Food for Thought

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Baking boom. 
Home baking is on the rise as many people rediscover the joy of baking better-for-you desserts and snacks packed with wholesome ingredients you can ‘picture in their raw state or growing in nature’ (Michael Pollan’s Food Rule Number 14) along with the pleasure that a home-baked cake, muffin or cookie brings family and friends.

‘Baking brings love alive,’ says food writer Kate McGhie. ‘From the day I first licked the mixing bowl I was hooked,’ she confesses. ‘Growing up in the country, I was immersed in baking for an early age. Plonked as a tot on the large kitchen table I absorbed the knowledge of my Mother and her Mother. There was no holding back. I wanted to bake. Baking is different from cooking. You cook for yourself but with baking you are making something for other people. Before long I realised that the torch of love is lit in the kitchen. It is called baking.’

Anneka Manning
Anneka Manning’s Nutty Oat Biscuits from The Low GI Family Cookbook is one of those recipes where there’s lots to do for children who love to help with baking

Don an apron. You don’t have to deny yourself and those you love the pleasure of home baking eating the low GI way. Quite the opposite. Here at GI News we know that enjoying something sweet is instinctual and hard to ignore. After all, honey was a significant part of hunter-gatherer diets and a lot more concentrated back then as a source of sugar than most of the sweet foods we eat today. However, we do recommend you stick (most of the time) with better-for-you baking for desserts and snacks and keep seriously sugary and creamy indulgences for ever-so-very occasional treats.

Here are our tips for great-tasting, better-for-you, lower GI baking the whole family will love. First of all, downsize portions (a little goes a long way) – small pieces for cakes, bars, and slices; little bites for cookies and biscuits; and mini or medium tins for muffins and cupcakes. And when you pull out your favourite cookbooks, opt for recipes that:

  • Make the most of wholegrain ingredients such as wholewheat/wholemeal flour, traditional rolled oats, and unprocessed bran to boost fibre and nutritional benefits. 
  • Are light handed with added sugar replacing it with fresh or dried fruit or fruit purees for natural sweetness and bonus vitamins. 
  • Cut back on (or cut out) butter and incorporate your favourite good fats – poly- or mono-unsaturated oils or spreads such as canola, sunflower, olive oil etc. 

This month, we have included two recipes to get you baking the ‘better-for-you’ way – Anneka Manning’s Banana Bread and Johanna Burani’s flourless Applesauce Oat Bran Muffins with Pinoli. Pinnies on (blokes, too). Enjoy.