Let's take time today for a look at the recipes Ann Balkey of Charleston sent along.
"I make this quite often," she says of the longtime favorite bean salad. "My mom used to make it for my husband, Joe, when we were first dating, and he loved it. Everyone makes and enjoys the dish, but probably with the original one cup of sugar and one cup of oil, plus you cook the dressing. Reducing those ingredients didn't reduce the good taste."
Balkey has a couple of good suggestions for the salad as more of a main ingredient. "I eat it over couscous as well as over tossed salad greens. The oil and vinegar in the beans replaces any dressing that I would need."
A recent trip to Pittsburgh introduced Balkey to her sister-on-law Ruth Anne's apple slaw and a recipe to share. The apple and walnuts resound with "autumn" and possibly "holiday table."
Healthy Bites of trivia:
If aspartame is an issue for you, did you know that regular "sugared" chewing gum has aspartame? I didn't. I picked up a regular pack of gum, assured I would see that all it contained was sugar. I was startled because there was the warning about PKU. That alerted me to a need for a closer reading of the label (and it has to be close - have you seen the ingredient fine print on gum?) to search for aspartame. It was there.
A dietitian advised that standard gum and Tic Tacs are fine. She said there isn't enough sugar to elevate blood sugars and that the sugar-free gum was more dentist-driven from a concern for healthier teeth rather than a diabetic alternative.
I checked all the regular (not labeled "sugar-free") gum and found one Freedent flavor and a Bubble Yum with sugar only.
E-mailer Karol Cavender sent this Web site of interest: www.dlife.com. She says it has the best assortment of recipes and that she has tried many of them with success.
Wal-Mart carries no-sugar-added canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail and chunky mixed fruits in their Great Value brand. The ingredients are fruit, water and pear juice concentrate - no sugar or sugar substitute and 1/2 cup is 12 carbs. They do carry canned fruit sweetened with Splenda right next to it, but "Splenda" is indicated on the label.
Check this month's Diabetes Forecast magazine for tempting cupcake recipes. I'll give them in a later column, in case you overlook the Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, Banana Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting and Silver Cupcakes with Chocolate Mint Icing.
Karo corn syrup has introduced Lite Karo, a reduced-calorie white corn syrup.
Valley of Blessings Farm Heavenly Salsa, a West Virginia Grown product produced in Elkview, has a no sugar or sweetener salsa. It ranges from mild to hot, with only one carb in two tablespoons. Call 965-1488 to inquire about purchase.
Kudos to Papa John's pizza chain for their whole-wheat crust. How about the rest of the pizzeria gang out there?
Restaurant recommendations return next column.
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can cut green beans, rinsed, drained