This Festive Season I am teaming up with Diabetes Australia to inspire you to create and then share your own healthy recipe for a chance to win a $1000 exclusive dining experience each week until Christmas. The judges are at the ready to select a healthy recipe each week so get creating and submit your recipe at

On the Veggies & Me Christmas table this year:

Cinnamon Spiced Baked Eggplant

Jeweled Pea and Lentil Salad

Semolina Encrusted Sweet Potato Gems

Raw Sun Ripened Tomato Salsa

Diabetes is a disease, which has affected my own family and group of friends. It is a disease on a steep increase and it’s prevention and treatment is strongly linked to good nutrition. There are two different issues at play when discussing diet for Type One and Type Two diabetes sufferers.

Lets start with Type One: This is an autoimmune disease, which generally presents in younger people (anywhere from childhood to 30). Type One diabetics are insulin dependent and must closely monitor their blood sugar levels each and every day. To assist in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels a healthy, low sugar diet is critical.  By keeping blood sugar levels stable and in turn avoiding the associated secondary medical conditions, which arise in diabetics with poor nutrition, Type One diabetes can be managed well.

Type Two diabetes is one of the most concerning diseases of the 21st century due to its rapid rates of increase. This degenerative disease generally presents in middle aged and older people who are often overweight and eat a poor diet (which is now unfortunately seen as being a standard diet).  The best news is that Type Two diabetes can be avoided or reversed in many cases simply with good nutrition.

Did you know:

  • Every five minutes an Australian is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • An estimated 1.5 million Australians are affected by diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in the country: forecast to become the number one burden of disease in Australia in the next five years.

Foods to avoid are added sugars, refined grains, fried foods, trans fats and processed meats. You might be really surprised by which pre-made foods, even the savoury ones, include added sugar. It is staggering the sheer quantity of sugar added to many of our favourite drinks, snacks and deserts. The best way to minimise added sugar is to cook from scratch. That way you know exactly what’s going into your and your family’s food.

The best foods are leafy green vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit. Eating healthy is all about crowding out the bad stuff with heaps of the good stuff. Fill your plate with crisp, fresh salad bursting with flavour from herbs and lemon juice. And ditch the white carbs to make room for sweet potatoes, brown rice and wholemeal sourdough bread.  Or try swapping grains for beans and legumes. As long as the majority of your meal is made up from high nutrient fresh food you are looking good and are guaranteed to be feeling lighter and more energised. Cinnamon and Coconut Oil are both handy foods to include in a diabetic friendly meal as they help the body to regulate blood sugar levels.

For desert eat fresh fruit in a range of colours. The best choices are the low sugar fruits like berries, kiwi, oranges, and melon. Since it is Christmas go nuts on buying special fruit. If you are lucky enough to be in the Southern Hemisphere Christmas time is the season for amazing berries. Dust your fruit with slivered almonds instead of sugar and get your chocolate fix with a sprinkling of cocoa nibs.

 About efpos Giveback campaign:

By pressing CHQ or SAV you are helping eftpos donate up to $2 million between Cancer Council Australia and Diabetes Australia. The eftpos Giveback donation will help fund a new online platform to revolutionise support for 1.5 million Australia with diabetes, prevention for more than 2 million people pre-diabetes and an awareness campaign to focus on the seriousness of diabetes.

Hashtag: #eftposgiveback

Licence veggie packed Christmas images here.

The Recipes: 

Semolina Encrusted Sweet Potato Gems
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  1. Serves 4
  2. 2 large sweet potatoes
  3. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  4. 2 tablespoons fine semolina (use fine polenta if you are avoiding gluten)
  1. Preheat your oven to 180degC.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut each into 8 equal pieces.
  3. Boil covered with water in a medium saucepan for 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully drain off the water.
  5. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes, in the saucepan, with the semolina and shake the pan so that the outsides of the sweet potato become rough and coated in the semolina.
  6. If your coconut oil is solid melt it in a large baking dish, in the oven, for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the sweet potatoes to the melted coconut oil in the baking dish.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Carefully remove from the oven and turn the sweet potatoes over.
  10. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Veggies & Me
Raw Sun Ripened Tomato Salsa
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  1. 3 medium sun ripened tomato
  2. 1 clove of crushed garlic
  3. 1 deseeded red chili
  4. salt and pepper
  1. Combine the ingredients briefly with your food processor.
  2. Keep the texture rustic and not too smooth.
Veggies & Me
Cinnamon Spiced Baked Eggplant