Lufefe Nomjana, also known as the Spinach King,started his business with just R40 and turned it into a Health Food Café and Bakery that supplies restaurants and shops in the wider Cape Town area. The Spinach King opened his restaurant right next to the Kayelitsha train station, and supplies low-GI and gluten-free spinach bread to local Spars and Wellness Warehouse stores. In the process he is also helping to transform the community he is located in.
Lufefe Nomjana is the owner of Espinaca Innovations, known as the Spinach King. We had the opportunity to visit his café in Khayelitsha, to get to know more about the Spinach King. As we walked towards the restaurant, the beautiful vertical spinach garden against the wall caught our eye, and is a perfect representation of what the business is all about.
The philosophy behind the Spinach King is to empower the community and make a positive change in their eating habits. To create better awareness about nutrition, and diseases that are linked to unhealthy food, and how to eat and live healthier. At the core of the business is creating opportunities in the community, through micro farming and social development. Lufefe is closely working with micro farmers in the area, making sure they grow top quality spinach to ensure consistent supplies for his breads, pastries, 7-veg burgers, and smoothies. Next is to utilise the land next to the restaurant for social development micro farming, to show the farm to table concept.
Lufefe’s journey doesn’t come without obstacles: the many available fast food chains in the area smell appetising to the local community, and it takes stamina to keep telling the message about the importance of healthy food. The Spinach King is innovative in how to approach these challenges: he’s developed a healthy 7 vegetables burger that satisfies the cravings without the processed meats.
The response from the community is positive, which is encouraging to continue with sharing the message through schools and the different micro entrepreneurs he’s working with.
We were there to deliver the Spinach King’s new OmniBlend V - 1.5ltr, and take the opportunity to get to know him. We’re proud to partner with Lufefe and his team, as they’re working tirelessly on positive change in the community.
When you hear him speak, it’s clear that a healthy lifestyle is very important to Lufefe, he is very passionate about promoting and living a healthy lifestyle, making better choices and changes.
The main focus is on spinach because it grows fast and it has excellent health benefits: spinach contains all six major classes of nutrients. Lufefe also incorporates other vegetables into the food served at the café, like the delicious 7 veg patties used in the sandwiches, and in their smoothies.
Why use spinach in bread, we asked: “Incorporating spinach into a loaf of bread, is the perfect way to increase nutrient intake, especially because most people are on the go and always busy. People don’t have time, and since forever they’ve been eating bread. So the easiest way is just to add vegetables to the bread.” Explains Lufefe. Lufefe is responsible for the development of recipes and the quality control. He’s hands-on, handling deliveries and management of the cafe and farming relationships as well. He’s working hand in hand with his wife who heads the production team.
It’s clear the Lufefe is a busy man: over the past couple of years the Spinach King has expanded with a second bakery in Khayelitsha, and a partner restaurant opened its doors in Amsterdam. “I loved Amsterdam! I cycle here in Kayelitsha and being able to cycle around Amsterdam was awesome! The restaurant is doing very well, the Dutch seem a little more health conscious and that makes it somewhat easier to bring the message across.” There are plans to reach out to the Langa community as well, and he’s planning to branch to other provinces in South Africa. Keep a look out for the Spinach King: there’s still more to come!
You can get yourself a spinach bread at a few local stores and delis in Cape Town, or take a drive to Khayelitsha and meet the King himself.
For more about the Spinach King: http://www.spinachking.co.za
These flapjacks are the best! We've been rambling about the benefits of oats before, and these flapjacks are fabulous to bring some variety in your breakfasts! Matcha adds delicious flavour and incredible nutritional benefits, making this an overall healthy start of your day.
Matcha tea is delicious on it's own, but the Matcha culinary grade also makes it easy to add Matcha goodness to your smoothies, and treats. In this recipe we've just used 1 teaspoon Matcha which gives it a light flavour, however you can add an additional ½ teaspoon for a more pungent Matcha taste.
If you'd like to make this recipe vegan, you can just leave the egg out, mix 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespons of hot water, and add this mix to the batter.
Ingredients (for 8-10 flapjacks):
Add oats and coconut flakes to the OmniBlend jug (the 2ltr jug works best for grinding dry ingredients), and blend to a flour. Add the remaining ingredients to the jug and blend again, for 20 to 30 seconds for a fluffy consistency. Leave to stand for a few minutes to thicken slightly.
Heat up a pan on low-medium heat, add a teaspoon coconut oil and bake the flapjacks.
Serve with syrup, maple syrup, or honey.
Don't you love it when you find some brown spots on your bananas? That's the perfect ripeness for baking! This is the easiest, super tasty banana bread ever, and low in sugar too! Just 5 minutes to prepare and it's ready for the oven.
Preheat the oven at 175C.
Bring a little water to the boil, peel and core the apples, and simmer for 5 minutes to soften the apple and develop the sweetness.
While the apple is simmering, add dry ingredients to a bowl, mix, and set aside.
Add all wet ingredients to the jug, except for the bananas. Start blending on low, increasing to high, for 10 seconds.
Add the bananas and pulse just 3 - 5 times, you still want the mix to be a bit lumpy. Add the wet mix to the bowl, and fold in.
Add to a baking pan, add some banana slices on top, and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
This Vegan Chocolate Cake is delicious, sugar free, and beautiful for an afternoon tea. It is sweetened by date syrup and banana which have their added nutritional benefits. Pure cocoa develops a dark chocolate flavour that satisfies your chocolate cravings.
If you think egg-less cake is dense and heavy, you'll be surprised how light and fluffy this cake is! It rises beautifully, and doesn't collapse like some heavy cakes tend to do after baking.
Best part is that you can make this cake completely in your blender. For this cake we're using the 2 liter jug, which is suited for wet and dry ingredients. We're giving the nuts and quick chop, by just using the pulse function. Pulse until you're happy with the texture, you still want to have a bit of a bite.
We loved the cake with a raspberry coulis, but you can also add a chocolate icing. Or bake it like a banana bread: bake ahead, slice it, stick it in the freezer, and take a slice when you feel like a snack with your favorite toppings.
Give the pecan nuts a quick chop, using the 2 liter jug, and the pulse function. Keep them aside, and dust with a little cake flour to prevent them to sink to the bottom of the pan during baking.
Add almond milk and apple cider vinegar to the OmniBlend jug to activate, while you're measuring the other ingredients. Add the other in ingredients to the almond milk mixture. Blend starting on low speed, increasing to high, for a smooth batter. This will only take about 30 seconds.
Take the jug off the base, add the nuts, and stir with a plastic or wooden spoon to mix the nuts into the batter. Decant the batter into the prepared cake pan. Use a silicon spatula to scrape the jug.
Bake the cake for about 60 minutes at 170C. The time depends on the size of the pan and the exact oven temperature, so keep an eye on it, and test with a skewer. When the skewer comes out dry the cake is ready.
Happy Easter everyone! It’s the season that is dominated by hot cross buns and chocolate Easter eggs, in different flavours, and recipes in which they’re used, so if you’re trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle it’s difficult not to be tempted this time of the year!
We’ve opted for a Banting Fridge Cheese Cake that keeps you on track, so that you can satisfy your sweet tooth, and keep it low carb. This cake can be made ahead so that you don’t have to stress over dessert when guests have arrived.
Cheese cakes can get a bit heavy, but this no-bake version with fresh lemon is surprisingly light and fresh. We’re using the OmniBlend for both the crust and the filling, and preparation takes surprisingly little time. Chilling to set the cake takes the most time, so preferably prepare the night before so that the cake has time to chill and set.
Ingredients (for a 20cm spring form):
For the crust:
For the filling:
Line the base of the cake tin with baking paper. Add the nuts and dates to the jug of the OmniBlend, and pulse until you’ve got a fine grind (or consistency that you like for the crust, you can make it very fine, or keep it coarser). Add the ground nuts to a bowl, and mix the coconut in with a fork. Add the melted butter, and mix to give the mixture an even coat of butter. Spoon the mix into the prepared cake tin, and press down firmly for an even crust. Leave to rest in the fridge.
Rinse and clean the OmniBlend jug, to get ready for the filling.
Add the fresh cream to the jug, and blend on low speed for max 10 seconds. Add in the xylitol, and blend for a few seconds. Add in the cream cheese, lemon juice, and zest, and blend for about a minute, keeping speed low. Pour into a bowl if you’d like to add some food colouring, scraping the jug with a silicon spatula. Be careful to just add a few drops at a time and fold in to check the colour. Add the filling to the cake tin and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours to set.
We’ve cheated by decorating with speckled eggs to give it a festive Easter look (the kids loved us for it). You can however get a cake topper for a sugar-free alternative that suits the occasion!
Looking for a healthier treat? Then you should definitely give these brownies a try! Avocado is known for its health benefits, and the texture is creamy like …. yup, butter! We made these delicious Avocado Brownies that are deliciously moist, using avocados as a substitute for butter.
Preheat the oven at 175C degrees, and line a square brownie pan (about 20x20cm).
Peel and pit the avocados, and add to the OmniBlend jug.
Add the eggs, oil, vanilla to the jug too, and blend on low for about 30 seconds, until you’ve reached a creamy and fluffy texture.
Decant the mixture in a large mixing bowl. Sift all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, add the chopped nuts, and mix.
Now, in 3 intervals, add the flour mixture to the wet mix, and fold in until all flour is absorbed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared brownie pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake, you want to avoid it getting too dry. We baked for 20 minutes, then turned the oven off and left it for 5 more minutes before removing from the oven to cool on a wire rack. All oven temperatures are slightly different though, so best to test with a toothpick.
Delicous on its own as a coffee or tea treat, or serve as a dessert with cream & fruit. Store in the fridge.
The beauty of a banana bread is that you can create so many variations, to each and everyone’s taste. This banana bread has a beautiful nutty flavour, and can be packed as healthy mid-morning snack.
Oats and banana add soluble fiber to this bread, which is said to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. Canola oil is used to also lower LDL.
To make your own oat flour, simply take your rolled oats, add them to the 2ltr OmniBlend jug, and pulse 5 to 6 times for a fine flour.
Preheat the oven at 165C, and line a loaf pan with baking paper.
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl, and mix.
In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas.
Add the oil and honey to a large bowl, and beat together with a whisk. Add the eggs, and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas
Now add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and fold in until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin, and bake for 60 minutes.
Let the bread cool in the tin for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
You can keep it for 3 days, or freeze it in separate slices.
Root vegetables are great ingredients to cakes and loves, as they add a delicate flavour and lots of moisture to the cake. For this loaf we’re using beetroot, which gives it a deep earthy flavour, and a beautiful moist texture. Grating the vegetables usually takes up the most time, so to make it easier, we’re blending the beets along with the other wet ingredients. This makes this loaf easy as pie.
Preheat the oven at 190C, and line a small loaf pan. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Blend the wet ingredients, on low increasing to high, for 45-60 seconds, until smooth. Add the wet mixture to the bowl, and combine. The batter will be runny and look chemically pink, don’t worry, the baking will do its magic! Bake for 60 minutes, until a tester comes out dry. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.Serve on its own as a morning tea treat, or add some sweetness with syrup.
Icing is what makes a cake a cake, the finishing touch. It immediately gives it a ‘cake’ look, instead of just a loaf. Not necessarily the healthiest part though, and if you’re looking to cut down on sugar, or don’t tolerate dairy, this Cashew icing makes a very tasty and creamy alternative.
This is especially true for cupcakes, as what makes the cupcake? Right, icing it is. This recipe works best in the 2ltr jug, which is narrower at the bottom than the 1.5ltr jug, and better suited for pastes and spreads.
Soak the cashew nuts overnight, or for at least 6 hours. Drain, and add to the OmniBlend 2ltr jug. Add Coconut Cream and Vanilla. Blend on low increasing to high, using the tamper (through the lid!) to press into the corners, and push the mixture into the blades. Stop blending and scrape the mixture down from the sides with a silicon spatula from time to time if needed. Blend until smooth, 45 to 60 seconds.This Cashew Cream Icing can be used on any kind of cake or cupcake to replace the traditional cream cheese or butter icing. We also used it on the Breakfast Beetroot, Pecan & Date cake and it’s delicate flavour and creamy texture complemented the cake beautifully!
Having guests staying over makes for the perfect excuse to bake something for breakfast. Being busy in the kitchen, while chatting over a cup of coffee in anticipation of breakfast to be ready adds to the fun of stayovers.
Especially if you're not a sweet tooth, you'll love this cake. The pecan and beetroot give it a nutty earthy flavour, the coconut and date add their sweetness, and the spices liven up this breakfast treat.
Preparation is simple, keeping the dry and wet ingredients separate. Blend the wet ingredients in just a few seconds, and then fold into the flour mixture. Don't dispair, the colour will change during baking!
Because it’s not overly sweet and low in sugar, it makes for a perfect breakfast cake. If you prefer it sweet, you can add more sugar, or simple serve with some maple syrup.
Preheat the oven at 200C, and line a square baking tin (22cm). Add all dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and combine. Add all wet ingredients except the dates to the OmniBlend, and blend starting low, increasing to high, for 45-60 seconds. The mixture should now be smooth. Add ¾ of the mixture to the flour mixture, and leave the remainder to chop the dates into the mixture. Add the dates to the jug, and pulse 4 to 5 times to chop them coarsely, and add to the flour mixture. Mix until all is combined, and add to the baking tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a tester comes out dry. Leave to cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack.
Serve with cashew frosting, or maple syrup (or both!).