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    Exactly How To Make A Healthy Pizza With 6 Delish Topping Variations

    It can be done…

    We get it – it’s hard to eat healthily all the time. If you auto-dial or Uber Eats your local pizza place once a week, you’re not alone: according to a Euromonitor International Consumer Foodservice report a few years back, pizza was South Africa’s best-loved takeaway/home delivery fast food, with double the sales figures of any other takeaway.

    READ MORE: Umm, These Vegan Pizzas Might Even Taste Better Than The Real Thing

    The problem: our fave fast food is loaded with fat and sodium. But you don’t have to forgo this tasty and convenient meal option altogether.

    “The right toppings can transform this fattening grease bomb into a healthy meal,” says dietician Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. “When making a pizza, use plenty of tomato-based sauce (you can add chilli, basil or chives for more flavour) and veggies,” suggests WH weight-loss advisor Elienne Horwitz. “Then lightly sprinkle mozzarella or feta over it.” Top a shop-bought wholewheat crust or cheeseless build-your-own takeaway with one of these combos.

    1. Barbecue Chicken Pizza

    You don’t have to weigh down your slice with chorizo or extra cheese to score a hearty serving of satiating protein. A reduced-fat hard cheese such as Slimmer’s Choice Cheddar, Gouda or mozzarella (around 13 percent less fat than regular cheese) and skinless white meat chicken with a coating of tangy barbecue sauce keeps you satisfied – so you won’t be tempted to polish off the rest of the pizza by yourself.

    Make it: Toss a third of a cup cubed grilled chicken breasts and two tablespoons diced red onion with one tablespoon barbecue sauce. Spread evenly over one slice ready-made pizza base. Sprinkle with one teaspoon grated reduced-fat cheese. Bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 212kJ, 9g fat (2g sat), 500mg sodium, 32g carbs, 4g fibre, 22g protein

    2. Ricotta-pear Pizza

    If you like your slice on the sweet side, there’s another option besides Hawaiian style (that’s pineapple and ham for the uninitiated). Try some low-fat ricotta sweetened with a touch of honey and slices of fibre-filled pear for a healthy meal that tastes like it could be dessert.

    Make it: Spread two teaspoons orange marmalade over one slice ready-made pizza base. Top with a quarter cup ricotta and spread well to cover. Top with a third of a thinly sliced Bosc pear. Drizzle with one teaspoon honey and bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until warmed through.

    Per slice: 1 254kJ, 5g fat (1g sat), 310mg sodium, 54g carbs, 6g fibre, 10g protein

    READ MORE: This Creamy Kale Pasta Recipe Features Cottage Cheese As A Secret Ingredient

    3. Parma Ham And Goat’s Cheese

    Hold the sausage. “Parma ham is much leaner and provides the same meaty satisfaction without all the kilojoules or grease,” says Gans. Trade mozzarella for goat’s cheese or feta and you’ll get a mouthful of creamy goodness and 11 percent fewer kilojoules.

    Make it: Layer one slice ready-made pizza base with half a cup diced tomato and half a cup chopped rocket. Top with 14g thinly-sliced Parma ham. Sprinkle with one tablespoon crumbled goat’s cheese or feta and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with one teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 254kJ, 26g fat (5g sat), 700mg sodium, 30g carbs, 15g fibre, 13g protein

    4. Greek Pizza

    “Feta on pizza is a really smart choice,” says Gans. “You only need a little to get a lot of flavour, which results in a huge kilojoule saving.” Then there’s a generous serving of veggies, including roasted red peppers and up more than 40 percent of your daily vitamin C.

    Make it: Top one slice ready-made pizza base with two tablespoons drained roasted red peppers, five halved rosa tomatoes, five halved and pitted kalamata olives and one teaspoon feta crumbles. Bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 090kJ, 12g fat (3g sat), 710mg sodium, 32g carbs, 6g fibre, 8g protein

    READ MORE: Serve This Tasty (Yet, Easy) Butternut Wellington At Your Next Dinner Party

    5. Spinach Salad Pizza

    You could order a side salad with your pizza – or you can just pile your greens on top instead. This combo features crumbled goat’s cheese, which adds a big kick of robust flavour for a fraction of the fat you’d get from a standard mozzarella-loaded piece. And best of all, there’s zero cooking required.

    Make it: Toss one cup baby spinach with half a cup sliced red grapes, one teaspoon toasted pine nuts, one tablespoon crumbled goat’s cheese and one tablespoon light balsamic vinaigrette. Top one slice of a ready-made pizza base with the salad.

    Per slice: 1 200kJ, 10g fat (3g sat), 590g sodium, 45g carbs, 6g fibre, 8g protein

    6. Cheesy Fennel

    and courgette pizza Fennel is one of the ingredients that give Italian sausage its very distinctive taste. Sprinkle it, fresh or dried, onto your pizza and you’ll get the flavour you crave minus all that unwanted fat and bloat-inducing sodium.

    Make it: Sauté half a cup diced fennel, three-quarters of a cup grated courgette and a pinch of chilli flakes with one teaspoon olive oil in a small pot over medium heat for five minutes, or until fennel softens. Spread over one slice ready-made pizza base. Sprinkle with two tablespoons reduced-fat grated mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 090kJ, 12g fat (3g sat), 370mg sodium, 32g carbs, 6g fibre, 11g protein

    Try this easy beetroot chocolate cake for dessert. More

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    PB Banana Waffles

    I know what you’re thinking: “Waffles? Again?” But hear me out. These peanut butter banana waffles are not your average waffles. They’re fluffy, flavourful and made with wholesome ingredients that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized all day long.

    Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, while bananas are a good source of potassium and fibre. So not only will you be satisfying your taste buds, you’ll also be giving your body a healthy boost.

    Grab your waffle iron and whip up a batch of these mouthwatering delights.

    Prep Power 

    Two options here: Either make and refrigerate the batter for up to four days or make and freeze the prepared waffles. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet until firm, then freeze in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to three weeks. Ready to eat? Reheat in a toaster oven until hot and crisp or in a skillet on medium, turning once.

    Peanut Butter Banana Waffles

    You’ll go bananas for these waffles!

    Total Time 20 minutes mins

    Servings 6 waffles

    1 large ripe banana 1/2 cup milk1/2 cup plain yogurt1/4 cup creamy nut butter2 large eggs1 tbsp maple syrup1 cup all-purpose flour1 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp salt1 tbsp chia seeds
    In a blender, puree banana, milk, yogurt, nut butter, eggs, and syrup. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and process to combine. Stir in chia seeds. Cook waffles per manufacturer’s instructions. Top as desired. 

    This article was originally published on More

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    3 Comforting Soups That’ll Boost Your Immune System

    Cold weather begs for warm, steamy dishes and these comforting soups will give you enough variety in texture and flavour so you don’t feel bored. Also, you can whip up a couple and freeze them for work lunches. Score! Start with a good-quality chicken or vegetable stock (plus, some chilli, garlic and onion) and build up from there.

    Soup stars

    Get your kitchen tools ready and you’ll be off creating flavourful, comforting soups in no time.

    Smeg Hand Blender

    This retro-styled hand blender does it all, including mashing, blending and chopping.

    Haden Jug Blender

    Jug blenders make it easy to dump soups into and blend in a blitz.

    Kambrook Smartlife Soup Maker

    Blades whirr and break down veg, while a heating plate makes it easy to create your soups in one container.

    Comforting soups that boost immunity

    These vegetable soups are jam-packed with immune-boosting veggies. They’ll ward off illness and have you feeling like your strongest self. Here’s why.


    This white veg is high in nutrients, despite its lack of colour. And just one serving gives you 58% of your daily allowance of vitamin C. It’s also high in fibre, feeding your gut’s healthy bacteria and dialling up digestion.


    The benefits of spinach are so large that it’s considered a superfood. And for good reason: from flushing out the free radicals that lead to cancer to enhancing your body’s essential functions, spinach is an all-rounder queen.


    Butternut is a powerful source of vitamins, including vitamins A, C and E. From taking care of your hair, skin and nails to boosting immunity, butternut is great at souping up your meal’s nutritional profile.

    Cauli Soup

    This dreamy, creamy soup boosts immunity, thanks to healthful ingredients.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 40 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine Healthy

    1 large onion chopped1 clove garlic chopped1 red chilli finely chopped1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil1 head cauliflower chopped2-3 cups vegetable stockparsely for garnishing
    In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in the olive oil.Add the cauliflower, cover with stock and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft.Blend with a hand blender until creamy. Garnish and serve.

    Keyword Cauliflower soup

    Spinach and broccoli soup

    Bitty and bright, this soup is a super-healthy dose of nutrients.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 35 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine Healthy

    1 large onion chopped1 clove garlic chopped1 red chilli finely chopped1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil1 head broccoli roughly chopped1 bag baby spinach divided in half3-4 cups vegetable stock1/2 handful fresh basil
    In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic and chilli in the olive oil. Add the broccoli and half the bag of baby spinach then cover with vegetable stock. Cook over medium heat until broccoli is soft, about 30 minutes.Remove from the heat. Add the rest of the baby spinach and some basil and blend with a handheld blender. It’ll go bright green. Serve with some chopped spring onions and extra basil. Garnish with extra chilli (optional).

    Keyword miso soup, spinach and broccoli soup

    Spicy butternut soup

    Love butternut soup? The spicy kick in this one punches up the flavour even more.

    Prep Time 10 minutes minsCook Time 1 hour hr

    Course SoupCuisine Healthy

    1 medium-sized butternut chopped1 large onion chopped1 tbsp masala curry spice1 chilli chopped1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil1 cup vegetable stock1/2 tin coconut creamcoriander for garnishing
    Preheat the oven to 180° C. Place all the ingredients, besides the stock, coconut cream and coriander, in a roasting pan and roast for 40 minutes until cooked through and slightly charred. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.Squeeze the sweet, soft garlic flesh out of the cloves and place with the rest of the ingredients in a large saucepan. Add the cup of stock and coconut cream.Using a hand blender, blitz all the ingredients together and reheat until the desired temperature is reached. Garnish with coriander.

    Keyword butternut soup, healthy soup, miso soup More

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    The 12 Best Healthy Green Juice Recipes You Can Make With A Blender Or Juicer

    If you want to drink your veggies (and actually enjoy doing it), a good green juice is the way to go.

    You might not want to go for the store-bought stuff, though. “Most store-bought juices have either been made from a concentrate or processed with heat,” says nutritionist says Kelly Jones. The result: They contain fewer antioxidants in every sugary sip.

    Instead, grab a juicer (or a blender!) and a good green juice recipe and DIY your own.

    Even if you don’t have a juicer, a high-power blender — like a Vitamix or Nutibullet — can get your fibrous fruits and veggies fine enough to sip on like juice, too, Jones says. (Plus, the extra fibre you’ll get from making juice in the blender will keep your blood sugar more stable and nourish your good gut bacteria.)

    However you whip up your green sips, make sure your green juice recipe incorporates some fruit — like apples and limes. Without the sweetness and acid, typically-bitter greens may leave your juice tasting like grass.

    Whether you’re looking for Green Juice Lite or the equivalent of a kale salad in a cup, these are the best green juices (and green smoothies!) you can drink.

    Minimalist Baker

    1. Easy Green Juice

    Per serving: 114 calories, 0.9 g fat (0.2 g saturated), 113 mg sodium, 25.8 g carbs, 3.3 g fibre, 12.9 g sugar, 3.6 g protein

    This juice’s ingredient list includes health-boosting spices like ginger and turmeric, plus apple and lemon for the sweetness and acidity a tasty green juice needs.

    Eating Bird Food

    2. 10-Minute Green Juice

    Per serving: 189 calories, 1 g fat, 38 g carbs, 0 g fibre, 16 g sugar, 7 g protein

    Kale and romaine give this green juice a good dose of protein, while granny smith apple lends a lovely tartness.

    Show Me The Yummy

    3. Green Juice with Celery

    Per serving: 83 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 3 g fibre, 12 g sugar, 2 g protein

    This celery- and cucumber-packed juice is super hydrating, low in carbs, and pretty much guaranteed to make you glow from the inside out.

    A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

    4. Citrusy Green Juice

    Per serving: 97 calories, 1 g fat, 16 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 1 g fibre, 17 g sugar, 2 g protein

    Oranges give this green juice a sweet, refreshing flavour that’s easy for green juice newbies to enjoy.

    READ MORE: What Is Moringa And What Are The Health Benefits?

    Simply Vegan Blog

    5. Fennel Green Juice

    Per serving: 139 calories, 0.5 g fat, 41 mg sodium, 35.6 g carbs, 8 g fibre, 20.7 g sugar, 1.8 g protein

    Fennel gives this quick-to-whip-up green juice unique flavour that has a particularly summery vibe.

    Veggies Save The Day

    6. Pineapple Green Smoothie

    Per serving: 131 calories, 2 g fat (2 g saturated), 13 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 3 g fibre, 18 g sugar, 1 g protein

    Step your green juice up a notch with this smoothie, which contains tangy-sweet pineapple and electrolyte-packed coconut water.

    Just A Taste

    7. Blender Green Juice

    Per serving: 81 calories, 0g fat (0 g saturated), 40 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fibre, 11 g sugar, 2 g protein

    Blend up your morning green juice to keep as much fibre in as possible. If you want it to be pulp-free, simply strain out the liquid by using a cheesecloth. This recipe has notes of citrus and herbs, and it’s ready in just 10 minutes.

    Jessica Gavin

    8. The Ultimate Green Smoothie

    Per serving: 198 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated), 83 mg sodium, 47 g carbs, 5 g fibre, 40 g sugar, 5 g protein

    Turn green juice into a meal by adding high-protein Greek yoghurt to the no-joke mix of green veggies — which includes romaine, kale, spinach, and broccoli (trust) — in this recipe.

    READ MORE: This Creamy Kale Pasta Recipe Features Cottage Cheese As A Secret Ingredient

    The Mediterranean Dish

    9. Simple Green Juice

    Per serving: 92 calories, 0.8 g fat (0.2 g saturated), 149.4 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 6.2 g fibre, 6.2 g sugar, 2.8 g protein

    This six-ingredient green juice contains all the essentials — herbs, leafy greens, fruit, and spice. Mix it up by swapping parsley for coriander or basil, or opting for turmeric or cayenne instead of ginger.

    Damn Delicious

    10. Green Detox Smoothie

    Per serving: 136 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 104 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 4 g fibre, 17 g sugar, 1 g protein

    Blended with chia seeds and leafy greens, this green machine provides healthy fat and fibre to fill you up. A little honey makes it perfectly sweet, too.


    11. Ginger Celery Juice

    Per serving: 154 calories, 0.8 g fat (0.2 g saturated), 7 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 7 g fibre, 27 g sugar, 2 g protein

    Get on the celery juice train with this gingery celery juice. It also contains cucumber to keep the beautifying hydration high.

    Minimalist Baker

    12. Creamy Avocado Banana Green Smoothie

    Per serving: 146 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 138 mg sodium, 18.2 g carbs, 5.3 g fibre, 7.4 g sugar, 6.9 g protein

    A variety of mixed green gives this smoothie a beautiful hue, while avocado and banana make the texture just right and protein powder offers staying power.

    This article was originally published on More

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    What Is Moringa And What Are The Health Benefits?

    With all the trendy superfoods and supplements available on the market today, it can be hard to keep up with what’s simply popular and what’s actually beneficial for your health. If you love following the latest in nutrition, chances are you’re familiar with moringa.

    Moringa oleifera is a plant that is native primarily to South Asia and Africa and is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world, says Kylene Bogden, RDN, CSSD, a co-founder of FWDfuel. This is partly because it is frost- and drought-resistant, which makes it incredibly durable. Also called the drumstick tree, moringa contains a solid nutrient profile of amino acids, vitamin C, potassium and calcium, per Bogden. As a supplement, moringa is often consumed in the form of powder, capsules and tea.

    Consuming this plant in its raw form can be especially good for you. The leaves contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can block your histamine response (which is responsible for triggering annoying allergy symptoms) and chlorogenic acid, which can help stabilize your blood sugar, Bogden explains.

    “One of the reasons moringa has become so popular, in addition to its vast nutrient profile, is because it provides a boost in energy without the negative side effects that can sometimes accompany caffeine intake,” she adds.

    That said, experts say that more research in humans is needed to know whether the moringa’s benefits are legit and whether it’s safe to take on a regular basis. Read on to learn about these potential benefits, as well as the risks of taking moringa and whether this supplement may be right for you.

    Meet the expert: Kylene Bogden, RDN, CSSD, specializes in sports nutrition and functional medicine. She is also board-certified in integrative and functional nutrition (IFNCP) through the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy. She has served as an expert source for various national media outlets. Plus, invited to speak at events across the country.

    What are the health benefits of taking moringa?

    Moringa may play a role in treating 80 diseases, according to one study. But it’s important to keep in mind that much of the evidence showing moringa’s benefits is cell and animal studies. That means it’s not clear yet whether the plant will do the same in humans. And more research is needed to establish the optimal dosage and identify any interactions between the active compounds in moringa.

    1. It protects against infections.

    Moringa has anti-infectious effects against pathogens and all parts of the plant can be made into treatment against bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, according to a 2020 Frontiers in Pharmacology review. The leaves and seeds, in particular, show a broader spectrum of antimicrobial activity than other parts of the moringa plant.

    2. It improves blood sugar control.

    Taking moringa may potentially help with controlling blood sugar if you have diabetes, per a 2020 Nutrients review of several animal studies. Researchers believe this is due to compounds such as isothiocyanates found in moringa. However, more research in humans is needed.

    3. It lowers cholesterol.

    Animal studies have shown that moringa may have similar cholesterol-lowering effects to other known effective plant sources, such as flaxseed and oats. This is due to its antioxidant content, which is tied to a lower risk of heart disease.

    4. It reduces blood pressure.

    Because it contains quercetin, an antioxidant, research suggests moringa may help to lower blood pressure.

    5. It gives you an energy boost.

    Research shows that moringa may be a good energy source, thanks to the wide range of nutrients it contains. This includes protein, iron and vitamin A, which are vital to maintaining optimal energy levels.

    6. It improves digestion.

    Moringa is also believed to aid in digestion. A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows that its fibrous pods may help treat digestive issues such as constipation and another showing that it may help prevent colon cancer.

    7. It helps with arthritis and joint pain.

    One animal study showed moringa extract may be helpful in decreasing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory form of joint disease. This is because its leaf extract may help suppress pro-inflammatory molecules. More research in humans is still needed, though.

    8. It fights inflammation.

    Animal studies have shown that moringa leaves, pods and seeds contain anti-inflammatory compounds called isothiocyanates that are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

    It can also inhibit chronic inflammation in conditions such as asthma, ulcerative colitis and metabolic diseases, according to a 2020 review.

    Is it safe to take moringa every day?

    As long as it has been cleared by your doctor, it’s okay to take moringa every day, especially if it is in food form, such as by adding a few teaspoons of a moringa powder to a smoothie or sipping on tea made from its leaves, says Bogden.

    “Generally speaking, ideal dosing would be one to two cups of tea a day, or one teaspoon to one tablespoon of powder added to dishes like oatmeal and smoothies,” she says. “If capsule form is your preferred method, clinical studies suggest the benefits range from roughly 500 mg to 2 g daily.”

    Photo by Eva Bronzini on Pexels

    What are the side effects of moringa?

    As with any supplements, you’ll want to be aware of any potential side effects that may come with taking moringa. After all, supplements are not regulated by the FDA. You’ll definitely want to consult with your MD before taking any supplement, including moringa, Bogden notes.

    Not sure where to start? To choose a reputable supplement company, the first step would be to look for a GMP certification (that stands for Good Manufacturing Practice, FYI) on the label. As well as additional third-party testing, Bogden says. If you’re a competitive athlete, you’ll also want to make sure the supplement is NSF-certified for sport in order to avoid testing positive for banned substances.

    “While many do not experience any negative side effects, depending on dose or form taken, frequency consumed and medical history, for some, moringa may cause gastrointestinal upset, uterine cramping and low blood pressure, which can be dangerous for certain individuals,” Bogden says.

    Who should not take moringa?

    As with many foods, medications and supplements, there are certain groups who should avoid moringa. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid consuming moringa, according to Bogden.

    Note that moringa can also interfere with medications that treat diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid disease. So, talk to your doctor before taking moringa if you fall into any of those categories.

    The bottom line: While moringa shows promise in providing health benefits similar to those of other superfoods, research is still limited. Talk to your doctor before adding it to your wellness routine.

    This article was originally published on by Emilia Benton. More

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    Serve This Tasty (Yet, Easy) Butternut Wellington At Your Next Dinner Party

    A beef wellington delivers a serious dose of wow factor on special occasions. But what about those of us who don’t eat meat or are trying to cut down? Well, this butternut vegetarian wellington from cookbook author Mokgadi Itsweng is guaranteed to hit the spot and steal the show.

    But First, What Is A Wellington?

    Everyone knows a steak dinner is special and a beef wellington takes it to a whole new level. Beef Wellington is a steak dish made out of fillet steak and coated with pâté and duxelles (sautéed mushrooms, onions, shallots, garlic, and parsley to make a stuffing). It’s then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. It’s a very famous English dish and some recipes call for you to wrap the coated meat in a crêpe or parma ham to retain the moisture and prevent it from making the pastry soggy.

    READ MORE: This Aubergine Curry Is The Ultimate Winter Comfort Meal

    So What’s Different About This Vegetarian Wellington?

    Well, firstly, it’s vegetarian and doesn’t include any beef. The butternut is the “steak” element. But other than that it’s pretty similar and delivers the same satisfied hums when you serve it at a dinner party. You still have your duxelles to give it delicious flavour and it’s wrapped in puff pastry for an amazing crispy crunch. Trust us on this one, it’s a real crowd-pleaser.

    READ MORE: This Creamy Kale Pasta Recipe Features Cottage Cheese As A Secret Ingredient

    Butternut Vegetarian Wellington

    Mokgadi Itsweng

    “This is a real showstopper of a main meal. I only serve it on really special occasions or when I am trying to impress! I love how easy it is to make and how fabulous it looks,” says author of Veggielicious, Mokgadi Itsweng.

    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

    Course Main CourseCuisine Vegetarian

    Servings 6 people

    1 Butternut (1kg and over), halved and peeled3 Tbsp Olive oil1 Onion (large), finely chopped4 Garlic cloves, finely grated1 Tbsp Fresh rosemary, chopped1 Tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped250 g Mushrooms, cleaned and chopped300 g Morogo, washed and chopped¼ cup Dried cranberries, roughly chopped¼ cup Breadcrumbs, divided into 2 equal portions1 sheet Hot water crust pastry ¼ cup Herb pestoMilk, for the glazeSeasoning herb salt to taste
    Preheat the oven to 180°C.On a chopping board, cut off the hollow part of the butternut (chop this part up and freeze for later use) and leave the two solid parts of the butternut. Place the butternut on a roasting tray, drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil over the butternut halves and roast uncovered for 20 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.In a frying pan, heat the rest of the oil and fry the onion, garlic and herbs together for 5 minutes on medium heat, then add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until nicely browned.Add the chopped morogo and dried cranberries and cook, closed, for 10 minutes. Season with herb salt. Allow the mixture to cool slightly; then once cooled, mix in one portion of the breadcrumbs.To assemble, roll out the pastry on a floured surface, then sprinkle half of the leftover breadcrumbs in the middle of the pastry (an area where the butternuts will go; this will ensure that the bottom pastry stays crispy).Spoon the cooled mushroom and morogo mix over the breadcrumbs, then place the roasted butternuts (side by side so the cut ends touch each other, creating one long butternut) over the mushroom mixture. Brush some herb pesto over the butternut and sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs over the top of the butternut.Once the filling is in place, fold the pastry flaps to cover the butternut, joining them together at the top. Use your fingers to pinch together a pattern to enclose the butternut and keep the filling inside. Make incisions along the top of the pastry, allowing the Wellington to release steam during cooking. Brush some milk over the pastry to create a glaze.Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until pastry is golden and crispy.Serve as a main with your favourite sides and salads.

    Keyword comfort food, dinner, vegetarian More

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    What Is Kefir? Kefir Nutrition, Benefits, And How To Use Kefir

    Walking through the dairy aisle used to be simple. You just grabbed your carton of fruit-at-the-bottom yoghurt and low-fat milk and you went on your merry way.

    These days, though, the dairy aisle in specialist health stores is filled with all sorts of interesting options, from plant-based yoghurt to kefir. Not quite yoghurt and not quite milk, this fermented, probiotic-packed stuff has pretty much all of today’s hottest health buzzwords going for it.

    If you’ve seen it in the store and wondered WTF it was all about, you’re not alone. But don’t let kefir’s identity crisis stop you from trying it out: Dietitians say it can pack a serious punch in the nutrition department.

    In fact, kefir is “a great source of probiotics, which may help improve one’s digestive health,” says Keri Gans, a dietitian and author of The Small Change Diet. Plus, certain types of kefir can also be a great source of calcium, a must-have for healthy bones, too.

    If you have yet to give it a try (and need a break from your standard milk and yoghurt), here’s everything you need to know about the trending probiotic drink, plus why it’s worth adding to your diet.

    Hold on. What is kefir, exactly?

    Long story short, “kefir is a fermented milk product similar to yoghurt, but with a thin (rather than thick) texture,” explains dietitian Andy de Santis. “It contains a similar amount of protein as yoghurt, but offers more probiotic cultures.”

    Thanks to its drinkable consistency, Emily Kean, a nutritionist at Lifeway Foods (a brand that makes kefir in the States) calls it “the queen of probiotic drinks.”

    While your standard kefir is made from cow’s milk, it can be made from any type of milk or milk alternative — including plant-based milks, according to Gans. If you see “coconut kefir” on a product label, for example, that means it’s made with coconut milk.

    Another version, “water kefir,” meanwhile, is usually made with coconut water or fruit juice, Gans adds.

    So, kefir isn’t the same as yoghurt?

    Though people tend to call it “drinkable yoghurt,” that’s only kind of — not totally — accurate. “What sets it apart is its fermentation process, which is slightly different,” says Jessica Cording, author of The Little Book of Game-Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety.

    “Typically, yoghurt uses just bacteria for fermentation, while kefir uses both bacteria and yeast,” Gans explains. “The bacteria and yeast create cultures referred to as grains (no, they don’t contain gluten), which contain up to three times more probiotics than yoghurt.” Impressive, right?

    Is kefir healthy, then?

    As you can probably guess from its solid probiotic punch, it is totally healthy. Here’s what you can expect from one cup of plain, low-fat kefir (made from cow’s milk), according to the USDA:

    Calories: 102

    Total fat: 2 g

    Saturated fat: 0.66 g

    Carbohydrates: 11 g

    Fibre: 0 g

    Sugar: 11 g

    Protein: 9.5 g

    Opt for a cow’s milk-based kefir and you’ll get lots of calcium and vitamin D (30 and 25 percent of your daily needs, respectively). Plus, a bonus for anyone trying to get pregnant: Cow’s milk kefir is high in folate, which aids in warding off neural tube defects, too. Of course, just keep in mind that a coconut milk- or water-based kefir won’t boast the same nutrition stats as a kefir made from dairy.

    Kefir’s health benefits are pretty legit.

    Fermented foods like kefir command the spotlight because of their probiotics’ ability to help balance gut flora and regulate digestion. It won’t just help you become more regular, though. “Because of its probiotics, those suffering from irritable bowel disease or digestive distress from a course of antibiotics may experience relief after incorporating kefir,” says Santis.

    Thanks to kefir’s vitamin D, calcium, and folate content, it’s also good for your bones and your ability to have a healthy pregnancy, Cording adds.

    Luckily, if you’re like 25 percent of the American population with a reduced ability to digest lactose, take comfort in the fact that fermented dairy products might be easier to tolerate.

    Does kefir have any downsides?

    Like other dairy products, full-fat kefir does contain higher amounts of saturated fat, which the American Heart Association, recommends limiting to 16 grams (or 140 calories) per day in the average 2,000-calorie diet. (Though the topic is up for debate these days, experts have linked excess saturated fat consumption to heart disease.)

    And, while Kean recommends kefir for pretty much everyone, those with certain health conditions (like immune deficiencies) should avoid probiotics unless under a doctor’s supervision.

    Finally, as with anything you eat, just pay attention to serving sizes. “A lot of times a bottle of kefir contains four servings, not one,” she says.

    How to find yourself a quality kefir.

    When hunting for high-quality kefir to put in your cart, Kean recommends focusing on the following factors:

    Protein (the more, the better)

    Added sugar (though dairy products contain some natural sugars, avoid the added stuff as much as possible)

    Artificial ingredients (again, avoid!)

    Live active cultures (look for a product with at least one billion CFUs of probiotics per serving, preferably from a variety of strains)

    How to load up on kefir.

    Once you’ve got yourself a quality bottle of the good stuff, you can incorporate it into your eats in so many ways. De Santis recommends:

    Drinking it as a post-workout shake

    Adding it to your smoothies in place of your usual liquid or yoghurt

    Pouring it into whole-grain cereal or oatmeal (and sprinkling on some nuts) for a nutritionally-balanced breakfast

    Kean also swears by kefir in place of buttermilk or sour cream in all sorts of recipes. She also likes using it to add creaminess to dressings, dips, and soups.

    The bottom line: The exact nutrition you get from a kefir product depends on whether it’s made from dairy or a plant-based alternative. Either way, the smooth, fermented beverage is a great source of probiotics.

    This article was originally published on More

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    This Aubergine Curry Is The Ultimate Winter Comfort Meal

    Nothing beats the winter blues, quite like a delicious and comforting curry. And while South Africans are no strangers to making curries, we bet you’ve never tried this winter vegetable curry. Ahead, find cookbook author Mokadi Itsweng‘s recipe for an aubergine, tomato and tamarind curry that’s sure to become a winter staple.

    3 Benefits Of Aubergines & Why You Should Add Them To Any Winter Vegetable Curry

    Also known as brinjal, or eggplant, aubergines are actually berries by botanical definition. But these berrilicious babes have a host of benefits that will have you reaching for them in the supermarket.

    READ MORE: This Prawn Curry Hits The Spot When You’re Craving Take-Aways

    1. They’re a nutrient-dense food

    Dieticians will always emphasise the importance of eating nutrient-dense foods, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. One cup of raw aubergine contains 5g carbs, 3g fibre, 1g protein and 20 calories. It also contains 10% of your Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of manganese, 5% of your RDI of folate, 5% of your RDI of potassium, 4% of your RDI of Vitamin K and 3% of your RDI of Vitamin C.

    2. They could help with weight loss

    Insider secret: nutrient-dense, high fibre and low-calorie ingredients are your best friend when it comes to trying to lose weight. Aubergines are high in fibre, nutrient-dense and low in calories. The reason fibre is so great for weight loss efforts is because it moves through your digestive tract slowly, promoting satiety and fullness, keeping you fuller for longer which therefore reduces how many calories you eat.

    READ MORE: This Creamy Kale Pasta Recipe Features Cottage Cheese As A Secret Ingredient

    3. They’re high in antioxidants

    Studies have shown that antioxidants could help prevent many types of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. One 2011 study found that animals that were fed raw or grilled eggplant for 30 days improved heart function and reduced heart attack severity. So go on and enjoy a bowl of delicious curry and your heart will thank you.

    Aubergine, Tomato And Tamarind Curry

    Mokgadi Itsweng

    “The tamarind in this curry adds a sweet and sour taste that pairs very well with tomatoes. Tamarind is available at most supermarkets and Indian spice shops. If you buy a tamarind block, make sure to break off a tablespoon and soak it in half cup of water before using,” advises Mokgadi.

    Course Main CourseCuisine Indian

    Servings 4 people

    3 Tbsp Oil2 Tbsp Curry paste6 Curry leaves, finely sliced1 Onion, finely chopped3 Garlic cloves, finely grated1 tsp Fresh ginger, grated2 410g Tinned tomatoes, chopped 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp Tamarind paste2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp Brown sugar4 AuberginesSeasoning herb salt to tasteHandful of fresh coriander, chopped
    Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the curry paste and leaves. Fry on medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes until the onion is soft.Add the tomatoes, tamarind and brown sugar. Cook the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring constantly and adding a little water should it get dry. When tasted, the sauce should be well reduced and full of flavour.While the sauce cooks, slice the aubergines into wedges and sprinkle some salt over. Leave them to stand with the salt for 10 minutes, covered, then squeeze the moisture out of them.Heat an extra 2 Tbsp oil in a pan and fry the aubergines on both sides, until lightly browned.When the sauce is halfway cooked, add the aubergines and cook for 15 minutes more. Season with herb salt and stir through the coriander.Serve warm with rice, dombolo (steamed bread) or roti.

    Keyword comfort food, curry, vegetarian More