Knowing portion sizes with your hand or plate can help with counting carbohydrate if you do not have measuring cups, measuring spoons, or a scale.

Counting carbohydrates in a recipe

Some recipes may not have nutrition information. Here is how to figure it out.

  1. Use a food label, the internet, or a book to look up the carbohydrate in each ingredient in the recipe. The amount needed in the recipe may be different than the serving size on the label.
  2. Add all the carbohydrate grams together for the recipe to get the total amount of carbohydrates for the whole recipe.
  3. Make the recipe.
  4. Divide into equal portions by cutting, using measuring cups, or using a scale.
  5. Divide the total grams of carbohydrates (from step 2) by the number of portions you just made (in step 4).
    • This number is the amount of carbohydrates in each serving.
  6. You do not need to do the math again the next time you make the recipe. Write down these 3 things:
    • The total number of carbohydrates in the whole recipe
    • The number and size of the portions you made
    • The total carbohydrates in each serving

Example recipe for practice

  • 1 pound 93 percent fat-free ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can of "no sodium added" diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can of "no sodium added" kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water

Using the nutrition information on these ingredients can help you add the total carbohydrates. Then follow the previous instructions to determine the carbohydrates per serving.