When I grow up, I want to be Jamie Oliver
His website has everything you could ever want in good, easy, healthy food! From vegan recipes to the most indulgent chocolate desserts (and these blueberry pancakes). One of the first cooking shows that I watched was his, years ago and I have always identified with his food philosophy which is essentially about good, simple, healthy food and balanced meals.
My philosophy to food and healthy eating has always been about enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way. Food is one of life’s greatest joys yet we’ve reached this really sad point where we’re turning food into the enemy, and something to be afraid of. I believe that when you use good ingredients to make pasta dishes, salads, stews, burgers, grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and even outrageous cakes, they all have a place in our diets. We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that’s alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don’t eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.
A MammaChef Jozi FAQ
One thing I am asked very frequently, especially when people see me for the first time, is how I eat the foods I cook and stay slim and healthy looking. They always use one example in particular – pasta! Everyone knows how much I love my pasta!
The simple answer is, yes I do eat everything I cook! The key here is balance, lots of variety, fresh and seasonal vegetables full of nutrients and all that wonderful stuff. I limit myself to one serving, I eat sensibly during the day and we have treats occasionally – we don’t have dessert with every meal.
Now that I have cleared that up, I will give you the wonderful, light and fluffy, super duper easy recipe for these beautiful blueberry pancakes!
The Easiest Blueberry Pancakes
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1 extra large free range egg
- blueberries – as many as you like
Mix together the egg and milk, then combine with the flour. Whisk until you have a smooth consistency and no (or just a few little) lumps.
Add blueberries directly into the batter if you like. I added mine afterwards.
Use a small measuring cup to pour batter into a pan, over medium heat. Leave enough space in between so that your little pancakes can spread out without running into eachother.
Cook for 1-2 minutes on one side, until bubbles have formed on the top of the pancake. Flip over and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes, until just nicely golden.
Great for a Sunday morning breakfast!
A Special Occasion Calling for Cake
We always like to bake something for Super Dad’s birthday. The decision making is a difficult process… he has had Barney cupcakes, he has had chocolate cake sprinkled with really everything Wade could get his hands on. This year, Blake got to choose the Birthday Dinner. He also requested party packs with popcorn for all his friends at school. This didn’t materialise, needless to say.
Since he was choosing dinner, I chose the baking based on what was at hand. I had plenty of carrots and as I went through recipes hunting for a good one, I found that I already had just about everything I needed for these delicious carrot cake muffins (are they actually cupcakes though?). Carrot cake with buttery cream cheese icing is probably one of my favourite things. It has to be super moist, must have the little crunch of nuts and must have loads of icing! These definitely didn’t disappoint and I will be keeping this recipe close!
Just before I start, I have to say that one of the most annoying things when I’m working from a recipe is scrolling up and down to see the amount of ingredients. My recipes may not look quite like the standard recipe format, but it just works much easier for me.
Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 3/4 cups grated carrot (I used about 6 medium sized carrots)
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped.
Halved pecan nuts for topping
For the Icing
- 100 g cream cheese, softened
75 g butter, softened
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Add 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tbsp caster sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 3/4 cup carrots and 1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts together in a mixing bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients.
Pour 3/4 cup milk, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup sunflower oil into the hole and fold all together until just combined.
Spoon into the cups in the muffin pan. The cups will be just about full, this is not a problem as they don’t rise a whole lot.
Bake for about 22 minutes until beautifully golden and with a slightly crispy texture. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.
To make the icing, add 100 g cream cheese, 75 g butter and 2 tsp lemon rind. Stir in 1 1/4 cup icing sugar, then beat all together until fluffy and light.
Spread the cream cheese icing onto the carrot cake muffins when cooled, top with pecan nuts and enjoy!
Perfect Banana Muffins
Sundays at MammaChef’s house in Jozi are very often for golf, for half the family and baking for the other half. Then of course, lunch and eating of the bakes comes after that! My baking definitely needs all the practice it can get but I must say that Blake absolutely loves baking. These banana muffins are just so easy and perfectly moist, even I can’t mess them up!
It’s such a fun thing for us to do together and we both enjoy every second of it. We always have to bake a few extra because the boys always want to take some to school for their teachers and their friends.
Baking has therefore become all about sharing the love!
Keeping it healthy(ish)
The original recipe comes from somewhere on Pinterest but I changed it quite a bit, as I usually do. I used Stoneground Wholemeal flour from Champagne Valley which is GMO free, full of it’s natural vitamins and minerals and unbleached.
They also have loads of delicious recipes on their website, by the way!
I received the flour as an extra surprise in my Munching Mongoose organic produce box for the week and I ended up using it for quite a few different things. Awesome products just give a different taste!
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- pinch salt
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup butter
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Spray muffin tins well with baking spray. Peel bananas, break into smaller pieces and mash in a bowl together with the butter, using a fork. Blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth, not too lumpy.
Add the egg, sugar and vanilla and combine. Stir in salt and baking soda. Next, add the flour and chocolate chips, mixing until just combined (not too much mixing).
Divide into muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when pierced into the muffin.
Moist, delicious and perfect for a snack or even for a sweet breakfast. You could also substitute the chocolate chips with berries or whatever else your heart desires!
Remember to #mammachefjozi when you try these! I love seeing your recipes and additions too!
Gluten Free, Finger Licking, No Bake Pecan Nut Brownies
I can’t imagine anything looking better than these right now! Healthy ingredients like almond flour and coconut oil make them totally guilt free and no baking… well they didn’t even need to be more awesome!
3 roughly heaped up table spoons of solid coconut oil.
3 table spoons of honey or maple syrup (you can use more or less according to taste).
1 slab of good quality dark chocolate – I used #Lindt – A Touch of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate.
About a cup of Pecan nuts – broken up.
About half a cup of almond flour and half a cup of cocoa (you can always add more later on).
Vanilla extract or essence.
TIP!! #toastyournuts !!
I lightly toasted the pecans and almond flour in the oven for about 10 minutes. Toasting nuts activates the flavour and gives it a crisp and toasty texture and taste.
Heat up the first 2 ingredients on low heat until it starts to simmer. Mix in the dark chocolate until melted and remove from heat.
Mix in the nuts, almond flour, cocoa and vanilla and stir around. If it looks as if it is still a bit runny, you can add more almond flour or cocoa.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread out the mixture evenly, gently pressing down. Let it cool down in the fridge for about an hour.
Cut into pieces. Yum!
We don’t always do sugar but when we do, we go for gold!
Sweet, crunchy, gooey delicious Smore Chocolate Chip cookies
Two different kinds of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, sugar, butter, vanilla…. all the good stuff! Give me a shout to get the full recipe. It’s the bomb!
The original recipe uses Graham Crackers, which we don’t have in SA but I used plain digestive biscuits as a substitute.
See the recipe here:
Egg, salami, baby spinach muffins for Sunday breakfast a la Tuané, my colleague and partner in food.
Eggs, chopped spinach, chopped salami, salt & pepper.
Mix together, pour into muffin pan, bake at 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.