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
|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|
- 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.
- Store it in a glass jar and refrigerate, it can keep for a couple of days
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.
|INGREDIENT||AMOUNT||PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS|
|Chickpeas||1 cup||195/- per kg|
|Sea Salt||145/- per 500g Jar|
|Cayenne Pepper||95/- per 50g Jar|
- Soak the chickpeas overnight in the 3 cups of water as it will absorb most of it.
- Drain them and season with sea salt, black pepper, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Add a touch of extra virgin coconut oil and bake them for 1 hour while flipping them every 15 minutes for even cooking.
- Cool them and enjoy immediately or pack them as a snack for your hike or day out.
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?
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.
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.
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|
|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|
|Black Pepper||Few Grinds||N/A|
|Cayenne Pepper||1/3 teaspoon||N/A|
|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|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Finely chop your tomatoes or grate them into a paste like consistency.
- When the aromatics have slightly browned, add your fresh tomato ‘paste’ and start cooking it off on medium heat, about 5 minute while stirring.
- Add veggie stock or water then bring to a simmer.
- 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
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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool them for about 30 minutes before eating them
- 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.
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.
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
- Soak your dried beans overnight
- Heat sufuria over medium low heat, add some extra virgin coconut oil and a little unsalted butter to help browning and add flavor.
- 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.
- Then add the curry powder and turmeric powder, toast for about 1 minute or until you can smell the aromas from the spices.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cover leaving a little space for the steam to escape.
- Cook for about 40 minutes or until beans are almost soft.
- Remove from heat and then add some fresh dania/cilantro and mint leaves for garnish, leave to rest for about 10 minutes
- 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.
- Serve immediately
Local pears are now in season and bursting with flavor and nutrition. Plus, they are cheap – only 15/- each at Mboga Masters. Don’t peel your pears, when cleaned nicely, the skin adds flavor, texture and nutrients. Not peeling also means less work for you 🙂 and less chance of cutting yourself – peeling fruit is tricky business.
Here are some benefits of pears:
Pears contain a good amount of the water-soluble fibre called pectin which is linked to good health and longevity in their skin. Fruit skin/ rind in general contains a lot of fibre – which is great for digestion, controlling blood sugar and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. The pectin fibre is also attributed to help with constipation, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and many other digestion-related ailments.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Pears contain a good number of vitamins; Vitamins B2 (helps prevent migraines, treats anaemia among others) C (boosts immunity) & E (cancer and heart disease prevention) can all be obtained from this amazing seasonal fruit. Pears are also a great source of the dietary mineral Potassium whose deficiency is usually associated with risk of high blood pressure.
Naturally the fruit contains fructose and glucose which are complex carbohydrates that boost your energy and are also used in cell structure formation. This burst of natural sugars gives you high amounts of sustained energy which is great for people who work out and do not want to consume calorie-heavy foods that will use up some of their working-out energy.
This fruit is one of the easiest foods to digest – being one of the first few foods recommended when weaning infants. For this reason it is also recommended for people with food allergies as they often don’t react to them.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Studies have shown pears to be very helpful in cancer prevention, immune boosting and anti inflammatory. They contain folate, which is recommended to pregnant ladies or those of child-bearing age because it helps to avoid birth defects. In traditional Chinese medicine, they simmer the pears and add honey and lemon juice to the mixture and use it to treat throat ailments.
There are indeed many reasons to be excited about pears this season.
This white cruciferous vegetable is easy to underestimate, and possibly intimidates many would-be chefs, but when you learn about it’s nutritional goodness and culinary prowess you will want to order some right now!
To start with, cauliflower is loaded with vitamins. Vitamin C, K, B1, B2, B3. These and other complex compounds have been shown to help prevent cancer, promote cardiovascular health and keep inflammation at bay. Loaded with fibre, it is great for digestive health, blood sugar control and weight loss as the fibre keeps you full thus helping you avoid craving food.
I like this recipe because the cauliflower here is used as a ‘carb’ and on top of that it takes under 10 minutes from prep to finish. Oh and you can also cook the greens just like the broccoleaf 🙂
You also use it in the place of refined foods like white rice hence it is a very healthy approach and you can still pair it with meat and other greens, more nutrition never hurt anyone.
|INGREDIENT||AMOUNT||PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS|
|Cauliflower||1 head||170/- per kg|
|Winnie’s Pure Health Sea Salt||1 pinch||90/- per jar|
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil||½ Tsp||N/A|
|Unsalted Butter||½ Tsp||N/A|
|Black Pepper||A few grinds||N/A|
- Grate the cauliflower head or pulse it in a food processor
- Heat a wide frying pan/skillet on medium-low heat and add the lipids
- Let the butter to brown then add the grated cauliflower then immediately add the salt and black pepper .
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 4-5 minutes depending on the quantity of cauliflower you have.
Serve in the place of rice, with a choice of any meat and greens. Absolutely delicious!
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