WHAT FOODS TO EAT IN WINTER TO KEEP WARM?

The winter season is one of the most stressful times for me in terms of food preparation . Unlike winter, summer food is easy to make. You have light meals during the day to keep yourself cool. For instance, in summer I would retire to bed with only having a smoothie and nuts for dinner. Well that’s just me. I usually eat heavy in the morning!

For winter, you tend to want to eat a bit more warm things to keep the blood pumping and that steamy aroma from the food going down your nostrils. You need something hearty, frothy and rich in flavour.

Below are a few ideas of what foods you could have in winter. Food that is easy to prepare and doesn’t require overwhelming techniques :

SOUPS:

You can have soup anytime of the day. I usually like my soup in the morning with a bit of toasted bread. When you have soup first thing in the morning, you:

  • Boost your metabolism as the soup has to be digested.
  • Soup contains a high quantity of water that nourishes your body cells and keeps your skin fresh.
  • Soup is healthy and nutritious especially vegetable soups
  • Soups satiates you and as a result help you eat less and lose some pounds. I know that in winter people tend to bulk up but how about loading up on some healthy soups to shed the weight or maintain that weight that you worked so hard to get during summer!

My favourite soup is the BROCCADO SOUP ( BROCCOLI & AVOCADO).

broccado soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 300 grams broccoli
  • 10 ml canola oil
  • 1 tsp moringa powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 block vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Boil the broccoli and vegetable stock for 10 minutes on medium heat until fully cooked. Season with salt, pepper to taste. Also add some oil to the pot.
  2. In a blender , put 1/2 avocado, milk, broccoli and vegetable stock, moringa powder and blend until smooth
  3. Enjoy with some fresh carrots and beetroot
BAKED WRAPS:
Tortilla wraps

Another easy food prep for anytime of the day are these baked tortilla wraps. I stuffed them with avocado, mayonnaise and eggs. Goodness they taste divine.

Wraps take no time to bake, they will be ready in as short as 5 minutes! You can even store these wraps in a lunch box or sealed bag so that when you get hungry you can just warm them up and enjoy.

Make your winter stress free with these easy meal prep ideas.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Avocado
  • 3 large eggs
  • Mayonnaise 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp moringa powder.
  • Tortilla wraps
  • 20 grams Butter
INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes
  • Boil the eggs for 10 minutes
  • Spread some butter on to the tortilla wraps.
  • In a bowl, beat the avocado until smooth, add the boiled eggs, mayonnaise and moringa powder
  • Add the avocado mix to the tortilla wraps, roll the wraps and bake for 5 minutes or until your desired crispiness.

What do you have to keep yourself warm in winter? Comment below!

tortilla wraps and broccado soup

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VEGETABLE-MINCE SAMOSA RECIPE

INDIA MEETS SOUTH AFRICA

These are heavenly South African samosas filled with kale & mince meat. They are crunchy baked and a perfect snack for any occasion especially in Cape Town where the winter season is hitting its peak.

I love to put twist to recipes, for instance samosa are originally from India, however this recipe has incorporated a South African twist to eat. Instead of frying them, i decided to bake them as i am not a huge fan of oily food.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
  • 2 cups of cake wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500 grams mince meat
  • Kale leaves
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chicken spices.
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a pan, pour vegetable oil and saute the garlic until brown.
  3. Add mince and vegetables to the pan and stir fry for 10 minutes until fully cooked. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes with a lid closed.
  4. Pour the flour and salt into a bowl, add water & oil then mix.
  5. Knead the flour until its fluffy and elastic.
  6. Use a rolling pin to create the samosa base.
  7. Shape the rolled flour mince into a triangular shape and add the mince mixture to it.
  8. Seal the samosa with a beat egg.
  9. Glaze the samosa on top with the beat egg.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

CHECKOUT MORE OF MY DELICIOUS RECIPES BELOW!

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COOKING SKILLS

Just a little bit of my childhood background: I grew up in Zimbabwe where I lived with my grandparents. Our African culture trains children from a young age to cook for the whole family (usually 6 members-10 members: that is the norm)

For my case, I lived with 13 family members; my cousins, aunties, uncles and grandparents. I was taught to cook at age 12 and I had to cook in large pots on the fire because of load shedding! When the big festive seasons came into play, I had to cook for more than 20 people- I was assisted during those days thankfully. Washing the dishes was a nightmare though!

As time passed by, my cooking skills improved & I am grateful to my family members for eating my food as my test subjects:).

For some people, cooking is a real challenge but do not worry, nothing is impossible if you believe and work hard.

I am a firm believer in practice makes perfect. When it comes to the kitchen, many chefs like myself have to go through times of trial and error, change things up, add more ingredients, taste, taste & taste until you hit that taste bud with something delicious and mouth-watering.

Vanilla cupcakes

Below is a list of the things you should be doing to take your cooking to the next level.

  1. Practice– It took me about 1 month to get an idea of how to cook delicious meals. It took me 6 years to cook without measuring ingredients and cook like a professional chef. The more you practice and have people comment, the more you will improve. My mom always assesses my food critically. I get mad sometimes though and say,’ i am not in a MasterChef competition’. I believe it will help in the long run to have people taste what you make. One day you will cook something that will put a smile on someone’s face. Be that kind of cook.
  2. Simplicity– Start with easy meals, salads or breakfast bowls then you can move to make biscuits or cupcakes or chocolate mousse.
  3. Planning– Take some time off during the day to plan what you will make. Take your time cooking and enjoy the process. Also, envision what you want your meal will look like. This has helped me on my cooking journey. There are days that I drew a picture of how my food would look like and this motivated me to do the best to have that wonderful image materialize.
  4. YouTube– Watch some YouTube videos on how people make food whether be it pasta, chicken etc. There was a time that I wanted to make my own whipped cream and YouTube helped with showing me what the person was doing to transform runny cream into a thick whipped cream. Sometimes reading recipes might not work for you so watching someone else do it might give you that extra knowledge on how to get things done.

Here are some of my favourite recipes, you should definitely try them. Very easy to make and are delicious.

VANILLA CUPCAKES

Vanilla Cup cakes
INGREDIENTS: Makes 12 cupcakes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 55 ml oil
  • 200 ml milk
  • 200 grams cake wheat flour
  • Baking powder 1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Vanilla essence 2 tsp
  • Sweetener of your choice 100 grams
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place paper cases in muffin tray
  2. Lightly beat milk, oil and eggs together.
  3. Add flour, salt , vanilla essence and sweetener to a bowl and mix well.
  4. Pour the milk and other contents into the flour and mix.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin paper cases.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes
  7. Cool for 5 minutes.

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THE DANGERS OF CONSUMING ADDED SUGAR

NO MORE SUGAR! NO MORE CRAVINGS!


How much sugar should you consume daily?


In this modern era, added sugar is the worst enemy to our health and should be avoided at all costs especially when you purchase your goods at the grocery store. Ensure that you check the food labels on your packaged food to know exactly what you are feeding your body.

The American Heart Association advises men to consume a maximum of 37.5 grams of added sugar daily, whilst women are advised to consume a maximum of 25 grams added sugar daily.
Consuming too much sugar can lead to health complications such as diabetes, chronic illnesses, blood sugar spikes and weight gain. Prevention is better than cure therefore, strive to be a bit cautious on what you eat to increase longevity and basic wellness.

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF CONSUMING ADDED SUGARS.

ACNE- Have you ever eaten some delicious chocolate bars or doughnuts and after 4 hours or more you suddenly breakout? According to the Healthline, sugar contains oxidative properties that are shown to provoke acne and breakouts. Sugary foods once ingested, convert quickly into glucose and cause the body’s insulin levels to rise leading to bursts of inflammation on the body. Research shows that insulin spikes play a huge role in producing excess sebum or skin oils and this contributes to clogged follicles plus a worse skin complexion.

HYPER ENERGY- I am sure most people are aware of the dangers of giving children candy and how uncontrollable they become afterwards. I remember when my little cousins came over to my place and ate some candy. Oh, my goodness, how I wished they hadn’t eaten those doughnuts! They couldn’t settle on one place, some were running all over the house and I had to chase them, some were laughing nonstop and it wasn’t even something funny to laugh at. Can you imagine a kid laughing like crazy after every 10 seconds? It was like that. They were high and hyper. After some time, they eventually lost all that energy and slept like babies. Whew, that was over finally! My point is, don’t give children treats that contain sugar, rather buy sugar-free sweets or make healthier snacks for them like fruits etc.

WEIGHT GAIN- sugar is high in calories while offering few other nutrients, they are often referred to as empty calories, as they are high in calories yet void of nutrients, Consuming small amounts of added sugar is unlikely to cause weight gain, but regularly eating food with added sugars may cause you to gain excess body fat quicker and more drastically. Food high in sugar are less filling thus one tends to eat more in order to feel satiated. This causes one to eat an excess of their daily allowance and results in weight gain.

LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CONSUMING ADDED SUGAR

PREMATURE AGEING– We all need the fountain of youth, however, that juice you had for breakfast or the dessert you had before bed is sabotaging your goals. Sugar ages all both internally and externally. Here is something interesting: According to Dr Nish from the Unity Point Health Organisation, when you put a banana out on the counter and unpeel it, It gets brown within 24 to 48 hours. The sugars in that banana are reacting with proteins, causing cross-linking and the brown colour (browning reaction). The exact same reaction happens in our bodies thus we are browning from the inside out. The more sugar we have, the more our skin starts to suffer. This leads to acne, the appearance of wrinkles, sagging in neck and chin, development of dark spots, slower healing of cuts & scraps, etc.

WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM– According to a study done by researchers at Loma Linda University in Southern California, sugar impairs white blood cells. The main purpose of white blood cells is to fight bacteria and viruses that enter the body, however, sugar wears them out so that they can’t get that critical job done.

SUGAR ALTERNATIVES
  1. Honey- Instead of adding cubes of sugar in your tea or coffee, why not replace it with natural honey? Raw honey contains less fructose and is the only natural sweetener with health benefits such as anti-microbial effects, promotes heart health and contains anti-inflammatory effects.
  2. Instead of having fruit juice, drink plain water with lime or lemon fruit to taste.
  3. Include cinnamon in your tea for sweet taste.
  4. Snack on dried fruit instead of candy.
  5. Maple Syrup- unlike sugar, maple syrup contains more than 50 beneficial compounds including antioxidants and a molecule with anti-inflammatory properties. The darker the syrup, the higher the concentration of these compounds.
Various kinds of sugar

Natural foods are always the best.
Check out more of my healthy low-carb recipes on the recipes page. Enjoy!

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THE BEST & HEALTHIEST POTATO CURRY SALAD

LET’S GET SPICY

Put a smile on the face of your family with this gorgeous, nutritious and delicious potato curry salad.

Do you have neighbors whom when they cook you smell something wonderful? It makes you hungry and you wish they invited you for dinner. Now, imagine opening your oven and being greeted by an aroma of well grilled thyme and potatoes infused with all sorts of spices that rev up your appetite! If you have children who lose their appetite during dinner time, this salad will make them want to eat more. Problem solved.

The best thing about this salad is that even though it smells appetizing when you eat it ,you get full really quickly.

The main Star spice of this dish is the cut chilly spice. Below are a few benefits.

  1. Weight Loss- According researchers at Harvard University, cut chillies contain capsaicin which is known to promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increase fat burning.
  2. Fights Inflammation- The substance called capsaicin has been studied to be an effective treatment arthritis and diabetes.
  3. Improves Heart Health- Chillies can impact your health by helping to boost circulation and also act as a thinner to help protect against strokes. Therefore, consuming food with chillies every day is all you need to do to enjoy the multiple and important health benefits they have to offer.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 4.

  • 640 grams of potatoes
  • 2 tsp cut chillies
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 100 grams mushrooms
  • Thyme
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Spring Onions
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes
  2. In a pan, sauté the mushrooms until golden
  3. Cut the potatoes into cubes or halves ( do not remove the skin)
  4. Cut the garlic and cherry tomatoes
  5. Mix the spices in a bowl
  6. Pour some olive oil into the spices and rub them onto the cut potatoes
  7. Grease your baking tray and put your potatoes, garlic and cherry tomatoes
  8. Grill the potatoes for 30 minutes
  9. Remove tray from oven and let it cool for 5 min

10. Mix the grilled potatoes, mushrooms and pepper

11. Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle your potatoes with vinegar

ENJOY!

Prep and cooking time: 50 minutes.

All thanks to The Refillery SA for the best spices ever!

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