Thousands of women who have joined me on the MyMT™ programmes will attest to the effect of the type of carbohdyrates that we choose to eat and the effect (positive and negative) on our hot flushes and night sweats. Numerous studies now link a low glycemic index carbohdyrate intake with improved glucose control and metabolic health as we age – and I include improved temperature regulation in that too.
Releasing high amounts of glucose into your blood stream quickly produces high amounts of insulin (a hormone which regulates blood glucose and enables the excess to be stored as fat). Hence, nutrition researchers have explored carbohydrate foods and how quickly these different foods release glucose into the bloodstream. This is where the term ‘Glycemic Index’ or GI comes from.
Carbohdyrate foods are given a rating from high GI (70 – 100) to low GI (0-55) and whilst it isn’t just individual carbohydrate rankings that count but the overall balance of foods that you eat in a day, starting with looking at the glycemic index of your carbohydrates is a great start.
The glycemic index (GI) of zucchini equals to 15, which classifies it as a low GI food. [GlycemicIndex.com]. This makes the zucchini (courgette) great for reducing hot flushes, improving sleep and after eating this beautiful cacciatore, you will have energy for hours. The term ‘Cacciatore’ means ‘prepared in a spicy tomato sauce with mushrooms and herbs. I hope you enjoy this delicious low GI recipe.
Cook time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
6 medium zucchinis
5 tbsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 pinch dried chilli, optional
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 400g tin cherry tomato
⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives
1 400g tin butter beans, drained, rinsed well
Handful each picked flat leaf parsley & basil
1 cup natural Greek yoghurt to serve
Cut the zucchini in half lengthways, then cut each half in half again on an angle to give you shorter pieces. Season the cut zucchini with salt and pepper.
Place a large saucepan over a medium/high heat and add the olive oil, zucchini, and a good pinch of salt. Cook the zucchini on their cut sides to colour, then remove and add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, chili, a good pinch of salt and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes to soften.
Next add the tomato paste and cook for another 1 minute, before adding the cherry tomatoes and 1.5 cup of water. Bring to a simmer then stir through the zucchini, cover and simmer for approx. 12 minutes. You want the zucchini soft but not falling apart.
Adjust the seasoning, stir through the olives and butter beans, parsley and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve the Cacciatore with natural yoghurt spooned over