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THE GOOD CARBS COOKBOOK The Good Carbs Cookbook (by Alan Barclay, Kate McGhie and Philippa Sandall) published by Murdoch Books helps you choose the best fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts and grains and explains how to use them in 100 refreshingly nourishing recipes to enjoy every day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert. The recipes are easy to prepare, (mostly) quick to cook, long in flavour and full of sustaining goodness, so you feel fuller for longer. There is a nutritional analysis for each recipe and tips and helpful hints for the novice, nervous, curious or time-starved cook.
Squishy dates and raw parsnip balance each other beautifully in this simple salad that does not like to be kept waiting and is best served as soon as you have tossed it. Parsnips taste better as the weather gets colder so winter is the perfect time to relish them in their unadorned state. Preparation time: 20 minutes • Serves: 6
4 medium parsnips (about 600g/1lb 5oz)
10 soft dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint leaves
150g (5oz) natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons runny honey
2 tablespoons (40ml) olive oil
Salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper

Peel the parsnips and cut them in half lengthways. Remove any woody centres and discard. Coarsely grate the parsnips into a bowl. Add the dates, mint, yoghurt, lemon juice, honey and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and then gently toss all the ingredients together.

Per serve
710kJ/170 calories; 3g protein; 7g fat (includes 1.5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.3); 21g available carbs (includes 16g sugars and 5g starches); 4.5g fibre; 65mg sodium; 545mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.1

All the tantalising tastes and colours of summer’s best with tasty beauties such as tomatoes and figs, come together in this sublime salad. The witlof (add a few small cos leaves if you wish) is the crunchy base for the tomatoes crowned with the cooling menthol taste of mint to balance the creamy cheese. Preparation time: 25 minutes • Serves: 6

1 shallot, very finely chopped
¼ cup (60ml) date syrup
Juice 1 plump lemon
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
1 handful mint leaves, finely shredded
1 witlof, leaves separated
6 medium heirloom tomatoes
6 large fresh figs
1 burrata
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon thyme

To make the dressing put the chopped shallot, date syrup, lemon juice, oil with salt and pepper to taste, in a bowl. Give it a couple of whisks and then stir in the mint. • Arrange the witlof leaves on a platter. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and figs into quarters roughly the same size – and arrange casually over the witlof. Place the burrata in the centre of the platter. Give the dressing a good stir, spoon over the salad and scatter with lemon thyme.


  • If you prefer, swap the burrata for fresh mozzarella which if large can be torn into mouthful pieces. 
  • If date syrup is not on hand, put stoned medjool dates with enough water for the consistency you want in a blender and start the processing on a low speed to allow the dates to break up, then blend on high until smooth adding lemon juice to taste. 

Per serve 
1035kJ/245 calories; 6g protein; 15g fat (includes 5g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.5); 21g available carbs (includes 20g sugars and 1g starches); 4g fibre; 145mg sodium; 485mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.3

Anneka Manning is an author, food editor, cooking teacher, home economist, mother of two and the founder of BakeClub. With over 27 years’ experience, she specialises in teaching the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ of baking, giving home cooks the know-how, understanding and skill to bake with confidence and success, every time. She has written and contributed to a number of books, including The Low GI Family Cookbook (Hachette), Mastering the Art of Baking (Murdoch Books) and BakeClass (Murdoch Books).

This moist, fragrant date and nut loaf studded with dried cranberries and hazelnuts has a little crunch and is mildly spiced and is delicious freshly baked or toasted and topped with ricotta. Preparation time: 20 minutes (+ cooling time) • Baking time: 50–55 minutes • Serves 20

1¼ cups (300ml) freshly brewed black coffee
1 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup currants
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons honey
Slightly heaped ⅓ cup raw sugar
⅓ cup sunflower oil or 75g (2½oz) butter
1 orange, zest finely grated
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 eggs, lightly whisked
50g (1¾oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped, plus an extra handful, coarsely chopped, to decorate
50g (1¾oz) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped, plus an extra handful, coarsely chopped, to decorate
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1½ cups wholemeal plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 180°/C350°F. Grease a loaf tin (21 x 10cm/9 x 4in base measurement) and line the base and two long sides with non-stick baking paper. • Combine the coffee, dates, cranberries, currants, pomegranate molasses, honey, sugar, butter or oil, orange zest and mixed spice in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove immediately from the heat and set aside to cool. • Stir the eggs, walnuts, hazelnuts and sesame seeds into the cooled date mixture. • Sift the flour and baking powder together, returning any bran to the flour. Add to the date mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir gently until just combined. • Pour the mixture into prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Sprinkle with the extra nuts, pressing into the mixture slightly. • Bake for 50–55 minutes, or until the loaf is firm to the touch on the top and cooked when tested with a skewer. If it is browning too quickly, cover with foil after 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and stand in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack. • To make the glaze, combine the honey, pomegranate molasses and water in a small bowl. Brush over the top of the hot loaf. Set aside to cool before serving.


  • Pomegranate molasses is available from specialty food stores and delicatessens.
  • If honey is firm or crystallised, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften before using. 

Per serve 
785 kJ/188 calories; 3g protein; 8.5g fat (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.13); 24g available carbs (includes 17g sugars and 7g starch); 3g fibre; 76mg sodium; 244mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.3

This dense bar is halfway between a fruit cake and a slice. Studded with macadamias, dates, goji berries and cranberries it has a real festive feel and makes a wonderful gift cut into four bars, wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. Makes 24 pieces • Preparation time: 10 minutes • Baking time: 30 minutes
Macadamia oil or sunflower oil, to grease
200g (7oz) macadamia halves, toasted
150g (5oz) dried dates, coarsely chopped
100g (3½oz) dried cranberries
50g (1¾oz) goji berries
⅓ cup plain wholemeal or spelt flour
90g (3oz) raw sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Lightly grease a square 18cm/7in (base measurement) cake tin and line the base and two sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper. • Combine the macadamias, dates, cranberries, goji berries, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together the egg and vanilla. Add to the macadamia mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly combined. • Press the mixture evenly into the prepared tin with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and aromatic. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. • Cut into small pieces to serve.

Per piece
510kJ/ 120 calories; 1.5g protein; 7g fat (includes 1g saturated fat; saturated : unsaturated fat ratio 0.2); 13.5g available carbs (includes 12g sugars and 1.5g starch); 2 g fibre; 11mg sodium; 87mg potassium; sodium : potassium ratio 0.1