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Controlling diabetes

When I was young, I used to hear the word diabetes and not pay any attention. I think it is normal when we are young to think we are indestructible and nothing will bother us. Medical problems were for old people and we will remain young and healthy forever. Then the day comes when we look in the mirror and we see an old person, but inside all we see is a young person wanting to burst out. Sadly, however, the mirror does not lie and what we see is what we actually are, but that is part of life and no one stays young forever.

As we get older, when we open our daily paper, the first thing we look for are the obituaries to see if any of our friends or acquaintances have passed.

Life is actually very short and sweet when you stop and think about it. I was talking to my aunt in Toronto, Canada a few days ago that just turned 98 years old. When I ask her, “how are you,” she replied, “I am getting old”. I reminded her that her sister (my mother-in-law) died at 104 years old and how her own mother lived to be 103 years old, and told her that she has many years yet to live.

Diabetes is a very serious disease and affects millions and millions of people all over the world. Many do not take diabetes serious and ignore watching their intake and going to a doctor for help. There is more to being careful than just taking a pill, you must be disciplined in your food intake, exercise and daily diet.

For many of us being closed in these past few months and not active, or like me cooking excessively, and many times the things that are not really healthy or good for us.

I think that diabetes is hereditary and I have many friends that have to take daily insulin.

Diabetes can be controlled by following the right diet, portion size, exercise and with your doctor’s guidance.

Anymore there are so many varieties of foods, especially for diabetics that makes it easier for the person and their families.

Below are some recipes for diabetics:

A while back I wrote in my article about how my tomatoes are not doing so well so far. Last week, my dear friends Don and Mary Taylor of Coolville, Ohio, came to our house to give me some help. (When my husband was band director at Federal, Mary served as band booster president for several years and their children Amy and Jimmy were members of the band). To my surprise they brought several nice healthy tomato plants and insisted on planting them in our backyard. Not only did they bring tomato plants, but also brought along his own mixture of soil, manure, fertilizer, tomato plant food and to top it off, rain water to water the plants that has no chemicals. Then Don tried to doctor up the plants I had already planted by pulling the weeds and showing me how to sucker the plants to help them grow. They also brought a special solution mix to spray the plants now and then. That is what I call a knowledgeable and dedicated gardener. It was much appreciated. Thank you!

Till next week!

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Broiled Peaches and Strawberries

5 medium peaches, cut into 1-inch wedges

1 1/2 pints of strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or cloves

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

3 tablespoons slivered fresh mint, lemon verbena or cinnamon basil

Preheat the broiler. Coat a large baking sheet with sides with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, strawberries, honey, cinnamon and allspice or cloves and toss to coat. Place the fruit on the prepared baking sheet. Dot with the butter. Broil, turning the pan 2-3 times (no need to turn the fruit) for 4 minutes or until the fruit is glazed, bubbly and golden brown in spots. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with the mint, lemon verbena or cinnamon basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Roasted Pears with Goat Cheese

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 large ripe pears, halved and cored

1/4 cup seedless raspberry all-fruit preserves

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 ounces goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 450. Coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. While the oven is preheating, place the butter in the prepared dish. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the butter is melted. Remove from the oven and stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Place the pears in the dish and turn to coat with the butter mixture. Arrange cut side up, making sure there is some butter in the cavities. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pears are very tender. Transfer the pears to 4 dessert dishes. In a small saucepan, combine the preserves and pepper. Pour the juices from the baking dish into the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. To serve, spoon some goat cheese into the cavity in each pear, then drizzle the raspberry sauce over the pears.

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Apple Strudel

2 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

12 sheets frozen whole wheat phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup apricot all-fruit preserves, warmed

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the apples, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs and granulated sugar. Place the phyllo on a dry kitchen counter and cover with plastic wrap and a clean damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove 1 sheet, spread it flat and mist with butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1 scant tablespoon of the crumb mixture. Repeat layering to use 4 more of the remaining phyllo sheets and about half of the crumb mixture. Top with the 1 phyllo sheet and mist with the cooking spray. Spread with 1/4 cup of the preserves to within 1-inch of the edges. Spoon half of the apple mixture over the preserves. Fold 1-inch of each long edge over the apple mixture. Starting with the short edge, roll up as tightly as possible. Gently place the strudel, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Mist the top with cooking spray. Repeat to make 11 more strudels. Using a sharp knife, make several slashes in the top of each strudel. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

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Apricot Tart

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces fat-free cream cheese

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons ice water

2 tablespoons apricot brandy or reserved apricot juice

3/4 cup apricot all-fruit spread, warmed

4 16-ounce cans apricot halves, drained and juice reserved

2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 425. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter and cream cheese. In a cup, combine the lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of the ice water. Sprinkle over the crumbs and toss with a fork until the crumbs resemble the texture of cottage cheese. Mix in the remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together. Gather the mixture into a ball and press into a thick disk. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. For an 11-inch tart, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Spray a tart pan with cooking spray. Gently place the dough in the pan. Firmly press the dough against the bottom and sides of the pan. Fold the edges under. Using a fork, pierce the bottom of the crust all over to prevent it from puffing up during baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven heat to 350. Stir the brandy or apricot juice into the all-fruit spread. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of the fruit spread mixture over the prebaked tart crust. Arrange a single layer of the apricot halves, cut side down, in the crust. Brush with the apricots with fruit spread. Continue layering with apricot halves and brushing with fruit spread until they are all used. Sprinkle with the almonds. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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Banana-Mango Mousse

2 ripe mangos, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt

1 small banana

2 teaspoons honey

2 drops vanilla extract

3 ice cubes

4 springs mint

In a food processor or blender, combine the mangoes, yogurt, banana, honey, vanilla extract and ice cubes. Process with on/off turns until the ice is broken up. Process until smooth. Remove any remaining large pieces of ice. Divide the mixture among the 4 dessert dishes. Garnish with mint. Serve immediately.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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