Easy and Tasty Protein Alternatives for Vegans

There are plenty of reasons why people are increasingly becoming vegan, and to each person who has chosen this path, we salute you! It’s no easy feat, but with time and a little knowledge about plant-based proteins, it’s really a lot more vibrant and exciting than people think. Many people mistakingly think that vegans suffer from a lack of protein but this is just simply not the case – we debunk that theory here. Plenty of high-level athletes are vegans and they manage just fine. Below we’ll show you how you can get in plenty of plant-based proteins with this list of protein alternatives for vegans.

Easy Protein Alternatives for Vegans

We list some easy protein alternatives for vegans, what they are and how you can cook with them.

Meat-Cheats

Tofu

Tofu is probably one of the most common protein alternatives for vegans and vegetarians. Its ability to be cooked in various forms, styles and textures that resemble meat make it a favourable choice, alongside its ability to take on the flavour of almost anything.

Tofu is derived from fresh soy milk, which is curdled and then pressed into solid blocks and cooled – pretty much the same mechanism as making cheese with milk. The whey is washed off and what is left behind is tasty tofu, the versatile little blocks that we have come to know and love. Try this recipe for Grilled Tofu with Caponata.

Cooking tip: To make perfectly crispy fried tofu, make sure you drain your tofu first on paper towel and press for at least an hour, then toss in cornstarch and fry in a high temperature oil like sesame or coconut oil.

Protein per 100g: 8g

Tempeh

Tempeh is also a soy product, but different from tofu in that it is made from the soybeans themselves as opposed to pressed soy milk. The soybeans go through a fermentation process that binds the whole beans into a cake form. This binding of the whole beans retains a much higher protein content than tofu – more than double the amount! This is another one of the more popular protein alternatives for vegans and vegetarians.

Cooking tip: Marinate your tempeh in soy sauce, vinegar, citrus or natural sweeteners like honey or agave to significantly heighten the flavour.

Protein per 100g: 20g

Seitan/Vital Wheat Gluten

Seitan (pronounced satan) is another meat alternative and is probably the closest thing you’re going to get to the taste and texture of meat. Originating in Japan, and a popular ingredient in many Asian and Buddhist communities, seitan roughly translated means ‘made of proteins’.

This snazzy little snack is comprised of vital wheat gluten, a flour made by removing the starches from wheat, leaving behind only the primary protein gluten. Unfortunately, if you have a sensitivity to gluten, then this protein alternative aint for you. For those who can eat gluten, this is a great source of protein and is also one of the only meat-style protein alternatives for vegans that doesn’t contain soy.

Make your own seitan using store bought vital wheat gluten which you can find online.

Cooking tip: Seitan is beautiful in stir frys or made into steaks

Protein per 100 grams: 24g


Beans & Legumes

Beans

Beans have long-since been acknowledged as a staple protein for vegans and vegetarians around the world. There are numerous types of beans that offer high levels of protein and healthy-for-your-heart vitamins and minerals. In addition to protein, beans are also a good source of fiber, iron and potassium.

protein alternatives for vegans

The beans with the highest protein levels are edamame beans, black beans and kidney beans, but you’ll find plenty protein in broad beans, haricot beans and soybeans as well.

Cooking tip: Try our Refried Black Bean Tacos

Protein per 100g: Roughly 7 to 9 grams of protein depending on the bean

Peanuts

If you ever needed an excuse to tuck into some more peanut butter now you have one! Peanuts are part of the legume family and pack a whopping 25 grams of protein per 100 g. The downfall? Peanuts also have a high-fat content, so don’t eat too many. Try this recipe for Leafy Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Cooking tip: Make your own healthy peanut butter by roasting unsalted peanuts in the oven at 180 º degrees for 4-6 minutes, then blend them in a food processor to reach your desired consistency.

Protein per 100g: 25g

protein alternatives for vegans

Lentils

Lentils are also part of the legume family and these little guys pack tons of protein in small portions. What’s nice about lentils compared to other legumes and beans is that they’re relatively quick to prepare and soak up whatever flavour you make them with. Try this recipe for Herby Lentil Salad.

Cooking tip: Simmer your lentils gently in vegetable stock on a low heat to avoid splitting and for extra flavour.

Protein per 100g: 9g

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are the best. You can roast them, soak them, steam them and even cream them into one of the best foods in the world – hummus. Chickpeas are a major source of protein and are honestly so delicious in everything from salads to spreads. You can even make vegan mayo with the drained brine from the can of chickpeas, known as Aquafaba. Check out our Vegan Aquafaba Mayonnaise recipe

Cooking tip: If you are removing the skins/shells of your chickpeas, roast them in the oven instead of throwing them away for an added crispy crunch that you can throw on salads or avo toast.

Protein per 100 grams: 10g

easy protein alternatives for vegans

Peas

These little guys that we used to push around our plates as kids are another small member of the legume family that contain a good amount of protein and fibre. Pea protein powder is also a very popular protein shake alternative for vegan and lactose intolerant individuals that can’t use whey.

Cooking tip: Sauté your peas with onions and garlic instead of boiling them for better flavour.

Protein per 100 grams: 5.4g

easy protein alternatives for vegans


Green Veggies

Spinach

I mean, have you seen Popeye’s guns? Spinach is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Although spinach has protein, it isn’t a complete protein, which means that it doesn’t contain all the necessary amino acids necessary for muscle building, so be sure to eat a combination of veggies, legumes and beans to ensure that you get all the necessary inputs.

Cooking tip: Eat that baby spinach raw! The best thing about baby spinach is that you can easily chuck it in a salad like this one.

Protein per 100g: 2g

benefits-of-spinach

Broccoli

Broccoli is another popular green veg eaten for its protein properties, and like spinach and kale, it can be eaten raw (broccoli florets are delicious in salads). The protein in broccoli contains all the amino acids necessary for muscle growth, which is why it’s one of the more popular protein alternatives for vegans looking to pack on some extra meat.

Cooking tip: We love our broccoli with long stems and steamed to perfection with a slight crunch. Check out our delicious Chilli-Ginger Broccoli

Protein per 100g: 3g

Kale

Kale has become the popular kid on the veggie block for its concentrated levels of proteins and minerals compared to its other green leafy counterpart, spinach. It has twice the amount of protein and calcium than spinach, and almost four times the amount of vitamin C. It’s also got about four times the amount of chlorophyll-ish bitter taste.

Cooking tip: Make your own kale chips as a quick and healthy snack. Simply chop up your kale leaves and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Protein per 100g: 4.3g

protein alternatives for vegans


Grains

Quinoa

Quinoa is a fabulous little grain that you’ll find on many restaurant menus in salads and even porridges. Quinoa is another one of the few plants out there that contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for muscular development. Apart from its favourable content of protein, it’s also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Cooking tip: Mix your quinoa with a selection of veg, nuts and seeds for optimal protein intake. Try this delicious Roast Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Nuts & Seeds and swap out the yoghurt for vegan coconut yoghurt.

Protein per 100g: 4.4g

Wild Rice

This super-grain is packed with all the good stuff and almost double the amount of protein than brown rice. Wild rice is not in fact rice at all as the name suggests, however it grows in the same way as rice and has a similar consistency and texture to rice – with an added nutty flavour. One of the lesser-know protein alternatives for vegans.

Cooking tip: Try your wild rice with this Vegan Saffron and Veggie Biryani with Onion Salsa

Protein per 100g: 4.2g

Oats

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of creamy oats for brekkie? Oats are naturally gluten-free and can provide up to 20% of your required daily protein intake. They are loaded with good vitamins and minerals too, which make them the ideal breakfast option.

Cooking tip: Simmer your oats in water and cinnamon until cooked, then add slices of banana, a tablespoon of our favourite nut butter and a splash of almond milk.

Protein per 100g: 14g (raw oats)


Seeds

Chia Seeds

These little bad boys are packed with complete proteins and all sorts of vital goodness! These little miracle seeds are widely known for all their healing properties and nutrients. Apart from being packed with protein, they also have more omega-3’s than salmon, more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk! You’re welcome. Read more about these little nutrient powerhouses here.

Protein per 100g: 16.5g

protein alternatives for vegans

Hemp Seeds

Hemp really is a miracle plant. Not to be confused with its cousin marijuana, hemp is an incredibly fast-growing plant that can provide the means for textile material, oils, biodegradable plastic and glass, as well as food! Hemp seeds have a mild nutty flavour and are another source of complete vegan protein – about 13 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons! They are also rich in vitamins, iron, magnesium and chlorophyll – making them one of the best protein alternatives for vegans.

Other seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds also contain plenty of protein, however, aren’t complete sources of protein like chia and hemp seeds.

Cooking tip: Hemp seeds are great raw sprinkled over salads and smoothies – try our Get Up and Go smoothie

Protein per 100g: 32g

It’s easy to see that there is a huge variety of protein alternatives for vegans out there that don’t contain any animal by-products. To read more, see how we debunk vegan myths.

The Best Recycling Companies in Cape Town & JHB

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is probably one of the most important buzz terms to come out of the 21st century. And while the concept itself isn’t necessarily a new one, the phrase really is easy to remember, seeing as its sing-song sound reminds us of what to do when shopping. And, while we should all be committing to the first two words (reduce and reuse), so as to avoid using the last (recycle), making the conscious decision to recycle is a powerful one. To make it easier, we list the best recycling companies in Cape Town and Johannesburg, this includes collection as well as drop off points.

Waste is a worldwide epidemic and South Africans aren’t doing much to help

The average South African generates around 700 g of waste every day, amounting to about 42 million cubic meters of waste being accumulated across the country every year.

Simply, 1 ton of waste fills up a 3x2m² room right up to the ceiling. Just let that sink in. In this day and age, with the realisation of the effect that our modern lives have on the environment, there is actually no excuse for not acknowledging that impact. If you’ve made the decision to recycle, but are not sure where to start, we’ve put together a handy little guide to make it all a little more simple.

Firstly, what can be recycled?

Metals, plastic, paper and glass are the general categories, with a number of products falling under these sections.

METALS

Metals include cold drink and beer cans, food cans, the metal lids from glass jars, even aluminium cans are recyclable, as well as aerosol (that’s your deodorant) and paint cans.

PLASTICS

Plastics, being made from a non-renewable resource, are pretty much all recyclable. There are a few plastics, however, that are not recyclable, namely polystyrene, PVC or vinyl, and anything that has an identification code 07. These items are things like nylon products, childrens’ plastic toys, sunglasses and plastic cutlery to name a few.

PAPER

Paper, provided it isn’t waxy or laminated, or coated with foil (like Tetrapak), can all be recycled. This includes magazines, cardboard and cereal boxes, newspapers and regular printing paper.

GLASS

Nearly all glass products, like food jars and beverage bottles, are recyclable but light bulbs and drinking glasses are not. It’s worth noting that fluorescent light bulbs should not be thrown away with your regular rubbish as their mercury content is toxic and can leach into the groundwater. Either take them to a large supermarket nearby, who almost always have deposit bins for them, or contain them in a plastic bag before throwing them in the bin.

Recycling companies in Cape Town

What about your garden waste?

Have you done some weekend gardening? Been landscaping? Your garden waste can also, and should definitely be, recycled. The best part about it is that all the goodness of that organic matter can be returned to your garden in the form of healthy, nutrient-filled compost. Capetonians, drop your garden waste at any one of these drop off points and help divert it out of landfill.

Now you know what can be recycled, the next step is knowing how to recycle. The best thing is to get into a habit of checking if the packaging can be recycled, rinsing it out if it’s dirty and simply popping it in a separate bin, lined with a clear plastic bag. Now it’s time to decide how you’re going to get rid of your recycling.

Admittedly recycling is not the easiest thing to do in South Africa, but the demand for it should make it more accessible in the near future. In the meantime, however, here are a few companies who offer kerbside collections at your house.


Recycling Companies in Cape Town

Mr Recycle

Mr Recycle is a genius operation that allows you to decide just how much recycling you want to be picked up every week and you pay according to that. There are options of 1, 2 and even up to 4 bags per week. The company then comes by after work hours to pick up the bags. Mr Recycle also prides itself on helping the community, as well as the environment, by employing commercially unemployable staff and offering them an opportunity to earn a living.

mrrecycle.co.za

Clearer Conscience 

Clearer Conscience sorts out pretty much every area of Cape Town from the CBD to the suburbs, meaning there is no excuse not to recycle. They also offer reasonable rates, as well as flexible collection dates so that you can personalise your service to suit your needs exactly.

clearer.co.za

Think Twice

Think Twice is a municipal initiative that offers a free (yes, you heard right, free) collection service to a number of different areas across Cape Town. All that is required is for residents to double check that their area is covered, and then place their recycling out in a clear plastic bag with their regular rubbish bins, on collection days.

thinktwice.co.za

Abundance Recycling Initiative

Abundance Recycling will collect recycling material from your home in Cape Town on a weekly basis and is delivered to a reputable recycling depot where it will be sorted and dispatched to the recycling manufacturers.

abundancerecycling.co.za

If you’ve claimed to be too busy, or that recycling is expensive, there really is no excuse not to recycle anymore. These businesses have made it easy and affordable to get rid of your recyclables, and will even tailor their services to your schedule. Contact any of the above recycling companies in Cape Town and get started!


Recycling Companies in Johannesburg

Whole Earth will come to your home, office or complex and, for a reasonable fee, pick up your recyclable goods. You don’t have to worry about sorting anything either, as they will do that for you, just ensure that everything is clean. The best thing about Whole Earth is that it supports a group of sorters who are able to keep all the money made from the sale of the materials.

wholeearth.co.za

Ecomonkey offers a similar service, covering most of Johannesburg’s suburbs. Their fees for home collection start from as little as R85 a month, making them an affordable option to go for. Once you’re signed up, Ecomonkey will come past your house once a week between 07h00 and 18h00 to whisk your recycling away.

ecomonkey.co.za

Mama She’s Waste Recyclers offer a very simple and affordable system, where you buy 20 of their blue bags for R20. You then use these bags for your recycling, which they come by and pick up. Send them an email to get started.


Small, Meaningful Changes You Can Make to your Everyday Life

Reduce, reuse, recycle is not only a singalong phrase, it’s also a mantra of sorts. Instead of recycling being your first port of call, consider reducing and reusing first.

Single-use plastics, such as food containers, are only going to be used once and when you’re done with them, you will dispose of them. But be aware that the entire package may not be recyclable. If there is a film sealing it or any polystyrene, it can’t be recycled.

Think about reducing your intake of plastics and single-use packaging as a whole – is there another option for you to buy what you need that doesn’t involve waste? For instance, don’t buy prepped butternut, buy a whole one and skip any plastic containers. It’s also cheaper to buy whole produce.

Introduce reusing into your life too, don’t just recycle every yoghurt container you buy, wash it out and use it as a storage container. This will also save you money because you won’t need to buy as many storage containers.

We live in a fantastic modern world, where everything we could ever want is right at our fingertips, but at what cost to the environment? Your super-efficient coffee capsules may make a great cuppa joe, but the packaging isn’t recyclable so those little pods are literally clogging up our environment. It’s so handy to be able to eat your takeaway with plastic cutlery, but what happens to them after you chuck them in the bin? You need to be asking yourself these small, everyday questions. We need to do something if we’re going to protect this wonderful planet we live on, so why not start doing that in your own home.

Making Rooibos Kombucha

Rooibos Kombucha the ultimate refreshing health drink with a South African twist!

History Behind Kombucha

Kombucha is a rising star in health circles of the Western World, but it has in fact, been around for thousands of centuries in the east. This fermented, live drink with a flavour reminiscent of apple cider, is said to first appear in records dating back to 221 BC in China and was known as ‘The Tea of Immortality’. A Korean doctor by the name of ‘Kombu’ treated an ailing Emperor with this ‘cha’ (tea), hence where it derives it’s name.

The use of the drink spread to Russia, puzzling researchers as to what it was that kept people in certain areas of the country healthy, and more specifically, cancer-free. Further investigation showed that a common link in these areas was that residents consumed what was called ‘tea kvass’, a powerhouse, fermented tea packed with nutrients. From here its usage spread to Germany and only around the 90s did it make its way to the US and other parts of the world.

SCOBY in Making Kombucha

A SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) is a rather odd looking, almost translucent and kind of slippery ‘being’ that almost resembles a jellyfish… for lack of a better description. It may look and feel rather odd, but this relationship of bacteria and yeasts is a veritable powerhouse! Once placed into sweetened tea, the SCOBY uses the sugar and converts what was once just tea, into a drink packed with minerals, vitamins (B and C), enzymes and acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid – all of which sound really scary, but are in fact super healthy! The probiotic microorganisms that effect this change, are in themselves, great for gut health. The biochemical activity of the SCOBY causes it to grow and form a new SCOBY through each batch that is brewed, which can be used as starters for future batches.

Rooibos Kombucha Is Easier To Make Than You Think

The brew, which is really easy to make at home, has many powerful benefits, namely detoxification, joint and gut health, to name just a few. For those who suffer with arthritis, drinking kombucha is said to help make symptoms more manageable – the brew contains glucosamines, which increase synovial (joint) hyaluronic acid, relieving arthritic pain. Many athletes also swear by it for helping the body rebuild tissue (in the knees specifically) and others find its detoxification properties essential to their training. It is full of hardworking probiotics that are great for the gut, intestines and the rest of the body and those living a healthy, clean and natural lifestyle drink use it as a mainstay in their overall dietary health.

Kombucha is easy and inexpensive to make, and therefore the commercial interest in researching its many benefits has been limited. Those who drink Kombucha swear by its powerful benefits, and certainly thousands of years worth of continued usage must count for something. Now Imagine the combination of Rooibos to get Rooibos Kombucah, the proof is really in the pudding so to speak, and you won’t really know until you try it for yourself – so get brewing.

Recipe: Making Rooibos Kombucha Tea

Makes 2 litres

2 l boiling water
4 rooibos teabags
½ C (125 ml) unrefined cane sugar
1 C (250 ml) kombucha tea from previous batch
kombucha SCOBY (buy or ask a friend who is also brewing)

optional flavourings (will only be needed when bottling)
– slices of fresh apple, vanilla pod, freshly picked mint leaves, fresh ginger, cloves, star anise.

You will also need glass mason jars to brew in (enough to hold 2l of liquid, as well as muslin or cheesecloth to cover and string or a rubber band to seal to make your rooibos kombucha
Ingredients-Kombucha
Put the water into a saucepan, add the tea bags and bring the water up to a boil. Once boiling, switch off the heat and let the tea bags steep for about 15 mins. Stir occasionally. Allow the tea to cool down slightly and then add the sugar. Stir until it is all dissolved
Making Rooibos KombuchaKombucha-Adding-Sugar-2
Making rooibos kombucha
Pour the tea into your brewing container/s – preferably clean, glass mason jars with wide necks. (Note: do not wash containers with cleaning products that may kill the SCOBY, instead clean with boiled water or distilled vinegar and allow to dry naturally).

Allow the tea to cool to room temperature and then add the tea from the previous kombucha batch and stir. Lastly, place the SCOBY into the tea. (Note: also keep your hands free from chemicals, such as cleaning products, when handling the SCOBY. It is very delicate!)
Kombucha-adding-old-mixKombucha-Adding-SCOBY-
Scoby-in-kombucha
Sealing-Kombucha
Cover the top of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, ensuring that it does not come into contact with the SCOBY. Leave sealed in a warm spot, but away from direct sunlight for 7-10 days.

Brewing kombucha will require some trial and error to get the right flavour profile. Brewing speed will also be dependent on weather conditions, the hotter the temperature, the faster the fermentation will happen and conversely the cooler, the slower. If the tea tastes too sweet, it may be that it has not fermented enough, as most of the sugar should have been converted – the resulting flavour should be slightly tangy with a mild fizz. A vinegary, or very sour brew may have gone past the correct stage.

Once you feel your brew has reached the correct flavour profile, scoop the SCOBY out and place into a clean jar along with enough brew to keep it covered. Decant the remaining tea into smaller mason jars and add flavourings if using. Flavourings can be added in quantities depending on the strength of flavour you prefer.   Kombucha-flavourings
Rough Guidelines 
For apple, add 2-3 slices per jar.
For vanilla, split the pods lengthways and add the whole pod (1-2).
For ginger, slice ginger and add a few slices depending on the strength preferred.
For mint, add a small handful of freshly picked, washed mint leaves.
For a spicy flavour, add a combination of cloves, star anise, 2-3 per jar. Vanilla can be added as well.
Kombucha-vanilla
Kombucha-bottles-flavour
Kombucha-finished
Seal with a proper lid, label with the flavour and the date of brewing and then refrigerate so that the flavours infuse. Drink and enjoy all the healthy benefits that Rooibos Kombucha has to offer!

With thanks to our friend and neighbour Misha O’Dale from Greenpop for showing us how.

Winter Comfort Food Favourites

Many will moan and groan about the miserable winter weather, but as a food lover, it’s one of the best times of the year. During the cold months, the braai takes a backseat and it’s time for the Dutch ovens and crockpots to shine. Hearty, slow-cooked meals take centre stage here. Fragrant curries bubble away for hours while delicate flavours develop, and of course, who doesn’t love a wintery pud?  The cold weather and necessary layers of clothing is also a great excuse for indulging – after all, we must be burning calories to keep warm, right?

These four recipes are our picks for winter comfort food – they’re belly-warming hits that may take a bit of time to create, but will be worth it in every bite.

4 Winter Comfort Food Recipes

Slow-cooked Beef Ragú with Tagliatelle

Slow cooked Meat Ragu

A real ragú is a total labour of love. There is a reason that Italians learn the art of making it from their nonnas, and that’s because nonnas have years of experience and plenty of patience. They are from an era without modern conveniences and the need for immediacy, and they appreciate that good things take time.

The other thing that nonnas know, is that putting love into your food makes all the difference. This ragú is going to take a little time to produce, but after tasting it, you won’t be able to look an average meat sauce in the eye again. It’s packed with meaty flavour, plus a punch of Parmesan and truthfully you’ll probably be spoilt for life after this experience.

It’s that good. Take our advice, double the recipe, set yourself up on a lazy Sunday to prepare it, and then use it in various dishes throughout the week. That’s smart cooking – just as nonna would expect.

Recipe for Slow-cooked Beef Ragú with Tagliatelle


Lamb Shank Rogan Josh

Lamb Shank Rogan Josh

The smell of an aromatic curry is pretty special, add lamb shanks into the mix and you have a mouth-watering combo. Rogan Josh is of Persian origin, and is now a popular dish on Kashmiri menus; most often made with lamb, this fragrant curry is fairly mild but full of bold flavour.

This version deviates slightly from the traditional one with the addition of a little cream, but the base of yoghurt marinade with a combination of spices and aromatics remains the same. Serve with buttery rotis to mop up all the tasty sauce.

Recipe for Lamb Shank Rogan Josh


Short Rib Pies with Potato Topping

winter comfort food

Forget commercial pies, these homemade ones are wall-to-wall with meaty filling. Don’t be scared off by the thought of making your own pastry either – this is a simple shortcrust that is super easy to make and to work with. Because this pie filing is quite rich, we opted to top with a layer of crispy, butter-brushed potato slices, taking inspiration from a traditional Lancashire Hot Pot.

You could always seal completely with pastry if preferred. The slow-cooked beef short rib filling can also be a base for other dishes. The ultimate winter comfort food.

Recipe for Short Rib Pies with Potato Topping


Country Pumpkin Pie

winter comfort food

Pumpkin Pie is to Americans what Milk Tart is to us – a revered national treasure. We decided to make a ‘deep dish’ version using this winter veg and used a buttery crumbled biscuit base.

The addition of cinnamon and allspice brings home the wintery flavour and the crispy bacon topping… well why not? If it’s too cold for ice cream this pie will be equally delicious with a blob of whipped cream sweetened with a splash of real maple syrup.

Recipe for Country Pumpkin Pie

Check out these recipes for the most delicious soups.

 

DIY Microwaveable Beanbag: How to Make a Happy Sakkie

You’re going to need to keep yourself warm in the cold winter, so instead of buying another hot water bottle or a boring beanbag, get a little crafty this weekend and make your own personalised DIY microwaveable beanbag.

HappySakkieDIY_1000x560

DIY Microwaveable Beanbag

What you’ll need:

– 1 – 2 packets of pearl barley per beanbag

– 2 pieces (26 cm x 24 cm) fun fabric for the outside cover (we used this beautiful from our friends at Zana)

– 2 pieces (24 cm x 22 cm) plain calico or something similar for the inner cover

– sewing materials

What to do:

To make your ‘happy sakkie’, start by measuring and cutting your material to the right size. Because we had such awesome fabric from the team at Zana, we chose two different prints to use on either side.

Once your inner material is cut and you have your 2 sides, put the right sides together facing inwards and sew along 3 of the sides, as if making a pillowcase; make sure you leave one side open where you can fill.

Turn your ‘pillowcase’ outside in, so the sewing edge is tucked inside. You can now fill your bag with pearl barley, don’t pack it too full, a good test is to hold the open edge closed and lay on a flat surface to see that the contents spread and the bag is not overfull. You can then sew the inside cover shut completely.

You are then going to repeat the steps above with the selected outside print material, again creating a pillowcase and sewing along 3 edges. Turn the pillowcase outside in and slip your already sealed beanbag inside the cover. Turn the open edges of the material inwards to create a neat edge and seal with a final row of stitching.

And there you have it, a homemade DIY microwaveable beanbag that can be heated for 2 – 3 minutes at a time and if under a blanket, will stay warm for hours.

We love putting ours at the bottom of the bed, under the cover, so it’s nice and toasty when its time to jump in!

Love this DIY Microwaveable BeanbagMore Weekend Project inspiration? Click HERE.

HappySakkie_1000x560_main

DIY Microwaveable Beanbag

The Amazing Health Benefits of Spinach

There’s a reason Popeye loved spinach so much. This mean, green vegetable is packed with nutrients that would get anyone fighting fit. But just how good is spinach for you? Well, we’ll tell you about the amazing health benefits of spinach right here.

WHAT IS SPINACH?

Spinach is technically defined as an edible flowering plant and its leaves are eaten as a vegetable. It’s a pretty hard-working leaf, as nearly every cuisine makes use of spinach in some way or another, as it can be eaten cooked or raw.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR SPINACH?

Well, spinach is available throughout the year but technically it comes into season in South Africa in the late spring, early summer time of the year.

benefits-of-spinach

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPINACH?

Looking at spinach, the first thing you’ll notice the dark green colour of the leaves. This indicates high levels of chlorophyll and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

These powerful phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-cancerous ones and are especially important for healthy eyesight, as they help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that causes vision loss. So, if you have a particular interest in your eyesight, the spinach aisle should be your first port of call.

Salmon and Spinach poke bowl

As we know, Popeye cracked open his can of spinach to harness all its iron power. And while spinach does contain good levels of iron, it doesn’t contain quite as much as originally believed. Spinach contains non-haem iron, which can be slightly harder for the human body to absorb, as opposed to haem iron, found in animal products, which is the most efficiently absorbed form of iron. Having said that, vegetarians are always encouraged to include lots of spinach in their diets.

The rest of spinach’s nutritional value is made up of Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folic acid and calcium.

Get the recipe for this Green Mamba Spinach Smoothie.

BENEFITS OF BABY SPINACH?

Baby spinach is exactly what it says on the packet. Baby spinach is harvested earlier than regular spinach – obviously – there is about days between them. In the debate of which spinach is better for you, the results are inconclusive and vary.

Generally speaking though, the nutrients are much the same in both, but the benefit of picking baby spinach over regular is that it’s nicer to eat raw. This means you can simply throw it into a salad or a smoothie, making it easier to eat a lot of it.

Delicious recipes using Spinach

Try this Spinach and Smoked Mozzarella Tarte Flambée for a quick and nutritious alternative to pizza.  These Mediterannean-inspired Stuffed Chicken Breasts will take a midweek meal from boring to fabulous.

Spinach Flambe recipe
Spinach stuffed chicken breasts

Deep Dish Coconut Condensed Milk Tart

When it comes to South African desserts, the milk tart reigns supreme. It’s deceptively simple to make but it takes a little finesse to get right. This version is based on mom’s recipe but with a few twists and turns to kick things up a notch. We’ve added condensed milk because who doesn’t like condensed milk? Plus we’ve sprinkled the top with toasted coconut for a little crunch (this is optional of course if you’re a purist). It’s a twist on a classic but it’s still most definitely a good ol’ milk tart.

COCONUT CONDENSED MILK TART RECIPE

Serves: 6-8
Difficulty: medium
Prep time: 45 minutes (plus overnight setting time)
Cooking time: 45 minutes

You’ll need a 26 cm springform cake tin.

The Biscuit Base

2 packets (400 g) Tennis biscuits
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
200 g butter, melted

The Egg Mix

2 C (500 ml) fresh full cream milk
6 heaped Tbsp cake flour
6 heaped Tbsp Maizena (cornflour)
2 tsp (10 ml) good quality vanilla essence
6 large eggs

The Filling

2 x (385 g) tins condensed milk
4 C (1 litre)  full cream milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter

To Serve 

cinnamon, for sprinkling
½ C (125 g) coconut flakes, toasted (optional)

The Biscuit Base

Using a food processor or hand blender, blitz the biscuits to a fine crumb. Add the cinnamon and melted butter and mix with a spoon until combined. Place half of the biscuit crumbs onto the base of a 26 cm springform pan and evenly cover the base of the pan. Use a tumbler glass to press and compact the crumbs into place. Then use the other half of the mix around the side of the tin to create an even wall around the pan. Cover the entire wall of the pan. Place the pan into the fridge for 30 minutes to set. Blind bake the base for 8 minutes at 180 °C then remove and allow to cool completely. (Note: you can use a smaller springform tin – you may just have a little extra filling at the end – the easy solution is to set it in a separate dish and eat when no-ones looking).

The Egg Mix

Place the milk, cake flour, cornflour and vanilla essence (i.e. everything except the eggs), into a large bowl. Blitz with a hand blender until well combined. Make sure that there are no lumps or you will have lumpy milk tart. The eggs will be added just before the mixture is added to the filling mixture. For now, set aside until needed.

The Filling

Place the condensed milk, milk and butter for the filling into a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture very slowly while stirring, until it reaches boiling point. The easiest way to monitor the temperature is with a digital thermometer if you have one. As soon as the mixture starts to boil remove the saucepan from the heat.

Now add the eggs to the mix of flour and milk (the egg mix above) and whisk well to combine.

Remove from the heat and slowly add the egg mix to the filling milk, constantly whisking to combine. Once all of the egg mix is incorporated, return the saucepan to the heat. Whisk the mixture constantly as it heats up. The mixture will start to slowly thicken from the 70 º C mark. Cook the mixture until you have a semi-thick but still pourable custard. Do not let the temperature go above 80 º C or the custard will scramble – cook it slowly, it’s really important to take your time. 

Immediately pour the custard into the biscuit base and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Dust with cinnamon and leave to cool completely before lightly covering with foil and placing in the fridge. Allow the tart to set overnight. Note: You may find that there is a little extra filling, especially if your springform tin is a little smaller  – our advice is to simply set the balance of the filling in a separate dish and tuck in… for quality control purposes of course.

To Serve

Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.

Check out our other Heritage classics here: Vetkoek Steak Sliders | Peri Peri Chicken Livers | Old School Coke Ribs

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Cooking and Baking Classic British Recipes with Miele

Miele Article BannerThe ongoing Royal family hype has given us a hankering for classic, homely recipes from the land of bangers and mash. Ever looked at the queen in her snazzy get-up and developed a craving for jam and cream-smothered scones? Us too. We’ve selected some of the most iconic British recipes out there to honour the birth of the newest addition to the royal family. Try your hand at these classic English dishes to celebrate the Harry-Meghan baby, and, when reading the recipes, please do so in your best British accent.

Classic British Recipes fit for the royal family

Classic Tea Scones

British recipes

There really isn’t anything more British than tea and scones is there? It’s quite impossible to not feel incredibly snazzy when sipping on English tea and eating scones.

All hail the scone: Scones are thought to have originated in Scotland in the early 1500s. As is often the case with food though, the exact origins can be muddy. Some say the name “scone” comes from the Dutch word ‘schoonbrot’, meaning beautiful bread. Another school of thought is that it comes from the Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned.

This teatime classic is baked to golden perfection, smothered in sweet strawberry jam and topped with whipped Chantilly cream. An impossibly delicious combination that will make you smitten for scones.

Recipe for Classic Tea Scones


Beef Wellington

British recipes

Beef wellie is a seemingly simple looking dish but this guy takes a bit of effort to perfect. The results, however, are 100% worthwhile. A beef Wellington is pretty much everything you want in a comforting dinner dish – juicy meat and umami mushroom flavour encased inside crispy puff pastry.

What’s in a name? Beef Wellington is said to have been named after soldier, Arthur Wellesley, who is famous for defeating Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. He was made the first Duke of Wellington in honour of this.

Our fillet is seared in a cast iron pan until caramelised, slathered with an English mustard paste and a mushroom duxelle, rolled in parma ham and housed inside golden puff pastry.

Recipe for Beef Wellington


Yorkshire Puddings

British recipes

Yorkshire puddings are the perfect vessels for housing all the delish gravy made with your Sunday roast. Another classic British recipe that is, in fact, savoury and not a pudding at all.

Catch the fat: Yorkshire puddings apparently came about when cooks in the 1700s placed trays of batter under meat cooking over a fire in order to make use of the drippings. These puffed up fat breads were often served with gravy as a starter as an inexpensive way to fill up diners before more expensive meat courses. Clever!

There are two secrets to making perfect Yorkies – the first is to wait for your muffin tin to be smoking hot in the oven before pouring your batter in. This results in the bowl-shaped effect of the puds, which is necessary for holding all that gorgeous gravy. The second is  to leave the batter left in the fridge overnight – no one knows exactly why, but this seems to yield the best and fluffiest pastries you can get.

Recipe for Yorkshire Puddings 


Eton Mess

British recipes

This classic British dessert is the epitome of ‘less is more’. The best thing about an Eton Mess is that there’s really no right way of doing it, you basically throw it all together and it tastes amazing.

Getting schooled: Eton Mess, as you’ve probably guessed, is linked to Eton College, the school most famous for its history of royal scholars. The dish is said to have been served from the school tuck shop and other stories have it as a traditional dish served at an annual cricket match between the school and rivals, Harrow. Some say the original dish was dropped and what was served was the scraped up version. Since no stories can be proved we’re content to live with the legend as is.

We layer sweet strawberry compote, chewy meringue, chantilly cream and fresh fruit to form one of the simplest and tastiest desserts.

Recipe for Eton Mess

Love entertaining? Check out these delicious braai sides and our favourite recipes for dining al fresco.

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A Glorious Easter Feast with Miele

Miele Article BannerEaster is another smashing holiday in our calendar where food takes centre stage. It’s a time where families come together to celebrate the simple pleasures of Easter egg hunts, entertaining the kids and most importantly: the Easter Feast. We have four courses of Easter deliciousness that you can make for your day of celebrations.

A Glorious Easter Feast with Miele

Cream Cheese and Pancetta Surprise Devilled Eggs

easter feasting

Devilled eggs are a party favourite, yes, they’re a legacy from the 70s party scene but they’ve stood the test of time for a reason – they’re delicious. This Easter we’re giving our devilled eggs a Kinder Egg kind of surprise by popping a sneaky piece of crispy pancetta in the bottom before adding the filling, yum!

Recipe for Cream Cheese and Pancetta Surprise Devilled Eggs


Honey and Chilli Roasted Carrots with Bacon and Cashews

Easter Feasting

An Easter meal wouldn’t be complete without a carrot side. These honey and chilli carrots are roasted to charry perfection and then topped with crispy bacon and cashew nuts for crunch. They are the perfect accompaniment for your Porchetta main.

Our carrots are golden-roasted in a mix of honey, chilli, lemon and olive oil and served with toasted cashew nuts.

Recipe for Honey and Chilli Roasted Carrots with Bacon and Cashews


Pork Belly Porchetta with Roasted Pears, Fennel and Onion

Easter Feasting

Leave it to the Italians to take roast pork, which is already amazing, and bump it up to legendary status with the Porchetta. It’s everything that’s good about food all rolled into one crispy, herby, succulent flavour bomb. If you’re looking for an Easter showstopper centrepiece then look no further.

Our pork belly is butterflied and smeared with a delicious spread of herby goodness, rolled up nice and snug and popped into the fridge overnight. Once rested and at room temperature, the pork is roasted to juicy, crispy perfection together with our onions, fennel and pears.

Recipe for Pork Belly Porchetta with Roasted Pears, Fennel and Onion


No-Bake Hot Cross Crème Brûlée

Easter Feasting

Baked crème brûlées are notoriously troublesome. If you’re catering an Easter meal and don’t want the hassle, try this easier-to-master no-bake version. We make the custard stove-top and set in the fridge before bruléeing.

We’ve combined two of our fav treats by infusing the custard of the crème brûlée with the flavour of Hot Cross Buns, with the added surprise of currents hidden at the bottom. Delish!

Recipe for No-Bake Hot Cross Bun Crème Brûlée

For more inspiration for your Easter feast, check out our list of delish holiday food including a stunning Beef Wellington and Classic Tea Scones for Easter brunch.

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Redefining ‘Cool’ with Miele’s MasterCool Refrigeration

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Designed to exceed your expectations, the Miele MasterCool range comprises fridges, freezers and a wine storage unit that offers best-in-market functionality, style and efficiency.

Says Miele’s Liam Gawne: “Simply put – you know you have really arrived if your kitchen features Miele’s absolutely stunning range of MasterCool refrigeration appliances. Designed to last for a minimum of 20 years, the state-of-the-art MasterCool range is made of the highest quality materials, and features cutting-edge cooling technology and German engineering precision.

In every aspect, Miele’s legendary reliability is apparent – giving you peace of mind that your quality of food and valuable wines are protected.”

MasterCool

Miele’s Mastercool refrigeration appliances take cool to the next level

All Mastercool appliances offer only the best features that money can buy. They are super energy efficient, boasting A+ energy rating, and they feature SoftClose technology, which ensures that at an angle of 30 degrees or less, the self-closing doors close automatically in a soft and gentle manner.

BrilliantLight is another top-end feature ensuring that every corner of the interior cabinet is illuminated on each level to achieve maximum exposure of all contents, using uniquely engineered halogen lamps that cascade light from the top and sides of the appliance, eliminating blind or dark areas.

All Mastercool appliances feature the innovative Drop and Lock technology, which guarantees infinitely height-adjustable internal containers, notes Liam: “The containers located on the interior side of the doors are infinitely adjustable and easy to lock into place for maximum storage efficiency.” He says that maximum capacity is another convenient feature of Miele’s MasterCool range:

“MasterCool is well known for its large proportions, with refrigeration compartments as big as 675-litres, and its freezers of up to 495 litres – ensuring that there is enough space for all your refrigeration needs.”

MasterCool

Custom Compartments

Perhaps one of the most innovative features in the MasterCool range of fridges and freezers is the revolutionary food-driven menu system that is touch-based, easy to operate and has four independent cooling zones, adds Liam: “MasterCool offers an easy solution for the difficult task of choosing the proper settings for everything from fruit and vegetables, through to salmon and exotic cheeses, by automatically optimising the humidity levels and temperature in the individual storage drawers.

“In the humidity-controlled MasterFresh drawers, your food is stored in individual microclimates.”

“The temperature is kept at an appropriate constant level, and the humidity is perfectly adapted to suit the type of food being stored in each drawer. In this way, MasterFresh ensures that your food, especially fruit and vegetables, stay fresh for much longer. To operate, simply select the drawer location and the type of food from the Menu, and it will adjust the humidity accordingly.”

MasterCool

DynaCool is featured in all MasterCool fridges. It ensures an even temperature throughout the entire cooling cabinet, notes Liam: “It no longer matters on which level your food is stored because conditions are the same throughout the entire refrigeration cabinet. The familiar levels of ‘warmer at the top, cooler at the bottom’ in conventional refrigerators are finally a thing of the past with DynaCool.”

Standout features

The MasterCool freezers include a built-in ice maker and NoFrost technology, notes Liam: “With the IceMaker, your fridge-freezer produces up to 100 fresh ice cubes a day, fully automatically. With a mains water connection, ice cubes are constantly produced until the ice cube container is full.

This gives you more time to enjoy iced drinks. With the NoFrost system, you never have to defrost your Miele refrigeration appliance again.

The NoFrost system distributes cold, dry air evenly so that ice cannot form in the interior cabinet. Furthermore, ice deposits do not form on your frozen food and, without layers of ice on the interior, drawers can always be opened and closed easily. NoFrost offers maximum convenience for freezing food and saves you the hassle of defrosting – forever.”

MasterCool

When it comes to MasterCool wine conditioning units, temperature is ultimately the most important factor, says Liam: “The optimum temperature for storing wine is between 10°C and 12°C. Any change in temperature on a daily or weekly basis can have a detrimental effect and cause it to age prematurely.

The MasterCool makes certain that temperature fluctuations will not occur, and they are fitted with up to three temperature zones that can be controlled separately. Up to three different types of wine such as red wine, white wine, champagne or sparkling wine, can be stored at the same time and under perfect conditions.”

UV rays can cause chemical reactions in wines, which is why Miele’s MasterCool wine unit boasts glass doors that are made of tinted safety glass with integrated UV filter – protecting your wines from harmful UV rays.

Miele’s Active AirClean Filter ensures odourless storage conditions for your wine, Liam explains: “The innovative combination of active charcoal and chitosan, a natural product, eliminates virtually all odours in the refrigerator section. The filter is quick and easy to fit and is ready to be used straight away.”

MasterCool

Liam concludes that if you would like the best refrigeration that money can buy, then you need to look no further than Miele’s MasterCool range:

“MasterCool appliances offer the best in terms of convenience each and every day, such as ideal food storage conditions, dispensing of ice and water, and fast and convenient handling.”

Try your hand at this delish White Chocolate Semifreddo with Pistachios and Rose Syrup that you can set in your MasterCool Miele fridge

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Ashlee Lloyd Design Studio: Looping in Luminescence

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The Cape Town creative space is unequivocally beaming with young, unique and talented individuals. Ashlee Lloyd is one such creative who is pushing the boundaries of traditional lighting design by combining her love for artisanal crochet and industrial design.

Ashlee speaks to us about growth and struggle, as well as her journey of self-discovery through using her hands and her medium of crochet and lighting.

Ashlee Lloyd

Bolts, Nuts and Necklaces

From the moment Ashlee Lloyd was introduced into this world, her environment has been a creative catalyst, laying the foundations that she has built her career upon. Her mother, a creative art director in the film industry, and father, a quirky mechanical engineer, brought Ashlee up in a slightly unconventional way.

Her childhood was less about Barbie dolls and more about absorbing the ongoings of her parents’ projects in the family garage – a pivotal location for learning in her life. Her dad would be spontaneously disassembling machinery with no intention of putting it back together and her mom would be immersed in the intricacies of her creative restoration projects.

“I was one of those kids playing in the garage with nuts and bolts making necklaces,” says Ashlee.

Through the processes of her parents’ respective passion projects, Ashlee started to pick up on the things she loved about textures, design and practical mechanics. She began adopting a beautiful combination of feminine creativity and masculine practicality, which are both evident in her work today.

Going Against the Grain

From her early school days, Ashlee knew she wanted to follow her own direction and create using her own unique form of expression. She took design as a subject in high school and used the crochet skills she had learned from her mother to design various forms of furniture for her school projects. Her work, however, wasn’t always well-received.

“I wasn’t always the most liked student in school by my teachers. They would always tell me that my work wasn’t practical or that it wouldn’t work out or that it was going to get dirty, but I just did it anyways,” Ashlee says.

She continued to defy her teachers’ sense of practicality and created pieces that resonated with her own aesthetic. In lieu of receiving top-marks in her class, she was able to express her own creative direction that best suited her style and it eventually paid off.

Ashlee Lloyd

Ashlee went on to complete her Btech Honours in 3D Design at CPUT and focused on lighting in her third year. This, she told us, was due to her infatuation with light, electricity and how things are wired together.

Her final year presented similar challenges in producing work that wasn’t sufficiently tactile, creative, nor that she found synergy with. Disconnected from her thesis project, she decided to submit some of her personal work to the Southern Guild and their positive response sparked a turning point in her career.

“They loved my style and the work that I submitted but they wanted something completely different. That’s when I realised I wanted to go big and that’s where Molecular was born.” says Ashlee.

Enlightenment

With the money she’d saved, Ashlee purchased the materials to create her Molecular chandelier and returned to her family garage where it all began.

For three months, Ashlee faced the trials and tribulations of taking on a new creative process. After multiple changes, one broken structure due to the unexpected material weight, and countless hours of crocheting, Molecular was ready to be revealed in A New Wave, a Southern Guild art exhibition.

Ashlee Lloyd

The entrancing piece spanned 2,8 metres in width and hung just over three metres in length, supported by a copper-plated mild steel frame that was designed and hand-crafted by Ashlee. The hand-wrought creation was crocheted with over a kilometre of various blackened materials and textures with both intricate and elaborate loops.

The piece, although seemingly dark and eerie, was designed to provide a sense of warmth and nostalgia for the viewer and to play with the light and refraction with the shadows on the walls.

“I wanted to create a tactile experience for the viewer as the pieces themselves always draw the viewer in to have an immersive experience by touching them,” says Ashlee. “It’s a really personal form of self-expression so not everyone is going to like it, and I’m okay with that.”

Ashlee Lloyd

Looping and Learning

Expressing one’s creativity can be a way of healing and growth and crocheting has taught Ashlee more than just the art of weaving. It’s a process of reflection that’s been significant throughout all of her projects; it has that’s taught her to keep moving and that something greater is always waiting for her.

“There’s a lot of emotion that I’ve poured into my pieces. With Molecular, it was going through that phase of trying to find out who I was and most recently, working through my new pieces, I was dealing with the loss of somebody and not able to do anything about it,” says Ashlee.

Ashlee Lloyd

This healing, moving and reflection process has evolved the amelioration of Ashlee’s skill and talent, which is reflected in her work. Sometimes she gets lost in crocheting for up to 10 hours straight, captivated by the result of her work which motivates her to continue moving.

“The pieces really have a life of their own in some ways, there is no pattern or template that I follow and that’s what is so special about the process. I give into what the material is doing and almost work in its favour,” she says.

Ashlee’s latest chandelier can be found hanging above diners in The Skotness Restaurant at the Norval Foundation. The crocheting of this incredible piece took Ashlee a mere two weeks to create. Like most of her pieces, this uses an array of polypropylene multifilament rope of various thicknesses, flat tape and beads.

The Future of Ashlee Lloyd Design Studio

For the next while, Ashlee will be working on her new structured range of chandelier pod designs for restaurants, stores and game lodges, as well as a range of oval, circular and elongated pieces that reflect elegance and timelessness.

“I’m only 25 and everything is pretty exciting, but it’s not growing quick enough for me. My goal is to do 100 more large feature lighting installations in the next five years,” says Ashlee.

She’ll also be tapping into more accessible and budget-friendly designs for residential spaces. Whatever the direction, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this incredible young woman.

Quickfire Questions for Ashlee Lloyd

Fav restaurant: Hesheng, Sea Point
Summer or winter: Winter
One food you could never live without: Fresh tuna
If you could teleport anywhere in the world just for a day, where would you go? My grandmother’s house in Holland
Something small that makes you really happy: My miniature golden retriever.
Even smaller? Staples in a stapler – they soothe my OCD.

ashleelloyd.com | Instagram

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Cook A Romantic Dinner Together This Valentine’s Day

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This year, skip the hoo-ha of Valentine’s day and stay in, and make the night special by cooking your own romantic dinner together. We’ve put together a simple menu that features some delicious dishes that are easy to prepare together as a team and will keep you both busy in the kitchen. This menu is fun and easy enough to ensure that no plates end up being thrown – we hope!

ROMANTIC DINNER MENU FOR TWO

LET’S START WITH A DRINK SHALL WE?

romantic dinner recipe pink french 75

It is, after all, a celebration of your love and no celebration would be complete without something bubbly. The French 75 is a classic cocktail, made traditionally with gin and champagne but we’ve reworked this one slightly to better reflect the loved-up mood of the evening.

This version features pink gin from Hope on Hopkins and grapefruit juice in place of lemon (check out these other local craft gin options). The result is a rose-coloured drink that is tart, sweet and sparkly in all the right places. Be warned, though, this drink is rather potent, so maybe don’t drink more than two if you plan on cooking the rest of this meal successfully.

Recipe for Pink French 75


TO START… SHARING IS CARING

romantic dinner recipe labneh with dukkah and flatbreads

Right, now you’re all loosened up, it’s time to move on to making some food. This dish of Labneh with Dukkah and Flatbreads is the perfect way to kick off a meal for two. It’s also cleverly prepared in that you’ll need to start hanging your yoghurt a couple of days before you wish to serve it.

This means on the night of Valentine’s you can just prepare your dukkah and make your bread. Easy peasy.

Recipe for Labneh with Dukkah & Flatbreads


THE MAIN EVENT…

romantic dinner recipe harissa marinated lamb lion chops

For mains, you’ll be cooking these gorgeous Harissa-marinated Lamb Loin Chops and serving them alongside this refreshing Grilled Peach Salad. The marinade itself is easy to throw together so you and your significant other can make it on the night.

But, if you’re looking to streamline your evening, make it the night before and pop the chops in it for a couple of hours before you want to serve them. The salad will require a little bit of prep but will take you no time at all if your paramour helps you.

Recipe for Harissa-Marinated Lamb Loin Chops


ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END…

romantic dinner recipe white chocolate semifreddo

This veritable feast that you’ve put on will have to eventually end. Luckily, though, the ending will be a sweet one with this White Chocolate Semifreddo with Pistachios and Rose SyrupThis is also a cinch to prepare, it just needs overnight freezing time, so you’ll be able to pull it out of the freezer once you’re ready for it.

By this stage of the evening, we imagine that you will be quite full and wouldn’t have listened to our advice on the Pink French 75 (we told you not to drink more than two!) so you’ll be able to relax and simply enjoy your dessert, without any work necessary.

Recipe for White Chocolate Semifreddo

Need some bubbly to go with your meal? Check out our top MCC and Champagne picks for 2019.

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DIY After Sun Soother with Lavender and Coconut

The weather has been exceptionally hot lately and if you’re spending lots of time outside in the sun then taking care of your skin with a moisturising after sun should be a major priority. Instead of buying something laden with chemicals and other nasties, try your hand at this quick and simple after sun soother and rest assured knowing that you’re exposing your skin to only the best ingredients.

DIY-Aftersun

What You’ll Need

2 Tbsp (30 ml) organic coconut oil
lavender flowers, de-stemmed (about a handful)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) natural body butter*
3 Tbsp (45 ml) aqueous cream
3 Tbsp (45 ml) organic shea butter
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Bulbinella plant, finely chopped (or Aloe Vera gel)
4 tsp (20 ml) olive oil

250 ml glass jar (alternatively an old lotion container, tin or pump bottle)

*Note: any of your favourite body creams can be used, but since the goal is to soothe the skin, a natural, un-fragranced option is a better choice.

How to Make

Place the coconut oil in a glass bowl and melt it, either over water or in the microwave. It melts very quickly, so don’t overdo it. Toss in the whole lavender flower heads and set aside to steep for at least an hour and a half.

Mix all of the remaining creams and the olive oil together. Depending on the consistency it may help to heat the mixture in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

Whisk the mixture to combine, alternatively transfer to a sealable tub or jar and shake vigorously.

Chop the bulbinella leaves as finely as possible (it will infuse into the cream over time).

Once the lavender has infused for some time, remove it from the oil and crumble the flowers so that they separate from the stalks. The stalks can be discarded. Add the oil and lavender blossoms to the rest of the mixture; give it a good shake/mix and transfer to a clean jar or container for storage.

Store the lotion in the fridge, the coolness will help soothe the skin after sun exposure.

To use apply generously after a cool bath or shower.

DIY-Aftersun-1000x560-2

TIP: If you prefer not to have pieces of flowers in the lotion, use aloe vera gel instead of Bulbinella and simply remove the lavender flowers from the oil before mixing. A good quality essential oil can also be used in place of the real flowers.

Bulbinella

How to Decode a Food Nutrition Label

With food labels doing their best to convince you to eat their product and that they’re good for you, it can be a minefield to know exactly what everything means. We break down what a basic food label means and what you should look out for if you’re trying to eat fairly healthily.decoding_food_labels_1

Ingredients

The ingredients of a food item will always be listed from greatest to smallest by weight. Use this to check the first three ingredients for items high in saturated fat, salt or added sugar. Also, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, chances are it’s not very good for you.

Average Values

The row at the top of South African food labels will tell you what the serving size of the food item is. If comparing nutrients between two food products use the per 100 g column so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. If calculating how much of a nutrient, or how many kilojoules you will actually eat, use the ‘per serving’ column.

Energy

Energy is listed on the panel as kilojoules. Fats, protein and carbohydrates all provide the body with the energy or kilojoules needed to function and help you go about your daily activities. Manufacturers are required to list the energy content of the product to help consumers manage their energy intake. Lower energy usually means lower fat or sugar, which means a better or healthier choice for most people.Read more about calorie counting.

Protein

As we know, proteins are very important for our bodies to function healthily. Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system are made up mostly of protein. The number relating to protein on the packaging will tell you how much protein is in the food, which means you can work out how much to eat in relation to your recommended daily intake.

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates come in either simple or complex form and offer up an important source of energy for the body. Simple sugars are found in refined sugars, like white sugar, but can also be found in some fruit and milk. When trying to choose the better option off the shelf, something like fruit is better for you than a sweet, because even though there are the simple sugars, there are at least vitamins and fibres in the fruit.

Bread Recipes

Complex carbohydrates refer to things like starches such as bread, pasta and rice. Provided you’re not eating white rice and bread, which have been refined and bleached of all nutrients. Unrefined grains also are rich in fibre, which help your digestive system function properly. Fibre helps you feel full, so you are less likely to overeat, which explains why a bowl of oats fills you up more efficiently than sweets with the same amount of calories as the oatmeal.

  • Of which total sugar: this tells you just how much sugar there is in the food item. If you’re trying to be careful about your sugar intake, make sure that sugar doesn’t exceed 15 g per 100 g. If it does, it should be included as one of the ingredients, which is a warning sign about how unhealthy the product is.

Total Fat

Your body needs fat to function properly, but too much of the wrong kind can obviously be very unhealthy. The different kinds of fat, such as saturated, unsaturated, and trans fat, will be listed separately on the label.

  • Of which saturated fat: this is the bad kind of fat, so try and avoid foods that contain over 3 g of saturated fat per 100 g.

Dietary Fibre

Fibre is the part of food that your body doesn’t break down and absorb. Instead, it passes mostly intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. Fibre is commonly classified as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve.

Soluble fibre helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels and is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.

Insoluble fibre, simply put, aids in keeping you regular. It is found in whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes. To try and make better health decisions, choose breads and cereals with 3 g or more per serving.

Total Sodium

There are at least 15 other names for sodium, or salt, including MSG, yeast extract, baking powder and sodium nitrate. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure.

The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. When reading food labels, choose food with less than 400 mg of salt per 100 g. Less than 120 mg salt per 100 g is best.

With any food choice, a really great guideline can be to choose whole, unprocessed foods – in easy terms think of the ingredient and whether you can pick it or hunt it.

If it comes in a box, tin or packet, it has most likely been through several factory processes to get to you. Be clued up and get into the habit of reading the labels of what you are consuming and make better choices – knowledge is power.

Check out these healthy foods that help fuel a strong body and mind.

Four Summery Al Fresco Recipes with Miele

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Our sizzling SA summers leave no space for holiday blues. The festive season may have come to an end but we still have plentiful balmy days drenched in sunshine to soak up before the long winter hits. And what better way to celebrate the remaining warmer days than taking your celebrations outdoors?

We’ve created four fresh and simple al fresco recipes perfect for the remainder of the summer season that you can take outside and enjoy under the summer sun.

Four Simple Al Fresco Recipes with Miele

Basil Pesto, Pea, Pine Nut and Pecorino Pasta Salad

Al fresco recipes

Everything about basil pesto says summer. The light, fresh, herby flavours, together with a zing of lemon and punch of Pecorino are the stuff dreams are made of. Cool pasta salads are also a great go-to summery side dish that everyone loves to tuck into.

This gorgeously green pasta salad swaps out the classic creamy mayo-based dressing for a light and summery pesto with fresh greens. This tasty pasta salad is comprised of blanched peas, spring onions, fresh basil shoots and leaves, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a generous serving of shaved Pecorino cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Recipe for Basil Pesto, Pea, Pine Nut and Pecorino Pasta Salad


Toasted Panzanella Salad with Burrata and Thyme Vinaigrette

Al fresco recipes

This classic Italian salad is probably one of our favourite salads of all time. The simple ingredients work together so well to bring a combo of delicious and summery flavours.

This easy salad is assembled with a mix of exotic tomatoes, fresh basil and chives, dreamy burrata, shavings of Pecorino, crunchy croutons and the most divine thyme vinaigrette. The perfect outdoor summer salad.

Recipe for Toasted Panzanella Salad with Burrata and Thyme Vinaigrette


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Chargrilled Potatoes with Horseradish, Herb and Caper Drizzle

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There’s honestly nothing more satisfying than perfect fluffy-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside potato wedges and these are exactly that. Potatoes are so versatile and, whilst they’re usually a winter staple, these chargrilled potato wedges are definitely on the summer side.

Our wedges are drizzled in olive oil and chargrilled on a griddle pan resulting in at the crispiest, smokiest potatoes. Light and delicious topped with a dressing made of crème fraîché, creamed horseradish, chopped chives and fresh capers.

Recipe for Chargrilled Potatoes with Horseradish, Herb and Caper Drizzle


No-knead Pizza with Charred Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Wild Rocket

Al fresco recipes

Making pizza at home has never been so easy with this fool-proof no-knead dough. You also don’t need a fancy pizza oven to enjoy perfect pillowy pizza at home.

Our no-knead dough is topped with a charred tomato sauce and slices of mozzarella, popped into the oven and grilled for 8 minutes until bubbling and golden. All you need to do then is assemble with beautiful twirls of prosciutto, wild rocket and a drizzle of olive oil.

No-knead Pizza with Charred Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Wild Rocket

Like these al fresco recipes for balmy nights outdoors? Check out some of our favourite Braai Sides for your cook-ups over the coals.

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Seven Tips For Summer Skincare

Summer hath arrived and with it the season of sea, salt, sun and selective skin peeling across multiple areas of the human body. Honestly, is there anything worse than having a major sunburn that leaves you immobile with an awkwardly peeling nose? While we love the summer season and all the lovely outdoor activities it has to offer, the summer sun can also be a harsh and harmful enemy. To protect your beautiful skin, we’ve got some tips and insights for the best summer skincare this festive season.

What’s the Deal with The Summer Sun?

While the UV rays in summer aren’t necessarily more dangerous than the ones in winter – we do tend to spend more time enjoying the warm rays summer has to offer. Overexposure to the sun can be a catalyst for numerous issues including premature ageing, wrinkles, sunburn, eye damage, skin conditions and even skin cancer.

Simply put, too much sun is a no-no for your skin. It is of the utmost importance to firstly enjoy yourself during the summer season but to make sure that you are amply looked after while doing so. We help you navigate your summer skincare this festive season in sunny South Africa!

SEVEN TIPS FOR SUMMER SKINCARE

1. Sunscreen

summer skincare

While this may seem the most obvious step in summer skincare, you’d be surprised to find that many people tend to forego this necessary daily ritual. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to ensure that your gorgeous face is covered up at all times. If you want to avoid your face looking like weathered leather when you’re older, take our advice and think twice before you leave home without a face full of SPF 50.

For You

It’s not enough to only apply sunscreen when heading out to the beach for the day. You should also be applying sunscreen to your face on an everyday basis, a teaspoon to be exact, as your face is, for the most part, the only part of your body that is completely exposed throughout the day.

For your face, you should be applying a high SPF sunscreen every day before your makeup routine. If you’re outdoors or at the beach, you should be reapplying sunscreen to your face and body every hour.

For Your Kids

If you have kids, make sure you use special sun cream designed for children as their skin is far too sensitive to deal with the chemicals in the sunscreen that you use. Also, make sure that you smother them head-to-toe in suncream all day even if they throw tantrums – their summer skincare is the most important!

If you want to see the real impacts of sunscreen on your skin – see this incredible video of how UV looks on your skin without sunscreen compared to when it does have sunscreen.


2. Take Additional Sun Protection Measures

There’s nothing worse than being at the beach in full exposure to the sun without a hat and brolly. Before you head out for the day for whatever activity you partake in under the sunshine, make sure you have a broad-brimmed hat, something to cover your shoulders and UV protective sunglasses to block out the extra rays. Take these extra measures for your little ones as well.


3. Choose Your Time in the Sun Wisely

summer skincare

Don’t be one of those lemons that go for a jog, cycle or hike at 12 noon in the blistering heat without a hat. Rather get your rear into gear in the early hours of the morning to ensure that you have a sunburn-free pip.

Similarly, try head to the beach before noon to enjoy the beach before all the hoards arrive. This will ensure that you have a little more privacy in addition to lowering the threat to your skin. See our list of Cape Town beaches for some quieter spots if crowds aren’t your thang.

It’s best to go to the beach between 08h30 and 11h00, and back at 16h00 till sunset to ensure you miss that midday scorching sunshine.


4. Moisturise After Being in The Sun

Our skin tends to get super dry and irritated in summer due to the heat, overexposure to the sun, swimming and air-conditioned cars and homes. Make sure you moisturise twice daily, preferably after your shower as your skin is still slightly damp and absorbs and retains the moisture better.


5. Hydration

summer skincare

The recommended daily dose of aqua is approximately 8 glasses to ensure that you arrive at the optimum hydration station. If you find that you struggle to remember to drink water, you can download an app that reminds you to sip on H20 at regular intervals of the day.

We also suggest investing in a large reusable 1-litre bottle that you can fill up once in the morning, and once in the afternoon to ensure your daily 2-litre intake.

If you aren’t great at remembering to drink water, you can also eat your water by snacking on cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, watermelons and citrus fruits that contain high levels of water.


6. Exfoliation

Often the skin looks a little rough and dry due to the build-up of dead skin on the face and body. It’s recommended that you exfoliate at least twice a week to ensure the regeneration of cells on the face and to give way to your new healthy skin. Try using natural products that forego lots of chemicals for natural fruit grains or make your own like this DIY Moisturising Hazelnut Coffee Body Scrub.


7. Plenty of Fresh Fruit, Veggies and Vitamins

summer skincare

Diet is also crucial to keeping skin beautiful and healthy during summer. Make sure that you are eating enough nutrient and vitamin-dense fruits and vegetables that will also assist in regenerating your skin and keeping it healthy. See here for 5 Easy and Healthy Summer Salads.

For more summer tips, check out our list of First Aid Tips for Summer and Our Guide to Cape Town Beaches Based on Your Personality.

Good Ergonomics in the Workplace – How to Optimise your Desk

We’re edging towards the middle of January dreaming of the holiday behind us but gearing up for the year ahead. To help refresh your mindset and kick it into work mode, make sure that your desk or workspace is clear and ready for you to tackle 2019. If it has, here are some easy ways to practice good ergonomics in the workplace and optimising your desk and space.

Check your desk ergonomics and adjust seat height.

If you’re going to be productive, you need to be comfortable and the first thing to look out for is your office chair. You need to make sure you’re sitting in a proper office chair, one that is well-cushioned and supports your lower back. Desk-wise, you’ll need a sturdy surface to work on that suits your height.

The average office desk sits at 75cm but if you’re very tall or short, you may need to try out a couple of desks before you find your perfect fit. If you’re very serious about your posture, you can always try a pilates ball. This will ensure you stay upright and will help engage your core muscles to improve your overall posture.

Clear out the unnecessary and organise your desk space.

Look at what you’ve got on your desk, how often do you use these things? Get rid of the unused clutter and store the things you do use somewhere easy to get to. If there are pens and pencils scattered across the desk, gather them up and place them in a cute pen holder.

Get rid of scraps of paper in place of one large notebook, so that you can jot ideas down as they come to you. Make sure that you only have things around that add value, and that there’s nothing weighing down your mental space.

Make sure you have water on hand.

To keep yourself focussed and at your desk, make sure you have a big bottle of water. Treat yourself to a handsome glass bottle so that your water stays clean.

Keep fresh flowers or plants in your space

The smell of fresh flowers can energise and refresh us, so if you’re desperately in need of a boost, add some to your desk. Even simple herbs like lavender can change your headspace, so don’t be scared to get creative. If you’re more of a pot plant person, adding a small house plant to your desk can boost creativity and will help with the air quality in your office.

Go with some simple decoration to keep you motivated.

Lastly, being at work means being away from those we love, so why not bring your loved ones to the office in the form of simple decoration? Get a small framed image of your partner (or dog!), it will bring a smile to your face and remind you of why you work so hard.

Have a change of scenery every now and again and work remotely.

If you’re looking to get away from your desk, working remotely can be difficult to manage. Recently, however, Cape Town seems to be embracing the mobile desk movement with many establishments welcoming people who want to sit and get some work done. Here are some of our favourite places to work across the city.

Places to Work Remotely in Cape Town

The Field Office

As the name suggests, it’s a home away from home for freelancers. Serving great coffee and bites to eat in a cosy environment that is geared with plug points and wifi. They have two branches, one in Salisbury Road and one in Albert Road, both in Woodstock.

fieldoffice.co.za

Jason Bakery

His croissants and coffee simply can’t be beaten, and considering the free wifi is really good, this is the ideal place to nestle down and get some serious work done. Locations on Bree Street and in Greenpoint.

jasonbakery.com

Loading Bay

Every cool Cape Town freelancer knows that the best ideas happen at the Loading Bay. It really is the best place to sit quietly for a couple of hours, while keeping yourself powered with their famous matcha lattes.

loadingbay.co.za

Bootlegger

As if you needed another reason to visit this quality chain, the wifi and comfy seats will ensure your productivity never falters. Plus, so many options to choose from around the city.

bootlegger.co.za

The Mojo Market

As long as you aren’t trying to work on a Friday night when a live band is playing, Mojo Market is easily the coolest spot to get your stuff done. Choose something to eat from the wide range of vendors, connect to the free wifi, and set up in one of the booths which are equipped with plug points.

mojomarketplace.com

A Guide to Cape Town Beaches Based On Your Personality

Cape Town’s delicious summer season is just around the corner and with it brings a myriad of happy folk from all over the country and the world coming to visit our white sandy shores. With the crowds come a commingling of individuals looking to soak up the South African sun in their own unique way. Don’t know which beach to perch your toosh on this summer? No worries, we’ve selected some of the finest Cape Town beaches for every personality type.

A Guide To Cape Town Beaches Based On Your Personality

We narrow down some of the classic white sandy Cape Town beaches for every kinda holiday-goer.

The Good-Time Charlie

Let’s face it, for you, holidays are a break to let loose and you want to utilise your free time to show up and throw down. You want to mix, mingle and make merry with your little slice of holiday – and we’ve got the fezzy beach just for you.

Camps Bay Main Beach

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This is the social hub of Cape Town’s seaside during summer. The long white sandy stretch of beach offers plenty of space for you and your crew to hop, skip and run around in the sun. Camps Bay main beach is also host to numerous interactive volleyball tournaments sponsored by Savanna and hosted by Caprice for some competitive ball-bashing, drinking and bikini standoffs.

Opposite the shoreline splendour is the Camps Bay strip, which is strewn with countless establishments for you to peruse and booze at to your bar-hopping-hearts content.

When you’re done soaking up the scorching sun, you can stroll over to one of the many cafes, restaurants, bars or clubs – and don’t forget Caprice on Sunday, babes!


The Social Media Influencers

You’re looking for the best beach for the backdrop of your next Instagram photo shoot with plenty of equally gorgeous people around your surrounding snap-worthy scene.

Clifton 4th

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Clifton 4th beach is the beach to be seen. The Clifton beaches are famous for their brilliant blue seas and white sand, interconnected along the Atlantic seaboard between Sea Point and Camps Bay. You’ll find the quintessential bright yellow brolly’s dotted along this beach and in and amongst the beachgoers will be a harmonious hum from the beach vendors offering you a lolly to make you jolly or perhaps a water for your daughter.

The gorgeous backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountains, the stunning beach bungalows and turquoise sea afloat with snazzy yachts all make for a picture perfect beach setting.

Here you’ll happen upon numerous impromptu photo shoots and copious gorgeous girls and boys frolicking around showing off what their mama’s gave them.


The Hip Kids

If huge crowds and mainstream stuff isn’t your vaab, then the popular Cape Town beaches like Camps Bay and Clifton aren’t going to be your cuppa tea. If you want to be surrounded by young, artistic and interesting millennials, Bakoven and Beta beaches are your best bets.

Bakoven and Beta Beaches

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These are the Goldilocks beaches of Cape Town – not too busy, not too empty – and this is where all the cool kids hang out. These beaches are always filled with a melting pot of young trendy and friendly-folk with gorgeous boulders perfect for climbing, lying on and exploring. You’ll be hard-pressed to find beaches with more creative diversity, 60s attitude and young individuals covered in tattoos.

They both also sport nice little bays perfect for classic Cape Town 10-second dips in the freezing ocean aqua.


The Mother of Doggo’s

You’ve got some fur babies and your beach time means bringing them along for the fun. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as taking your doggo to the beach and seeing a no-doggo’s-allowed sign.

For those who have the absolute fortune of owning a gorgeous fluff ball, you’ll know the unsurpassed delight it gives you to watch your fur baby propel themselves up and down the shoreline in complete psychotic ecstasy.

While many beaches don’t condone such behaviour, you’ll be happy to know that some Cape Town beaches accept your crazy mongrels for who they are meant to be – free! Until they need to be fed, then they are your responsibility again.

Glen Beach, Granger Bay, Sunset Beach and Clifton 1st

Glen Beach is a popular choice of beach for families, pooch-owners and surfers for its lovely semi-secluded bay, which is perfect for swimming too. This beach is right next to Camps Bay main beach and offers somewhat of a respite from the busy goings-on of main beach and Clifton. Clifton 1st, however, also allows full doggy-access off the leash.

Sidenote to those who want to surf – unless you’re a seasoned surfer, rather stay away from this spot which is dutifully protected by locals who take no nonsense from kooks! See further down for our best beaches for surfing.

Mouille Point and Sea Point are also great spots to take the pups for walks and playtime on the beach. Granger Bay and Sunset beach are both just off of the promenade, which makes them easy to pop down to on your daily doggy-walk. There are also plenty of little rockpools along these beaches for your floofs to explore.

If you and your fluff ball want to get out of the city, head on over to Hout Bay main beach or Kommetjie long beach for your beach excursion with your best bud.


Babes on Boards

If your ideal beach day involves renting some boards for your activities on the water, then you’ll be pleased to know that Cape Town offers some sublime locations for ocean activities.

Surfers Corner, Big Bay and Beyond

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If you’re looking for a chilled spot to test out your surfing legs, your best option is to hop in your car and make your way to Surfers Corner in Muizenberg or Big Bay in Blouberg. Muizies is the best spot for those wanting to learn how to surf or go for a SUP. The long and gentle waves are ideal for beginners or those looking for a relaxed surf, plus the water is warmer and slightly more bearable in these parts.

You can rent a board and wetsuit from the lifestyle shop for R120 bones.

Summer, however, can be tricky with the wind in Muizenberg. Check the wind direction and make sure you don’t have any pesky south easterlies otherwise you’ll have onshore winds and no fun times will be had on your board. If this is the case, head on over to Big Bay in Bloubergstrand which sports the same long and gentle waves and welcomes the southeasterly winds. The water here, however, is quite literally arctic.

For those of you a little more skilled on a surfboard, we have some more Cape Town beaches with advanced surfing spots to test your tenacity. Check out Dunes, Llandudno, Long Beach Kommetjie, Crayfish Factory or Scarborough Beach for some more intermediate/profesh material.


The Agoraphobes (phobia of crowds)

If large crowds of people give you the willy-wobblies, fret not as there are numerous gorgeous beaches that offer a quiet escape from the hoards of holiday-goers. Sometimes you just want to sunbathe in peace without strangers running amok kicking sand on your beautiful clean towel. Lucky for you, Cape Town is blessed with many not-so-secret but lesser known shores to enjoy in peace.

Cape Point Beaches, Windmill Beach and the West Coast National Park

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Cape Point has a number of unspoilt beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s also the most south-westerly corner of the continent so you’re sure to be as far out of everyone’s way as humanly possible.

There are a number of sweet stretches of sand along Cape Point’s shores and what makes them so unique is that most of them feel untouched. So much so that you could spend the entire day walking some of the beaches and not see another soul. The drive into Cape Point Nature Reserve also allows you to peruse the indigenous West Coast landscape of the mountains, with plenty of flora and fauna to inspect.

The most popular of the lot is Diaz Beach and, while it is the most popular, it’s still barren in comparison to most of Cape Town’s other beaches. Diaz Beach is unequivocally one of the most serene seaside settings in the whole of Cape Town.

The gorgeous high cliffs and turquoise water give a sense of serenity and foreignness.

If you’ve ever visited Cape Point, you would have seen this beach from the high point of the lighthouse. While there may be thousands of eyes on this beautiful beach every hour from afar, the 20-minute walk down and subsequent 40-minute walk up tends to deter most tourists from venturing down to this beach. So more often than not, you will have this beach to yourself to enjoy for most of the day.

Other quiet Cape Town beaches worthy of visiting are Windmill Beach in Simons Town and some of the lagoon beaches in the West Coast National Park.


The Adrenaline Junkie

You love to feel fire in your veins and the best use of your holiday is grabbing life by the horns, reins or perhaps a kitesurfing bridal. You can’t think of anything worse than spending your holiday perched in one spot on the beach, you need to be out in the action with the ocean water spraying into your eyes – nice!

Kite Beach, Doodles, Big Bay & Langebaan Lagoon

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Bloubergstrand is home to some of the best Cape Town beaches for kitesurfing with ample perfect wind conditions and heaps of space. It’s home to the aptly named Kite Beach as well as Doodles and Big Bay, which are all prime kitesurfing spots. You’ll find a number of kitesurfing schools that offer camps, group lessons and one-on-ones if you’re wanting to learn, and according to the teachers, you’ll be up and at ‘em in no time with professional instruction.

Another great kitesurfing spot for beginners is Langebaan Lagoon which has beautifully warm and crystal clear blue water that’s usually flat and favourable for beginners. This technically isn’t a beach but it’s technically fed with sea water so it technically still counts.

For those with a fear of getting lost at sea, a lagoon is an ideal spot to learn.


The Happy Family

Nothing brings the family together quite like being at the beach. As a kid, beach days were the best days and they always involved a gazebo, multiple cooler boxes, the essential beach chairs for mom and dad, boogie boards, frisbees, bat and ball and multiple bodies scattered across the beach buried in the sand.

Oudekraal, Llandudno, Noordhoek Beach, Dappet Se Gat

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Considering the above, having large families often means there are a few tiny tots and energetic kids that need entertaining and plenty of space to go full-tilt without causing havoc to other beach-goers. Your ideal Cape Town beaches are those with ample sandy-stretches for beach games and suitable settings for the whole fam.

Llandudno is just outside of Cape Town on the route to Hout Bay and is home to a superb beach for the whole fam with so much space and rocks for the kids to explore. Oudekraal beach is another super popular spot for families thanks to their picnic spots, sweet beaches and braai areas so you can take your cook up over the coals to the seaside.

Noordhoek Beach has to be one of the best family Cape Town beaches with an expansive stretch of sand over 8 km long. Here, your kids can run wild like rampant lunatics while you watch from afar. You can also take long strolls to the shipwreck on the other side of the beach or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go horse riding along the shoreline – yeeha!

If you’re feeling up for a drive, Dappet Se Gat, next to Kogel Bay beach, is one of the best beaches around Cape Town. This beach is easily missed and requires some navigation down a relatively short path off the R44, but when you reach the bottom you will be singing praises to the heavens for blessing the earth with this beautiful beach. Huge spaces, ample coves for exploration, warmer water and high cliffs that offer shelter from the wind are the ingredients for a smashing day at the beach for the whole fam.

Now that you know all of the famous Cape Town beaches and which one to slot yourself into this summer, make sure you take ample care of your skin with these Summer Skincare Tips.