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There so much to say and even more to eat. Hence a blog for each was born.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Low fat Chocolate Chip Cookies (Low GI series)

Very few things compare to biting into a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. The crunchy, chocolaty, gooey and sinful deliciousness of the whole experience. 

As you're chewing this little bit of heaven it starts gnawing at you. A little voice which starts as a whisper, than gradually builds up to a nagging, condescending, overpowering voice. " One minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" And just like that your moment of ecstasy is snatched away from you.

I have some good news for you. In today's post we've managed to source a healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie that doesn't taste like cardboard. It actually comes pretty close to the real deal, at much less the calories.

Don't believe me? Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 36 - 40)


  • 3/4 c rolled oats
  • 1 c whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 c chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
2. Coat 2 baking sheets with cook and spray.
3. Grind oats in a blender or food processor. 

4. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. 

5. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. 

7. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

9. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. 

10. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. 

11. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutritional Value (per cookie)

99 calories
5 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono)
10 mg cholesterol
12 g carbohydrates
8 g added sugars
1 g protein
1 g fiber
64 mg sodium
41 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings 1/2
Exchanges -  1/2 starch, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Age of the Cupcake (the best cupcake recipe ever)

The cupcake has been holding on to it's confectionery crown for nearly a decade. It had a close call with the macaroon and rumour has it that the cronut was planning a coup, but we didn't see anything in SA. 

The cupcake is no spring chicken. She first appeared in the 18th century to a lukewarm reception. Apparently the gals from Sex and the City gave her a makeover and that's how the age of the cupcake began.

So what is it that makes them so irresistible?

1.We just love anything miniature, including cakes that fit into edible cups

2. They come in the most adorable shapes

3. And Sizes

And now after baking and testing many a cupcake recipes I present you with the ultimate cupcake recipe..................................................................................................

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes (makes 15 - 18 cupcakes)
(from www.natashaskitchem.com)

1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup canola oil 

1/2 cup buttermilk or (1/2 cup low fat milk plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
2. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
3. In a bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).

5. Add 3/4 cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).

6. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed  for 1 minute

7. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.

8. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about 1/2 full.

9. Bake for 12  minutes at 180 degrees celcius or till the cake tester comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.

10. Ice once the cupcakes are cooled to room temp.

The icing is one of my own experiments. 

Sour Cream Icing (frosts 36 cupcakes)

400mls icing sugar, sifted
30mls sour cream
125g butter,at room temperature and softened
1/2t vanilla essence 

1. Whisk butter, essence and sour cream together till fully combined

2. Add icing sugar in 3 parts, ensuring each part is fully combined before adding the next

3. Frost the cupcake with the icing and decorate

Baby shower themed cupcakes

What do you think of my icing recipe? 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Something to Chew On (Oat Crunchie Recipe)

So you start dating and it's really hard to find the right person. You kiss some frogs before you find your prince. Then you pluck up the courage to talk your prince charming, flirt a bit, let him know you're interested or ask him out. First comes love, then comes marriage and sometimes a baby's carriage. Or something like that.

I remember reading a few years ago that making a new friend post school is harder than dating. Now I'm what they call an introvert. So every now and then I crawl out from under my rock, put down the book, switch off the tv, take off the PJs, get dressed, brush my hair and wipe the crumbs off my mouth. I venture into the crowd and attempt to 'socialise'. I laugh at jokes too loudly and interrupt people when they are speaking. All in all I'm just socially awkward and this has been compounded by being a stay at home mom. Yes I talk to the plants and to our pet rodents, but that hardly qualifies as conversation if they don't talk back. Then there's my 2 year old, but I haven't the faintest idea what she says 90% of the time. 

So back to making friends. Now in the article I read the author recounts how she successfully makes a coffee date with someone that she strikes up a conversation with at the gym. They seem to hit off. The next time she sees the woman at the gym she avoids her and doesn't return her texts. At least with a guy you can ask what went wrong. How do you ask a potential friend out without them running for the hills? I've tried, but barely seem to escape unscathed. And feel safer to climb back under my rock with my an Oat crunchie to chew on and contemplate my next venture into uncharted territory.  

Oat Crunchies 
source: Making The Best of Baking" Ramola Makan and Vanessa De Beer


500ml Oats
500ml Sugar
500ml Cake Flour
500ml Coconut
250g  Butter
50ml  Golden Sugar
5ml    Bicarbonate of Soda
30ml  Boiling water


1. Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut

2. Melt butter and syrup together

3. Mix bicarb and water and stir into flour, etc. with butter and syrup. Mix well.

4. Press into greased 23 X 23 cm pan, using the back of a spatula.

Here I divided my mixture into. I added 100g choc chips to 1 batch and baked in a 17cm x 28cm casserole dish

and I added 125mls roughly chopped raw cashews to the other  and baked in a 17cm x 28cm casserole dish

5. Bake in an oven on 160 degrees celcius for 25 - 30 minutes for the bigger dish and 18 - 20 minutes for the smaller dish

6. Cool slightly then cut into squares. Store in a sealed container. 

Maybe I should take a batch of these to my next social swaray, a la Bree van De  Kamp style. 
What do you think?

Now if I could just master her social grace

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

ZZ2 Little Rascal Challenge

A few weeks ago I received my very first hand delivered package and it was filled with these little juicy tomatoes. The challenge put forward was to come up with your own, unique recipe utilising some or all of the tomatoes. 

Now if you like me thought all tomatoes are more or less equal then you have to try this range:
- I tossed Romanitas into my salad
- I made curries and sauces with the Rigoletta
- I snacked on the Romanitas

Silly me, I need to explain what they are:
- Romanitas are sweet, crunchy mini plum tomatoes

Image Sourced

- Rigolettas are the bigger, prettier sisters ;)

Image Sourced

After much dabbling and experimenting with my little rascals I came up with this recipe. 

Stuffed Tomatoes (serves 4)


1t olive oil
250g lean beef mince
1t fine salt
1 small chili, chopped finely
1t garlic and ginger paste
1t chopped coriander

1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 medium red onion, peeled and segmented
2t brown sugar
3T olive oil

500g ZZ2 Rigoletta tomatoes
8t grated gouda


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Heat olive oil in a pan to medium heat

3. Once heated add the mince, that has the salt, chili, garlic and ginger added to it already

4. Break up the mince constantly using the back of a wooden spoon to prevent sticking together. Remove from heat once done

5. Drain off excess water and add chopped coriander

6. Toss bell pepper, red onion, sugar and olive oil together. Place in casserole dish.

7. Slice the tops off the tomatoes using a sharp knife. Loosen the inside of the tomato with a sharp knife as well and then remove with a spoon.

8. Fill the empty tomatoes with the mince mixture and securely place it in between the vegetables.

9. Top each tomato with a spoon of grated cheese and place the dish in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese in golden brown

10. Serve on a bed of rice.

                                   Wish me luck!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Low GI Chocolate Brownies (Low GI series)

Yes I've been avoiding social media. The score this week is:

Chocolate 100
Low GI    0

My attempt to convert "First snack time of the day" to a low GI one has been a total disaster. (hang head in shame)

Time to pull out the old low GI cookbook - "Eating for Sustained Energy 2" by Gabi Steenkamp RD (SA) and Liesbet Delport RD (SA)

Low and behold a "Cakes, breads, biscuits and rusks" section. I am saved!

Chocolate Brownies (Makes 15)


1 X 410g tin of butter beans, drained
80 mls skimmed milk
250ml unsweetened pie apples (comes in a tin)
15ml vanilla essence
200ml sifted cake flour
10ml sifted baking powder
2ml sifted salt
125ml sifted cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 egg white
250ml sugar
16 pecan nuts, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Spray an 18cm X 27cm baking pan with non-stick spray

3. Place the beans and half the milk in a bowl. Use a hand blend to process. Can also use a food processor or blender.

4. Add the apples and vanilla essence. Process for another 1 minute until smooth

5. Beat the eggs and egg white. Add the sugar a 1/3 at a time and beating for 1 minute after each addition. 

6. Add 1/3 of the dry and 1/3 of the wet at a time, carefully folding and taking care not to let the all the wet ingredients drop to the bottom of the bowl. Lastly fold in the nuts.

7. Pour batter into a prepared tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

8. Cut into 15 squares and cool before consumption.


Glycaemic Index - 58
Carbohydrates - 24g
Protein - 4g
Fat - 3g
Fibre - 3g
kJ - 581
Glycaemic Load - 14

1 Brownie is equivalent to 1 1/2 starch + 1/2 fat