açaí super smoothie

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

The açaí palm provides two of my favourite things on earth, açai berries and hearts of palm. The açaí berry is jam packed with antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It’s also delicious. The first time the husband took me to Rio we went to a juice bar near the beach and he got me this massive dark purple açaí smoothie. It was incredibly beautiful and super scrumptious. The berry is quite tart but has chocolatey cocoa undertones which makes it a delicious addition to any smoothie or juice. It also has a magnificent colour.

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

I received the most beautiful glass bottle of milk from Consol last week. Not only do I just adore the nostalgia of milk in a glass bottle but the milk inside was the most delicious and creamy milk i’ve ever tasted. Thanks to the sexy Swiss cows from Deneys Swiss Dairy i’m ruined for all other milk. And let’s face it, milk just tastes better in a glass bottle. This awesome colab is getting people to focus on bringing back the pure things in life. This gorgeous glass bottle is pure packaging. It keeps the milk fresher for longer and with no nasty chemicals that could alter the taste of its contents. So chuck out those plastic cartons and decant your milk into a beautiful glass bottle. It’s better for you, it looks darn pretty and it feels like a treat!

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

Also- can we have a minute for these amazing strawberries I found at the market. They were almost too pretty to eat… almost. To give the different layers of the smoothie some slushie consistency I sliced and froze a bunch of strawberries and bananas. They also make fabulous sorbet in seconds if you blend them up with a splash of coconut milk. The chia seed layer is a yum and fun textural element but also super duper healthy. These babies are laden with B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. I mean. I’m feeling healthier just typing this!

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

Açaí Super Smoothie

makes 1 large smoothie

Ingredients:

Banana layer

  • 1 banana
  • 125ml milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder

Slice banana thinly and freeze slices until hard. Remove from the freezer and place all ingredients in a blender or nutribullet. Blend until smooth and reserve layer in the freezer.

Chia seed layer

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 125ml milk

Soak chia seeds in milk and vanilla until they become porridge like and reserve in the fridge.

Açaí layer

  • 7 strawberries
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 heaped Tbsp açaí powder
  • 125ml milk

Slice strawberries thinly and freeze until hard. Remove from the freezer and place all ingredients in a blender or nutribullet. Blend until smooth and reserve layer in the freezer.

To assemble smoothie:

Mash some fresh strawberries at the bottom of the jar. Top with banana layer, chia seed layer and then açaí layer. Finally decorate with fresh fruit, toasted nuts and seeds.

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

acai super smoothie | The Secret Life of Bee

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Consol Glass

 

 

vovo’s oatmeal raisin cookies

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

The husband has been talking about these oatmeal raisin cookies since our early dating days when he only liked me for my washing machine. He explained how his German granny ‘Vovo’ made these for him growing up and no matter what biscuit/crunchie/cookie I baked for him nothing could ever compare to these. At the time I was ever so slightly peeved. How good could these cookies be? Well I recently found out… and they are that good.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

On our recent trip to the states Vovo arrived at our airbnb one day with a bag full of groceries for me and this recipe. Now no pressure but I had to bake these cookies for the entire family. No problemo. So I get cracking in the kitchen with an oven that keeps tripping, no mixing bowls, no scale or baking utensils and only a 1/2 cup for measuring and one plastic teaspoon. We even had to make a dash to the shops to buy a baking tray. Anyhoo, all that aside and some suspect measuring later the most delicious smell on earth was emanating from the kitchen. This recipe makes about 40-50 cookies depending on their size. They lasted just under 24 hours. They were inhaled.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

The type of oats you use for these oatmeal raisin cookies is rather important. Try find big, beautiful, large flake rolled oats. Definitely don’t use any instant or quick oats. They will alter the texture and you definitely don’t want that. These cookies are superbly crunchy and chewy at the same time. I found some gorgeous big rolled oats at Wellness Warehouse for those in SA. As for the chocolate- dark chocolate chips are the way forward or else a slab of dark chocolate chopped into chunks that will make glorious oozy gooey pockets of love. Oh and just a warning- the raw dough is ADDICTIVE. I tucked in while rolling the cookies out and actually reduced the amount of work I had to do as I was decreasing the dough rapidly. Whoops.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Vovo’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes A LOT (40-50 depending on size)

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 115g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 190g flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 330g rolled oats
  • 170g raisins
  • 100g dark chocolate chips/chunks

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground cinnamon and sea salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix well.

Finally fold in the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.

Place the mixture into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out scant tablespoons of dough into little balls.

Refrigerate the balls for another 30 minutes and then bake them off in batches for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Dunk in some cold milk and enjoy! 

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

the perfect homemade pizza

homemade pizza | The Secret Life of Bee

God bless dough. Dough is king. Cheese and meat on crispy dough is a magical thing. There are few things on this earth I enjoy more than a homemade pizza straight out of the oven. It’s such a social thing. I put the husband to work on rolling out the bases. The mamma bear is generally on wine pouring duty and I get the sauce and toppings going. I have a little Earthfire pizza oven that works like a bomb but we sadly can’t use it at our apartment complex. So we just blast the oven as high as it will go and pop a pizza stone in to get piping hot.

homemade pizza | The Secret Life of Bee

I made this pizza a couple of weeks ago before I went to the US on a foodie extravaganza with the husband. Two of the very many highlights were going to the famous institution that is Joe’s Pizza for the best slice in NYC and getting a serious dose of Italian food porn at Eataly. Walking into Joe’s Pizza is hysterical because no one is talking. They’re all way too busy chewing and munching on one of the best slices of pizza i’ve ever had. The back wall is lined with photos of Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Murray and every other famous person you can think of getting their NYC slice on at Joe’s.  The husband went for the pepperoni and I went for the mozzarella. Both were delicious and perfectly balanced. Thin chewy base with just the right amount of toppings.

Joe's Pizza NYC | The Secret Life of Bee

Joe's Pizza NYC | The Secret Life of Bee

Joe's Pizza NYC | The Secret Life of Bee

We then hit Eataly where the finest ingredients on the planet are all on steroids. The creamiest mozzarella, ripest Italian tomatoes and a cheeky Italian dude making the pizzas and chatting away over the counter added to the vibe. The pizza was delicious and at $25 we made sure there wasn’t a crumb leftover.

Eataly | The Secret Life of Bee

Alrighty. So enough blabbing. Pizza time.

If you don’t have a pizza stone an all natural unglazed tile will do the trick. Or just use a baking tray. The crust won’t be as crisp but it’ll still be fun and yum!

The perfect homemade pizza

makes 2

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 300g doppio zero “00” flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

Combine warm water, olive oil and yeast in a jug and leave for 5 minutes. Combine salt and flour in a large mixing bowl and mix well to distribute the salt. Pour the water mixture into the flour and mix well with your hands. Knead the dough until bouncy and elastic. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Split rested dough into two and knead each ball for a few minutes. Cover both with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 2-4 hours at room temperature.

Sauce:

  • 1 tin whole peeled Italian tomatoes, blended
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt to taste
  • bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped (optional)

Gently fry the garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the tomato paste, oregano and salt and cook for a few minutes. Finally add the blended tomatoes and sugar and allow to simmer gently for 1 hour until reduced. Stir through the chopped basil once the sauce is thick and check seasoning.

To make the pizzas:

Preheat your oven as high as it will go! Place the rack into the top third of the oven and if you have a pizza stone pop that in there too.

Roll and stretch the dough out on a floured surface. If you have a pizza shovel assemble pizzas on there. If not an upside down baking tray works just fine!

Spoon about 3 Tbsp of the tomato sauce on the pizza. Spread it out with the back of the spoon. Brush the edges of the pizza with olive oil for a great crust.

Add toppings of your choice.

Here I used buffalo mozzarella, asparagus, parma ham and fresh rocket. And I decided to #putaneggonit

If you want to keep your yolk nice and runny pop the pizza into the oven for a few minutes first, then crack the egg on and finish the cooking.

Be careful when transferring the pizza onto the super hot pizza stone. Preferably drink wine moderately until this is done.

Cook each pizza for about 5 minutes until golden, bubbling and crispy!

Buon appetito!

homemade pizza | The Secret Life of Bee