In the GI News Kitchen

Bircher muesli with mixed nuts
Lisa Yates from Nuts for Life shares her favourite nut and oat breakfast recipe that will really keep you on the ball until lunchtime. This bircher muesli with crunch keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. There’s about 30g (1oz) nuts per serving, equivalent to the recommended small handful a day. Makes 6 serves.

2 cups (180g) traditional rolled oats
1/3 cup (50g) sliced dried apricots
2 tablespoons sultanas
1½ cups (375ml) apple juice
50g (1½oz) raw pecans
50g (1½oz) raw hazelnuts
50g (1½oz) raw whole blanched almonds
50g (1½oz) raw macadamias
1 medium red apple, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup (125ml) low fat natural yoghurt
¼ cup (60ml) skim milk
2 tablespoons honey (if desired)

Bircher muesli with mixed nuts

Place
the rolled oats, apricots and sultanas in a bowl and pour over the apple juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Place all the nuts on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, cool then chop roughly.
Add the nuts to the rolled oat mixture, along with the apple, yoghurt and milk. Stir until completely combined. Serve with a drizzle of honey if desired.

Per serving (with honey)
Energy: 1850kJ/ 440 cals; Protein 10g; Fat 25g (includes 2g saturated fat and 1mg cholesterol); Available carbs 45g; Fibre 7g

American dietitian and author of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, Johanna Burani, shares favourite recipes with a low or moderate GI from her Italian kitchen. For more information, check out Johanna's website. The photographs are by Sergio Burani. His food, travel and wine photography website is photosbysergio.com.

[JOHANNA]

Baked oranges with amaretti-pistachio filling
Italians only eat produce in season. In March, Sicilian oranges reign all over Italy. They are so scrumptious that they are usually eaten as dessert, just as they are. But sometimes cooks want to present them in a fancy way for a special occasion. If you enjoy the taste of a fresh orange, wait until you taste these baked ones. The combined flavours of the amaretti (an Italian airy macaroon made from apricot paste found in most large supermarkets) and pistachios really enhance the natural goodness of the humble orange. Delicious served warm with a chocolate-covered biscotti. This recipe is made using a standard (15ml) tablespoon. The Australian tablespoon is bigger (20ml), so you only need 1½ tbsp flour, orange zest, pistachios and amaretti. Serves 4 (1 filled orange cup each)

4 medium navel oranges
2 tbsp plain white flour, sifted
½ cup (125ml) non-fat milk, warmed
½ cup (125ml) fresh orange juice
4 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
2 tbsp finely ground amaretti
2 tbsp pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 large egg, beaten until frothy

Baked oranges with amaretti-pistachio filling

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Wash and pat dry the oranges. Cut off the top ¼ of each orange. Using a grapefruit or paring knife and a teaspoon, carefully remove the pulp from inside the orange without piercing through the rind. Place the pulp in a strainer over a mixing bowl and, with a fork, squeeze out all the juice. Set the juice aside. Discard the pulp. Set the 4 orange cups aside.
In a small saucepan, add the flour and then the milk in a slow stream, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Avoid scorching by stirring constantly.
Slowly add in the next 5 ingredients (orange juice through pistachios). Continue to cook the mixture for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the egg and mix well. Fill the 4 orange cups with equal amounts of the mixture, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Per serving (without the biscotti)
Energy: 475kJ/ 113 cals; Protein 4g; Fat 3g (includes less than 1g saturated fat and 54mg cholesterol); Available carbs 16g; Fibre 1g

Cut back on the food bills and enjoy fresh-tasting, easily prepared, seasonal, satisfying and delicious low or moderate GI meals that don’t compromise on quality and flavour one little bit with Money Saving Meals author Diane Temple. For more recipes check out the Money Saving Meals website.

No nuts ‘choccy’ fruit slice
Here’s a lunch box snack the kids can take to school. It has no nuts and less added sugar than most slice recipes, but it is probably moderate GI thanks to the flour. Note that I use a 20ml Australian tablespoon in my cooking. If you have a standard 15ml one, you’ll need to use 4 tablespoons cocoa and oat bran. It’s really easy to make, and you can even let all those ‘Junior MasterChefs’ at home take over the kitchen. It sure works out much cheaper than buying a pack of muesli bars. And it makes 18 pieces.

½ cup (75g) plain flour
½ cup (80g) plain wholemeal flour
½ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup (75g) brown sugar
3 tbsp oat bran
½ cup (55g) sultanas
1/3 cup (45g) sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 cup (50g) chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup (65g) dark choc bits
70g (2½oz) polyunsaturated spread, melted
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup (60ml) skim milk

No nuts ‘choccy’ fruit slice

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF and spray and line a 26x19cm (10x8in) slice pan with baking paper.
Mix the flours, baking powder, cocoa, sugar and oat bran together in a large bowl. Add the dried fruit and choc bits and mix well.
Combine the margarine, eggs, vanilla and milk in another bowl then pour into the dry mixture and stir until it is well combined.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until firm. Leave in pan for 5 minutes then turn out on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for lunch box snacks and after school treats.

Per serve
Energy: 535kJ/ 130 cals; Protein 2.6g; Fat 5g (includes 1.8g saturated fat and 24mg cholesterol); Available carbs 18g; Fibre 2g