Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's Me on TV! Making gluten-free granola for HecticNine9

I cooked a batch of my gluten-free granola on SABC2 TV show HecticNine9 this week. Check out the videos here:

And the second part of the segment here:

It was such fun and I loved meeting all the wonderful people that make this cool TV show possible. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gluten-free Granola

I love making a batch of this on the weekends. You can eat it for brekky or as a 'trail mix' snack. It's full of amazing energy-boosting nutrients. It was also published in the September issue of Women's Health magazine. Photo: Sean Calitz.

2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup macadamia, chopped
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dates, chopped
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup coconut oil

1/ Preheat oven to 180°C.
2/ Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure that the coconut oil coats evenly.
3/ Spread the mixture onto a baking-paper-lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pop this mixture into a large sealable container, or divide it into five zip-lock bags. Breakfast sorted for the week? Hell yeah!

Hope on Hopkins new Cape Town Distillery

I went for a gin tasting at Hope on Hopkins – it's the mother city's first gin distillery, based in Salt River. Gin is certainly very trendy at the moment and I'm a massive fan of a good G&T, so I'm more than happy to see all these artisan products popping up. I also frequent Mother's Ruin ( on Bree Street and the secret gin bar behind Honest Chocolate ( on Wale Street – both of these gin bars stock a variety of SA products and some intriguing international options.

While you can currently only buy the  London Dry-style gin, the SA-style (with Buchu) is super-delicious and aromatic and will be available soon. It's called the Salt River Gin. What a great Christmas present idea!!!

For more information, visit their website:
Tours and tastings can be arranged by appointment on late afternoons, from Wednesday to Saturday for groups of up to 12 people.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wheat-free, dairy-free dark-chocolate brownie recipe

Craving something sweet, but trying to avoid wheat and dairy? Whip up a batch of these super-easy, deadly delicious dark-chocolate brownies. You’ll actually have to convince people that there’s no butter – they’re that rich.
The good news is that they’re also packed with nutrients: antioxidants (thanks to the good-quality dark chocolate), they’ll improve your skin and hair (thanks to the coconut oil) and they’ll help to reduce blood pressure, strengthen your bones and may even help fight cancer (thanks to the ground almonds).

What You Need
160g good-quality dark chocolate (Lindt 70% and above does not contain dairy)
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup almond flour
1 cup dark demerara sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1Tbsp good-quality cocoa powder (I use Nomu)
2 extra-large free-range eggs
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped


1/Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm ovenproof baking pan or ceramic dish.
2/ Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and well-combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the well. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture.
3/ Mix the batter together with an electric mixer. It will appear thin at first, but will soon thicken up and become smooth and glossy. Pour mixture into prepared tin and spread out evenly with a spatula. Add almonds and press in gently with a spatula.
4/ Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes (or until set). I like it when the edges are slightly crunchier. Rest tray on a wire rack and allow to cool a bit before slicing. 

Gluten-free Dairy-free breakfast bars

I make a batch of these on the weekend and I'm sorted for brekky-on-the-go during a busy deadline week! My recipe was also published in the September issue of Women's Health magazine (below).

What You Need

1 tsp coconut oil, for greasing tray
2½ cups rolled oats
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
100g pistachios, shelled and chopped
50g almonds, chopped
50g pumpkin seeds
50g goji berries
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut flakes
1½ cups almond milk (or coconut milk), divided
5 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 ripe bananas


1/ Preheat oven to 120°C and grease a large ovenproof deep-dish tray.
2/ Place the oats, cacao nibs, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, coconut flour and flakes into a large bowl. Mix to combine and form a well in the centre.
3/ Place 1 cup almond milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the dates and stir occasionally until the milk is bubbling and the dates start to break down, forming a syrup. Pour into the oat mixture and stir to combine.
4/ Mash the ripe bananas and, using a hand blender, blend in the remaining half cup of milk to form a thick liquid. Mix this into the oat mixture until everything is evenly covered.
5/ Press the mixture into the dish and bake for one hour, then turn the temperature up to 150°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the edges are nice and golden, but the mixture is still chewy. Remove and allow to cool slightly before slicing into 12 bars.

Healthy tuna-avo lettuce cups

Want a quick and healthy lunch idea?

What You Need:

1 tin tuna
1 ripe avo
1 tbsp preserved lemon, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
cos lettuce leaves


1/ Mix the tuna, avo, preserved lemon, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
2/ Spoon dollops onto crunchy lettuce cups and eat!

It's perfect for an office lunch at your desk on a busy day!

Cara Cara orange and almond tart

Citrus is in season and theres such a wide variety on SA shelves right now.
You can make this cake with any kind of oranges, naartjies or even lemon (throw in some poppy seeds too while youre at it). 

Instead of using regular sugar, food ed Amy Rankin tested Naturas range of GM-free, unrefined, unbleached sugars (suitable for vegans). Bone char is used when processing regular (refined and bleached) sugar, so check your labels to make sure youre using a vegan-friendly product! To make this cake vegan-friendly, replace 6 eggs with 6 tablespoons flaxseeds mixed with 15 tablespoons water. Blitz together in a blender and allow consistency to become gooey.

What You Need

1 tsp coconut oil, for greasing
6 extra-large free-range eggs
200g Naturas Dark Demerara sugar (or brown sugar), plus 50g extra
200g almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cara cara oranges (or regular oranges), zested
¼ cup Naturas Demerara powdered sugar (or icing sugar)
¼ cup coconut flakes


1/ grease a round springform cake tin and set the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. 
2/ Crack all the eggs into a bowl and add 200g sugar. Beat until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes
3/ Stir in the almond flour, baking powder and orange zest until just combined. Pour mixture into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.
4/ In the mean time,  squeeze the juice from one cara cara orange into a small saucepan, add 50g sugar and stir over a medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.
5/ Peel and remove the segments from the second cara cara orange, add to the cooking liquid and cook further, until a sticky syrup forms. Add a little water to loosen if necessary. 
6/ Remove tart from oven and allow to cool in tin slightly. Remove from tin and place on a serving plate. Pour cooled syrup over.
7/ Just before serving, sprinkle coconut flakes over the cake and the icing sugar on top.

Cooks note: if youre diabetic or allergic to sugar, use xylitol instead of sugar for the cake and syrup and serve with coconut flakes only.