Date, seed and nut muesli bars

Refined sugar free granola bars with oats and honey

 

I love a good, nourishing snack recipe, and while I often turn to date balls as my go-to home made snack (side note – I cannot believe how tiny Miss M. looks in the photographs in that post!) I love trying out new combinations and recipes using my favourite healthy ingredients. I tend to keep my cupboard stocked with dates and a collection of various nuts and seeds, along with my essentials – oats and honey, so I decided to mix them all together in this delicious muesli bar recipe.

 

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Ginger and orange biscuit truffles

Easter biscuit truffles

 

I’ve got a real treat for you today, and this recipe for biscuit truffles actually makes me feel rather nostalgic for two reasons. Firstly, as promised, it is the first in a short series of Easter recipes that I have planned for the next few weeks. Easter always conjures up childhood memories of school holiday visits to family living further up the coast, torrential rain that lasted for days (how I miss that rain now!) and of course the much anticipated Easter morning egg hunt in our garden after church. Fast forward a decade or three and I am now the one searching around the garden for spots to hide the eggs, ha ha! I can’t decide which is more fun actually – searching for chocolate treats or watching the faces of my children as they spot bunny footprints on the pathway outside or discover their Easter treasures in their hiding spots!

 

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Chocolate buckwheat crêpes and a chat with Sarah Graham

Sugar free pancake recipe.

 

I have a special treat for you today as not only am I sharing a new recipe but we are also chatting to fabulous local foodie Sarah Graham! A born and bred Zimbabwean now living in Joburg Sarah started a food blog in 2010 which launched her into the food world’s limelight, but her foodie journey started long before that (more about that in the interview!).

 

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Recipe round up: 15 chocolate recipes you need to try!

Top 15 chocolate recipes

 

It’s no secret that I am a chocoholic, and chocolate recipes are always very popular with my lovely Cupcakes and Couscous readers. So I decided that I would round up fifteen of the best chocolate recipes all in one post, yum! I have included something chocolatey to suit everyone, whether you are avoiding refined sugar, vegan or up for a fully loaded, indulgent treat. (Don’t forget to let me know which is your fave!) Without further ado let’s jump in. Continue reading “Recipe round up: 15 chocolate recipes you need to try!”

Caramel sponge pudding

Caramel sponge pudding
If ever there was an excuse to indulge in some comfort cooking, the chilly winter season is most definitely it. This latest recipe, which was featured in the May/June issue of Cheers magazine, has comfort food written all over it – a classic (dare I say old-fashioned) dessert that you can easily make at home on those cold days.

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No-bake chocolate mousse tart (gluten free)

No bake chocolate mousse tart.
Credit for this heavenly recipe goes to my lovely mum. A light and creamy no-bake chocolate tart – it is one of our favourites and always a hit at family shindigs. If I had to imagine biting into a chocolate cloud I think it would be like eating a slice of this! 

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Creamy butternut soup

Creamy butternut soup with cinnamon.

I don’t think I could have chosen a better day to share this recipe. The rain is (finally) coming down in buckets outside as Cape Town gets pummelled by a monster storm and right now I can think of no better lunch than a steaming bowl of delicious soup. Preferably followed by a nap. Local schools have been closed for the day due to the storm so there is not much chance of the latter but I will settle for soup!

Aerial shot of butternut soup with cream.

I enjoy all kinds of soups, but I tend to favour the classics – for me nothing beats good old tomato soup or a creamy butternut soup. I have kept this recipe fairly simple with a touch of warming spice to complement the veggies. This is an easy soup to throw together and the best part is that you can make a big batch and freeze it, ready for those cold winter days.

For more soup inspiration please check out these recipes for french onion soup, mushroom soup with chevin and thyme toasts, and carrot and coriander soup. What is your favourite soup when the weather turns chilly?

Butternut soup with spices and cream.

Serving suggestion – top the soup with toasted flaked almonds, flat leaf parsley, a swirl of cream and some freshly ground black pepper. Add a few slices of toasted ciabatta and you are good to go!

Make ahead tip – make a batch of soup and freeze in single portions for soup anytime you feel like it.

 

CREAMY BUTTERNUT SOUP

  • Servings: 6 (Makes 6 cups)
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 baby leeks, sliced
  • 4 celery sticks (about 10cm), sliced
  • 500g peeled and cubed butternut
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • large pinch of sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150ml cream
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • cream / parsley / black pepper / flaked almonds to garnish (optional)
  • toasted ciabatta to serve (optional)

1.) Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over a low heat. Add the onion, leeks, celery, butternut and potatoes. Cover the pot and leave the vegetables to sweat for 10 minutes. Shake the pan regularly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.

2.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the salt, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and stir for a minute or two. Add the stock and stir well. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

3.) Set the pot aside to cool for a few minutes. Use a food processor or stick blender to puree the soup until smooth.

4.) Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream and sherry. Heat through over a low heat. Check the seasoning and serve.

 

Sugar free chocolate granola

Sugar free chocolate granola with fresh fruit

If you were a fly on the wall in our home early in the morning there are a number of different scenarios you might witness, depending on which day you were there. The fact is that when you have small children you never quite know how the morning is going to play out! Yesterday morning for example everyone was up and out of bed ten minutes earlier than normal, ate their breakfast quickly and got dressed promptly and cheerfully which meant we were ready to leave the house quite a bit earlier than usual. On another morning you might witness an altercation over a cereal bowl and/or breakfast cup, a world record attempt for the longest time taken to finish a piece of toast or some intense outfit negotiations… all resulting in delays, heavy sighs and a late departure for school. But one thing you will almost certainly see at some point in the morning rush is yours truly munching on a bowl of this fabulous stuff.

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