In the GI News Kitchen

Family Baking, Anneka Manning, author of The Low GI Family Cookbook (Hachette) and founder of Sydney’s BakeClub, shares her delicious ‘better-for-you’ recipes for snacks, desserts and treats the whole family will love. Anneka creates accessible recipes that really work. Through both her writing and cooking school, she teaches home cooks to bake in practical and approachable yet inspiring ways that assure success in the kitchen. Her ultimate goal is to bring real baking into your home. She wants to connect you with the magic of baking and, through this, help you nurture and connect with the people around you, especially those you love.

Anneka Manning

Banana bread. 
This recipe is a favourite in our house and I love it as much as the kids do. It includes many ingredients such as pure floral honey, bananas, buttermilk and oat bran, that are perfect for ‘better-for-you’ baking. They will help lower the GI and ensure that the kids are not only getting something delicious but also something that will give them sustained energy for their busy days. Makes 20 pieces.

Melted unsalted butter, to grease
100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup single-origin floral honey
2 eggs
2 large very ripe bananas (about 400g/14oz)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1¼ cups wholemeal spelt flour
½ cup unprocessed oat bran
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Banana bread

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 21 x 11cm/8 x 3in (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter and line the base and the two long sides with a piece of non-stick baking paper.
Combine the butter and honey in a large mixing bowl and beat with electric beaters until well combined and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined.
Peel and mash the bananas and stir into the mixture with the buttermilk using a spatula or large metal spoon to combine well.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together into a mixing bowl and return any husks to the bowl. Add the oat bran and stir to combine. Add to the banana mixture and use a large metal spoon or spatula fold in until just combined.
Spoon into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
Store the banana bread in an airtight container in a cool place (but not in the refrigerator) for up to 3 days.
To freeze, wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then seal in a freezer bag or airtight container before freezing. Alternatively, pack slices in an airtight container and interleave with freezer wrap or non-stick baking paper). Thaw the slices at room temperature or toast straight from the freezer.

Per slice
500 kJ/ 120 calories; 2 g protein; 5 g fat (includes 3 g saturated fat); 16 g available carbs; 2 g fibre

Anneka's BakeTip: If you would like to replace the sugar (such as granulated white, caster or brown) with honey in a baking recipe, simply use the same amount in weight. However, also remember to reduce the amount of liquid ingredients (such as milk or water) in the recipe by 1 tablespoon for every ½ cup sugar to account for both the higher moisture level in the honey as well as its intense sweetness.

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


Applesauce oat bran muffins with pinoli. 
Most of the time when I visit my home in northern Italy, I voraciously ask family, friends and even produce vendors for ideas and recipes they recommend for various ingredients. Sometimes, though, I become the source of such information for them. Breakfast foods would be a case in point. Italians are not the best breakfast people. Travel and the internet have led some inquisitive people to try something new. I do my part too. I’ve offered these muffins to my fast-paced relatives and friends as a perfect antidote to their beloved brioche or biscotti breakfast. I added pinoli for an Italian twist but any nut will work well.

1lb (440g) oat bran
 ½ cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup honey
2 cups nonfat milk
2 eggs
½ cup egg substitute or 2/3 cup egg whites (about 3 extra egg whites)
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup pine nuts (pinoli)

 Applesauce oat bran muffins with pinoli

Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Spray 24 medium (1/2 cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
Combine the oat bran, brown sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix well.
Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake 17–20 minutes or until the muffin tops are browned. Cool before serving. These muffins freeze well.

Per serve 
720kJ/170 calories; 5g protein; 7g fat (includes 0.5g saturated fat); 24g available carbs; 3g fibre

Here's how you can 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 our Money Saving Meals including this Brown rice, chicken and vegetable soup with chipotle chili and lime reproduced with permission from Catherine Saxelby’s new book, Ancient Grains: whole-food recipes for the modern table (Arbon AUD $34.99)

Brown rice, chicken and vegetable soup with chipotle chili and lime.
Don’t leave out the fresh lime – it is an important flavor booster for this gluten-free soup. For those who like it hot and spicy, serve extra chipotle chili in a side bowl. Serves 4.

Chicken stock
4 chicken drumsticks (skin removed)
4 chicken wings
8 cups water
1 large white onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon flaked salt
8 black peppercorns

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
½ cup medium grain brown rice
7 oz/200 g zucchini (courgette) diced
1 fresh corncob, kernels removed flaked
salt to taste

To serve
4 chipotle chilies from a can
1 small, firm, ripe avocado, chopped
fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs
lime quarters

Brown rice, chicken and vegetable soup with chipotle chili and lime.

To make the chicken stock, place the chicken pieces, water, onion, garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a large, heavy-based saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 30 minutes.Remove the lid, and cook the chicken stock for a further 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove the chicken pieces from the stock, and set the liquid aside to cool slightly. Discard the cooked wings, and then remove the skin from the drumsticks. Pull the flesh into fine shreds; place the shredded chicken on a plate, cover, and store it in the refrigerator until it is required. Strain the stock into a container. If required, top up the stock with water to about 4 cups. Wipe the saucepan out with a kitchen paper towel.
To make the soup, heat the sunflower oil in the saucepan over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and rice. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring the whole time. Add the chicken stock, and then bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 50 minutes or until the rice is tender. Increase the heat to medium, and add the zucchini and corn kernels. Bring the soup to the boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt if you wish.
To serve, place the chipotle chilies onto a plate, and cut each chili in half. Divide the soup evenly between four serving bowls, and top each with some shredded chicken, chipotle chili, avocado, and cilantro (coriander). It is best to mix the chipotle chili through the soup. Serve the soup immediately, along with lime quarters to squeeze over the liquid.

Per serve 
2375 kJ/ 570 calories; 43 g protein; 27 g fat (includes 6 g saturated fat); 32 g available carbs; 7 g fibre