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A Diabetes Friendly Recipe - Cannellini Bean Salad!

Altering what and how we eat is not an easy task but absolutely doable! Small changes in our eating habits can have big results.


Making positive lifestyle changes can certainly be challenging. It is a process that takes time and requires a true commitment to yourself, that is the first step. For some, change can be scary, tiring, and frustrating, but also necessary. Change is something that doesn’t happen over night and that’s ok. The number one rule, don’t be so hard on yourself - be kind. Show yourself compassion. Change is not easy, but it’s good on so many different levels.

There is extensive research showing that lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, movement, stress reduction, and getting a good nights sleep can help keep diabetes under control and lower the risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. In addition, changing your lifestyle actually changes your genes - turning on the genes that keep you healthy and turning off those genes that promote chronic disease. We can’t change our genes but we can certainly change the way they express themselves. Our genes are a predisposition, but our genes are not our fate.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle


Here is another family favorite to hep you get on the right path. Enjoy!


Cannellini Bean Salad

Yields: 5 cups


Ingredients:

1 cup cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

3 cups filtered water

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 1/2 lemons)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

1 roasted red pepper, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice (1/4 inc)

4 ounces red onion, minced

2 tablespoons parsley, chiffonade

Oregano to taste

Sea salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Set aside.

  2. Combine beans, water, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bay leaf in a large pot and bring to boil over high heat.

  3. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove bay leaf and drain beans in colander.

  4. Stir the olive oil mixture and pour over warm beans.

  5. When beans have cooled, toss together with red peppers, red onion, and parsley.

  6. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.

NOTES:

  • Feel free to add any of your favorite greens to this delicious salad. We’ve added arugula and sautéed asparagus!

  • You can also use organic canned beans.


Nutritional Highlights:


Cannellini beans are a favorite in our family! Studies have shown that the extracts from white beans have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beans are a diabetes super food and a good source of protein. They are also packed with antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, and provide iron, potassium, zinc and other essential minerals. Although beans contain carbohydrates, they are low on the glycemic index (GI) scale. Beans are a complex carbohydrate. The body digests this form more slowly than other carbohydrates, helping to keep blood sugar levels stable for longer.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been shown in many studies to reduce blood sugar levels because the fats in this oil are actually good for you. Studies show that monounsaturated fats also help improve cardiovascular health, cut cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure.


Lemons. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), lemons are one of the healthiest picks for those with diabetes. They too are considered a superfood due to the soluble fiber and vitamin C they contain, both of which benefit those with diabetes. Most of my days begin with a warm cup of filtered water with sliced lemons.


Red peppers are considered a non starchy vegetables, meaning that most of the carbohydrates found in peppers are in the form of fiber. Because peppers are a nutrient-dense vegetable packed with vitamins A and C, they have a low-impact on blood sugar.


Parsley has many beneficial properties. Research has shown that parsley contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and may also protect your liver. It has also been shown that parsley may significantly lower levels of blood glucose. In fact, Europeans use parsley to reduce blood glucose.

Oregano is an herb that contains diabetes fighting compounds as shown in study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. My family in Italy grows their own oregano, which has been used for thousands of years not only to add flavor to dishes but to also treat health conditions such as, indigestion, colds, and to boost overall health. Evidence shows that oregano could help in fighting bacteria, reducing inflammation and regulating blood sugar and lipids. Here is a fun fact: The Greeks and Romans associated oregano with joy and happiness. The name comes from the Greek words “oros” meaning mountain, and “ganos” meaning joy.


Garlic also known to have many health benefits such as being anti-inflammatory with antioxidant properties. As a matter of fact, the combination of garlic and oregano is a natural way to help with bacterial and viral infections.



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