1 December 2017

GI News - December 2017

GI News

GI News is published by the University of Sydney, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Charles Perkins Centre

Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, AM, PhD, FAIFST, FNSA
Editor: Philippa Sandall
Scientific Editor/Managing Editor: Alan Barclay, PhD
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Back in July GI News we focused on our eyes because protecting our eyesight is one of the most important things we can do for the quality and enjoyment of life. Evidence to date says the ayes have it for a good diet with plenty of veg (good carbs and leafy greens) rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.” We recently came across some kids’ lutein and zeaxanthin supplements that claim to “guard” or “shield” their young eyes from harmful blue light. We asked ophthalmologist Dr Shanel Sharma to tell us about blue light, whether such a supplement could guard kids’ eyes from it, and what tips she has for parents to protect their kids’ eyes to ensure their enjoyment of life.

Dr Shanel Sharma

Blue light refers to the light at the blue end of the visible spectrum. Most of the blue light that enters our eyes comes from the sun and the blue light we absorb from digital devices is very low in comparison to that. That said, it is worth noting that there is no evidence to date to suggest that blue light is harmful to human eyes. Despite this, parents are often made to feel guilty that their child is exposed to blue light from the digital devices that have now become a part of everyday life.

What about the blue light science? Retinal surgeon Dr Daniel Polya reports: “There is some evidence that taking a plate of rodent retinal cells in a lab and exposing them to high intensity blue light can cause damage to those cells. However, the doses of light in this study are not reflective of real life situations, and thus the clinical relevance of these studies has to be questioned.”

What this shows is that while it is possible to create artificially a situation in which high intensity blue light can cause damage to exposed retina cells, this doesn’t reflect the real world. For example, the intensity of the blue light used in these experiments is much higher than we would be exposed to in real life, regardless of how long a person is exposed to digital devices. Therefore, using this type of experiment to “prove” the need for blue light protection is misleading.

In terms of taking supplements such as lutein and zeaxanthin to protect our eyes, the truth is that our bodies are very well equipped to absorb these from our food, and in fact over supplementing might have a negative effect. Associate Prof Wilson Heriot from Melbourne University says: “Eating a healthy diet, which includes green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, capsicum and oranges is all we need for a natural source of these vitamins. Our body is extremely efficient at absorbing lutein and zeaxanthin from the gut. Flooding the gut with alternatives such as carrots or beta-carotene supplements decrease the efficiency of lutein and zeaxanthin uptake.”

Top to toe list

As an ophthalmologist, I have particular concern regarding supplements that include beta-carotene in the formula as scientific evidence demonstrates that beta-carotene is associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer in smokers. I would be concerned about children being given beta-carotene, particularly those exposed to second hand smoke. In particular, I would not recommend taking vitamins for which there is no evidence from randomised controlled trials, as the possible toxicities of any particular combination of supplements in children is unknown at this stage.

Parents should feel comfortable allowing their children to spend some time on devices, particularly as so much homework is now on computers. However, it is important that the use of devices is limited, and children are encouraged to play outside.

While blue light has not been shown to damage eyes, it has been shown to affect sleep patterns. Also, time spent playing outside can help children in keeping fit and absorbing important vitamins from the sun. I would stress that it is much more important to protect children’s eyes from UV sunlight damage than to be concerned about the low intensity blue light from digital devices because there is a lot of evidence that UV sunlight damages the eye and surrounding structures. “Studies show that UV damage to eyes occurs in childhood and is linked to eye disease later in life, including cataracts, pterygium, solar keratopathy, and skin cancer of the eyelids and around the eyes” says Dr Alina Zeldovich, eye surgeon and clinical lecturer at Sydney University.

Ophthalmologists have seen a sharp increase in the number of children presenting with eye damage caused by UV exposure (most of that damage occurs before 18 years of age). This is not surprising because UV levels have increased dramatically over recent decades. “The level of eye protection needed now is much greater than it was in the past, and so parents and schools need to be even more vigilant in ensuring that children’s eyes are protected. Children should wear suitable hats and sunglasses whenever they are outdoors” says Zeldovich.

How can you protect your children’s eyes? Ophthalmologists recommend you ensure they wear broad brimmed hats, sunblock and sunglasses that are rated Category 3 of the Australian Standards for UV protection when outdoors.


The sunglasses should have:

  • A wraparound frame, designed to minimise unfiltered side light entering the eye 
  • Polarised lenses with UV 400 protection, and 
  • Lens coatings to block reflected light from entering the eye.


At the start of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the every-resourceful alien Ford Prefect buys six pints of beer, ostensibly as a relaxant, as the world is about to end … To his beers Ford Prefect also added several packets of salted peanuts from the bar. Most bars have nuts. Some are also edible. But their true purpose remains shrouded in mystery.

Eating small, protein-rich snacks (like nuts) before take-off in an aeroplane can reduce motion sickness. This may be because protein, more than any other nutrient, triggers regular, slow and smooth stomach contractions. These keep it busy and act to suppress rapid convulsive contractions associated with feeling sick, and ultimately vomiting. At the same time, when we eat, stomach emptying is slowed down due to the presence of food, meaning the rate at which alcohol levels rise is also slower. So it takes slightly longer (and more alcohol purchases) to get drunk when we are eating nuts.

Adding to the conspiracy theory, some argue that the addictively salty nuts are only there to make us thirsty, so we’ll have to buy more drinks. But this is not true. Pound for pound salty nuts don’t make us drink more than if we ate unsalted ones. Actually, the conspiracy works in reverse. It seems alcohol promotes snacking. It is no coincidence that most nuts and pretzels are displayed at just an arm’s length behind the bar. Given the plenty of calories in most beverages we shouldn’t be hungry or need to eat. But with a little disinhibiting alcohol on board, we can’t help ourselves.

The Longevity List
This is an edited extract from Prof Merlin Thomas’s The Longevity List – Myth Busting the Top Ways to Live a Long and Healthy Life available from www.exislepublishing.com. Thomas is a physician, scientist and author who uses the cutting-edge science and research to help people live better, longer and healthier lives. He has been featured in many of the world’s leading medical journals, and is the author of Understanding Type 2 Diabetes, and Fast Living, Slow Ageing.

People allergic to peanuts might soon be able to breathe easier, as peanut patches designed to help those with allergies to become less sensitive have shown promise in a recent US clinical trial. The patch provides continual exposure to controlled amounts of peanut proteins and doesn't pose the risk of triggering the allergy that actually eating peanuts would. The trial used patches with low, intermediate and high doses of peanut protein; compared to the placebo, those given the high dose patch reacted less when given real peanuts to eat.



Ice cream
Ice-cream is usually considered a treat. But it’s worth remembering it’s a useful source of bone-building calcium plus the protein and vital vitamins found in milk. The GI of regular ice cream (37–49) is generally a little higher than milk or yoghurt because of the added sugar.

ProYo have recently launched a better-for-you, low-fat ice-cream that’s higher in protein than regular ice-cream and has a lower GI (25–39, depending on the flavour). What’s in it? According to the ingredient list for vanilla: “Skim Milk, Whole Milk, Whey Protein Concentrate, Xylitol (Natural Sweetener), Cane Sugar, Inulin, Natural Flavors, Ground Vanilla Beans”. Before you ask … inulin is a fructan, a type of soluble dietary fiber found in agave, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, carrots, chicory root, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, leeks, onions, wheat, and yacon. The food industry’s main sources are chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. Xylitol is a polyol (sugar alcohol) that may be good for your teeth.

Nutrition Facts

We asked two dietitians to comment. “What a great product this is for nursing homes where the frail elderly need palatable foods they enjoy eating that will give them the calories, protein and calcium they need and that are easy to swallow,” says dietitian Nicole Senior.

“ProYo delivers balanced nutrition and real ice cream flavor and texture,” says registered dietitian Carrie Gabriel who makes the point it’s also versatile. “You can put a 4oz (115g) scoop in your morning smoothie to get 10g of protein; use it instead of milk to make baked goods; or enjoy a scoop as a delectable dessert,” she says.


Despite the excited claims of the latest fad diet, the proportion of carbohydrate, fat and protein in your diet really doesn’t make much difference when it comes to weight loss. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that provided “the diet” provides less energy (Calories/kilojoules) than what you were consuming before, you will lose weight. This is the simple reason why most fad diets work in the short-term. You are eating less.


To help us to keep an eye on our total energy consumption, the energy content of most commonly eaten foods and drinks is now readily available on food packages, restaurant menu boards, in books, apps and government databases.

However, have you ever stopped to think how they calculate (estimate) the Calories/kilojoules in a food or drink?

Over 100 years ago, in the USA, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and alcohol were obtained from a wide range of commonly eaten foods and burnt in what is known as a bomb calorimeter to see how much they heated up a fixed volume of water. A Calorie is the amount of energy that is required to raise 1 gram of water one degree Celsius at normal (one atmosphere) pressure. Because a gram is a relatively small amount, we typically use 1000 grams of water and correspondingly the kilocalorie, or Calorie with a capital C. The average Calorie values for the macronutrients are: 

  • Carbohydrates (available) - 4 Calories / 17 kJ per gram
  • Fats - 9 Calories / 37 kJ per gram 
  • Proteins - 4 Calories / 17 kJ per gram 
  • Fibres - 2 Calories / 8 kJ per gram
  • Alcohol - 7 Calories / 29 kJ per gram
Commercially, most food companies measure the amount (grams) of water, fat, protein dietary fibre, alcohol and ash in food, and what is left over, they call available carbohydrate. They then multiply the amount (grams) of carbohydrate, fat, protein, fibre and alcohol by their respective energy factors (Calories or kilojoules) and add them all together to estimate the average energy content of a serve (and in Australia and New Zealand 100g) of food.

While the method is considered the best currently available, it may not be so accurate for individual foods however. Almonds are a good example. A recent small study fed 18 healthy adults either 9, 42 or 84 grams of almonds a day for 9 days, and collected all urine and feces from all participants. Based on this, the researchers estimated that the average energy content of almonds was 4.6 Calories (19 kilojoules) per gram. Using the bomb calorimeter method, almonds are estimated to contain 6.05 Calories (25 kilojoules) per gram – a 32% difference.

When you think about how well an average person is able to chew nuts like almonds, this may not come as a big surprise. If you ate a teaspoon of almond paste that had been prepared in a steel-bladed food processor, you would probably obtain the full 6.05 Calories per gram, but masticating a handful of nuts in our mouth is not as efficient – we don’t all have perfect dentition, salivary flow and chew each mouthful 30 times before swallowing!

So while we may need to take the Calorie/kilojoule content of whole almonds with a grain of proverbial salt, we should keep in mind that overall, Calorie counting is sufficiently accurate for the planning of weight reduction diets.

Dr Alan Barclay  
Alan Barclay, PhD is a consultant dietitian. He worked for Diabetes Australia (NSW) from 1998–2014 . He is author/co-author of more than 30 scientific publications, and author/co-author of  The good Carbs Cookbook (Murdoch Books), Reversing Diabetes (Murdoch Books), The Low GI Diet: Managing Type 2 Diabetes (Hachette Australia) and The Ultimate Guide to Sugars and Sweeteners (The Experiment, New York).


With Christmas just around the corner, there is a sleigh full of alcohol myths (and hopes) flying about. Don’t be confused about booze. Here, we answer common questions to ensure you’re armed with the facts this party season.

Do alcohol calories really count? Some people believe that because alcohol is toxic, the liver burns it for energy rather than storing it as fat, so the calories don’t count. Sorry, no; while your body is busy burning the calories from your tipple, any unused calories from your food will be stored as fat. We may be stating the obvious, but if you are trying to lose your beer belly, drink less beer (and same goes for cider, wine, spirits and the rest).

Are low-carb beers healthier? Beer were never high in carbs (sugar) to begin with. Your typical lager-style beer generally contains 2% carbohydrate by volume, that’s just 7.5g carbs in a 375ml can. While the empty calories from added sugar should be limited, those seeking our low-carb beers are missing the point. Alcohol is the real calorie contributor here, contributing to around 75% of the total energy content of beer. If you are looking for a healthier option, choose a lower alcohol beer instead. Ciders are very popular and they do contain more carbs. A standard apple cider contains 6.5% carbs; or 23g per 355ml bottle, however they do vary according to style (dry vs sweet). Sweet style mixed drinks known as ‘alco-pops’ (approx 4-5% alcohol) and spirits with mixers are available in no-added-sugar varieties and these represent a significant kilojoule saving, however take care as their sweetness makes them easy to over-consume.

What about lower alcohol wines? Some people think that lower alcohol wines are not a good option because they are laden with sugar. As an aside, alcohol is higher in calories and certainly worse for your health than sugar. However, we had a look at a New Zealand 25% lower alcohol Sauvignon Blanc and found that one glass (150mL) contained only 0.2g more sugar than your average white wine. More importantly, it also contains around 25% fewer calories! If you are watching your weight, lower alcohol wines are a better option.

Is red wine healthier than white? Many people believe the antioxidants in red wine make it a healthier option. In reality, both red and white wines contain antioxidants and a similar kilojoule and alcohol content. For your health it doesn’t matter much what you drink, but how you drink it. Where wine may have an edge is because it is typically consumed with food, whereas beer and spirits aren’t – it may be wine drinkers have better diets overall.

Is alcohol good for you? There are some cardiovascular benefits of drinking alcohol, but it very much depends on drinking in moderation, your age and your overall health profile. Drinking alcohol also increases cancer risk, particularly cancers of the liver, bowel and breast. As the benefits of drinking alcohol are not as certain as the risks, don’t start drinking for your health.

Does giving alcohol to teens teach responsible drinking? Alcohol is not safe for children. It is a common belief that introducing alcohol to children teaches them to drink responsibly. In fact, it appears to have the opposite effect; early exposure in children appears to increase the risk of unsafe drinking as an adult. Also, don’t forget that alcohol can also affect the development of the brain during the teenage years.

Does mixing your drinks worsen your hangover? We need more studies to find out if mixing alcoholic drinks worsens a hangover, although many people have personal experiences suggesting it does. We do know that even if the alcohol content is the same, some drinks affect your hangover more than others. This is because alcohol is not the only factor at play; you also need to consider the congeners in your drink. These are chemicals that give your drink colour. As a general rule, lighter coloured drinks such as white wine, vodka or gin contain fewer congeners. Darker drinks such as brandy and red wine contain more congeners, making the hangover worse.

What is the best hangover cure? Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there is no such thing as a hangover cure. However, there are a few things that you can do to make it more bearable:

  • Eat a meal before drinking to delay alcohol absorption. 
  • Don’t push natural limits. Generally, your liver can process one standard drink per hour. Larger people can handle a little more alcohol while smaller people can handle less. 
  • Alcohol is dehydrating which will worsen your headache the next morning. Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. 
  • To combat low blood glucose levels, drink some fruit juice before bed and first thing when you wake up. 
The un-plugged truth 
  • Alcohol is high in kilojoules/ calories and can contribute to holiday weight gain. 
  • If you want a lower calorie option, choose lower-alcohol drinks. 
  • There is no such thing as a hangover cure; prevention is everything. 
  • For long term health, men and women should drink on average no more than 2 standard drinks a day. 
  • To minimise short-term risk, drink no more than 4 standard drinks in one sitting (more than 4 is classified as binge drinking). 
  • Aim for at least 2 alcohol-free days per week.
Thanks to Rachel Ananin AKA TheSeasonalDietitian.com for her assistance with this article.

Nicole Senior  
Nicole Senior is an Accredited Nutritionist, author, consultant, cook, food enthusiast and mother who strives to make sense of nutrition science and delights in making healthy food delicious. Contact: You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or check out her website.


Nuts are popular nibbles that pack a nutritional punch with their protein, fibre, unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and phytochemicals. As a bonus, they are also rich in substances considered protective for the heart: an amino acid (building block of protein) called arginine; vitamin E, folate, copper (a mineral) and plant sterols. Did you know studies show that: 

  • Enjoying a handful of nuts 5–7 times a week can halve your risk of developing heart disease. Even people who eat nuts once a week have less heart disease than those who don’t eat any nuts. How come? It’s possible the unique combination of healthy fats, fibre, antioxidants, arginine and plant sterols all working together give nuts their heart healthy benefits. 
  • The arginine in nuts helps insulin work more effectively. It can also improve the overall health of blood vessels, helping prevent complications of diabetes. 
What about peanuts and nut allergy? Processed peanuts are quality-controlled for the presence of fungus that produces a toxin called aflatoxin. Because peanuts in the shell are not screened, throw away any mouldy ones. Peanut allergy is an increasingly common food allergy especially in children. One-third of all peanut-allergic people are also allergic to tree nuts such as brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts and cashews.

What about blood glucose? Most nuts contain relatively little carbohydrate which is why they either don’t have a GI or have a very low GI and will have negligible impact on blood glucose. In fact, nuts can reduce the GI of starchy foods eaten with them in a mixed meal. For example if you eat nut butter on a slice of high GI fluffy white bread the overall GI of the sandwich will be lower.


What about activated almonds? Dietitian Nicole Senior explains: “Essentially, activated almonds are soaked overnight, rinsed and slow roasted on a low heat for several hours. Enthusiasts say this process deactivates enzyme inhibitors in the outer layer making the almonds more digestible and their nutrients more available. Looking at the science it becomes clear this is more a good story to justify charging a lot more money for them. Enjoy them by all means but I think I’ll stick to the regular lazy almonds.”

Are cakes made with almond meal better for you? Nicole Senior says: “Making cakes with almond meal gives a delightful moist texture and great flavour, and that’s a great reason to use it. Using almond meal instead of flour also adds fibre and good fats, and allows cakes to be gluten-free which is good news for those with celiac disease. Make an almond meal cake even healthier by adding fruit (citrus is divine) and using oil instead of butter.”

10 tasty ways to get more nuts into your day 
  1. Sprinkle nuts over wholegrain breakfast cereal or porridge 
  2. Toss cashews through a stir fry 
  3. Roast nuts and toss through a salad 
  4. Chop walnuts or Brazils and add to a dipping sauce 
  5. Crumble pecans into yoghurt and serve with fruit 
  6. Sprinkle chopped, roasted hazelnuts or almonds over low-fat ice cream 
  7. Top grilled fish with a nutty crumble 
  8. Add roasted pine nuts to pasta dishes 
  9. Blend pistachios or macadamias with fresh herbs, parmesan and a little olive oil for pesto 
  10. Partner sweet potato, beetroot, pumpkin, baby spinach, avocado and mango with roasted macadamias


Kate Hemphill is a trained chef. She contributed the recipes to Ian Hemphill’s best-selling Spice and Herb Bible. You will find more of her recipes on the Herbies spices website. Or you can follow her on Instagram (@herbieskitchen). Kate uses Herbies spices and blends, but you can substitute with what you have in your pantry.

With the addition of cashew nuts and pepitas, this creamy avocado dip can be a meal in itself with vegetables such as carrots and capsicum for scooping. Makes: approx 2 cups guacamole. • Prep time: 10 mins • Cook time: 5 mins • Total time: 15 mins

½ cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
2 avocados, peeled and stone removed
½ red onion, chopped
juice of 1 lime
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
pinch Herbie’s Ground Pasilla Chilli
pinch Herbie’s Ground Cumin
coriander, to serve


Drain cashew nuts and place in a food processor with avocados, onion, lime and cumin. Blitz until smooth and adjust seasoning to taste. • Toss pepitas in a hot pan with pasilla chilli, cumin and a drop of olive oil for a few minutes until crisp. • Serve guacamole with spiced pepitas and coriander and the dipping vegetables of your choice.

Per serve (¼ cup dip/150 g) 
1360kJ/325 calories; 7g protein; 29g fat (includes 6g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.29); 5g available carbs (includes 2.5g sugars and 2.5g starches); 5.5g fibre; 10mg sodium; 618mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.02

Through cooking school and her new book, BakeClass (Murdoch Books), Anneka teaches home cooks to bake in practical and approachable yet inspiring ways that assure success in the kitchen. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or check out her website.

These cakes are a play on the original (and wonderful) classic Middle Eastern orange cake from the one-and-only Claudia Roden. The ground roasted almonds give a lovely ‘toasted’ flavour but you can substitute pre-ground almond meal. To roast and grind the almonds, spread on an oven tray and place in an oven preheated to 180°C/350°F for 8-10 minutes or until aromatic. Cool on the tray before processing in a food processor until finely ground. Makes: 12 • Prep: 20 minutes (+ 30 minutes simmering and 15 minutes cooling time) • Bake: 15–18 minutes

2 large mandarins (about 110g/3½oz each)
olive oil spray, to grease
½ cup instant polenta
80g natural almonds, roasted, finely ground
½ tsp baking powder
3 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
icing sugar, to dust (optional)


Put the mandarins (skin and all) in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until very soft when tested with a skewer. You may need to place a small saucer over the mandarins to keep them submerged. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly. • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush a 12-hole 80ml (1/3 cup) muffin tin with the melted butter to grease. • Combine the polenta, roasted almond meal, and baking powder in a medium bowl and mix well to combine evenly. • Quarter the mandarins and remove and discard any centre core or seeds. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. • Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk until very thick and pale and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Add the mandarin puree and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold in until just combined. Add the polenta mixture and fold together until evenly combined. • Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin holes (pouring the mixture from a jug or using a ladle works well). • Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the cakes are firm to the touch on the top and cooked when tested with a skewer. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Use a palette knife to ease the cakes out of the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with a little icing sugar if you wish.

Per cake 
Energy: 560kJ/130cals; Protein 3.5g; Fat 5g (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0. 25); Available carbohydrate 18.5g (includes 15g sugars, 3.5g starches); Fibre 1g; Sodium 40mg; Potassium 95mg; sodium to potassium ratio 0.42

Good Carbs Cookbook by Dr Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie and Philippa Sandall (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson'


Blitzed frozen bananas make this one of the easiest and amazing ice-cream recipes ever. Kate says a powerful blender will do the job better than a food processor. They go from crumbly and gooey to looking a bit like oatmeal and finally achieve the consistency of a soft serve ice-cream. If you like, replace the chopped roasted peanuts with ½ cup blueberries. Preparation time: 15 minutes + freezing • Serves: 6

4 large ripe bananas, peeled cut into chunks and frozen
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup runny honey
⅔ cup natural yoghurt
⅓ cup chopped roasted peanuts

Put the frozen banana into a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. (Because the bananas are frozen solid this is a noisy process.) When the mixture is smooth add the peanut butter, honey, yoghurt and peanuts then pulse-blend. Pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container with a lid and freeze.

Per serving 
Energy: 1125kJ/270cals; Protein 8g; Fat 11g (includes 2g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0. 22); Available carbohydrate 34g (includes 30g sugars, 2g starches); Fibre 3.5g; Sodium 50mg; Potassium 470mg; sodium to potassium ratio 0.11

Prunes are a basic ingredient on an international roster of classic dishes. Here they are steeped in port until they become plump and luscious. Although a lot of the alcohol from the port will evaporate when it is simmered, use all orange juice if you prefer. Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 3 minutes Serves: 6

18 walnut halves
18 large pitted prunes
½ cup orange juice
1⅔ cups port wine
2 strips orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
1 cup vanilla bean yoghurt
Seeds from one pomegranate

Push a walnut half into each prune through the opening created by the stone being removed. Place filled prunes in a heat-proof basin. • Put the orange juice (freshly squeezed is best), port, orange zest strips, cinnamon stick and star anise in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer 3 minutes with the lid on and then pour over the prunes. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave at room temperature to cool. If not using immediately refrigerate. • Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt decorated with pomegranate seeds.

Per serving 
Energy: 1185kJ/285cals; Protein 5g; Fat 6g (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0. 20); Available carbohydrate 29g (includes 28g sugars, 1g starches); Fibre 6g; Sodium 40mg; Potassium 485 mg; sodium to potassium ratio 0.08


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