In the GI News Kitchen

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Family Baking.
Anneka Manning, author of Bake Eat Love. Learn to Bake in 3 Simple Steps and founder of Sydney’s BakeClub, shares her delicious ‘better-for-you’ recipes for snacks, desserts and treats the whole family will love. Through both her writing and cooking school, Anneka teaches home cooks to bake in practical and approachable yet inspiring ways that assure success in the kitchen.

 Anneka Manning
Rhubarb and pear coconut crumble.  
Rhubarb and pear make wonderful partners and when teamed with a coconut and macadamia nut crumble topping in this dessert it brings sunshine to cold wintery days. The coconut sugar lends a lovely rich caramel flavour but can be replaced by brown sugar if you wish. I served it with coconut milk yogurt alternative, which worked well.

  • Serves 8
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes 
  • Baking time: 35-40 minutes 

1 bunch rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm/1½in lengths (about 500g/1lb 2oz trimmed and chopped rhubarb)
4 firm ripe pears such as Josephine, Williams or Packham (about 750g/1lb 8oz)
2 tbsp coconut or brown sugar
Coconut milk yoghurt alternative, to serve

Crumble topping
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup coconut or brown sugar
2 tbsp (40ml) LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds)
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup sunflower oil
½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract

Rhubarb and pear coconut crumble

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
To make the crumble topping, place oats, flaked coconut, macadamias, sugar, LSA and cinnamon in a bowl, mix to combine. Combine the oil and vanilla, drizzle over the oat mixture and toss to combine evenly. Set aside.
Peel, quarter and core the pears and then cut each quarter lengthwise into three slices. Place the pear slices, rhubarb and sugar in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a 6-cup ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the crumble topping.
Bake in preheated oven for 35–40 minutes until the crumble is crisp and golden and the fruit is tender when tested with a skewer.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of the coconut milk yoghurt alternative.


  • Store any leftover crumble in the ramekins covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat in an oven preheated to 180ºC/350ºF for 10–15 minutes. 
  • This crumble can also be baked in eight 185ml (¾ cup) ramekins or ovenproof dishes at 180ºC/350ºF for 25–30 minutes.

Per serve
1440 kJ/ 344 calories; 6 g protein; 20 g fat (includes 6 g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 0.43); 32 g available carbs (includes 23g sugars and 9 g starch); 6 g fibre

Meal planning made easy with Taste Planner
Taste Planner provides personalised meal plans including diabetes-friendly plans that you can access on your mobile (cell), laptop, desktop or tablet. They are offering GI News readers a 28-day free trial plus 24 weeks with 50% off. After your free trial subscription period, you would pay $3.98 every 28 days for meal plans. Enter coupon code GINEWS on the payment details page to redeem your 50% discount. You can get a taste of Taste Planner with Chrissy Freer’s Chargrilled fish with green chilli, coriander and coconut relish here. 

Chargrilled fish with green chilli, coriander and coconut relish.
Serve with a scoop of brown basmati or low GI brown rice.

1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ cup shredded coconut
1 truss tomato, seeded, finely chopped
1 long fresh green chilli, seeded, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 (20-ml) tbsp lime juice (i.e. 4 tsp)
Pinch of caster sugar 4 (about 150g/5oz each) firm white fish fillets
Steamed green beans, to serve
Steamed asparagus, to serve

Chargrilled fish with green chilli, coriander and coconut relish
Photo: Jeremy Simons

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Spray with oil. Stir in the onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the ginger and the mustard seeds for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Stir in the coconut for 1–2 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool slightly. Stir in the tomato, chilli, coriander, lime juice and sugar.
Preheat a barbecue grill or chargrill on high. Spray the fish with oil. Cook on grill for 2–3 minutes each side or until golden and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Divide the steamed vegetables among plates. Top with the fish and a spoonful of the coconut mixture.

Per serve (without rice)
1015kJ/ calories; 41g protein; 4.5g fat (includes 1.5g saturated fat; saturated:unsaturated fat ratio 0.5); 8g available carbs; 5g fibre

A taste of Brazil for the World Cup: Bahia seasoning 
“Tempero baiano” hails from Brazil’s north-eastern state of Bahia. It is a versatile, complex seasoning blend, beloved in kitchens across Brazil. There are many variations of the seasonings, with each cook and each family mixing their own version, but typically the blend contains a mix of spices and herbs such as oregano, red and white pepper and cumin. It adds zest to many savoury dishes including seafood, vegetables, soups and stews. McCormick have shared their own blend with us. Try it as a marinade for baked chicken drums or spiced barbecued lamb fillets (pictured). To marinate, combine the spice mix with a little olive oil and rub over the meat. Set aside to marinate before cooking. You need: 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp oregano • ½ tsp white pepper • ¼ tsp red pepper (cayenne or chilli powder) – Mix all ingredients until well blended and store in tightly covered jar in cool, dry place.

Tempero baiano

To celebrate their 125th anniversary, McCormick is joining charity United Way to raise $1.25 million to help feed those in need. How? The goal is to connect people around the world by sharing 1.25 million stories about the special role food and flavour play in all our lives. McCormick will donate $1 to United Way for every story posted on the website. If you want to help, share a story about your remembered flavours (a secret recipe, a family favourite, a memorable dish, or an everyday pleaser) HERE.

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


Strawberry yoghurt dessert.
 In case you haven’t heard, in May the New York State Senate passed a bill declaring yogurt the State’s official snack. And in case you didn’t know, the proposal originated in a fourth-grade classroom! I guess it makes sense from an economic perspective. New York has a very robust dairy industry and has become the nation’s #1 manufacturer of yogurt. The bill has yet to be taken up by the Assembly. To celebrate (in anticipation of a yes from them too), here’s simple dessert with an Italian twist that I created for GI News a year ago. Serves 4.

15 fresh, washed, hulled strawberries
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
2 cups fat-free plain yoghurt
¼ cup mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla

Strawberry yoghurt dessert

Cut strawberries horizontally into 4 slices. Place in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Combine the sugar and Grand Marnier in a small cup. Pour over the strawberries. Allow to macerate at least 30 minutes. In the meantime … Mix the yoghurt, mascarpone and vanilla in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour into 4 dessert dishes. When ready, pour the strawberry mixture equally over the 4 yogurt servings. Serve cold.

Per serve 
649kJ/155 calories; 6g protein; 6g fat (includes 4g saturated fat