The Carb Comeback

06 Feb 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Baked goods are still the buzzwords of the food world and are evolving all the time, discovers Penny Fray

We’ve stomached a lot of crunches and Bikram yoga sessions for our love of loaf. Even when bloat bores tried to ban the breadbasket and biscuit barrel, we were still making toast and munching on Madeleines.

So imagine our joy in hearing that carbs are making a comeback this season.

According to food fad forecasters, more and more consumers will be buying artisan breads as well as a variety of other baked goods.


Healthy and retro grains are huge at the moment, as demonstrated by the recent launch of Oman’s boutique bakery BreadTalk’s Generation 4 collection.

Jannat Moosa, Marketing Director of Bin Mirza International (BMI), the company behind the cult bakery, says: “Creativity and innovation lies at the heart of BreadTalk and with that we have continuously tried to reinvent ourselves by introducing better choices for our customers. With the growing popularity of lifestyle trends, our Generation 4 products are much healthier and include chia, soya, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds. We want to be able to satisfy our existing customers with their favourite products as well as provide a healthy and diverse range of products that will cater to the local market.”

Other trends for 2014 include more sweet mash-ups and South American bakes.

“With the World Cup knocking on our doors I can see lots of Brazilian and South American goods being popular,” says Good Food expert Cassie Best.

She recommends trying bakes like alfajores, a South American biscuit sandwich with dulce de leche caramel, or pão de queijo, small cheese-flavoured rolls.

Another prediction sees bakers throwing a modern spin on vintage or traditional bakes with fashionable new flavours. Also, expect regional breads from Salalah and Sur to make their way to Muscat’s breadbaskets.

Finally, expect a resurgence in wholesome baking. The recent winner of BBCs Great British Bake Off, Frances Quinn, thinks this year will see us shunning synthetic fondant icing and colourings in favour of back to nature ingredients.

“I think there’s going to be a return to more natural ingredients,” says Frances. “I’m a perfectionist, but more rustic finishes appeal to me. For instance, instead of using fondant icing I use traditional ganache, and also make my own marzipan using pistachios or orange blossom.”


Eating seaweed in bread can help burn more calories than a half-hour session in the gym, according to a new study.

Researchers tested 80 healthy, but overweight, men by feeding them with seaweed enriched toast. And while none of the blokes could tell the difference between the ordinary and adapted bread, they still managed to consume 179 less calories a day.

It is believed that seaweed bread cuts calorie consumption by bulking the body and acting as a substitute for salt, leaving those tasting it feeling fuller for longer.

Muffins À La Mode


Chia seeds are the new superfood that everyone’s currently talking about. They have been shown to suppress appetites while providing protein, calcium, and Omega-3s. Jump on the trend bandwagon by baking these chia and banana muffins.


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon ground or whole chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 ounces of vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of rolled, ground oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 350°f.
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position. Grease or spray the muffin tins with non-stick oil.
  • In a bowl, combine the mashed bananas and chia seeds; set aside for later.
  • Cream the butter and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Add the all-purpose flour, ground rolled oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the banana/chia seed mixture.
  •  Fill prepared muffin cups  and bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.)

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