Articles Diabetic Cooking Tips

A Diabetic Pantry

Cooking for someone with diabetes, whether yourself or someone else, is really just a commitment to cooking healthy on a day-to-day basis.

We both keep a well-stocked pantry so that making a meal does not mean running to the market every day. We market twice a week for fresh fish, poultry, meat, dairy, and produce and then prepare our daily recipes using the staples in our pantry. Think small, buy the best you can afford, and keep your pantry inventory turning. Spices lose their aroma and flavor, oil loses its freshness, etc.

Here are the items that we keep on hand for healthy cooking.


balsamic, fruit-infused, herb-infused, red wine, white wine, sherry, malt, rice wine, cider

Cooking Sprays

Now available in aerosol and refrigerated pumps. Purchase butter-flavored, olive oil, vegetable


canola, olive, safflower, sesame. Not necessary, but nice to have for added flavor: almond, avocado, grapeseed, hazelnut, peanut, and walnut


stone-ground yellow and white cornmeal, couscous, kasha, millet, rolled oats, instant polenta, rice-white, basmati, brown, quick-cooking and wild, quinoa

Beans and Legumes

dried beans-black, cannellini, chick peas, navy, pinto and white, black-eyed peas, lentils-brown and red


angel hair, bow ties (farfalle), lasagna, linguine, penne, Oriental rice sticks, rotelle, spaghetti, ziti

Baking Needs

unbleached all-purpose flour, nonfat pancake mix, graham cracker crumbs, cornstarch, dry bread crumbs (unseasoned), baking powder, baking soda, cream of tarter, cocoa powder, salt and kosher salt, vanilla extract, sugar substitutes (capable of retaining sweetness during extended heat), sugar, brown sugar, honey, baker’s spray (combined with flour)

Canned and Packages Goods

no-salt-added tomato paste, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, canned pumpkin, unsweetened fruit juices, fat-free no-salt-added chicken and vegetable broth, cannellini, garbanzo (chick peas), navy, pinto, white and black beans, beans, reduced-sodium soy sauce, no-sugar-added fruit spread, dry roasted peanuts, natural peanut butter, no-sugar added dried fruits, evaporated skim milk, powdered buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauces, regular and coarse ground Dijon mustard, dry red and white wine for cooking, cognac for cooking, dry sherry for cooking, rum for cooking, tequila for cooking, hoisin sauce, sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), black bean sauce, Asian chili sauce, capers, garlic sauce, dried chiles, dried mushrooms

Dried Herbs and Spices

ground allspice, basil, bay leaves, dill, caraway seed, celery seed, chili powder, ground cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ground cumin, curry powder, fennel seed, fines herbes, ground ginger, marjoram, dry mustard, paprika, peppercorns, poppy seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, rosemary, sage, saffron, savory, sesame seeds, thyme

In the Freezer

frozen no-sugar-added fruits and berries, puff pastry dough, filo dough, bread dough, unsalted butter, reduced-calorie margarine, nuts, vegetables in bags, multi-grain breads and rolls, pita

In the Refrigerator

part-skim Parmesan cheese, fat-free mozzarella cheese, fat-free ricotta cheese, fat-free cream cheese, reduced-fat tub margarine, fat-free sour cream, fresh ginger, lemons, limes, oranges, other fresh fruit in season, scallions, fresh herbs and parsley, salad ingredients, fresh vegetables in season, dill pickles, tomato paste in a tube, anchovy paste in a tube, egg substitute, eggs, skim milk


Garlic; shallots; onions-white, yellow, sweet (seasonal), and red; potatoes-red, Russet, and Yukon Gold; sweet potatoes