (105F) and powder it, if you do not have a juicer.

** if you don’t use glass, you can also put the seed in a hemp bag (only use this fiber as it is good as an antibacterial), and hang it to drain each time.

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(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please respect my copyright and do write for permission to use this article unless you desire to quote no more than 2 short paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I’ve written five articles on the subject of Iodine because it’s amazingly essential for our Health! How come you haven’t heard about it before? Well, it’s complacency and ignorance in current Public Health circles and in your doctor’s office. The scientific research is quite clear, and you need to take about 20 – 25 minutes to read the other 4 parts in this series, for background. If you are a regular reader, then just continue in this article’s text after these links.

LINKS to the previous articles in the series. Please read first. It won’t take long and your health really does depend on knowing this!

Diabetics – Iodine and Health, Part 1
Diabetics – Iodine and Health, Part 2
Diabetics – Iodine and Health, Part 3
Diabetics – Iodine and Health, Part 4

___ In this edition, as one of the topics, let’s discuss Iodine, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, first.

Thyroid hormone and your thyroid gland, together with iodine, are the most important factors by far for completion of a normal pregnancy and delivering a normal baby.

Iodine is put into the mother’s milk by the lactating breast to levels that are 30 times the levels in the mother’s blood (your body can only put iodine in your breast milk if you have enough to give). I do not know how much (if any) is put into baby formulas. It would not be the first time that formula-makers have missed an essential ingredient. Maybe the amounts used would help explain the rash of learning “disabilities” and generally lower IQ scores in past decades, as Moms feeding their babies by breast milk has declined.

If you find after delivery or while nursing, that your thyroid has become sluggish and you have ‘low thyroid” symptoms (like fatigue, cold extremities, weight gain etc.), then maybe your body is giving all your Iodine stores to your baby and leaving you with nothing left to operate your thyroid and metabolism with. In those circumstances, your immunity is also put at risk, along with many other possibilities to erode your health. Making sure that you maintain proper Iodine levels for you and your baby is critical. You have to learn what foods are iodine rich and then eat them everyday in normal-size portions.

Iodine has very important functions for your child’s brain development before and after birth.

Iodine deficiency in pregnant or nursing mothers can lead to statistically significant neuro-cognitive deficits in their infants. Lack of iodine creates metabolic havoc and may create irreversible developmental brain damage during gestation and in the first several years of life, according to Peter Laurberg, from Aalborg Hospital in Denmark, and his colleagues. If it is bad enough, your child could become a cretin, which is not reversible.

Just start eating seaweed, daily. It tastes good; it really does. Next week, I’ll include more recipes, but meanwhile, Japanese and Macrobiotic cuisines offer the best chance to find some more recipes, along with Korean and Chinese cuisines, to a lesser extent.

[[Never buy Chinese source seaweed unless you are sure there is NO ecological damage in the area where it is harvested. With China’s pollution, this is almost impossible.]]

And, if you are concerned or interested, then take Dr. Abraham’s Iodine Loading Test to find out your body’s Iodine status (his lab is Optimox). All three labs mentioned below supply their own protocol for details on collection of urine samples, pooling samples for 24 hr. and sending a 2 ounce aliquot to the Laboratory for analysis. It would always be best to confirm that you can take this test when you are already pregnant; I don’t know the answer to that.

P.O. Box 3378, Torrance, CA 90510-3378
or Call Toll Free in America: (800) 223-1601
Optimox Iodine Loading Test

If you go through the Hakala Research Lab in Colorado, USA you will not need a doctor’s prescription for this test. Hakala Labs

Labrix Clinical Services Inc. in Oregon City, Oregon, USA is another lab which can do this test for you.
619 Madison Street STE 100
Oregon City, OR. 97045
Phone: 1 (503) 656-9596
Toll Free in America: 1 (877) 656-9596   Fax: 1 (877) 656-9756
Email: info@labrix.com
Labrix Iodine Testing – explanation

Dr. Jorge Flechas’ Lab: FFP Laboratories
576 Upward Rd. Suite 8
Flat Rock, NC 28731
Toll Free: 877-900-5556
Fax: 828-697-9020
Email: ffp_lab@yahoo.com

___Dr. Ryan Drum, PhD, one of the world’s experts on seaweeds, the best source of Iodine, also mentions that there is a generational aspect to whether you and your future grandchildren will have a body optimizing Iodine and providing protection for any babies you, your daughters and grand-daughters produce.

Read more here: How Seaweed Heals and How To Get Enough Iodine Read especially if you have chronic disease, have had recent trauma, surgery or are having chemotherapy. Additionally, seaweeds can help if you need anti-viral treatment or get pneumonia. Brown seaweeds are also the only vegetarian source of thyroid hormone able to be used by humans. Dr. Drum also discusses using seaweed as treatment “for prevention of Dioxin and PCB uptake” and to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (which he regards as poisoning the brain’s fatty tissue) in troops who have been exposed to chemicals during warfare.

___ It is critical to raise your iodine consumption gradually if you are deficient. Let your organ systems accommodate. You just can’t “catch up quickly” to levels the Japanese use. Too much, too quickly can cause other equally serious health problems. Stay with the amounts Dr. Ryan Drum, PhD, Dr. Abrahams, Dr. Flechas, Dr. Brownstein suggest and work up to 50mg of Iodine a day, over a number of months, even as much as a year.

___ Unless your food happens to be organically-farmed where seaweed actually has been applied as fertilizer, almost no land plants provide iodine, and, as Dr. Drum alerts us, unfortunately, my favorite whole sea salts (Celtic salts) do not have enough, either. There’s just not enough left in even gently-evaporated sea water; you must eat ocean plants (seaweeds) or ocean fish which eat ocean plants to get your Iodine requirement everyday, as Nature intended.

Dr. Ryan Drum, PhD also says, “Individuals with “seafood allergy” seem especially sensitive to iodine. Contrary to some practitioners and their believing patients, he says nobody has “iodine allergy”. No iodine, no life.” Use seaweed as your source rather than fish if you have concerns.

Icelandic kelp, 8000 parts per million
Norwegian kelp 4000ppm
Atlantic kelp 1500-2000ppm
Pacific kelps 500-1200ppm
Fucus spp. (species) 200-500ppm
Wakame 50-150ppm
Sargassum 35ppm
Nori 15 ppm

These numbers are estimates and will vary considerably by season, location, age of the plant and harvest practices. Sources for buying these were provided in my previous articles.

___ Dr. Drum has learned that the Japanese and other Asians who eat much more seaweed than the rest of the world does, apparently soak their Kombu and other seaweeds in freshwater for 10-30 minutes prior to using in miso broth (dashi) and other cooking. He says this effectively removes about 60% of the iodine (Hazutosi).

Curiously, he was also told by Japanese nationals that the kombu was then also left in the miso broth for 10-20 minutes and then discarded. It can be used several times, if left to dry out again. And, if you intend to use it several times, then maybe forego the “soaking in fresh water” and just allow the first dashi to have 60% iodine and remaining 2 later dashi soups to have a lesser amount, at least sometimes.

For people like the Japanese and Okinawans, who eat large amounts of seafood and sea veggies, the soaking or prolonged rinsing of high-iodine content seaweeds may reduce the risks for excess iodine-induced disease. But, notice that the all-pervasive “sushi” wrap is made from nori, which has low levels of iodine, and therefore does not require pre-treatment.

Sprinkling dry, cut nori on rice, as a garnish on anything or wrapping sushi, is a good way to get started, along with using about 1t of powdered Japanese-sourced or American-sourced Kombu a day, (to a max in later months of a total of 1Tablespoon of kombu powder per person, spread between 3 meals and snacks most days).

___ Dr. Ryan Drum, PhD also sheds light on another likely wide-spread set of conditions which seaweed can alleviate – potassium deficiency. And, you likely need to take a daily supplement of selenium (this is another mineral researchers find chronically lacking in the general public, and especially in diabetics).

Dr. Drum says, ” I believe that almost any craving for salt in our dietary times of heavily salted (with only “table-salt” i.e. sodium chloride), home-cooking, restaurant meals and preserved foods is a strong indication of potassium deficiency, especially in pregnancy.”

Potassium is an essential mineral, needed for even minimal nerve and muscle functioning. It is also a cross-membrane transporter ion for your brain’s neurotransmittors (like serotonin – which prevents depression) and also for transporting your hormones. This may also help to explain the huge increase in those with depression and other endocrine system disorders, like diabetes.

Dr. Drum has observed that “adding high-potassium foods, especially seaweeds, to the diets of people with A.D.D. (instead of Ritalin) can significantly improve behavior and mental functioning” in children and in adults.

Similarly, fibromyalgia patients, who are: exhausted, forgetful, moody and agitated, as well as those with: anxiety disorders and depression are all favorably improved with high-potassium diets and seaweeds.

Talk to your physician about this and have your doctor contact Dr. Drum (contact info is on his web-site http://www.ryandrum.com.
Potassium supplementation and levels must always be monitored carefully. Too much and too little are both bad.

Well, we’re not done yet, but it’s enough for now.

Best to all — Em

Read more in the Title Archive on the upper navigation bar.

(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

If I just had a chance to grab 3 or 4 supplements in an emergency, to help keep my Health and to prolong my life, Iodine containing foods would be one of them (or a special supplement, I mention in the prior articles below). Yes, Iodine is that important.

Iodine is especially essential for diabetics. Indeed, it is essential for everyone, as most people are definitely deficient.

Read my first two articles  so you can be up to speed on the “why” of Iodine.

Iodine and Health for Everyone – Part 1

Iodine and Health – Part 2

Now that you’ve done that reading, let’s continue with some ways to use seaweeds, the most iodine-rich, alkaline food.

___ I use powdered Kombu seaweed to make soups with a creamy-rich texture without the dairy or less-nutritious thickeners. I sprinkle it in stews to make a thicker, more nutritious sauce than flour, arrowroot or cornstarch would give. Ditto for salad dressing. I sneak it into baked goods or pancakes. Luckily, Iodine is not harmed by heat. I use it as a topper for rice, along with other choices. It has a pleasant sea flavor which is not aggressive or strange. Use it to substitute for salt in any savory smoothie. Sneak a little into some other smoothies. Add some to pickled foods. You have to be inventive as most modern western cookbooks won’t have seaweed recipes.

___ I use a lot of Japanese recipes. Their cooks are the masters of seaweed cuisine, and it goes way beyond just wraps for sushi. You’ll also find recipes in Welsh books (as laver), in Macrobiotic cookbooks and in many other cuisines on a varying scale. In these recipes, I use the real sheets of seaweed.

___ You can also make your own version of Gomashio, a shelf stable condiment using Celtic sea salt and organic ingredients.

Seaweed has virtually no calories, is rich in fiber as well as Iodine and it has just about every needed trace mineral known to humankind.

Here is an adaptable recipe.

Em’s Kaisou Salada Serves 4

Make ahead:
5 grams ( 1/8 oz.) EACH dried wakame, dried arame and dried hijiki seaweeds I use only Eden Foods brand, as they source their organic seaweeds carefully.

1) In two separate bowls, soak the arame and hijiki together for 30 minutes, and in the other bowl, soak the wakame for 10 minutes.

130 grams (4 ozs.) enokitake mushrooms (tiny white mushrooms with long stems — in good supermarkets refrigerated or Asian produce section) (optional)

2) Trim the hard stems off each bunch of mushroom stalks, divide the bundles, keeping the mushrooms intact and whole.

2 scallions (spring onions, green onions) and ice water with cubes

3) Cut the onions into 1 1/2″ long thin strips and plunge into the ice water so they curl up.

1/2 English cucumber, cut lengthwise, cut into thin, half-moon slices

1 bunch of red radishes, washed and sized as desired. (Also, wash the leaves and dry them. Use for soups or stir frys.) OR use a desired amount of white icicle (daikon) radish

4) Cook the wakame and enokitake mushrooms in boiling water for 2 minutes. Add the arame and hijiki for a few seconds and immediately remove from the heat and then drain.

5) Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle on marinade from 1 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt and 15 ml (1 Tablespoon) organic brown rice vinegar while the weeds and mushroom mix is still warm. Then, chill everything in the refrigerator.

Salad Assembling:

Make the salad Dressing:
60 ml (4 Tablespoons) organic brown rice vinegar
7.5 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) organic toasted sesame oil
15 ml (1 Tablespoon) organic shoyu or tamari soy sauce
1 Tablespoon water (with a pinch of dashi-no-moto powder, if desired)
2.5cm (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger root, finely grated (or slivered)

1 package fresh washed organic Mesclun mixed spring greens
organic sesame seeds and // or organic hemp seeds

1) Place greens in a large bowl, add cucumber and radish slices, then top with the seaweed-enokitake mixture. Garnish with the spring onion curls and the seeds and then serve each portion with some dressing, just before eating.

Additional Options:
___ 12 cooked tiger prawns, cooled
___ 4 – 6ozs. of steamed, then cooled cold-water, ocean fish fillet, per person e.g. cod, halibut, sardines, Atlantic pollock, haddock.
___ up to 1 1/2 teaspoons of superfine sugar or equal amount of low glycemic agave nectar to the salad dressing
___ add lightly steamed carrot slices or fully steamed sweet potato cubes
___ fresh dill or fresh cilantro (for detoxification and flavor)

This is delightful pH alkaline food.

Best to all — Em

P.S. Please share this with your favorite social media site. To read more articles, please use the Title Archive tab on the upper navigation bar. Please subscribe to my blog on the right side-bar.

(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to use or quote more than a couple of sentences from my article, please write for permission to the About Me page on the upper navigation bar. Please include the address of the site where you wish to use it. Thanks!

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(c)2009 Em athttps://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com - Diabetic Wedding Advice 1816(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com Diabetic Wedding Advice 2022(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com Diabetic Wedding Advice 2 - 1967


“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Missed my post for the first time in 2  1/2 years, last week, due to the family wedding, but I have valuable thoughts to share for diabetics about the experience. This was a family-and-close- friends-only, small DIY wedding, and there are lessons to be learned.

The bride did a great job of getting everyone involved and everyone “came through” for her, but the food was a “mystery” as we were just given a “category”: appetizer, cookies etc. So, I was amazed to see that most people made thoughtful and healthy choices — everything from a big platter of vegetables with lots of different dips to strawberries as big as half a palm – which were delectable all alone.

The key to off-setting the carbs in this meal was, as usual, using as many low-glycemic foods as possible (like the whole, raw vegetables and whole, raw fruits) and then using oils, fats, proteins and fiber to slow-down the carbs. I only have a general gist of the recipes, but will ask for more detail, if people request that at the About Me tab, above.

We did a great job. Here’s the impromptu, informal appetizer (tapas, mezas) recipes, beverages, desserts menu for a garden wedding:

___   Raw vegetables with a variety of dips

___    Fresh fruits salad (in their own juice)

___   Huge fresh strawberries

___   Green leaf lettuce, grapefruit and homemade citrus-oil dressing (from a 100 year old family recipe of the maid of honor)

___   Mini pizzas: on tiny bagel-round slices or Trader Joe’s pizzettes with spinach dip + red potato salad with dill mix, brie then Asiago,  4 Italian Cheese Mix or Parmesan sprinkle

___   Mexican Bean Dip Platter with Toppings and chips

___   Hot Chipotle Salsa -Apricot Preserves or minced dry apricots + TJ Orange- Apricot sauce, agave over Cream Cheese with Lavash Crackers to pare away the cheese

___   Artichoke Pasta Salad with Heritage Tomatoes

___   Trader Joe’s Sun-Dried Tomato- Pesto topped Cream Cheese Torta with a variety of crackers

___   Trader Joe’s White Bean Hummus (with olive and pinenuts)  with a little Sun-dried Tomato,  minced Parsley on sourdough

___   English Sausage Rolls with Traditional Sauce

___   Crockpot mini-meatballs

___   Oatmeal-Raisin cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies, Brownies

___   Em’s Traditional Aleppo, Syrian Jewish Wedding Almond Cookie Rings (Gerebyes)(Graybeh) (Morroccan version = Ghouribi)

___  Em’s  Jewish PanLevi from Curaçao (the oldest surviving Jewish community in the New World)

___   Celtic Shortbread

___   Wedding Cake with Marshmallow Fondant (vanilla and chocolate layers of cake, inside)(served in small portions)

___   Waters, Beverages, Aussie Wines and Champagne

All of us felt we had given the couple a gift of love and felt connected in ways that no formally-catered wedding could ever do. Her family and friends attended, for all her needs. (I did the table flowers, too.)

His family was ecstatic that they were able to do this in their garden in the midst of finalizing the sale of their long-time home, buying a new one and moving!

We felt that we “celebrated” this union the way that weddings have been for millennia, before the advent of commercial weddings. It was SO meaningful. It helped the families to “blend” and that’s important, too.

Unfortunately, most relatives (and friends) from further afield could not come, but there are many ways to still share the photos and the happy day.

Times are tough, but these are celebrations meant to last a lifetime of good memories. I think the quality of our memories is enhanced by it being a true labor of love and all of us showcased our talents.

We wish them a long, happy, healthy and prosperous life together.

Don’t be afraid to try this route for your own celebrations. You will be the richer for the experience, rather than poorer!

The same advice applies to any pot-luck. Unless asked to bring something specific, like I was, bring a part of the meal that you know you can eat and depend on it for as much of the meal as you can. Here, I was asked to make cookies, so I could only make them as low glycemic as possible and use the healthier foods that others brought. It all worked out fine!

One last hint: be sure to put out sugar bee, wasp, yellow-jacket traps (far away from the food … to attract them strongly in the traps’ direction!).

Best Regards,


(c)2009 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you wish to use any of this post, please write for permission at the About Me page above.

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