Low GI Recipes of the Month

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Apple and polenta crumble
There’s nothing more comforting than apple crumble, yet sadly for those who are gluten intolerant, even one made with oat flakes is unapproachable. Here’s a low GI, gluten free alternative from Food Coach Judy Davie using polenta and while it may not have exactly the same consistency as traditional crumble made from flour, sugar and butter, it is better for you and will give you that same sense of nurturing and warmth. If you enjoy this and want to try more of Judy’s recipes, visit www.thefoodcoach.com.au


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 6

1 cup coarse polenta
2 cups water
1/4 cup apple concentrate
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup corn oil
4 apples peeled and sliced (approx 500 g/1 lb 2 oz)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

To serve
Sheep’s yoghurt (or your favourite plain or vanilla low-fat yoghurt or soy yoghurt)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
  2. In a small pan combine the apple concentrate, tahini, water and oil and slowly bring it to the boil stirring continuously. Add the polenta; reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Arrange the apples in the bottom of a pie dish or individual ramekins, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Using your hands, crumble the polenta over the top. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Serve with yoghurt if you like.

Nutrition analysis per serve
Energy 1335/318 kJ/ Cal; 17 g fat (includes saturated fat 2 g); 4 g fibre; 5 g protein; 38 g carbohydrate

GI Express: Penne with Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella and Fresh Basil
This tasty recipe that’s on the table in less than 30 minutes is from The Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook. If you are unable to find buffalo mozzarella, substitute with bocconcini or fresh mozzarella. Or, to make a lower fat version if you prefer, use a reduced fat ricotta.
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

Photo: Ian Hofstetter

320 g (11¼ oz) dried penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
140 g (5 oz) or about 16 semi-dried tomatoes
250 g (9 oz) small cherry tomatoes
100 g (3½ oz) buffalo mozzarella, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) pieces
1½ cups baby rocket, roughly chopped
1/3 cup picked basil leaves, torn
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve
¼ cup (45 g) pine nuts, lightly toasted

  1. Cook the penne in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to the packet instructions or until just al dente. Drain, and keep warm.
  2. Return the pan to a medium–low heat, add the oil and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the semi-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, increase the heat to medium–high and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes are slightly wilted. Add the drained penne, and mix it well with the tomatoes and garlic.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, add the mozzarella, rocket, basil and lemon zest, and season with pepper.
  4. Divide among 4 serving bowls and garnish with the pine nuts.

Nutrition analysis per serve
Energy 2143/512 kJ/ Cal; 20 g fat (includes saturated fat 5 g); 7 g fibre;19 g protein; 61 g carbohydrate

GI Vegetarian: Bryanna Clark Grogan’s High protein oat waffles
If you didn’t make these crisp, ultra-nutritious, low GI waffles yourself, you’d never guess you were eating beans! As there’s no added fat for cooking the waffles, make sure you use a good-quality, non-stick waffle iron. This recipe is from Dr Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. For more information (and delicious recipes) visit: www.pcrm.org


Makes 10 waffles (allow 2 per person)
Soaking time: Overnight
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes per batch in your waffle maker

Cook’s tip: Make ahead and freeze
As they take a bit longer than ordinary waffles, cook ahead, cool and freeze in an airtight container. Reheat in a toaster and top with chilli or creamed vegetables.

½ cup dried cannellini, white kidney or great northern beans
2¼ cups water
1¾ cups old-fashioned oats (or brown rice flakes or quinoa flakes for gluten free waffles)
2 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon agave nectar
¾ tablespoon whole flaxseed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

  1. The night before, place the beans in a large bowl and cover generously with water. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, drain the beans discarding the soaking water. Place in a blender with 2¼ cups fresh water and the oats, nectar, flaxseed, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Blend until smooth, light and foamy. Set aside and preheat a non-stick waffle iron.
  3. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot waffle iron for each 10-cm (4-inch) waffle, close the iron and cook for at least 8 minutes. If the iron is hard to open, let the waffle cook for another minute or two.
  4. Repeat with the remaining batter, blending briefly before pouring each waffle. If the batter thickens while standing, add just enough water to return it to its original consistency. The waffles should be golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately with your favourite toppings.

Nutrition analysis 2 waffles (without topping)
Energy 823/196 kJ/ Cal; 3 g fat (no saturated fat); 10 g protein; 35 g carbohydrate; 6 g fibre