This harissa recipe is so easy to make at home with a food blender. The warm flavours of roasted peppers and spice, and hot chillies make the sauce irresistible. Homemade Harissa is much more value for money, and it’s always rewarding to make this unique Middle Eastern blend in your own kitchen. Use it as a marinade for grilled chicken wings, mix it in a salad with chickpeas, roasted butternut, and baby spinach, or simply add some of this paste to spice up your avo on toast and other sandwiches.
No doubt the increased interest in the Middle Eastern kitchen, has contributed to the popularity of Harissa. Recipes vary slightly, however the chillies are an essential ingredient. The OmniBlend is a powerful food blender that purees pastes like these with ease. Any kind of (commercial) chilli sauce, is best blended using the 2 liter jug, which has a narrow base (or our 1.5 liter jug with the narrow base). For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I – 2ltr Pro, which is also used in commercial kitchens to blend sauces.
Ingredients (for about 2 cups):
3 Red Peppers
2 Red Onions
3 Cloves Garlic (big cloves)
3 Medium Hot Serenade Red Chillies
1 ½ tsp Coriander Seeds
1 ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
1 ½ tsp Caraway Seeds
4 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
100g Tomato Paste (about 4 tbsp)
1 Tsp Course Sea Salt
A little olive oil
Preheat oven at 250C
Half and deseed the peppers, drizzle some olive oil on top, and place them skin up on a tray. Grill in the oven, for about 10 minutes, keeping close eye on it. It needs to char, but be careful not to burn them completely.
Remove from the oven, and cover with foil or a plate to cool down. Once cooled down, peel the skin off, and discard the skin. Add the peppers to the OmniBlend jug.
Place a dry frying pan over low heat and lightly toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds for 2 minutes. Remove them and add to the OmniBlend jug.
Now heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the onion, garlic, and chilies for 10 to 12 minutes, until a dark smoky colour and almost caramelized. Add to the OmniBlend jug.
Add the lemon juice, tomato paste and salt to the jug too, and then start blending. Blend until smooth, add to 1 or 2 glass jars, leave to cool on the counter, then store in the fridge.
We've also used this harissa for Ottolenghi's Pappardelle with Rose Harissa, Black Olives & Capers; replacing the rose harissa with 3 tablespoons of this recipe. It was so delicious, give it a try!
You will have noticed the hype around turmeric, and the food products that have launched on the market to make golden milk or tea, to add more turmeric to your diet. What is all the fuss about? Turmeric is said to be one of the most effective natural nutritional supplements. It contains compounds with medicinal properties, of which curcumin is the most important. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it is a very strong antioxidant. The natural pain relief properties are also contributed to curcumin, and therefore turmeric may be beneficial as a natural painkiller to manage chronic pain.
ROOT VS POWDER
Let’s talk a little more about this magical root. Turmeric is widely available as a powder, however as a raw root it’s very similar to ginger. Raw turmeric has several health benefits which may not be found in turmeric powder. The turmeric oil is one of the components which is lost during processing, and this oil is essential for your body to be able to absorb the curcumin well. Depending on which processing method is used, there may also be loss of curcumin. So aside from raw turmeric being cheaper than other products, using raw turmeric can be more beneficial for your health than using turmeric powder.
5 REASONS WHY TURMERIC IS GOOD FOR YOU
1. Helps increase antioxidant capacity and help fight free-radical damage
2. Helps boost your immune system - powerful anti-inflammatory properties
3. Eases joint pain
4. Protects your heart
5. Helps heal your gut
COOKING WITH TURMERIC
Turmeric has a peppery, warm, bitter taste, which makes it a popular spice in the Indian kitchen. It is used in many different ways, usually in curries, turmeric pickle, hummus and to make turmeric tea. Turmeric can also be used to add color to a broad range of dishes including soups, rice dishes and omelets.
But don’t limit yourself to these foods to get your dose of this herbal medicine. When blended with the right fruits, the pungent taste of turmeric compliments the recipe nicely bringing out aromatic flavours. We’ve created some delicious sweet fruity smoothies, to benefit from turmeric first thing in the morning. In these recipes we’re using fresh turmeric using the Omniblend blender, which makes it so easy to blend root vegetables like turmeric, ginger, beetroot, and carrots. It can be difficult to blend these in a domestic blender, but with a high-powered blender it’s done with ease. Investing in the best blender is key to happy smoothie blending!
SMOOTHIES TO BENEFIT FROM TURMERIC
Here are 3 ways to use raw turmeric in your smoothies. Milk (you can substitute with almond milk), avocado, and chia seeds add fat, which helps the body absorb curcumin better!
Peachy Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie
Berry Good Turmeric Smoothie
Golden Glow Smoothie
Add all your ingredients to your jug and blend for 60 seconds. The measures for the ginger and turmeric are a volume indication. There is no need to chop the root, as the blender will create a smooth texture. Simply add a slice of the root that makes up a teaspoon.
When you’re new to turmeric, the Berry Good Turmeric Smoothie is for you: the combination of the berries with turmeric and ginger hits the sweet spot! The Golden Glow Smoothie has that comforting cup of tea feel, and makes you feel good inside and out. For a breakfast kick-start the Peachy Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie is the one. It gives your traditional oats breakfast a healthy kick, and will boost your day.
These Chocolate Chia Energy Bars are great to fuel a busy day, or as a lunch box or pre-workout snack. Packed with slow releasing carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals you’re granted of a pick-me-up just when you need it most. We’ve sneaked in little dark chocolate on top of the cocoa, boosting brain function, immunity and mood. Just what you need on a stressful day!
These bars are a nutritious way to take care of those chocolate cravings, satisfying and energizing! Aside from the small amount of the chocolate, these bars don’t contain refined sugars. The dates and cranberries provide natural sweetness. The healthy fats and protein in the chia seeds, coconut and walnuts really help to keep you full for longer.
Walnuts are one of the main ingredients of these bars, and did you know that walnuts are little power houses? They’re packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acid, E and B vitamins and essential minerals. They’re said to decrease inflammation and promoting a healthy gut. Each portion of these bars contains your recommended daily intake of walnuts, as part of a balanced diet.
The best part about these bars is there’s no baking required and they allow for a whole lot of creativity, substitute with your favorite ingredients or finish off with a peanut butter drizzle. We added just a pinch of salt which lifts the chocolate flavor, however you could leave it out completely if you’re looking to avoid salt completely.
These make more or less 10 bars depending on how you cut them.
The 2 liter jug works best for this recipe. Add the cocoa powder, chia seeds and chocolate chunks to the jug, and pulse about 3 times to combine and rough chop the chocolate, it'll blend more later.
Add the other ingredients, blend until a thick paste forms. Use the tamper through the lid to push the ingredients into the blades.
Line a rectangle or square pan with baking paper. Scrape the dough out of the jug with a silicon spatula into the pan. Firmly press the mixture into the pan, pressing tightly into all the corners.
Place in the freezer for an hour. Lift out of the pan and cut into bars.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
Joburg’s vegan deli Free Food* Diner & Take Away is more than just that: it’s a celebration of life, offering original and unique products that will make you smile. All of the ingredients are carefully sourced, without harm or inconvenience to animals. The products are gluten-wheat-sugar-dairy-preservative-additive-free. This inspired the name Free Food*.
Ariel Cohen, owner and a vegan for nearly two decades, has been vegetarian since the mid-Eighties, and adopted a vegan lifestyle in 2000. When Ariel started Free Food* people were familiar with vegetarianism, but not so much with veganism. This has all changed recently, and social media has contributed to exposing cruelty, and building a positive message around veganism.
Ariel Cohen: “We want to make delicious and healthy food available and accessible to anyone considering an ethical and cleaner lifestyle. The entire menu is plant-based and vegan. Choose from our freshly prepared menu at the diner, or grab a take-away. Free Food* also offers a convenient frozen range that includes ready meals, burger patties, wraps (made from rice flour or Banting-friendly organic flaxseed flour) & vegan ice creams too! The deli offering includes a range of vegan cheeses, falafel, hot coriander salsa, hummus, tofu mayonnaise, basil pesto, ginger jelly, and loads more.”
Free Food* also offers an impressive catering menu to serve healthy and original food and snacks at your event.
Offering all these options, it’s clear the kitchen is busy, and the OmniBlend blenders are working hard to keep up grinding and blending ingredients for all these tasty options. Free Food* works with multiple 2 litre jugs, to keep jugs for food and drinks separate. The jugs are interchangeable, and it’s much more efficient to work with multiple jugs per OmniBlend base.
Visit the diner for a delicious milk-Free* shake, or for lunch and try the amazing Quinoa, Tofu & Shitake salad, the Roasted Chickpea & Brinjal Pizza or one of the flavourful big bamboo bowls. Just don’t forget to keep space for dessert: Free Food* proves that dairy- sugar-wheat-gluten-Free* still leaves plenty of room for deliciousness.
Free Food* uses the OmniBlend V - 2ltr Pro
A commercial blender makes it possible to add a variety of drinks, smoothies and iced coffee options to your menu. The best blender is capable of crushing ice, frozen fruits and nuts. When buying a blender for your restaurant or coffee shop, it’s essential to consider both price and performance. Look for the power of the motor, the materials used for the moving parts, the jug, and other features that contribute to the durability of the machine. All these are critical to the lifespan of the blender, and therefore your return on investment.
OmniBlend blenders are trusted by South African coffee shops and restaurants, because of the 3 horsepower motor with 2238 Watt peak performance, the stainless steel drive socket and blade assembly, polycarbonate jug that is virtually unbreakable and easy to clean, as well as the overload protection mechanism, which prevents the motor from overheating. All this is packaged in the best value for money blenders that you find in the market (find our range and pricing here).
We’re often asked for smoothie recipes. Smoothie recipes can vary from fresh or frozen fruits blended with vegetables, yoghurts, milk or dairy-free options, to smoothie pre-mixes that offer a high quality convenient alternative. Readymade re-mixes contain flavor and nutritional value, and offer the ease of use by blending a smoothie mix with ice and liquids. This enables you to add various flavours to your smoothie menu, with low inventory. OmniBlend blenders crush ice cubes with ease, making it possible to use these smoothie packs with ice cubes and blend a high quality smooth drink, time and time again. For smoothies and iced coffees that use a lot of ice cubes or frozen fruits, we recommend the 1.5ltr jug, which has a wider base. You can opt for either the OmniBlend I – 1.5ltr or OmniBlend V – 1.5ltr. You can opt to add a sound enclosure when operating the blender in your shop front.
Contact us for suppliers of such smoothie and iced coffee recipes.
Irene’s Gourmet has become an iconic brand in South Africa’s vegan food market. The plant-based range includes sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut yoghurt, Mozzarella, Gouda, Cheddar, Meltme, pesto, vegan butter, patties, falafel and more. All products are developed by Irene herself, and made with love by the team that strives for making vegan food accessible to all South Africans.
Irene has always been a foodie, trying out new dishes and spending a lot of time in the kitchen to develop new ideas. An artist by profession, she started applying her creativity fully on food in 2014 and so Irene’s Gourmet was born. Irene has been vegetarian since the age of 16 and became fully vegan about 10 years ago. Back then it was disappointing how few options were available for vegans. Though over recent years the vegan food market has been booming, some products are highly expensive, and that’s where Irene and her husband Jason aim to make a difference: “We want everybody to have a choice to eat vegan, and within the boundaries of using natural plant-based and natural ingredients without adding a lot of commercial additives, we aim to offer a range that is reasonably priced so that eating vegan is not only for the well off.”
Starting small, finding the right equipment that was strong enough to endure long production days and still affordable, posed a challenge. “After looking at many power blenders we decided to try an OmniBlend blender as the value for money looked promising. Well, I can assure you that we were definitely not disappointed! We now have 3 OmniBlend blenders; They run for hours every day making everything from plant-based milks, cheese mixes and even the occasional smoothie. I recommend OmniBlend blenders to everyone needing power blenders as I find them to be super strong, reliable and fantastic value for money. Furthermore, the service from the OmniBlend team is truly commendable! Whenever I have had any problems, they get dealt with promptly and efficiently. I also love that the spare parts and extras are readily available and affordable. So if you need a power blender, look no further! OmniBlend is your blender! They are super strong and reliable with infinite culinary possibilities.”, raves Irene about the blenders.
The jump from being a small-scale food production business to producing products for the commercial market and making it available through retailers is a challenging one. Irene is adamant about the quality of food and avoiding the use of chemical preservatives commonly used in processed foods, keeping it as natural as possible. She has therefore spent a lot of time researching and developing techniques to improve the shelf life of the products, while keeping it as close to nature as possible and with great taste.
This has enabled the business to distribute through large retailers nationally, and now Irene’s Gourmet products can be found in selected Spar and Dis-Chem stores in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, as well as health shops throughout South Africa. Or opt for vegan cheese on your pizza at Col’Cacchio, Andicchio 24, Balducci’s, Fussy Vegan, Leafy Greens and many more, also supplied by Irene’s Gourmet.
Once a month Irene and Jason can be found at the Vegan Hippie Connection Market, which they both love as it allows them an opportunity to meet and connect with people who have questions about vegan food and share their passion for making the change. Irene: “We see a lot of people are moving towards vegan food for health reasons. They don’t necessary not like meat, and that’s why we offer meat replacements too that have the same flavor and texture to offer an alternative for the meat cravings. We want people to know that you don’t have to give in on flavor and taste when eating vegan, we love making food that tastes great.” The Vegan Hippie Connection Market is held on the last Sunday of every month at Pirates Sports Club in Parkhurst from 9h00 to 15h00. Follow the market on Facebook to keep up to date with dates, times and more info about the market.
We're receiving many requests for Irene's Gourmet products, and pricing. Unfortunately we don't have all current information, so please connect with Irene's Gourmet through their Facebook or Instagram pages.
Irene's Gourmet is using the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro, which you can find here.
This falafel burger ticks all the boxes of a hearty and healthy home cooked meal. It’s quick to prepare, and you can serve it in so many ways. Have it on a bun, with your regular burger toppings, and roasted sweet potato wedges on the side, or on a summer day as a salad. Grill this vegetarian burger on the stove, or in the oven, crispy outside and juicy inside.
We spent a day in the kitchen with Michelle Parkin, food & lifestyle photographer with chef and restaurant background, and it shows! Michelle whips up amazing creations with ease, and manages to style and capture it so beautifully. It was so much fun to work with her and use the OmniBlend for a host of different dishes!
This chickpea patty was a favorite, and you can have it for lunch, dinner or as a party snack. Just shape it the right (bite) size, and serve with a tahini dipping sauce, and you have a healthy snack.
Ingredients (12 small patties):
Add all ingredients to the OmniBlend jug, and blend for a few seconds, using the tamper (through the lid) to move the ingredients into the blades. Don’t blend too long, to avoid that the mixture gets too smooth. You’ll want to keep some bite. Pulse a few times until you’re happy with the texture. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, and shape the patties. Fry in a little olive oil in a pan, turning to brown each side.
For this recipe we used the OmniBlend V - 2ltr Pro.
Tahini, the Middle Eastern sesame paste, is made of just sesame seeds and oil and adds so much flavour to your recipes! Tahini is used in hummus …duh… and it’s actually very versatile. If you find that a jar is usually just sitting in your fridge, and you’re not sure what to use it for, you’ll want to check these recipes.
There are many ways to use tahini, and we’re sharing our 5 favorites:
Adding a few spoons of tahini will make a dressing that’s rich, creamy and velvety. For an everyday vinaigrette, whisk together tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, honey and minced garlic. Or try this Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with Maple Tahini Dressing from the Minimalist Baker.
Tahini gives creaminess and a rich flavor to all your dips. Mix it with a sour cream for a nutty, tangy dip for pita chips. Tahini also makes a great dip for raw veggies: just add lemon juice, salt and a little pepper and enjoy a delicious snack. Try this 5-minute dreamy vegan and gluten-free tahini dip by Gimme Some Oven that’s delicious with chips, veggies, breads, falafel or chicken strips.
If you enjoy smoothies with nut butter you’ll love a smoothie with tahini. It adds a creamy texture and depth of flavour to your smoothies. Try this Berry & Tahini smoothie from Green Kitchen Stories that’s both tart & savory.
Tahini makes a great spread on toast and rice cakes. Tahini has the consistency of nut butter, making it the perfect substitute. Spread it on toast with some sliced bananas, or try this chocolate tahini spread as a healthy alternative of Nutella, on sourdough toast.
Try adding a few teaspoons of tahini to your soups! Tahini works well as a substitute for dairy in vegan soups to create creaminess. Try this creamy broccoli tahini soup.
Tahini can be used in sweet and savory dishes, and in fact you can replace nut butter with tahini in all your recipes that include nut butter. That makes tahini a perfect substitute in case of nut allergies, and as it's high in vitamine A, and B vitamins, healthy fats, and essential minerals, it's a highly nutritious replacement.
Now that you know how versatile it is, you’ll want to make your own, to always have it at hand. Try our recipe and make your own homemade tahini in just 5 minutes with your OmniBlend blender.
Winter’s upon us, days are shorter, and the mornings are becoming slightly colder. That doesn’t mean we have to give up our favorite salads as we have warm flavours to look forward to in autumn and winter. It’s the time of the year for cozy comfort dishes, and the season comes with an abundance of beetroot, butternut, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, figs and oranges to name a few. Use these for your salad this season, cause salad doesn’t always mean lettuce, and autumn salads are perfect for the cooler weather.
This season’s salads are made using roasted seasonal vegetables, apples and nuts for crunch, and quinoa or brown rice. Add some fish, chicken or eggs for protein to make it a substantial meal for lunch or dinner.
A salad is not a salad without the dressing, so we’ve picked our top 5 dressings and we’ve paired them with some great salads.
You can make these dressings using the OmniBlend 2 liter jug. The 2 liter jug is most versatile because of the narrow base. This narrow base works excellent for a smooth dressing, or sauce. Making these recipes with your OmniBlend blender will definitely prove that making your own salad dressing is fun, fresh and easy.
Creamy Cashew Green Goddess Dressing (vegan)
A delicious Creamy Cashew Green Goddess dressing that gets its silkiness from the cashew nuts that are blended to a milky texture. You definitely want to try this recipe with a quinoa salad, with fresh cucumber and chickpeas. Any leftovers of this dressing are also great on a sandwich, or as a dipping sauce for raw veggies on a platter. Dairy free, and vegan.
Photo credit Cookie+Kate
Avo Coriander Dressing
Ever hosted a Texmex party? This Avocado Coriander Dressing is great on a spicy Western salad with roasted sweet potato, black beans and corn. It brings all the flavours together really well. Just blitz the ingredients using the pulse, and you’re done!
Photo credit Pinch of Yum
Green bean salad Ginger Carrot Vinaigrette
Autumn is the season for warm root vegetable flavours like carrot and ginger, and this Ginger Carrot vinaigrette goes perfectly with tossed green beans, topped with cherry tomatoes, and toasted almonds. Toss some grilled chicken breast strips in for additional protein.
Photo credit 101 Cookbooks
Harvest Maple Dijon Dressing
Citrus is another autumn favourite, and this Harvest Maple Dijon Dressing pairs beautifully with a zesty green salad this season, topped with some orange and avocado slices. Add some grilled halloumi and it’s a winner!
Photo credit TheKitchn
Ginger Cranberry Dressing
This Ginger Cranberry Dressing is for the more adventurous in the kitchen. Replace fresh cranberry with (defrosted) frozen cranberries when they’re hard to get by. Or use dried cranberries, and leave the maple syrup out as it will have sweetness already. This dressing is magical in a warm kale salad with apple and walnuts or almond slivers.
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.