Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Delectable Diabetic Recipes

"Regular meals, healthy snacking, little fat, small amounts of sugar, more fibre."

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

My knowledge of diabetes doesn't warrant me writing an article on the subject but the number of readers who have requested recipes for diabetics has led to my researching the topic. I have close connections with diabetics that include my grandfather, Christina Martin who trained me, a trainee's father and a colleague; so, apart from the literature I have read, I have a large pool of first-hand experiences to pull from.

They all agree that regular meals, healthy snacking, little fat, small amounts of sugar, more fibre in every meal are the important basics.

Non-starchy vegetables are best (spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower); so I thought a broccoli pesto would be a tasty alternative to the norm. It includes low-fat cream cheese, and sunflower seeds that give an interesting depth of flavour without the richness and oiliness of pine kernels that are generally used in pesto. Anticipate a healthy bite of broccoli bliss!

Quinoa (pronounced 'Kin-wah') has an excellent nutrient composition compared with other grains. Amino acids, calcium, phosphorous and iron are all there. Quinoa bread is a slow releasing carbohydrate and very 'in' at the moment. It has a deliciously-crispy, we

ll-structured crust with a finely textured crumb. I was delighted with the trial result!

Savoury polenta bites with local, smoky olives and sundried tomatoes make a tasty savoury snack for morning or afternoon tea. They are better when eaten warm.

Spicy, marinated chicken breast and roasted-pepper-and-lentil salad is a perfect light lunch suggestion. Using sweeteners to reduce the acidity of the vinegar works perfectly. As a diabetic, you should always read the nutritional details on the labels of all food so you can make an informed choice when it comes to the source of the sugar in the food you eat.  Also, if trying a product for the first time, be sure to test your blood sugar to determine the effect. Diabetics have an above average risk of heart disease so it is advisable to limit the amount of red meat eaten. This tasty, chicken-breast recipe adds a savoury depth of flavour to any main course.

Chocolate mousse served with fresh fruit, in its raw form, is always delicious. A simple shift to sugar-free milk chocolate, low-fat cream and low-fat yoghurt is not difficult and the flavour of a dish is not compromised. The instant coffee takes form in this recipe and enhances the milk chocolate so well. The egg whites add a cholesterol-free kick and a lightness that delights the palate. Have you ever tried egg white mayonnaise? You will be amazed... When craving something sweet on a chilly Midlands day I suggest you mix unsweetened cocoa powder in hot water, or skim milk. Add a drop of vanilla extract to make this even more scrumptious! Sugar-free drinking chocolate is easy to find, however, remember it can be substituted with unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe.

Pear-and-strawberry crumble has a delightful texture combination and is more beneficial for diabetics if blueberries are used. This recipe requires freshly-squeezed orange juice because the bought, processed product is packed full of sugar. When squeezing the oranges, reserve extra juice, which you can freeze in an ice-cube tray for an ice-pop treat! Cinnamon powder helps with circulation. Served with yoghurt, rather than cream, is the healthier alternative. The oats-and-corn-flakes crumble adds to the daily fibre intake. Raisins, included in this crumble, are filled with antioxidants and fibre. These little dried grapes add a kick to any baked food. Agave nectar, which is sweeter than honey, is a combination of fructose and glucose and is obtained by extracting and purifying the sap of the blue agave plant. I was introduced to it by an American actor who stayed at Hartford House for a few weeks. He called it Tequila sugar. Being the curious type I couldn't resist a tasting.

I am always eager to learn so please send me interesting recipes for diabetics, as well as any tips and suggestions that I can pass on.

Please take these recipes and try them!

diabetic strawberry