Wellness for the Family: Thanksgiving Mindfulness

We are a week away from Thanksgiving, and that means lots of food. This time of year it’s very hard to not load up the plate and overindulge. But, for those who have diabetes, it can be twice as difficult to make better choices. Blue Cross Blue Shield dietitian, Shanthi Appello gives us some carb-friendly alternatives to our favorite holiday desserts and ways to prevent overeating.

Diabetes-friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake Minis

A great way to enjoy your favorite dessert recipes in moderation is to serve them in shot glasses. Added bonus – serving with mini spoons. The yield depends on the size of your serving-ware. The recipe makes cheesecake batter for a 10-inch pan.

Cinnamon Graham Crust

IngredientsMini Pumpkin Cheesecake 1

  • 1 cup reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers, crumbled (about 1 sleeve)
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients and place in a shot glass and let cool and set.

Cheesecake Batter


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, plus more for topping (1/4 cup if desired)
  • 1 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (no sugar added)


  1. In a large bowl, let cream cheese sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, then whip cream cheese with all ingredients except heavy whipping cream.
  2. Whip the heavy whipping cream in a separate bowl.
  3. Gently fold in the whipped cream with the pumpkin cheesecake mixture. Do not overmix.
  4. Top crust with batter
  5. Top with whipped cream and ground pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  6. Freeze and serve after defrosting for 10 minutes. It can also be served refrigerated and sets after ~1.5 hours

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 1 large shot glass (1 tbsp crust, 4 tbsp batter, 1 tbsp whipped cream topping)

Calories 182 | Fat 9 g | Carbohydrates 20 g (Sugar 15 g ) (Fiber 1 g)|Protein 3 g

Cran-Apple Walnut Chutney

This recipe is loaded in fiber from leaving the skin on the cranberries, adding apples and walnuts. Walnuts, along with flaxseed, are the only plant-based sources of Omega-3 (an added bonus). This recipe boasts 10 grams less sugar per serving than traditional cranberry sauce.


  • 8 oz bag cranberriesCranberry Sauce 1
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 apple of your choice, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • ½ cup water
  • Ground allspice, a pinch
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp brandy (optional)


  1. Simmer water, honey, cranberries, allspice, cinnamon over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (until cranberries start to pop) and stir frequently.
  2. Add walnuts and apples, let simmer for 5 minutes and stir
  3. Stir in brandy and let simmer for another minute
  4. Remove from heat, let cool and serve or store

Nutrition Facts

Serving size ¼ cup

Calories 107| Fat 3 g | Carbohydrates 18 g (Sugar 15 g) (Fiber 2 g)| Protein 2 g

Categories: Recipes, the four, Wellness for the Family