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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