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GIfts of food for those with medical restrictions?

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I'd like to get something rich, tasty, seasonal or all of the above for a friend who has diabetes and high cholesterol and who doesn't care for wine or spirits (I know, what a miserable life). Suggestions gratefully received.

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  1. Fruit compote? If you pick the right fruits, and make it more spicy than sweet, you might be able to mitigate the sugar issue.

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    1. re: heatherkay

      "If you pick the right fruits, and make it more spicy than sweet, you might be able to mitigate the sugar issue."

      Spice doesn't negate the presence of sugar from the fruits.

      Normally I'd suggest a fine cheese, but the cholesterol makes it an issue. My guess is that this person is stuck eating dry, tasteless wheat bread a lot. If you can find a whole grain variety -- try a specialty baker or even a place like Panera or Atlanta Breac Co. -- with some interesting type of low-fat spread, that sounds like a nice, delicious gift.

    2. How about a nice selection of nuts? If this is acceptable, you could get a variety - smoked, spicy etc. A friend of mine bought himself a Christmas present of 25lbs of smoked pecans which he plans to eat all by himself.

      1. It might make more sense to get this person a non-food gift. Given those restrictions I wonder if the individual has problems managing food and if a fun gift that doesnt' involve eating might not be more appropriate. How about tickets to see a great show, something relating to another hobby, or flowers?

        But if a culinary gift is your preference, how about a beautiful basket of exotic mushrooms?

        1. How about some infused oils or vinegars? Or some spice blends? Certainly helps with low-fat cooking.

          1. There are some very good sugar free fruit speads available now, along with perhaps some teas put together in a gift basket.

            1. My advice is to stay away from "sugar-free desserts", etc., including fruit, because they do tend to spike blood sugar in some form.
              I think nuts are a good suggestion, as mentioned above, especially natural, unsalted.
              This might sound unusual, but how about exposing he or she to a new grain that is good for diabetics - quinoa. You can put quinoa in a mason jar and then attach a recipe for a lovely quinoa mushroom pilaf or quinoa black bean salad. Quinoa is high protein and gluten free and nutty and delicious. You can find it in most larger supermarkets these days, often in bulk.

              1. How about a green gift--a basket of fresh herbs to enjoy windowside.

                1. Buy a 1-pound bag of Erythritol (a polyol sugar substitute that does NOT raise blood sugar levels at the time of eating or later) and substitute it (1:1) for sugar in any baked goods recipe. Erythritol (don't use xylitol - it's toxic to dogs) has no aftertaste at all.

                  Find a recipe that uses oil as the fat, rather than butter or shortening (check out kosher pareve recipes). Use olive oil or canola oil.

                  If you'd like to make a pie crust, use organic coconut oil as a substitute for Crisco. It's free of trans fats and the saturated fats that it contains appear to be of a healthy variety.

                  Try to find a recipe that uses whole grain flour (whole spelt flour is great), as well. Diabetics fare better with grains that don't turn into sugars quickly, as do white flours.

                  I'm diabetic and have high cholesterol, and am a professional recipe developer, so trust me - you can't go wrong.

                  One other suggestion: if you don't want to cook or bake something yourself, make a gift basket containing Erythritol (available at natural foods stores and low-carb stores), coconut oil, whole spelt flour, almonds, walnuts, and some other low-fat, low-carb goodies.

                  Here's my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread, using erythritol, whole spelt flour, and olive oil.

                  Exported from MasterCook *

                  Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread

                  Recipe By : FlavoursGal
                  Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
                  Categories :

                  Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                  -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                  2 ripe bananas -- mashed
                  1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
                  1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
                  2 eggs
                  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                  2 cups whole spelt flour
                  2/3 cup erythritol (or granulated sugar)
                  1 teaspoon baking powder
                  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                  1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
                  1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
                  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

                  Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a large loaf pan (approx. 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 4 1/2) with baking spray.

                  In a large bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined well.

                  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, erythritol (or sugar), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt.

                  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in large bowl and stir until just combined.

                  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until top is deeply browned and springs back when touched gently, about 70 to 90 minutes.

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