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    Everyone Will Love These 3 Healthy Recipes For Ramadan

    Refresh your dinner repertoire with these nutritious, healthy recipes during the month of Ramadan.

    Cariema Isaacs – South African cookbook author now based in Dubai – shares some of her favourite recipes from her book Spice Odyssey.

    “The best way to describe Cape Malay cuisine is possibly to say that we prefer our food well balanced when it comes to spices. Therefore our curries are also known to be spicy, but not fiery hot,” says Cariema.

    “My first lessons as a child helping my grandmother cook were about finding that balance. She maintained that our senses are meant to be awakened by the subtle flavours, which become pronounced with every bite. Thus, at a very early age, I understood the tastes derived from cumin and coriander, the pungency of fennel, cloves and star anise, and the piquancy of chilli powder, cayenne pepper and masala blends.”

    “The health benefits derived from spices are the true treasures… The warm saffron milk I drank at bedtime as a child, ushering me into a peaceful sleep; the concoction of turmeric and oil applied directly to the skin for my cuts and grazes; and the ginger-infused, honey tea given to me when my throat was sore.”

    Cariema also swears by ginger tea. “Ginger can promote perspiration, which can help lower body temperature – helpful when treating colds and flu. This process also helps the body get rid of toxins. Ginger tea can be made by adding a pinch of ground ginger to one cup boiling water and can help in the treatment of digestive disorders.”

    My Beloved Gobi Masala

    “I’ve always maintained that if I were ever to give up meat, I could happily survive on cauliflower. I happened upon this recipe during my visit to Mumbai and found a local restaurant in Dubai that makes a mean gobi masala. The sauce is really luscious and fragrant and perfect to have with Indian naan bread.”

    Cauliflower Spiced Curry

    Cariema Isaacs

    Course Main CourseCuisine Vegetarian

    Servings 4 servings

    2 tbsp vegetable oil2 medium onions, finely chopped8 fresh curry leaves2 tomatoes finely chopped4 cloves garlic finely crushed½ tsp garam masala1 tsp red chilli powder2 tsp ground coriander½ tsp turmeric½ tsp tandoori masala or biryani spice mix1 medium cauliflower cut into florets1 tsp salt2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander for garnishing
    Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan on medium to high heat and immediately add the chopped onions and curry leaves to the pan.Sauté the onions for five to seven minutes, or until slightly golden.Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes have reduced to form a luscious sauce.Stir in all the spices.Stir in the cauliflower florets and salt and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the cauliflower is well coated with the curry sauce.Do a last taste test, as the cauliflower might require additional salt. Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander.

    READ MORE: This Vegetarian Recipe Makes The Perfect Movie Night Snack

    Sanju’s Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry

    “Did you know that most households in Sri Lanka only use clay pots for cooking? According to my friend Sanju, using clay pots is known to be a healthier method of cooking and allows the dish to retain its purest form of flavour. I managed to bring home some cooking utensils after my visit to Sri Lanka, but my clay pot  is by far one of my most treasured finds.”

    Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry

    Cariema Isaacs

    Course Side DishCuisine Vegetarian

    Servings 4 servings

    4 medium beetroots1 tbsp coconut oil½ tsp brown mustard seeds½ tsp fenugreek seeds8 fresh curry leaves1 small red onion finely chopped2 green chillies slit lengthwise¼ tsp chilli powder1¼ tsp salt¼ cup water¼ cup coconut milk
    Peel and rinse the beetroot, then slice and cut them into thin strips. Set aside.Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan on medium heat and fry the mustard seeds and the fenugreek seeds, making sure they don’t overcook and burn.When the mustard seeds begin to pop, stir in the curry leaves, chopped onion and chillies.Reduce the heat to low and quickly stir in the chilli powder so that it does not burn.Stir in the beetroot strips, then add the salt. Pour in the water, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook the beetroot for about 10 minutes.Once the beetroot is ready (you can use a knife to test if it’s cooked or not – you don’t want it too hard, but equally not overly soft), stir in the coconut milk and cook for a further 10 minutes.Stir well, take the pan off the heat and serve with basmati rice.

    READ MORE: This Aubergine Curry Is The Ultimate Comfort Meal

    #mydubai Bowl

    “There is a hashtag that was introduced in Dubai a few years ago which aims to promote the vibrancy and diversity of this city. Soon the hashtag was accompanied by another hashtag, #mydubailife. As the hashtags suggest, it’s really about the things we so adore about our beautiful city and a life we have come to make here.”

    #MyDubai Bowl

    Cariema Isaacs

    Course LunchCuisine Vegetarian

    Servings 2 bowls

    2 small aubergines sliced about one-centimetre thick1 punnet cherry tomatoes halvedolive oil½ tsp dried oregano½ tsp dried mint1 cup cooked brown lentils1 cup canned chickpeas drained and rinsed¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves only2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste2 cups mixed leafy greens2 tbsp pine nuts for garnishing2 tsp za’atar for garnishing2 lemon wedges for garnishingDressing¼ cup mint finely chopped and fresh 1 clove garlic crushed2 tbsp olive oil2 tbsp tahini paste2 tbsp water¼ cup lemon juice
    Preheat the oven grill.Meanwhile, arrange the aubergine slices and tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Coat them with olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano and mint. Grill for about eight minutes, or until the aubergine flesh is light brown.Place the lentils and chickpeas in two separate mixing bowls. Add half the parsley to the lentils and the other half to the chickpeas.Drizzle one tablespoon lemon juice in each and season to taste with salt and pepper and then give it a good but gentle mix.Line two bowls with the leafy greens and arrange the aubergine slices and tomatoes on top. Add equal measures of the lentils and chickpeas.Scatter the pine nuts on top and toss gently. Sprinkle generously with the za’atar.Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and serve on the side, along with the lemon wedges. More

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    You Won’t Believe These 6 Health Benefits Of Homemade Chocolate Cake

    When are peanut butter cookies and chocolate cake healthy? When you’re making them. Bust out a Bundt pan and cook up some perks…

    1. Less Stress

    Measuring out ingredients or kneading dough forces you to concentrate. These mindful moments calm the brain’s emotional centre – and direct blood flow to its impulse control hub. Which means you’ll feel more chilled overall.

    TRY RECIPE: This Beetroot Chocolate Cake Is So Moist It Doesn’t Even Need Icing

    2. Boosted Immunity

    Eeek, you’ve burnt the base! When it happens, focus on the upside: now you, too, can join the #PinterestFail sisterhood! Regularly flipping judge-y thoughts to more positive ones can lower stress hormone levels, which improves cell health and your body’s overall ability to fight off illness.

    3. Enhanced Cognition

    Any way you bake it, mixing up Grandma’s muesli rusks provides great brain benefits. Stringently following a recipe strengthens your procedural memory (a form of long-term recall that allows you to do something you haven’t done in years – you know, the “it’s like riding a bike” cliché). But going rogue – and say, holding the raisins and adding dried cranberries – flexes your smarts and gives your strategic reasoning skills a workout.

    READ MORE: 15 Wellness Journals To Kickstart Your Year

    4. A Healthier Heart

    Moving from counter to fridge and back does not = cardio for the day! But it does engage your muscles, which improves the way your body metabolises sugars and fats. Keep at it for two hours and you’ll net better blood-sugar levels – and, over time, significantly lower “bad” cholesterol. This, in turn, strengthens your ticker.

    5. A Longer Life

    Friends don’t let friends bake alone – at least not if they want to spend their golden years together. Batter-ing up with a loved one can build strong bonds that tack years onto your life. Sharing the fruit(cake)s of your labour is even better: generous acts lower inflammation levels, curbing your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes.

    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

    6. A Slimmer Bod

    Isn’t it ironic? Indulging in homemade treats once a week buoys self-control, maintains a healthy-eating motivation (finally, a break from kale!) and prevents the “oh, what the hell” effect that leads to inhaling the whole tray. The key is planning the indulgence. Have one or two brownies warm out of the oven, then feed the rest to friends.

    Sources: Dr Nicole M. Avena, author of Why Diets Fail; Dr Elisha Goldstein, author of Uncovering Happiness; Dr Timothy De Waal Malefyt, Fordham University; Dr Emma Seppälä, Stanford University School Of Medicine. More

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    12 Restaurants In Cape Town And Joburg To Satisfy Your Vegan Cravings

    While it’s easy to be a vegetarian or vegan at home, it can be tricky eating out, even if it’s just meat that you are cutting from your diet. Luckily, more and more restaurants are catering to vegans and vegetarians. Plus, even if there isn’t anything specifically vegan on the menu, most establishments sub ingredients to make them vegan. To help you avoid the animal-product minefield that some restaurant menus can be, here’s a list of eateries in Cape Town and Joburg that you can put on your must-visit list.

    Vegan Restaurants in Cape Town

    Royale Eatery

    Burger lovers rejoice! Royale Eatery has a burger for every taste and dietary requirement, including veggie and vegan. They even make sure that the burger buns are free of animal products — many buns are brushed with egg white to make them shine. Just make sure to ask your waitress for a vegan bun. Bonus: recently they added vegan milkshakes to the menu. Don’t forget to book, this restaurant is always buzzing.

    Scheckter’s Raw

    Image by Scheckter’s Raw

    Located on Regent Road in Sea Point, Scheckter’s Raw’s philosophy is to offer natural, authentic, honest, plant-based, cruelty-free and nutrient-dense food. Go for breakfast and have the organic matcha flapjacks.

    READ MORE: 12 Of The Best Vegan Protein Powders You Can Buy Right Now

    Chefs Warehouse & Canteen

    Vegetarians and vegans have it good with Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse in Bree Street and the branch on Beau Constantia Wine Farm. The restaurants are famous for their Tapas For Two menus, which consist of eight courses that you share with a partner. If you go with a meat-eater, they will be able to choose four dishes from the menu and you will be given four veggie dishes. They are able to cater for vegetarians without prior notice. If you phone and give them at least three days’ notice, they will be able to create four vegan options for you. The restaurant at Beau Constantia has a vegetarian and vegan menu and does take reservations — make them in advance, the bookings fill up quickly!

    The Pot Luck Club

    Image by The Pot Luck Club

    The Pot Luck Club’s vegetarian menu is filled with delicious tapas-style dishes designed for sharing (trust me, though, you won’t want to). I recently went as a vegan and they were able to give me a list of veggie dishes that could be made vegan and there were more than enough for me to choose from (and I didn’t share!).  As with all restaurants, let them know your dietary requirements beforehand so that they can make sure that they can accommodate you. There’s one in Joburg, too.

    READ MORE: This Plant-Based Ploughman’s Sandwich Is A Vegan Dream


    Another iteration from Liam Tomlin, Thali offers Indian tapas in Tomlin’s signature tapas-for-two style. There are both vegetarian and vegan menus and you can expect dishes like dahl and tempura veggies with tamarind and ginger dipping sauce. Go hungry because the portions are generous!

    Honest Chocolate Café

    Image by Honest Chocolate

    While chocolate and desserts are often oozing with dairy, this one caters for vegans. At the café, you’ll find a large number of vegan treats, including dairy-free ice cream, dairy-free milkshakes and of course, alternative milks for your Americano or latte. Their specialities are dairy-free milkshakes, our trademark ‘coconut dream’ drink, and the banana bread bunny chow. Vegan bliss on a plate. Yum.

    READ MORE: All The Vegan Kits, Meals And Guides To Help You Go Vegan

    Vegan Restaurants in Joburg


    Image by Perron

    If you’re a sucker for Mexican food (like many WH team members) and in Joburg, then Perron is the place for you. The menu features tapas dishes as well as the usual suspects, including salads, burritos and nibbles (hi, nachos and guac!). They do meat and fish dishes, as well as vegetarian and a few vegan ones too, including the Bandera (pickled baby carrot and broccoli salad with radish, pistachios, avo, crispy shallots, spring onions, greens and agave-nectar dressing) and the Bowl of Beans (black beans with spicy aubergine, coriander, cauliflower rice, pumpkin seeds, fresh avo and fire-roasted tomato salsa). Word to the wise, if you like margaritas and beer, get The Rita (a bottle of Corona perched in a goblet of frozen margarita – it works and it’s delicious).


    Not a restaurant, we still thought this ought to be on the list, since there are few vegan meal delivery places around. BeetFresh aims to make vegan food as inclusive and fun as possible for everyone – even the sceptics. Each meal is made to order and is delivered to your door. Think: kale and butternut salad bowls, breakfast burritos and tofu scrambles, taking the thinking out of your everyday meal needs.

    READ MORE: You’ll Want To Put This Easy Homemade Vegan Basil Pesto On Everything

    The Fussy Vegan

    If you’re looking for the plant-based version of your favourite meal, this is the way to go. They’ve also been voted best vegan restaurant in Joburg for two years running. Meals to try include their Tofu Facon Sub, Seitan Strib BGR, Breakfast Burrito and Tofu Buddha Bowl.


    This expansive menu includes a host of vegan burgers to satisfy almost any craving. The burger patties are made from veg – not faux meat – so you’ll get all those nutrients that you need to keep going, while feeding your desire for a good, chunky burger.

    READ MORE: You Won’t Even Miss The Chicken In This Chickpea Salad Sandwich

    The Green Room

    The Green Room is a family-style restaurant situated at the Pirates Sports Club in Greenside, Johannesburg. On the menu, you’ll find a variety of vegan meals, spanning sandwiches, spring rolls, pizza and more.

    Fresh Earth Café

    This expansive menu has everything your heart desires. Choose from Thai stir-fries, wraps, sandwiches and freshly squeezed veggie juice for that health kick. They’ve also got a food store selling staple goodies for when you’re inspired from your culinary experience and want to recreate some meals. More

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    25 Surprising Foods That Taste Amazing On The Braai

    “Open-flame cooking enhances the flavour of fruits and vegetables by concentrating and caramelising their natural sugars,” says Judith Fertig, co-author of 300 Big and Bold Barbecue and Grilling Recipes. Give fruits and veggies a very light brush of oil, then stick them on the braai over medium to high heat, turning as soon as grid marks appear. Cook for no more than five minutes total to help them retain their natural texture.

    Try the following prep techniques:

    Veggies & Fruit

    Tomatoes, mangos, melons, peaches, pineapples, plums, portobello mushrooms, nectarines and red peppers

    Keep them big – halves or large chunks – to keep them from falling through the grid.

    READ MORE: Try These Veggie Sosaties Even Meat Lovers Will Love

    Eggplant, squash and baby marrow

    Slice lengthwise; round cuts are far more likely to drop down.


    Husk on or off? Fertig is a fan of naked mealies on the braai because, she says, you get more of that delicious charred taste when the kernels have direct access to heat.


    Larger spears can sit right across the grid. To keep thinner spears from plummeting to a fiery death, place them in a perforated foil pan.

    Button mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, fennel, garlic, onions and strawberries

    These need help staying above the flame. Always cook on skewers or wrapped in foil.

    READ MORE: You Need To Make This Yummy Cauliflower Recipe With A South African Twist


    Cut hearts of romaine in quarters lengthwise, then brush the cut side with oil and season with salt. Braai over medium-high heat until you have good grid marks (two to three minutes).


    Braai a bunch of slightly oiled grapes still on the stems for three to five minutes, turning once.


    Strip back one section of the peel, leaving it attached. Cut a slit lengthwise and stuff with pieces of dark chocolate. Replace the peel and wrap the banana in foil. Braai for 10 minutes, flipping once. Carefully open the packets and scoop out the chocolaty flesh with a spoon.



    Place whole eggs directly on the grid over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes (or until the shell has browned lightly all over). Remove the shell, chop the egg and serve over the braaied lettuce.


    Slice very firm tofu crosswise into two-centimetre slabs. Push two soaked skewers through each slice and brush with olive oil. Braai for four to six minutes per side. You can use any meat marinade or rub for tofu.

    READ MORE: Exactly How To Make The Perfect Pizza On The Braai



    Coat both sides of the dough with olive oil and braai directly over medium-high heat until the top bubbles and you have grid marks underneath (about three minutes). Turn over and quickly add toppings. Move to a cooler side of the grid, close the lid if you’re using a Weber and braai until the cheese has melted.

    Here’s how to dice an onion without crying your eyes out. Plus: 9 best post-workout snacks every active girl needs in her life.  More

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    Seriously Though, How Many Kilojoules Are In An Apple?

    When it comes to the best fruits for you, apples seem to be the gold standard. I mean you’ve heard it before—an apple a day…yeah yeah, you know the rest. But how many kilojoules, exactly, are in an apple—and is that staple your mom packed in your school lunch really that great for you?

    Well, it turns out apples really do live up to the hype. Can you hear your mom saying, “I told you so?” When it comes to healthy snacks, it doesn’t get much better than apples. They’re loaded with vitamins, have a pretty long shelf life compared to other produce and are super easy to pop into your bag on the go.

    “Apples are the second most consumed fruit, behind bananas, for a reason,” says Alex Caspero, registered dietitian and author at Delish Knowledge. “They are generally inexpensive, portable, healthy and delicious.”

    Plus, since apples come in a ton of different varieties—way beyond the Red Delicious and Granny Smith kinds you ate as a kid—you’ll probably find something your taste buds will totally love. The flavour profiles of apples range from tart and crisp, to sweet with a little crunch, to tangy and then some.

    READ MORE: 19 Complex Carbs You Should Def Incorporate Into Your Diet

    Whichever you’re preference, though, it’s typically healthiest to eat your apples in their purest form—as a fruit, says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade. “Eating raw apples is a great way to take advantage of their full nutrient benefits and fibre. Although eating apples in dessert form, such as apple pie, can still provide nutritional value, it also incorporates a large amount of added sugar which can be damaging to health.” That doesn’t mean you can’t have those apple turnovers you love, but it’s best to have them in moderation.

    So before you set your next apple-picking date (at the farm or supermarket), here’s what you should know about the treasured fruit.

    How Many Kilojoules In An Apple?

    As far as kilojoules go, you’ll find 397 (that’s 95 calories) in a medium apple, according to the USDA. But the fruit has a lot of other things going on for you nutritionally, too. Here’s how a medium apple stacks up with the skin on:

    Kilojoules: 397Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 25gSugars: 19gFibre: 4gProtein: 0g

    If that sugar count makes you do a double take, consider this: The sugar you’d get in an apple is not the same as, say, the 21 grams of sugar you’d get in a Kit Kat bar, says Caspero.

    “Fibre is nature’s way of controlling blood sugar levels, which is why it’s found in fruits and vegetables,” says Caspero. “Fibre helps to slow down digestion, which prevents blood sugar spikes like you would get from an equal amount of the sugar in candy.”

    To regulate those blood sugar spikes even more, Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, offers a sneaky—and delicious—strategy: “Provide what I call ‘competition for digestion’ by pairing your apple with a fat or protein. A perfect example is an apple with no-added-sugar peanut butter.” This clever pairing helps your body process the sugar slower to give you sustained energy and fuel. Bonus: The vitamin C in apples helps you better absorb the iron in nut butters, helping you get the most out of your snack.

    READ MORE: 4 Natural Sweeteners That Are Better Than Sugar, According To A Dietician

    Apple Nutrition

    Eating just one medium apple will earn you 14 percent of your daily value of vitamin A and 11 percent of your daily value of vitamin C (not shabby). Antioxidants (like vitamins C and A) in apples help prevent excessive free radical damage, says Caspero. Staving off these free radicals (a.k.a. unstable atoms in your body) can help reduce ageing and the risk of illness.

    Apples come in a range of stunning hues and if you tend to gravitate toward the darker ones, you’re in for an antioxidant-rich treat, according to Kirkpatrick. Deep-pigmented peels on fruits like apples contain anthocyanins, a form of antioxidants that slow down oxidative stress and ward against disease. Keep in mind that you’ll only reap the majority of these benefits if you keep the skin on, so avoid peeling your mid-afternoon snack.

    What’s more, the high fibre content in apples means they serve up a healthy dose of prebiotics (undigestible fibre that the “good” bacteria in your gut eat). “Prebiotics may improve gastrointestinal health as well as potentially enhance calcium absorption,” says Caspero.

    READ MORE: This Crispy Apple Chicken Casserole Is Ultimate Comfort Food

    What are the health benefits of eating apples?

    Help manage weight

    Because apples are full of fibre that can help you feel fuller for longer, they’re a great fruit to help keep your weight steady. A study from the Journal of Functional Foods found that regular apple consumption has been linked to lower lipid levels and a reduced risk of obesity. Caspero explains that “Eating high-fibre snacks [like apples] has been shown to aid in satiation and therefore can decrease overall calorie consumption during the day.” Both of these factors mean that they can help contribute to weight management.

    They keep your heart healthy

    According to Palinski-Wade, “apples are rich in the compound quercetin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation while fighting against heart disease and hypertension.”

    They do keep the doctor away

    It turns out there’s some truth to the old adage. In a large study from JAMA Internal Medicine, participants who ate at least one small apple per day required fewer doctor visits, hospital stays and prescription medications than those who didn’t eat apples.

    This article by Colleen de Bellefonds & Marissa Miller was originally published on More

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    How To Braai Like A Pro

    Move over boys, we’ve got this!The sun is out which means it’s time to get the fire going this weekend, right? Here are five tips that’ll help you to get the most out of your grill.

    1. The Oil

    Look we all love a good drizzle of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil now and again, but it’s one oil that should be reserved for salads only. The moment the olive oil hits 199°C it starts to degrade, which gives your meats a bitter taste (not to mention it releases toxins). We’ll pass on that, thanks! Rather opt for oils with a higher smoking point, like refined peanut oil (it’s good at 232°C) or avocado oil (it can be heated to 271°C).

    READ MORE: This Braai Dessert Is So Simple Even Kids Can Make It

    2. The Marinade

    Hands up if you marinate your meat in a little alcohol to cut down on carcinogens? FYI – there is an alternative. According to a study, a marinade of garlic, onion and lemon juice reduces heterocyclic amine contamination, a carcinogen created by charcoal flames, by 70%. So, what’s the perfect ratio then? Try two parts garlic and onion to one part lemon. Bonus: It makes for one delicious marinade.

    3. The Sauce

    Ah, tomato sauce, how we do love thee… unfortunately our waistlines don’t. Your fav bottle of tomato sauce contains a quarter sugar. And we have more bad news… that mayo in your potato salad has a whopping 11.5g of fat per tablespoon! But, not all hope is lost. Try swapping mayo for Greek yoghurt and opt for a fresh salsa instead of reaching for tomato sauce. You’ll still get maximum flavour (minus the bad stuff).

    READ MORE: Exactly How To Make The Perfect Pizza On The Braai

    4. The Carving

    Fact: After a long hard week you need a little R&R… your steak is exactly the same. The temperature of meat rises during cooking (obvs) and as it’s heating up, the muscle fibres shrink. This pushes water towards the centre of your meat. If you cut into it as it comes off the braai, all the moisture will pour straight onto your plate. So, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before you slice into that bad boy.

    5. The Kit

    Burn your meat and blame your tools? It might be time to invest in some essential grilling gadgets that will not only elevate your braai game but also make your grilling experience a breeze. Consider adding these must-have braai tools to your arsenal: sturdy braai tongs for precision handling, a reliable basting brush to infuse mouthwatering flavours and quality cleaning equipment to keep your grill in top-notch condition. With the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be on your way to becoming a braai master in no time!

    Grillight Tongs with LED Flashlight

    Mid-week braais, a South African passion, especially during loadshedding. These tongs come equipped with a built-in torch, set to amplify your grilling experience.

    Braai Brush

    Say hello to the guardian of your gleaming braai grid – the braai cleaning brush! Armed with brass bristles, it fearlessly tackles even the most stubborn dirt, while its beech wood handle keeps your cleaning mission a breeze.

    Megamaster Basting Brush And Bowl

    This basting combo? Nails a rock-solid 4.9 out of 5-star rating! “Great, solid strong quality and so affordable. Definitely worth buying. Perfect for the braai! The basting brush cleans easily and is my go-to for all types of cooking and baking.” Charne

    Looking for more ways to up your braai game this summer? Here are 4 low-calorie cocktails to enjoy next to the fire and a delicious braai dessert you need to try. More

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    17 Foods That Fight Spring Allergies

    Guess who’s back in town? Yep, allergy season has rolled in again, bringing its tissue tornado along for the ride. And if you’re on a quest to kick that pesky hay fever to the curb ASAP, worry not! The good news? Your trusty grocery cupboard and faithful fruit bowl are here to save the day.

    As the climate does its change-up dance, ushering in warmer days, the sweet symphony of chirping birds and the much-awaited cherry blossom festivals, there’s a tiny catch—it might not be all sunshine and rainbows if you suffer from allergies. But before you embark on those endless pharmacy pilgrimages, how about a detour to your kitchen?

    Here are the 17 foods that will keep those irritating allergies at bay.

    1. Greens

    Spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other dark, leafy veggies are loaded with magnesium and phytochemicals. They form part of the crucifer family and are one of the healthiest foods for runners. They’re known to clear out blocked-up sinuses too.

    2. Blueberries

    What do these deep-purple treats have in common? One important ingredient – a compound called resveratrol. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that this compound helps to suppress allergic responses in mice.

    Blueberries are “neuro-protective agents”. Studies show that these little blue power foods contain a chemical that can deactivate inflammation-causing cells.

    3. Salmon

    This fish is the perfect low-calorie, low-hassle weeknight choice and it’s packed with goodness. Researchers found that the omega-3s in fatty fish keep white blood cells from overreacting.

    4. Flaxseed

    This seed is rich in fibre, good fats and micro-nutrients. It’s considered to be a ‘wonder food’ by many people but finding creative ways to add it to meals can be a challenge. Try adding it to your homemade muffins.

    READ MORE: 4 Natural Sweeteners That Are Better Than Sugar, According To A Dietician

    5. Legumes, Lentils and Beans

    Lentils and beans aid in regulating your blood sugar, which helps to keep inflammation in check.

    6. Turmeric

    This zesty spice has been found to have impressive anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties as it removes excess mucus in sinuses and helps to heal respiratory issues. When you feel your allergy symptoms coming on, try eating one teaspoon of turmeric honey 3-4 times a day.

    7. Soup

    There is nothing like a warm hearty bowl of soup when you feeling ill and while many people prefer chicken soup to combat the flu, any vegetable soup can naturally battle allergies.

    READ MORE: 3 Comforting Soups That’ll Boost Your Immune System

    8. Pineapple

    You’re probably thinking how can this tropical tart fruit ease sore throats and irritated sinuses? Well, a study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that it helped ease airways.

    Eat it fresh to get the most out of this fruit, as it’s a great source of the allergy-fighting antioxidant vitamin C.

    9. Parsley

    A pretty little Mediterranean herb that lends a sprinkling of colour to your plate, often seen as a garnish ignored and not eaten but according to Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs, parsley inhibits the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine. So eat up.

    10. Chocolate (Cocoa)

    Everyone’s favourite snack, regardless of the benefits. So, you’re about to love this news, as cocoa has been found to have some anti-allergy properties. A study in the Journal Pharmacological Research reveals that laboratory animals who consumed a cocoa-enriched diet for four weeks displayed lower levels of IgE compared to rats on a standard diet.

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

    11. Watermelon

    While watermelons consist mainly of water (92%), this invigorating fruit is rich in nutrients and contains higher lycopene content than tomatoes (both boasting elevated lycopene levels). Research has indicated that this abundance of lycopene can diminish allergic responses and the buildup of cell types that trigger symptoms in the lungs.

    12. Elderberries

    Elderberries contain many organic pigments and vitamins and are often hailed as a natural flu treatment but they too serve a purpose in allergy relief. Try elderberry wine or jam to get this fruit’s beneficial flavonoids that reduce inflammation.

    13. Onions and Garlic

    Wondering what these two veggies could have in common? Quercetin is the secret weapon that helps fight allergies by acting like an antihistamine. Onions and garlic are packed with this flavonol, as are apples.

    Just be sure that if you go with eating apples, they don’t stimulate oral allergy syndrome.

    14. Grapes

    Opting for the Mediterranean diet could prove advantageous in combating springtime allergies. In a study published in the Thorax Journal, researchers found that children from Crete who consumed a diet full of grapes, apples and fresh tomatoes had reduced rates of wheezing and rhinitis.

    Researchers have said that the fact that their diet consists mainly of fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts; explains their lack of allergic symptoms.

    READ MORE: Is ‘Girl Dinner’ Really Healthy? Experts Weigh In On The Viral TikTok Trend

    15. Hot Tea

    Any time you introduce hot, clear liquids into the body, it can help thin nasal passages. How? Simply because of the introduction of steam – the same effect as filling a sink with hot, steamy water and putting a towel over your head to breathe it in.

    Bonus: Green tea and Ginger tea are also anti-inflammatories that can help reduce overall allergy woes.

    16. Spicy Foods

    Bring on the Heat! Hot peppers, Cajun spices and even horseradish can stimulate the nasal passages to break up and relieve congestion associated with springtime allergies.

    17. Nuts

    Nuts are not only the perfect go-to snack to curb hunger pangs, but they can also curb allergy symptoms. It can decrease allergy-induced inflammation around tissues in the nose and throat; this is due to their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. More

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    19 Complex Carbs You Should Def Incorporate Into Your Diet

    It’s become totally normal to order burgers without buns, eat meatballs on a pile of zoodles and even to make (gasp!) pizza with cauliflower. Because apparently, carbs are the enemy.

    However, complex carbohydrates — starches made up of long chains of sugar molecules — are considered “good carbs” because they take longer to digest and thus don’t spike blood sugars as quickly as more simple ones, says Ha Nguyen of Yummy Body Nutrition.

    While simple carbs like juice, ice cream, candy and white bread are ok in moderation, your best bet is to make sure your carb intake comes mostly from complex carbs like whole grains, legumes and starchy veggies. To make things super easy, keep this complex carbs list on hand for your next trip to the supermarket.

    Image by Scott Webb // Pexels


    The post-5K mainstay is made up of mostly complex carbohydrates, plus a healthy kick of vitamins and potassium. Yes, it contains natural sugar, but your bod won’t absorb it as quickly as it would, say, a candy bar, because of the fruit’s high fibre count.

    Per serving (1 medium):

    105 calories, 0.4 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 14 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 3.1 g fibre, 1.3 g protein.

    Image by Freepik


    Meet millet, which is a great go-to if your stomach is sensitive to gluten or you have celiac disease. This gluten-free grain is a rich source of magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, not to mention protein.

    Per serving (1 cup, cooked):

    207 calories, 1.74 g fat (0.3 g saturated), 41.19 g carbs, 0.23 g sugar, 3 mg sodium, 2.3 g fibre, 6.11 g protein.

    READ MORE: 18 Foods High In Vitamin C Beyond Just Oranges

    Image by Arina Krasnikova // Pexels


    You know these green guys are good for you, but did you know they’re actually an ace source of complex carbs? The carbs primarily come from fibre, which is key for digestive health and regulating blood sugar levels.

    Per serving (1 cup, chopped):

    31 calories, 0.3 g fat (0 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 1.5 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 2.4 g fibre, 2.6 g protein.

    Image by Marina Leonova // Pexels


    One cup of chickpeas packs an impressive 11 grams of protein and 10 grams of fibre. One-third of the minimum recommended daily fibre intake, which is about 30 grams. They’re also rich in calcium and phosphate, both of which are important for bone health.

    Per serving (1 cup, cooked or canned):

    1129 kilojoules, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 45 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 11 mg sodium, 13 g fibre, 15 g protein.

    Image by Pixabay // Pexels


    Craving something crunchy? Get your fix with this colourful root veggie, which is a particularly good source of beta-carotene, potassium and antioxidants. We love ’em tucked into a veggie sandwich.

    Per serving (1 medium):

    25 calories, 0.2 g fat (0.02 g saturated), 5.8 g carbs, 2.9 g sugar, 42.1 mg sodium, 1.7 g fibre, 0.57 g protein

    Image by Freepik

    Old-fashioned Oats

    Old-fashioned oats (also called rolled oats) are packed with manganese, iron, folate, B vitamins and other important nutrients. Regular intake of the soluble fibre in oats has also been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind).

    Per serving (1/2 cup, dry):

    627 kilojoules, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 5 g protein.

    Image by Pand Uru // Pexels

    Sweet potatoes

    Although they’re as sweet as their name suggests, the sugar in sweet potatoes is released slowly into your bloodstream, thanks to the fibre that comes along with it. The starchy root vegetable is also high in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity and beta-carotene. This is linked to reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

    Per serving (1 small sweet potato, 130 g, raw):

    468 kilojoules, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 26 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 72 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 2 g protein.

    READ MORE: The 9 Best Vitamins For Strengthening Your Immune System And Warding Off Sickness

    Image by Getty Images


    Don’t dismiss this chewy, slightly nutty grain. One cup of cooked barley packs six grams of fibre, which is essential for good gut health and may help lower cholesterol levels too, boosting cardiovascular health.

    Per serving (1 cup, cooked pearled):

    193 calories, 0.69 g fat (0.15 g saturated), 44.3 g carbs, 0.44 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 3.55 g protein

    Image by Arina Krasnikova // Pexels

    Butternut squash

    Since butternut squash is starchy but relatively low in calories, it can be a great swap for more calorie-dense potatoes and sweet potatoes. It’s also high in vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin.

    Per serving (1 cup, cubed, raw):

    63 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 16 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 6 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 1 g protein.

    Image by Paco Álamo // Pexels


    Regular old white potatoes are really good for you, too! One medium potato has more potassium than a banana, which makes them great for managing blood pressure. Plus, they offer resistant starch, which is great for your gut health.

    Per serving (1 small potato, 148 g, raw):

    110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 26 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 0 g sodium, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein.

    Image by Getty Images


    Spelt is an ancient grain that delivers more than just a healthy serving of complex carbs. One cup of cooked spelt has 7.6 grams of fibre and 10.67 grams of protein, making it a well-balanced choice. Plus, it has higher amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium and copper compared to wheat flour. It provides roughly one-third of your recommended daily value of phosphorus, a key bone-building mineral.

    Per serving (1 cup, cooked):

    246 calories, 1.65 g fat, 51.29 g carbs, 10 mg sodium, 7.6 g fibre, 10.67 g protein

    Image by Freepik

    Black Beans

    “Beans are a good source of protein and fibre, the two key nutrients that promote satiety,” says Nguyen. “They help you feel full longer. Beans are also a cheap and easy substitute for animal protein.” For all you plant-based folks out there!

    Per serving (1 cup, cooked or canned):

    227 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 41 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 15 g fibre, 15 g protein.

    READ MORE: 3 Comforting Soups That’ll Boost Your Immune System

    Image by Marta Dzedyshko // Pexels

    Whole-Wheat Bread

    There’s no reason to give up sandwiches in favour of lettuce wraps. But it’s worth double-checking labels to make sure you’re buying bread made with 100 percent whole grains (and not a mix of wheats and additives). Not only can the fibre in whole grains help you maintain a healthy weight, whole grains have also been shown to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

    Per serving (1 slice):

    81 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 14 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 146 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 4 g protein.

    Image by Freepik

    Whole-Wheat Pasta

    Again, the key here is to make sure you’re scanning the grocery store aisles for pasta that’s made with 100 percent whole grains. The fibre in whole-wheat pasta will help you stay full and satisfied. A cup of cooked pasta is a great vehicle for other healthy foods like vegetables, olive oil, herb-packed pesto and lean protein.

    Per serving (1.2 cup, dry):

    200 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 43 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 6 g protein.

    Image by Freepik


    While it’s technically a seed, not a grain (making it naturally gluten-free), quinoa comes with the same heart-healthy benefits as other whole grains and works the same way in recipes like stir-fries, salads and grain bowls.

    Per serving (1/4 cup, dry):

    156 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 6 g protein.

    Image by Freepik

    Brown Rice

    Brown rice contains the germ, bran and endosperm of the grain, which means it’s got more fibre, protein and nutrients than white rice (which is just the endosperm, with the germ and bran removed). Its high-fibre content makes it great for satiety and weight maintenance. And it’s got a slew of other important nutrients, such as, iron, zinc, selenium and B vitamins.

    Per serving (1/4 cup, dry):

    150 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 32 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 3 g protein.

    Image by Cats Coming // Pexels


    Like quinoa and brown rice, this nutty grain has loads of heart-healthy benefits. This includes reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. It’s also slightly higher in protein and fibre than most other whole grains (making it another great food for weight loss). One thing to note: Farro is a type of wheat, so it’s not gluten-free. Use it to bulk up this Greek Chicken Salad.

    Per serving (1/4 cup, dry):

    160 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated) 33 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 5 g protein.

    Image by Freepik


    Low in fat, high in protein and healthy carbs. Lentils make for a cheap, filling alternative to meat in simple meals. One cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fibre. These inexpensive legumes are guaranteed to fill you up and keep you satisfied.

    Per serving (1 cup, cooked):

    230 calories, 1 g fat, 40 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 4 mg sodium, 16 g fibre, 18 g protein.

    Image by Pixabay // Pexels

    Green Peas

    They’re high in fibre, plus they contain a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.

    Per serving (100 g):

    81 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 14 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 5 g protein.

    This article was originally published on  More