Missing Fruit

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • I find that a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet works best at controlling my blood glucose (BG) levels. I no longer miss the bread and mashed potatoes one avoids on such a diet, but I do miss fruit.


    When I was a child I remember telling my mother that the foods I really liked best were meat and fruit (I suspect today’s children would mention snack foods like sodas and potato chips instead). So I’ve always leaned toward fruit.


    One way I cope with the fruit deprivation is to eat sugarfree fruit-flavored Jell-O. Richard Bernstein, author of The Diabetes Solution, tells people not to eat the powdered sugarfree dessert because it contains maltodextrin, which raises your BG levels as much as sugar. He says the kind that comes already made up, in little tubs, is OK. But I’m a little less strict than he is, and when I tried the kind in tubs, I found the artificial flavors pretty yuchy.

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    I do allow myself to eat berries in small quantities, except when my raspberry bushes are producing in July, when I eat a cupful with every meal. They’re full of soluble fiber and don’t seem to affect my BG levels much. At other times of year, I zap a few frozen berries and add to plain full-fat yogurt with a little stevia or DaVinci sugarfree syrup. This extends the berry flavor into a larger volume. Sometimes I blend the berries into the yogurt with my mini food processor. But it’s a pain to clean the small plastic container with a shaft in the middle.


    Recently, I discovered something even better.


    I remembered I had some small glass jars that fit onto my blender. It’s a Sears blender I got almost 50 years ago, but it was made by Oster, so I can still get supplies. (Some reviewers say you can do the same thing with mason jars. I tried that, and it works.)


    I added berries to this mini-jar along with some strawberries. I usually use frozen, but my usual store was selling fresh strawberries for 99 cents a pound, and I couldn’t resist.


    Then I added some stevia and blended. The result was too thin, so I sprinkled in some guar gum.


    Guar gum comes from a tree in India and can be used as a thickener instead of cornstarch. It is a soluble fiber and like other soluble fibers like nopal cactus, it slows gastric emptying and thus lowers the glycemic index of foods. It is also said to reduce cholesterol levels.


    I get the guar gum at my local coop and keep it in a spice bottle with a shaker top so I can shake a little into whatever I want to thicken.


    I sprinkled the guar gum into the yogurt and eureka! It was just the right consistency, and the flavor was incomparable. Nothing like the artificial “strawberry flavor” you get in commercial yogurt. It had a freshness and a taste that had a slight hint of banana. I used to like barely ripe bananas, and the fresh strawberries were also not quite ripe. Not great for eating alone, but in the yogurt, they were wonderful. I was ecstatic.


    The nice thing about these little jars is that you can make up a batch of berry yogurt, pour a little out, or just eat a few spoonfuls, and keep the rest to eat at future meals. Sometimes I find that just a few teaspoons of berry yogurt abolish my fruit cravings . . . well, at least until the next meal.


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    Of course one could do the same with any big blender jar, but they’re harder to clean and take up more room in the fridge. One could also use a little mini blender or a mini food processor, preferably not plastic. Just choose one that is easy to clean. Many have the blades as part of the container. Others have central shafts that make eating out of the containers and washing them more difficult.


    True, this sharepost isn’t exactly a bind-boggling breakthrough in diabetes research, but I hope it will help some fellow fruit cravers.



Published On: March 15, 2014