1 December 2005

Low GI Food of the Month

… And a Partridge in a Pear Tree
Juicy, sweet pears (GI 38) are one of the world’s most loved fruits—they’ve been immortalised in poetry, paintings and a Christmas carol! They are renowned as a non-allergenic food, thus a favourite when introducing babies to solid foods. An excellent source of fibre and rich in vitamin C and potassium, fresh pears have a low GI because most of their sugar is fructose.

Photo: Ian Hofstetter, The Low GI Diet Cookbook

Canned pears in ‘natural juice’ also have a low GI (44) because the fructose remains in high concentration during processing. Single-serve tubs and cans are also available. Again, look for those in natural juice. Although they are often hard when you buy them, pears will ripen at room temperature in a few days. Pack a pear for lunch or to snack on during the day—there’s no need to peel as the skin is a good source of fibre.

  • Dip pear slices in lemon juice and serve with cheese and walnuts.
  • Toss in salads—try pear, avocado, rocket or radicchio and walnuts.
  • Poach or bake pears in a light citrus syrup, champagne and orange juice with a vanilla bean or in red wine with a touch of cardamom.
  • Simmer four pears, peeled and quartered in 4 cups (1 litre/1 quart) water with a cinnamon stick, 3 or 4 cloves and a strip or two of lemon rind for 20 minutes and serve with grilled, bakes or barbecued pork fillet.
  • Top a bowl of porridge with grilled pear slices and a drizzle of honey or some brown sugar.
—from Low GI Eating Made Easy