Less really is more

In an effort to be more health-conscious, here are some recipes that have more natural, less-processed ingredients. They may require more time and effort in the kitchen, but you won’t be disappointed with having your fridge, freezer, or pantry well-stocked with delicious, healthier options on hand

By: Avigail Goldberg

Breakfast Pancakes

Makes 6

2 cups rolled oats

2 overripe bananas

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tsp baking powder

¼ cup chocolate chips – optional

Fresh fruit and honey to serve – optional

In a blender, blend the oats until fine, then place in a mixing bowl. Blend the bananas until smooth and add to the oats. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Heat a non-stick pan and measure ¼ cup batter per pancake. They’re ready when both sides are golden brown. Slice fresh fruit and drizzle honey. Serve.

Home-Made Granola

This is a delicious breakfast/snack/school snack to have in the pantry. It keeps well in an airtight container. Try it sprinkled over fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt, fresh mint, and with a drizzle of honey.

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup coconut flakes/desiccated coconut

½ cup apple juice

2 Tbsp oil

½ cup almonds

1 cup assorted seeds of your choice

Dried fruit – optional

In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients except the dried fruit. Spread it out onto 2 greased baking trays and bake till golden brown in oven on 180°C – stir occasionally to get an even browning. Once cooled, add the chopped dried fruit.

Date Butter

This is a great alternative to jam or syrup. Try it spread on toasted health bread with ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of thyme.

2 cups dried pitted dates

Hot water

In a heat-proof bowl, cover the dates with hot water and leave to soak for 1 hour. Keeping the water, drain the dates, and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth, adding tablespoons of the remaining date water to smooth it out. Keep in the fridge up to one month.


Makes 12

These are a super delicious, chocolatey, guilt-free treat!

1 pureed banana

½ cup chunky peanut butter (or any nut butter)

¼ cup honey

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

1½ cup rolled oats

½ tsp baking soda

1/8 cup good-quality cocoa

60g chopped dark chocolate – optional

Preheat oven to 180°C. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Using an ice cream scoop, place balls of the batter onto a greased baking tray. Using your hands, flatten the tops of each ball slightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Carrot Cake Cookies

I keep a batch of these and the brownies in my freezer for emergency lunch boxes. (I prefer to eat them straight from the freezer!)

Makes 12

1 pureed banana

½ cup chunky peanut butter (or any nut butter)

¼ cup honey

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

1¼ cup rolled oats

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp baking soda

1 grated carrot

¼ cup any chopped nuts

¼ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 180°C. Mix all the ingredients. Using an ice cream scoop, place balls of dough onto a greased baking tray. Flatten the tops of each ball slightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Marinara Sauce

There is always a jar of this sauce in my fridge (and a few more in my freezer) and it’s my go-to ingredient for chicken, meat, or fish marinade, pasta dishes, pizza sauce, and more!

2 chopped onions

2 tsp curry powder

1 Tbsp crushed fresh garlic

2kg jam tomatoes (or any overripe tomatoes)

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1 sachet tomato paste

2 tsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp paprika

4 Tbsp dried basil

In a large pot, sauté onions, garlic, and curry powder. Quarter the tomatoes and add together with the rest of the ingredients, excluding the paprika and basil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary – add sugar if too acidic or salt if too bland. Mix through the paprika and basil. Bottle in jars – freezes well and keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Fruit Pops

Makes 4

You can make this recipe using any fruit pulp.

1 cup fruit pulp

1 can coconut cream

¼ cup honey

Juice from half a lemon

100g dark chocolate – optional

In a mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together, except the chocolate. Divide equally into moulds. Once semi-frozen, place an ice cream stick through each fruit pop. Serve once fully frozen, alternatively, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and dip each fruit pop in.

For more info, call Avigail: 072 124 2540 or email her: abbyskitchen.sa@gmail.com

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