Healthy Pork Loin Carnitas – Three tasty ways to enjoy pork carnitas

As a Mexican myself, I always wanted to prepare pork carnitas, but the registered dietitian in me has been hesitant to do so since traditional carnitas recipes tend to be fried or are prepared with fattier cuts. So, instead, I decided to make my version of healthy pork carnitas using a slow cooker. You won’t believe these carnitas are lean and so juicy! As a mom, I love the convenience a slow cooker brings-minimal cooking preparation, and you have leftovers for a few days. The key to making these carnitas healthy is choosing the leanest pork cuts. In this case, I chose a pork loin, which yields nicely for slow roasting or grilling. There are a variety of lean pork cuts which meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” containing less than 10grams of fat per serving. The best part of cooking with pork is not only its nutrition, but it’s versatile and inexpensive, and you can easily find it at the supermarket. If you have questions on what to look for at the supermarket, check out my latest video on how to shop for the healthiest cuts of pork at the supermarket. 

I’ve partnered with the National Pork Board’s “Pork Es Sabor” initiative to show you tasty, healthy and family-friendly recipes you can enjoy at all times. Check out the video below on how to prepare this simple, delicious and healthy Pork Loin Carnitas.

Next, I will be sharing with you inspiring dishes based on Pork Loin Carnitas. These are perfect for family dinners, back to school lunches or weekend meals. Pork is a great option – it’s a high-quality, nutritious protein, easy to prepare and can be cooked in many ways. Say goodbye to boring leftovers! Below you will find new flavors and 3 ways to eat Pork Loin Carnitas. I hope you enjoy them! A Mexican burrito is my favorite way of eating carnitas. So simple to assemble and you can toss whatever ingredients you find in your fridge. Try to choose whole grains like whole grain tortillas, brown rice, and beans to make this dish fiber-rich and extra nutritious.

Carnitas Pork Loin Burrito



What do you need?

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • Pork loin carnitas
  • Black beans
  • Avocado
  • Shredded cabbage or lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa (if desired) 
  • Mexican cream







A Mexican burrito is my favorite way of eating carnitas. So simple to assemble and you can toss whatever ingredients you find in your fridge. Try to choose whole grains like whole grain tortillas, brown rice, and beans to make this dish fiber-rich and extra nutritious.

BBQ Pork Loin Carnitas Bun




What do you need?

• Whole wheat mini bun
• Pork loin carnitas
• BBQ sauce
• Lettuce


Who doesn’t love a good BBQ pork sandwich? Great for family gatherings, Sunday barbecues or a quick lunch for the kids. You only need 4 ingredients, but the highlight of this recipe is the tender and juicy Pork Loin Carnitas. Add your favorite BBQ sauce and pair it with a side salad or corn on the cob for some extra veggies!

Asian Pork Loin Lettuce Wraps

What do you need?
• Iceberg or butter lettuce
• Pork loin carnitas
• Cabbage
• Chives
• Red peppers


For the Asian vinaigrette:
• Peanut oil
• Rice vinegar
• Lime
• Sriracha sauce
• Fresh ginger
• Brown sugar
• Soy sauce

These veggie-rich lettuce wraps have a kick and crunch to them. The tenderness of the Pork Loin Carnitas plus the crispiness of the red peppers and cabbage really work nicely. I recommend using an iceberg or butter lettuce because it will work better as a wrap. An excellent dish for a light meal or appetizer.


Carnitas de Lomo de Puerco Saludables
  1. • ½ cucharadita orégano
  2. • ½ cucharadita comino
  3. • 1/8 cucharadita chile en polvo
  4. • 1 cucharada sal kosher
  5. • ½ cucharadita pimienta
  1. • 2 libras de lomo de puerco
  2. • 1 cebolla
  3. • 4 dientes de ajo enteros
  4. • 1 chile jalapeño cortado a la mitad y sin semillas- Si lo deseas picante deja un par de semillas
  5. • Jugo de 1 naranja
  6. • Jugo de 1 limón
  7. • ¼ taza de agua
  1. 1. Corta el lomo de puerco en cubos iguales de 1-2” pulgadas. Combina los ingredientes secos del adobo (sal, pimienta, comino, orégano y chile en polvo) y úntaselos al puerco. Después coloca el puerco en la olla de cocción lenta.
  2. 2. Corta la cebolla en cubos de 1” pulgada y pela los ajos enteros. Corta el jalapeño y saca las semillas. (Si lo quieres más picante puedes dejar las semillas). Añádelos a la olla de cocción.
  3. 3. Por último, añade los ingredientes líquidos. Corta las naranjas y el limón y exprime el jugo dentro de la olla con el puerco y la cebolla. Añade ¼ de agua adicional, para evitar que se seque el puerco.
  4. 4. Mezcla todos los ingredientes bien en la olla y tápalo. Cocina en temperatura media por 8-10 horas o toda la noche.
  5. Cuando esté listo, el puerco estará muy tierno y fácil de desmenuzar.
 For more recipes visit or continue the conversation using #PorkEsSabor or following @PorkEsSabor on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board. I was compensated for my time and services included but not limited to photography, videography, recipes, and social media post. I only work with brands that I truly believe in their mission or use them personally. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.



The Ultimate Carb-Counting Guide for Halloween

Yes, your child with type 1 can eat candy! You heard it right.  For parents and kids with type 1 diabetes, Halloween can be a scary time (no pun intended). Not because of the costumes or haunted houses, but because it could be a day of high blood sugars and unexpected blood sugar control.

As a certified diabetes educator who works with children and a person with type 1 myself, I think it’s important for kids to feel “normal” on this day.  That being said, “Normal” does not mean children get to eat the entire bucket of candy, just because they are kids. NO, it means children can enjoy a few treats in moderation.  If you are planning to go trick or treating with your child, consider this:

  • Always supervise and safe check candy before allowing children to eat it

  • Trade in candy for toys or money. There is no better incentive for an older kid than money. 

  • Allow a maximum number of candy, choose 10-20 candies total. The rest can be donated to local dentist office or even to US troops.

  • Give candy as part of a meal that way you can include the carbs in your total insulin calculation.

  • Avoid giving candy in between meals as it can interfere with not only hunger but cause spikes in blood glucose

So now that you’ve establish some rules regarding Halloween, now what?

I don’t know about you, but carb counting is hard.  This becomes even more challenging with bite size candy because they might NOT include nutrition labels.  A recent article by USA today, surveyed more than 40,000 people and mapped the top Halloween treats by state.  So, we decided to take this list and adapt it to include the carbohydrate amounts of the favorite candy by state.  No matter where you live, you are sure to find the carbs of the treats you love.


  • Alabama- Airheads= (1 mini airhead= 11g carbs)
  • Alaska-Snickers = (1 fun size= 10g)
  • Arizona- Toblerone = (mini=7g)
  • Arkansas- Skittles = (Mini Pack= 13g)
  • California- Lifesavers= (4 pieces= 16g)
  • Colorado- Milkyway= (1 miniature=6g)
  • Connecticut- Reses Peanut Butter Cups= (5 mini= 26g; 1 cup= 12g)
  • Delaware- 3 Musketeers= (1 fun size= 12g)
  • Florida- Nestle Crunch Bar= 1 fun size=7g)
  • Georgia- Pixie Stick (1 straw=2g)
  • Hawaii-100 grand bar= (1 fun size 8g)
  • Idaho- Butterfinger= (1 bite size 5g; 1 fun size=14g)
  • Illinois- Snickers = (1 fun size= 10g)
  • Indiana- Reese’s Pieces= (50 pieces= 23g)
  • Iowa- Twix= (Fun size=10g)
  • Kansas- Twizzlers (One piece=8g; Mini=11g)
  • Kentucky- Whoopers (8 pieces=15g)
  • Louisiana- Swedish Fish (1 pack= 16g)
  • Maine- Starburst (2 chews=8.5g)
  • Maryland- Almond Joy (Snack size= 10g)
  • Massachusetts- Starburst (2 chews=8.5g)
  • Michigan- M&M (Fun size= 12g)
  • Minnesota- 100 grand bar= (1 fun size 8g)
  • Mississippi- Hershey’s Kisses (one piece=2g)
  • Missouri- Hershey’s Kisses (one piece=2g)
  • Montana- Kit Kat Bar (fun size= 10g)
  • Nebraska- Skittles (mini pack= 13g)
  • Nevada- Jolly Ranchers (One piece=6g)
  • New Hampshire- Tootsie Roll (1 midgee= 7g)
  • New Jersey- Sour Patch Kids (1 pack= 16g)
  • New Mexico- 3 Musketeers (1 fun size= 12g)
  • New York- Sweet Tart Mini pack (5 packs=13g)
  • North Carolina- Butterfinger= (1 bite size 5g; 1 fun size=14g)
  • Ohio- Milky Way Mini- (1 mini=5g)
  • Oklahoma- M&M (Fun size= 12g)
  • Oregon- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
  • Pennsylvania- Swedish Fish (1 pack= 16g)
  • Rhode Island- Reses Peanut Butter Cups= (5 mini= 26g; 1 cup= 12g)
  • South Carolina- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
  • South Dakoda- Laffy taffy (1 piece= 6g)
  • Tennessee- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
  • Texas- Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
  • Utah- Nerds (small box= 14g)
  • Vermont- Almond Joy (mini=8, snack size=10g)
  • Virginia- Reese’s Pieces= (50 pieces= 23g)
  • Washington-Airheads (mini=11g)
  • West Virginia- Oreos (1 oreo=6g)
  • Wisconsin- Laffy taffy (1 piece= 6g)
  • Wyoming-Candy Corn (15 pieces= 15g)
  • District of Columbia- Twix (fun size=10g, mini=7g)

If you didn’t find your favorite candy, you can always check out these other great carb-counting resources found in the American Diabetes Association and JDRF websites

As with everything in life, it comes down to balance and moderation.  Diabetes success  is 80% planning and 20% adapting for the unexpected.  Halloween does not need to be a scary time for your family.  Instead, establish some rules, plan in advance, make sure to count carbs and yes enjoy a chocolate or two!