Food

How Banting friendly is Grahamstown?

As a student attempting the Banting diet while living in Grahamstown, life can be hard. Coming from Johannesburg, a city laden with a variety of restaurants and shops, I was underwhelmed at the limited items available to “Banters”. Here in Grahamstown we don’t have the luxury of Kauai’s cauli-rice curry bowls or Col Cacchio’s Banting pizza bases. We can’t go to Woolworths and buy cauliflower wraps or indulge in their “carb-clever” range of microwavable meals. But, being the devoted Banter that I am, I scoured the streets of Grahamstown – which, believe me, does not take long – to find out just how Banting-friendly Grahamstown is.

                                                                             Banting Quiche

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You can’t even taste the absence of the crust in this delicious Banting quiche. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

Made from just bacon, eggs, cream, and spring onion, this crustless quiche tastes just as delicious as a regular quiche, but is completely carb-free. It’s available from Provost for R34. There is also a butternut and feta option available for vegetarians for R27.

                                                                               Banting Coffee

Available from Hand Made Coffees for R30, their “Bullet-proof coffee” contains grass-fed butter and organic cold-pressed coconut oil. True to Banting religion, it is high in fat in order to keep you feeling full for longer and to help curb those cravings.

                                                                            Banting Chocolate

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Caring Candies carb-free chocolate is tasty and cheap. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

 As someone with a strong sweet tooth, giving up chocolate was one of the most challenging aspects of the Banting diet. Then I discovered Caring Candies range of low-carb chocolate. I can equate the happiness I felt upon finally finding low-carb chocolate that doesn’t taste like tree bark to the happiness one might feel when winning the lottery. There are three flavours – real milk chocolate, fresh mint chocolate, and toffee crunch, and all are equally delicious. A bar costs R14,50 and is available at The Mustard Seed and BP.

                                                                       Banting Bread

Bread, a.k.a. the devil, is one of the most difficult things to give up. Thanks to Bretzinger Bakery, you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen to make your own low-carb bread. Just hop over to BP, where you can buy a loaf for R51,99. Pricey, but worth it.

                                                                     Banting Wraps

Now you can indulge in a wrap guilt-free! Red Café have hopped on the Banting bandwagon by swapping traditional carb-laden wraps for Spinach instead. You have a choice between hummus and crushed cashews or bacon and basil pesto to go along with the filling of stir-fried vegetables in soya sauce. Price is R50.

                                                                             Banting sweets

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These sugar-free sweets are a perfect fix for that sweet tooth. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

Another Caring Candies range – sugar-free bon bon sweets. One bag costs R14,50 and flavours include ginger, raspberry, liquorice, lemon, and toffee.

                                                                        Banting “Peanut Butter”

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Almond butter is expensive but worth every cent. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

Tim Noakes’ book The Real Meal Revolution, a.k.a the Banting bible, explicitly forbids peanut butter. Luckily for peanut butter lovers, there is an alternative solution – almond butter. It has notably fewer carbohydrates than peanut butter, and the one available from the Mustard Seed is high in fat and has no added sugars. The only catch is that one jar is going to set you back R86 – so use it sparingly.

                                                                      Banting Ingredients

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These are staples for a Banter’s pantry. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

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A number of Banting recipes call for desiccated coconut. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

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Coconut oil is the healthiest of all the oils. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

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Ground flax seed is a key ingredient for making low-carb bread. Photo credit: Adriana Georgiades.

If you’ve purchased a copy of the Real Meal Revolution – which contains a number of Banting recipes – or even if you’ve found Banting recipes online, you’re bound to have noticed that most of the recipes call for some obscure ingredients. I know I was concerned that many of them wouldn’t be available in Grahamstown – for example, what in the world are psyllium husks? But have no fear, everything you need can be found at The Mustard Seed in Peppergrove Mall. Below is a list of ingredients common to many Banting dishes as well as prices.

– Coconut flour (500g) – R52

– Almond Flour (300g) – R93

– Organic cold-pressed coconut oil – R56

– Ground Flax seed – R19

– Psyllium Husks (350g) – R105

So the above list isn’t as amazing as a carb-free sandwich from Knead, but it’s definitely something. Here’s hoping this list will make the lives of my fellow Banters a bit easier and dinner a bit more nutritiously delicious.

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