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Living with diabetes

Posted: January 25, 2012 - 10:24am  |  Updated: January 25, 2012 - 10:35am
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Paula Deen’s The Lady & Sons Restaurant, located at 102 West Congress Street, Savannah, attracts visitors to the city in search of gracious hospitality and Southern cuisine that includes fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie and, of course, Southern Banana Pudding. Deen’s recipe for “Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding “, bottom right, which made an appearance on her Food Network TV show in 2004, was reprinted in Bluffton Today in 2007, with permission. Only time will tell how Deen’s recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes will impact The Lady & Sons and other area restaurants.

When we heard that our ever-smiling Southern maven of cooking  was diagnosed  with type-2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, some of us were sad, some of us were not surprised, and others of us were just plain mad. Fortunately, I do not have diabetes, but of the many folks who do, some found they were experiencing feelings of indignation and betrayal. And, who could blame them?  On the heels of learning about Deen’s diabetes, a full three years after the initial diagnosis, came word that Deen would be the paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, the drug company that supplies Deen with her diabetes medication, Victoza.

Diabetics were left wondering why Deen did not disclose her illness sooner or, at the very least, did not do more to offer healthy alternatives to her trademark high fat, high calorie repertoire.  But, in all fairness, the choice has always been ours.  In 2007, we loved the recipe that appeared here for Deen’s “Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding.”  And, despite suggestions to use lighter ingredients in the pudding, many of us opted for the full monty of fat, sugar and calories, declaring it was the “best darn banana pudding we had ever eaten.”  I do not regularly watch Deen’s Food Network show, nor do I totally embrace  her inimitable cooking style, but I continue to believe that what she says is true and will continue to be so,  whether she is hawking drugs, or hamburgers sandwiched between glazed donuts.

In addition, Deen’s recent statement, “Honey, I’m your cook, not your doctor. You’ve got to be responsible for yourself,” is, perhaps, her best advice (and truth) of all, serving to remind us that all the recipes (and things) can’t be intended for all people.  In her effort to come clean and now sell us drugs, Deen may have revealed too much of herself, at the expense of her privacy. We know of her diabetes, the drug she takes to control it and the people who make it for her.  We know, too, of the medical challenges of diabetes that she is facing and of the lifetime it will take to meet them. Deen, like us, will be responsible for herself and truth or dare — Deen will do it. Truthfully, Deen will do it. 

For more information about diabetes, including links to resources for diabetes and diabetic-friendly recipes, visit the American Diabetic Association website at www.diabetes.org/, or call 1-800-342-2383.

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.   

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
by Paula Deen, reprinted Sept. 18, 2007, Bluffton Today, with permission

To view recipe and video on line, visit Paula Deen at the Food Network at: www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/not-yo-mamas-banana-pudding-recipe/index.html

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Kitchen Ade Note: Instant vanilla pudding may be substituted for French vanilla pudding. Serves 8. Calories, per serving, if made with Cool Whip regular whipped topping: 793; with cream: 900.

Lighter Version - Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding

56 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers
4 medium bananas, sliced
2 cups fat free milk, cold
1 (0.09-ounce) box sugar free, fat free instant banana cream pudding
1 (8-ounce) package Philadelphia Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 (12-ounce) container Cool Whip Sugar Free frozen whipped topping thawed*

Line the bottom of a 2-quart glass baking dish with 28 Nilla wafers. Layer the bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.  (This may take a while, be patient.) Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 12. Calories, per serving:  303.

*Kitchen Ade Note: You will have to purchase 2 (8-ounce) containers of Sugar Free Cool Whip, using just half of the second container, to get 12 ounces of whipped topping for this recipe.

Quick and Easy Southern Banana Pudding

4 (1-cup capacity) dessert glasses
1 (0.09-ounce) box sugar free, fat free instant banana cream or vanilla pudding
2 cups fat free milk, cold
8 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers, crushed
3 medium bananas sliced
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

With a handheld mixer, or whisk, beat pudding mix and milk. Layer half the wafers, bananas and pudding into the glasses in the order given. Repeat, using the remaining wafers, bananas and pudding. Top each glass with 1 tablespoon crushed walnuts.   Makes 4 servings.  Calories, with walnuts: 230, without: 180. 

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