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Basil Pesto Recipe

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Basil is one of the most commonly used herbs in Italian cuisine. Italian cuisine has gained popularity due to its simplicity and focus on fresh mostly locally sourced ingredients and lotsa flavor.

Perhaps one of the most common ways that basil is used is in making pesto, which is essentially a paste with the herb, some nuts, seasonings, extra virgin olive oil and garlic.Then the pesto can be used in very many culinary ways to bring a complex flavor into things like pasta, bread, salad dressing, as a spread for bread.

Apart from the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of basil that make it very healthy, this herb also contains great amounts of vitamin K and manganese which are associated with good cardiovascular health and healthy cholesterol levels.The pine nuts traditionally used in a pesto recipe also bring a wealth of good nutrition to the table. Pine nuts are rich in omega 3 fats which are known to help the skin and also boost longevity. The nuts also keep you full by naturally supressing your appetite hence it is a great addition to any weight loss scheme. The pine nuts are also linked to great visual health by supplying the eyes with much needed nutrition.

*You may use cashew nuts which are more affordable and widely available.

Garlic, well, is like the best medicinal plant, used for several thousands of years around the world to treat all kinds of ailments; from flu, to headaches to malaria and tuberculosis. Garlic is simply one of the strongest natural medicines and in this recipe it will be consumed raw, which is even better. The herbs and seasonings will make sure the garlic does not overpower your palate.

Parmagianno reggiano is also the cheese used to flavor the pesto and is slightly healthier as it is made from unprocessed milk and no chemical additives are used in the making of authentic parm cheese

 

Ingredients

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Basil 2 bunches 30/- per bunch
Garlic 2 small cloves 25/- per piece
Pine/ Cashew nuts 1/3 cup 50/- per 50g packet
Sea Salt A pinch 195/- per 500g Jar
Black pepper A few grinds N/A
Parmagiani regianno cheese

 

¼ cup grated N/A
Extra Virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons N/A

Method

  1. Just put your basil, crushed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and parmagiani regianno cheese in your food processor and blitz. You can also make it with a mortar and pestle like it has been traditionally made for thousands of years.
  2. Store it in a glass jar and refrigerate, it can keep for a couple of days

 

Health Benefits of Strawberries

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One of the most popular berries that grow well in this region are strawberries and today you will learn more about how this fruit is very healthy and highly recommended.

Vitamin C

Strawberries are super rich in this quintessential vitamin which offers great antioxidant support too. In fact just 1 cup of strawberries contains 113% of your RDA (Recommended daily allowance). Not only is vitamin C important for preventing colds and flu, it is also linked to cancer prevention and maintaining a healthy blood pressure, you know how high blood pressure is very rampant in modern society, a few berries can help a lot.

Research has also shown that strawberries help slow down ageing by maintaining great skin – call it the perfect anti-wrinkle product as the antioxidant vitamin C takes care of that. Vitamin C is also associated with healthy eyesight and immune system boost.

Manganese & Potassium

When you hear the nutrient potassium, you should immediately think cardiovascular support – it is great for maintaining a good ticker but science has also shown it is very helpful in bone health, by alkalizing the body hence avoiding acidosis (too much acid) which is typical in most modern diets. Strawberries are loaded with potassium as well as manganese which work hand in hand with other nutrients to enhance bone health.

Fibre

Strawberries are a great source of fibre which acts like a broom and sweeps off the toxins in your digestive tract. On top of that, the insoluble fibre in strawberries cannot be digested and ferments while in the gut to create probiotics or good healthy bacteria which are essential for health.

Blood Sugar

Being naturally sweet, strawberries are highly recommended to people who have diabetes because the many minerals and nutrients found in berries helps control sugar in the berries and it is not like drinking a sugary processed drink which will spike the blood sugar.

How To Use

Since strawberries are very short-lived, you don’t want them lying around in the fridge- it is ideal to consume them within 48 hours or freeze them. They hold well in a tightly sealed container, preferably with foil so as to maintain some humidity and moisture.

Eating them raw is the best way to access this nutritional powerhouse but you can also throw them into a green salad or in a morning smoothie for some natural sweetness. You can make jam too or throw them into your muffin batter for added nutrition and colour in your pastry.

Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

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Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a staple in India and the Middle East where they are popular due to their high nutrition value. They pack lots of protein, fibre, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus among other healthful nutrients that lack in most modern diets. Chickpeas are also loaded with complex carbohydrates which also help give you energy for working out, or just to have a successful and productive day.

These legumes also have a great amount of antioxidants in the name of flavonoids often recommended for anti-ageing and anti-disease qualities. Being nutrient dense and fibrous, chickpeas are awesome in the food arsenal of people who would like to shed a little weight because the beans keep you full for longer periods hence keeping those food cravings at bay. If you are diabetic or cook for someone, chickpeas are a great snack with a very low glycemic index meaning that they will not spike blood sugar.

 

Cumin & Cayenne Health Facts

Cumin is a very traditional spice and natural medicine that has been used for ages in Asia to treat flatulence and many other stomach upsets. Cumin is a great source of iron and magnesium, which are very important for overall health.

Cayenne pepper has been widely used to boost the immune system hence preventing against many diseases. Cayenne has also been proven to stop a heart attack in its track, in fact almost all ambulances have some cayenne pepper for this reason, but you know….prevention is better than cure.

 

Ingredients

 

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Chickpeas 1 cup 195/- per kg
Sea Salt   145/- per 500g Jar
Cayenne Pepper    95/- per 50g Jar
Ground Cumin    
Black pepper    
Water 3 cups  

 

Method

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in the 3 cups of water as it will absorb most of it.
  2. Drain them and season with sea salt, black pepper, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.
  3. Add a touch of extra virgin coconut oil and bake them for 1 hour while flipping them every 15 minutes for even cooking.
  4. Cool them and enjoy immediately or pack them as a snack for your hike or day out.

Health Benefits of Kiwi Fruit

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 Fibre

Dietary fibre is one of the most overlooked ‘nutrients’ since it is not essentially nutritious but it does play a vital role in overall health. The best sources of course are fruits and vegetables. The insoluble fiber acts as a broom and sweeps out the stuff in your gut, meaning that you might experience more bowel movements which is super healthy.

Kiwi is loaded with this type of fibre, soluble fibre as well. If you eat the skin, you get even more fibre…it is so much work to peel a kiwi fruit and the skin tastes nice so why bother?

Vitamins

Fruits are one of the best ways to get kids to eat healthier as they love sweet stuff. Kiwi has actually been proven to help kids with asthma -probably due to the high concentration of Vitamin C, B and E.  Kiwi also has Folic acid (B vitamin) which is quintessential for pregnant women and highly recommended to them.

Minerals

This super fruit is an excellent source of calcium, Magnesium and copper. All these micronutrients work hand in hand to keep you healthy and energetic. They also provide vital nutrients for the skin, keeping it young and glowing.

Phytonutrients & Antioxidants

Kiwi fruit is rich in phytonutrients which help prevent cancer and also help with eyesight. The antioxidants are attributed to reversing the ill effects of oxidative stress in the body…simply put as your body uses oxygen in day-today functions, it releases rather toxic byproducts that need to be taken care of, otherwise they trigger diseases. Antioxidants take care of these harmful byproducts.

 How to use

Just eat it raw as is, toss it in a fruit salad, throw it in a smoothie or juice it up. Key thing is to consume them raw and don’t cook them so as to get the above nutrition intact.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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Today we feature a red meat recipe. Red meat when consumed in moderation can be healthy, in fact some people have shown immense gains in health after adopting a paleo diet or caveman diet which consisted largely of lean meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds… all great sources of good nutrition as long as consumed in balance.

 

It’s healthier to make your own meatballs as opposed to buying them ready. Most ready meatballs are loaded with synthetic chemical additives like preservatives, colorings and flavor enhancers. We will also teach you how to make your own sauce!

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
  MEATBALLS  
Beef Mince 500g Unavailable
Sea Salt 1/3 teaspoon Kshs.145 for 500g
Sunflower Oil Kshs. 520 (2ltrs)
Crushed Garlic ½ teaspoon 85/- for 50g Jar
Onions 1 tablespoon finely chopped 145/- per kg
Parsley stems 1 teaspoon 30/- per bunch
Milk 4 tablespoons 55/- per packet
Breadcrumbs 3 tablespoons N/A
Black Pepper Few Grinds N/A
Cayenne Pepper 1/3 teaspoon N/A
TOMATOE SAUCE
Tomatoes ½ kg 100/- per kg
Crushed garlic 1/3 teaspoon 85/- for 50g Jar
Crushed Ginger 1/3 teaspoon 80/- for 50g Jar
White Onions 1 tablespoon 130/- per kg
Celery 1 tablespoon 70/- per bunch
Leeks 1 tablespoon 10/- each
Potatoes 1 large potatoe 90/- per kg
Carrots ½ cup chopped 90/- per kg
Unsalted Butter ½ tablespoon N/A

 

 

Method

  1. To make meatballs simply combine the beef mince, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed garlic, finely chopped onion and parsley stems. In a separate bowl mix milk with breadcrumbs then mix that into the meatball mixture for binding purposes. Shape into square-like (not too round) balls so that they can cook nicely. Leave aside for about 20 minutes or refrigerate for a few hours so that the flavors can mingle, they freeze so well too.
  2. On medium heat, brown the meatballs in extra virgin olive oil, for about 4 minutes for each of the 4 sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. On the same pan make the tomato sauce start by slowly browning in extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter – your crushed garlic, crushed ginger, white onion, celery, leek, potatoes and carrots, about 8 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Finely chop your tomatoes or grate them into a paste like consistency.
  5. When the aromatics have slightly browned, add your fresh tomato ‘paste’ and start cooking it off on medium heat, about 5 minute while stirring.
  6. Add veggie stock or water then bring to a simmer.
  7. Add the meatballs and cook for at least 30 minutes but if you have the time please cook them in a 180 degrees oven for 2 and ½ hours for amazing flavor and melt-in-your-mouth meatballs.

 

Serve with sauteed broccoli and ugali

Herbal Tea & Wholegrain Coconut Muffins

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It is very hard to get 100% wholegrain muffins in any bakery/store because they can be heavy dense and tricky to make but this recipe will impress you as it is super simple, requires very few ingredients and you don’t have to have fancy baking equipment to execute it, just a non-stick muffin pan and a whisk and you are good to go.

The recipe calls for honey and a little bit of unrefined sugar or regular sugar so it is quite healthy and can be consumed even by diabetics as it has fresh coconut which is a superfood, to say the least…a good source of the minerals copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, especially when using fresh coconut but dried can also work too.

Wholegrain flour like Winnie’s Pure Health Chapati Afya Flour contains whole wheat meaning you get all the nutrients that are not present in white wheat flour. Furthermore, they put some amaranth, finger millet and rye flours to add an extra array of nutrition and flavor as well.

You can also add chia seeds which not only help in binding the dough but also play a key role in nutrition. Chia seeds contain a great deal of omega 3 fats, calcium, magnesium and many other nutrients.

 

INGREDIENT QUANTITY PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Milk 1 cup 55/- per packet
Lemon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 10/- per lemon
Wholegrain Flour 1 cup 195/- per packet
Coconut 1/3 cup grated/ dessicated 50/- per piece
Sea Salt To taste 145/- per jar (500g)
Cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon 95/- per bottle (50g)
Vanilla essence/ extract 1 teaspoon N/A
Extra virgin coconut oil 2 tablespoons N/A
Black Pepper To taste N/A
Baking powder 1 teaspoon N/A

*N/A = Not yet available at Mboga Masters

METHOD

  1. Remove milk from fridge at least 1 hour before using, it really needs to be at room temperature to make good buttermilk. Add the 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the milk, stir well and leave it alone for about 10 minutes. It will have a heavier texture and creaminess to it with tangy flavor – this is what makes these muffins moist and light.
  2. sift 1 cup of wholegrain flour (winnie’s pure health or even whole wheat/atta mark), add the pinch of sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder and set aside
  3. In another bowl add the 1 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract, ⅓ cup honey, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil and whisk gently.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones and the freshly grated coconut, carefully stirring them about 10 – 15 times. If you over mix them the gluten will form and make the muffin heavy and doughy. Make sure to only stif a few times, don’t worry if it doesn’t look like it’s mixed well, they will still turn out great.
  5. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius, rub the muffin pan with some of the coconut oil. Bake them on the center rack, for about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool them for about 30 minutes before eating them
  7. Make herbal tea using your favorite herbal tea bags like green tea, lemongrass, chamomile or rooibos then sweeten with honey and flavor with fresh lemon/lime juice.

Avacados, what are they good for?

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Green avocados are back in season meaning that they are in plenty, taste the best and also the prices are at their lowest now. Many vegans and vegetarians rely upon the high protein content of this amazing fruit as well as the other nutrients that it brings to the table, not to mention superb flavor and awesome creamy texture that can be used to replace cheese in a sandwich or salad.

Apart from that, avocados are a great source of Alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and oleic acid .  dietary fiber, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C. This is why some people are even referring this fruit as a superfood due to its immense documented health benefits.

Eating avocados is great fun, delicious and can be used for a cheap facial treatment. Avocado has excellent exfoliation properties – i.e. it removes dead skin effectively, which can help the many people who have acne. Just smear it on your face and wash off with clean water.

The fats in avocado were previously thought to be unhealthy but modern research actually has proven that we need saturated fat, especially the kind found in plants ; the avocado is plentiful in fats.

There are so many ways to consume avocado; raw, in a smoothie or salad, to add flavor to this great beans and chapati dish, on bread as a substitute to margarine or butter etc.

 

 

Simple Coleslaw Recipe

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Coleslaw is one of the most popular salads ever because it is simple, utilizes readily available ingredients and most importantly, it is delicious and nutritious.

First things first, nutrition check up…cabbage is rich in vitamins K, C, and B6. This member of the cruciferous family is also a decent source of manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1, folate and copper. Cabbage has been associated with helping prevention of cancer as well as cardiovascular diseases, which are the major causes of death in the modern world. The vegetable has also been proven by research to help people with ulcers. Sadly, many people tend to overcook this vegetable killing all the flavor and great texture that it has to offer; you can sauté cabbage lightly but where possible, raw is usually the best way to get the full benefits of a vegetable.

Coleslaw often has mayonnaise. I know what you are thinking, mayonnaise is not the healthiest food ever so we will substitute it with greek yogurt or simply plain natural yogurt which brings in flavor and less nasty chemicals that may be contained in mayo. Raw apple cider vinegar is also a superfood and an awesome ingredient as it brings extra flavor to the party

 

Ingredients

 

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Cabbage 2 cups shredded 70/- per cabbage
Onion 1 small red 120/- per kg
Carrots ½ cup 90/- per kg
Dhania 1 tablespoon 10/- per bunch
Mint ½ tablespoon 30/- per bunch
Natural yoghurt 3 tablespoons 150/- per litre
Sea Salt ¼ teaspoon 195/- per jar
Honey 1 teaspoon 350/- per 500ml
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tablespoon N/A
Apple Cider Vinegar   N/A

*N/A =  Not YET available at Mboga Masters

Method

  1. Mix your shredded cabbage, carrots, onions and dania/cilantro in a salad brown
  2. Make your dressing by whisking a little extra virgin olive oil, honey, raw apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar), sea salt and black pepper and the yogurt goes in the last.
  3. Drizzle dressing over the veggies and toss gently making sure not to overwork it.
  4. Serve immediately or cover with foil and refrigerate, it gets better with time, hence great for the holiday feasting as this means less work in prep and more time to have fun and host your guests.

It goes really well with anything, a veggie burger, nyama choma or even these healthy fries

Spiced Up Githeri

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One of the oldest foods in our country is githeri simply because it is filling, nutritious, low cost and with a little preparation, can be ready within minutes.

First of all the combination of two grains here makes the dish a full protein and if you can add an avocado, the better. Serve it with sauteed kunde and you have a nutritional powerhouse on a plate. Not only do you get the protein that repairs used up tissue, but you also get minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper and molybdenum ( All good stuff, trust us J ). Furthermore, you get a great dosage of fibre which is key to maintain good digestive health. The Father of Greek medicine said, “Disease begins in the gut’, fibre takes care of the gut.

The maize is loaded with complex carbohydrates which also give you sustained energy for long periods. It is also a decent source for B3 and B6 vitamins, as well as antioxidants.

INGREDIENT AMOUNT COST AT MBOGA MASTERS
Red beans 1kg 180/- per kg
Maize 2 Cups 150/- per cup
Kunde 1 bunch 30 per bunch
Garlic 2 cloves 20/- per piece
Ginger Small piece 40/- per piece
Red onions 1 piece 120/- per kg
Red and Yellow Capsicum 1 piece each 45/-
Carrots 1 small 70/- per kg
Baby Potatoes 1/4kg 100/- per kg
Courgette 1 piece 120/- per kg
Dhania 1 bunch 10/- per bunch
Mint 1 bunch 30/- per bunch
Curry Powder 1 tsp 90/- per jar
Tumeric Powder 1 tsp 85/- per jar
Sea Salt 1/3 tsp 90/- per 500g Jar
Black Pepper A few grinds N/A
Unsalted Butter 1 tsp N/A
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil    

*N/A= Not YET available at Mboga Masters

Method

  1. Soak your dried beans overnight
  2. Heat sufuria over medium low heat, add some extra virgin coconut oil and a little unsalted butter to help browning and add flavor.
  3. Add your crushed garlic and ginger, red onions, finely diced carrots, mixed colored peppers, baby potatoes, courgette/zucchini, dania/cilantro, mint and let them sweat slowly, about 7 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Then add the curry powder and turmeric powder, toast for about 1 minute or until you can smell the aromas from the spices.
  5. Add 3 cups of water and scrape the bits that stick on the bottom of the pan, we call this fond, as in foundation of flavor, very important to deglaze.
  6. Add the soaked beans and fresh maize now and bring to a boil over high heat. If you would like more heat in your githeri you can now add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  7. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover leaving a little space for the steam to escape.
  8. Cook for about 40 minutes or until beans are almost soft.
  9. Remove from heat and then add some fresh dania/cilantro and mint leaves for garnish, leave to rest for about 10 minutes
  10. Now Heat your frying pan, add some extra virgin coconut oil, brown some onions there and then add your roughly chopped kunde, cook for only about 2 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of broth/soup from the githeri onto the greens to add a little bit of moisture.
  11. Serve immediately

 

What To Do With Mushrooms

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Also known as the meat from the ground, mushrooms are increasingly becoming popular due to their incredible health benefits, superb flavor and ease of use. For chefs, mushrooms have been used widely but for the home cook it can be a little daunting since there is a bad misinformation out there saying that they should be boiled.

 

That is just a culinary sin as mushrooms are already loaded with a lot of moisture and putting them in water just makes tem soggy and unimpressive, matters taste and flavor.

 

First things first, mushrooms are low in calories, contain no fat, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin and vitamin D, which is critical as we enter the cold months of the year where getting  enough sunlight to make our own vitamin D will be tough.

 

The best way to utilize these nutritional powerhouses is to sauté them and to serve them as a side dish either with meat or in a vegetarian menu, it goes well on a burger, making junk food slightly healthier, just a tip for those days you want to make a healthier homemade burger, a recipe for another day

 

 

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Button Mushrooms 1 Cup 300/-  per pack
Garlic 1 Clove 20/- per piece
Red onion 1 small 120/- per kg (Approx 10/- each)
Celery 1 stalk 150/- per kg (Approx 100/- each)
Leeks 1 teaspoon chopped (only the white parts) 150/- per kg (Approx 10/- each)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 teapsoon N/A
Unsalted Butter ½ teaspoon N/A

*N/A = Not YET available at Mboga Masters

 

Method

  1. Heat a wide base frying pan and add the 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon unsalted butter
  2. Lay the mushrooms on cut side down and let them be, over medium-low heat. About 4 minutes then you flip and brown the other side.
  3. Immediately add the all of the aromatics and brown them together with the mushrooms, about 4 minutes n medium-low heat
  4. When the 4 minutes are over and everything has cooked nicely remove from the stove and cool
  5. Serve as a side to meats, beans, lentils or even on your homemade pizza to add that extra bit of nutrition.