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Zero-Calorie Refreshment with A1 Sparkling Fruit Water

A natural, sugar-free drink option for health-conscious consumers in SA.



A1 Sparkling Fruit Water

While the demand for sugar-laden soft drinks has been in steady decline over the past few years, the opposite has been true for the sparkling water category. Consumers are looking for healthier alternatives to their favourite carbonated drinks, but even flavoured sparkling water alternatives aren’t always free from artificial flavours or sugar. Luckily for South Africans looking for a healthy, natural way to enjoy flavoured water, A1 Fruit Water has landed in a fridge near you. The premium natural sparkling fruit water with zero calories promises to add a little sparkle into your life, no matter where you are.

Globally, brands in the sparkling water category are experiencing strong growth and South Africa is on the same course, due to the rise of health-conscious consumers in the country. In fact, according to consumers do not only want to drink products low in sugar, but they are looking for ingredients with health benefits.

A1 Sparkling Fruit Water

I know I’m always on the hunt for more healthy drinks options to enjoy at home and when I’m out with friends, but finding drinks that are sugar-free, preservative-free and zero-calorie can be a tall order. Thankfully, A1 Fruit Water officially launched in South Africa in late 2020, with its range of natural sparkling waters, infused with real African fruit. The natural sparkling fruit water range offers three flavours; Mandarin, Lemon, and Grapefruit.

Produced in South Africa, A1 offers a healthy option for hydration; with the brand saying it is the only offering on shelf right now that can hold a claim to be sugar-free, vegan accredited, gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, zero-calorie, as well as sweetener and preservative-free. The natural fruit infusion and flavours found in A1 Fruit Water are captured as a by-product during the fruit concentrate manufacturing process, which is how the natural flavours are infused into the sparkling water range.

A1 Sparkling Fruit Water

What’s more, as a brand, A1 Fruit Water answers the sustainability call to support local. A1 Fruit Water works with farming partners who are located in the sub-tropical mango and citrus producing region of Hoedspruit in the north of the country. Here, the supply chain and local factories are assisted by A1 Fruit Water through their purchasing of the by-product from the fruit concentrate manufacturing process and thus push the supply and demand for fruit produce in the area.

Tried & tested

I tried the A1 Fruit Water range to see if the sparkling fruit waters are worth grabbing on your next grocery run. Of the three flavours, the Grapefruit is by far my favourite. It packs the most punch flavour-wise, followed by the Lemon flavour, which is so refreshing. If you love drinking lemon water then you’ll adore the Lemon flavour.

It’s important to remember that these are lightly flavoured waters, so don’t expect a big flavour profile similar to other flavoured sparkling waters on the market. Many other sparkling flavoured water brands are packed with artificial flavours to help compete with soft drinks but the A1 Fruit Water range offers more of a subtle, infused flavour.

A1 Sparkling Fruit Water

I expected to love the Mandarin flavour the most, but for me, this one had the least flavour of the three varieties. The flavour was a little too subtle for me, but that’s ok because I can’t get enough of the Grapefruit flavour and will definitely be stocking my fridge with this for the next braai where I’m playing designated Dave.

Where to buy

A1 Fruit Water has national ambitions but has launched with a focus on the Western Cape and Gauteng Provinces for now with products on shelves at Pick n Pay, Spar, other independent retailers, as well as online at Takealot at a recommended retail price of 16.99 per 330ml can and R299 per case.

After a rather tough childhood growing up with three brothers Crystal has finally found a way to put the intel she gathered about the inner workings of the male mind to good use. On any given Sunday you can find her trying to convince her long-suffering boyfriend that today is the day to try that "new funky restaurant that just opened".


Local Meat Company to Release Africa’s First Beef Burger with Cultivated Meat

The future of meat is here.



Since establishing in 2020, South African cultivated meat company Mzansi Meat Co. has been harnessing cellular agriculture technology in order to make meat from the cells of animals without actually harming the animal. After two years of R&D, the company is proud to announce that next month it will be showcasing the first cultivated beef burger in Africa, at a bespoke event in Cape Town.

A proudly South African company, Mzansi Meat Co. plans on scaling up production on their cultivated meat in order to ensure cruelty-free meat is available on as many plates around the country as possible. However, their sights are not only set on burgers. The brand has plans to introduce minced beef burgers, sausages, nuggets, steaks and even chicken into the South African market over the next few years. The company’s vision is to produce meat that will be used in traditional African and South African cuisine.

“The African population is expected to grow from 1.3B to 2.5B by 2050; the demand for meat is expected to rise with it. This challenge presents an opportunity. An opportunity for a new source of protein, cultivated meat, to be part of the solution for food security on the continent.”, Brett Thompson, CEO of Mzansi Meat Co.

However, as the company celebrates this massive milestone, getting there has been an intricate process. The journey begins at Mzansi Meat Co.’s local farm animal sanctuary where veterinarians remove tiny tissue cells from donor animals, who roam free, with as little harm as possible.

Once the cells are harvested, a sample is placed in a nutrient-rich transport medium and taken to the Mzansi Meat labs where the cells are isolated and grown in a culture medium. This is a special type of food containing vitamins, salts and proteins that the cells need to develop and divide. Once they have enough cells, they’re placed on a scaffold and after adding a few additional spices and flavours, the cultivated meat is ready to be dished up and enjoyed. The process of growing cell-based meat is similar to how beer is brewed.

“We’ve always had a thing for meat. It’s easy to see why – meat goes with all occasions and brings us together to make moments more flavourful. It’s also a rich form of protein loved by cultures the world over. The journey from the source to our plate, however, comes at a cost,” Brett Thompson explains. “That’s where Mzansi Meat Co. was born – out of a relentless pursuit to reimagine our food systems and the way we make meat. We’re bringing healthy, accessible and affordable meat to your braais, potjies and shisa nyamas by growing it from cells, instead of harming animals.

For more information, visit the Mzansi Meat Co website.

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Review: Ocean Basket Launches New Summer Menu with Whole Fish & Local Flavours

We get a taste of Ocean Basket’s new summer seafood sizzlers.



Loved by many for its laid-back dining atmosphere and consistently good-quality seafood dishes, Ocean Basket is no doubt a South African treasure. It’s certainly a go-to restaurant for me, and my family when we’ve got seafood on the mind. Like many Ocean Basket fans, I know the menu backwards and forwards and always know just what to order when I sit down for a meal. Of course, even your old-favourite spots need a bit of shaking up every now and then, which is why Ocean Basket is livening up its tried and tested menu with a few new dishes for fans to salivate over this summer.

I popped into the V&A Waterfront branch for a taste of Ocean Basket’s new summer menu, which includes everything from new whole fish dishes to sushi inspired by South African flavours. We enjoyed a multi-course seafood feast and after sampling all the new additions to the summer menu I was beyond impressed.

Sea Bream steals the show

Undoubtedly the star of the new menu is the scrumptious Sea Bream which is served whole. Sea Bream’s dense, juicy white flesh has a satisfying meaty texture, a clean taste and a delicate flavour, making it the perfect choice for a whole fish dish. When it comes to cooking fish, the healthiest cooking methods help to limit the loss of healthy omega-3 fats and retain the most nutrients, which makes cooking a fish whole far superior to fish fillets. Keeping the body intact holds in the flavour and moisture better, and most importantly, you waste less of the meat.

Ocean Basket’s new Grilled Sea Bream (R155) is served with orange and caper sauce and a side of roasted vegetables for a light, but filling meal you won’t soon forget. I absolutely love this dish for those days when you are looking for a healthier option when dining out with family and friends. The grilled fish is still packed with flavour, and the orange and caper sauce brings a bright and fresh flavour to the dish that has you salivating with every bite.

If you want to indulge a little then you can also opt for the Fried Sea Bream (R155) which is served with a red pepper mayo and a side of your choice (roast vegetables, salad, or chips, and rice). The fried version with the red pepper mayo is indeed a winner if you’re after a creamy, moreish treat. Of course, the whole fish Sea Bream is also available grilled with Ocean Basket’s famous lemon butter sauce. This was my favourite version of this dish and is a must-try for anyone looking for something new to try, but with a familiar flavour.

If you’re really hungry then you can also opt for the Sea Bream Platter for One (R235) which offers a whole Sea Bream, calamari and 5 price prawns. It’s an indulgent seafood treat you won’t regret ordering! Once again, the platter offers a choice of sides for you to enjoy along with your seafood.

The lighter side of life

If you’re not too hungry or are after a light starter to get those taste buds ready for the main event, then you must try the new Panko Prawn cakes. This dish of juicy prawn meat, crumbed in a paprika panko crumb is served with a zesty mayo and is a delightful starter for prawn fans. These tasty little bites are also great as a snack if you’re enjoying drinks with friends and want something to nibble on.

Speaking of starters and light nibbles; the summer menu also offers a variety of exciting new salads and other starters. Try the Avo and Falafel salad (R70), Chickpea & Feta starter (grilled chickpeas in a red pesto sauce, topped with feta – R39), or the Loaded Halloumi (topped with fresh Med salsa – R67). All three flavour explosions are perfect as starters or part of a sharing Meze-style meal.

The new summer menu offers exciting new light dining options for seafood fans, as well as vegetarians and vegans who want to join their fish-eating friends and family for a meal without being condemned to eating nothing but lettuce leaves all night.

Sushi fans, rejoice!

The great news for sushi fans is that Ocean Basket has also enhanced its much-loved sushi platters with new offerings including Panko Zucchini California Rolls (R24 for 4-piece), Panko Prawn California Rolls (R35 for 4-piece), Med Salsa Gunkan (R19 for 3-piece) and Kingklip Futomaki (R45 for 6-piece). All the light summer flavours in a delicious mouthful of sushi rice.

I absolutely love the new Panko Prawn additions to the sushi menu, the satisfying crunch from the prawn brings a delightful texture to the sushi and the flavour combinations in all the Panko Prawn options are divine. The Kingklip Futomaki was another surprise favourite of mine, I wasn’t sure about kingklip in sushi, but it was absolutely divine and something I will definitely order again on my next visit.

If you’re after a sushi feast, then try one of Ocean Basket’s sushi platters for a taste of everything. The Chef’s Medley platter offers 3-piece Med Salsa Gunkan, 6-piece Kingklip Futomaki, 3-piece Panko Prawn Gunkan, and 4-piece Panko Zucchini California Rolls at R88. For vegetarians, the Green Supreme platter (R84) offers something completely different. You get 3-piece Med Salsa Gunkan, 6-piece Avo Maki, and 8-piece Panko Zucchuni Gunkan.

Cheers to good times

For dessert, there are the old favourites like the Baklava (R60 for 3-piece), or try the new Fruit Pops and choose between Berry, Passion Fruit, or Mango favoured ice lollies (R24 each).

Of course, you also need something to wash it all down and the new summer menu also offers an improved selection of great South African wines as well as chilled coolers in a variety of flavours. I love the new non-alcoholic blush cooler, which can be ordered for one (R40) or to share in a carafe (R115).

Check out the full Ocean Basket menu online here.

Review originally published on

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5 Healthier Snacks To Enjoy During the Holidays

Snack on these nutritious and delicious snacks this festive season.



The holiday season can be the perfect storm for bad eating, especially if you’re travelling. You’re under stress, surrounded by tempting, unhealthy treats, and often tired and cranky from fighting crowds. But things are looking up — as far as convenience foods go, loads of stores have improved their healthy offerings, so you don’t have to look hard to find satisfying, healthy snacks to enjoy when the cravings hit.

That’s right, you don’t have to give up your holiday favourites, by simply making smarter snack choices, you will at least be consuming more nutritious foods. By opting for more nutritious versions of the same snacks, you can be sure you’re taking in valuable vitamins and minerals, even if you’re increasing your calorie intake. Whether your snack of choice is potato chips or chocolates, this list has a healthier snack find for you. Check out a few of our favourite healthy snacks to enjoy this holiday season.

Eat Real Chips

If you love a crunchy savoury snack but don’t want to reach for a bag of traditional potatoes chips, then these little nutritious bites of joy are ideal. Made from real, natural ingredients with no added nasties (artificial flavourings, colourings and preservatives), Eat Real chips offer a healthier alternative to crisps or potato chips.

With no added sugar (only the natural stuff) you’re getting a healthy snack that is also packed with nutrients. The range includes something for everyone to enjoy with lentil, hummus, quinoa, and veggie chips which are all perfect for a quick snack on-the-go. Keep a few bags in the pantry for easy snacking when you’re at home, or pop a bag or two in your handbag for a bite in-between errands.

Eat Real chips are available at select health stores as well as online from Faithful to Nature at R74.99 for a 5-pack.

GD Chocolate Slabs

These vegetarian, sugar-free, dairy-free chocolate slabs contain no cane sugar, are sweetened using raw honey, and flavoured with fresh non-artificial ingredients. Plus, the brand’s use of a pure and ethically sourced superfood, cocoa, means that your treat is loaded with important mineral magnesium, theobromine (which aids heart health), anti-oxidants and tryptophan (a natural anti-depressant that helps stress relief). What’s more, GD chocolates contain no soya lecithin, preservatives, artificial colourants or flavourants. Basically, it’s the chocolate treat that keeps on giving.

The GD chocolate slabs are available in a variety of decadent flavours including, Lemon & Black Pepper, Plain, Vanilla, Coffee, Orange, Mint, as well as Rooibos & Matcha. The Plain and Vanilla flavours are also available as a vegan and keto-friendly option without honey, using Erythritol as a sweetener.

Find it at Wellness Warehouse at R65.95 per 100g slab.

Eat Real Veggie Straws

The holidays can be especially tough for parents. Kids love snacking during the holidays, but filling them up with sweets and chocolates isn’t the best idea for your long-term sanity. Of course, even little ones deserve a treat during the holidays. This vegetable potato-based snack gives parents peace of mind that their little ones are enjoying smart, healthier snacks loaded with vitamins and minerals.

The fun-shaped gluten-free, vegan, vegetable flavoured snack looks like an ordinary chip, but is secretly loaded with good-for-them nutrients. Made from real, natural ingredients with no added nasties (artificial flavourings, colourings and preservatives), this tasty crunchy treat from Eat Real is something the whole family can enjoy at any time of the day!

Find it at Wellness Warehouse at R64.95 per 100g multipack.

GD Chocolate Buttercups

The GD Chocolate range also includes single-serving Loaded Logs which are great for a quick treat when you’re on the go or as a pick-me-up at home. The bite-sized GD Buttercups are sure to satisfy your cravings for something sweet without the temptation of over-indulging too much. The artisanal, gourmet dark chocolate bites pack a powerful but delicious health-boosting punch. Free from dairy, preservatives, refined sugar as well as HFCS, and sweetened only with raw honey, these little bites are made with 71% dark chocolate and about 80% raw ingredients, providing all the superfood benefits of cacao.

The buttercups are available in five deliciously indulgent soft-centre fillings to choose from including Mint, Mocha-Coffee, Turkish Rose, Almond Butter and Vanilla. The Almond Butter, with its gooey almond butter centre, is our favourite. We love that the honey flavour really comes through in each bite of these chocolate treats, and the different flavours combined with the bitterness of the dark chocolate helps to ensure they’re not overly sweet.

The GD Buttercups retail for R19.95 from Wellness Warehouse.

GD Chocolate Loaded Logs

A chocolatey friend with major benefits, GD’s Loaded Logs are deliciously nutritious. They’re loaded with health-giving, flavourful goodness and nothing else. Each of the four flavours at the centre of these raw honey-sweetened chocolate logs has unique nutritional properties. The one thing they do have in common is how deliciously each of the loaded flavours blends with the smooth, enticing taste of GD’s dark chocolate.

Choose from Collagen, Vitamin C, Maca Moringa, and Turmeric Loaded Logs for a quick treat. We love the Vitamin C Loaded Log. It’s tart, yet sweet with a tangy citrus zing and as an added bonus of offering your body an extra dose of much-needed vitamin C. These little chocolate bombs are the ideal choice if you want to indulge in an irresistible treat while still offering your body some added nutritional benefits.

The Loaded Logs for R24.95 and are available from Wellness Warehouse.

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Top Tips for Healthier Festive Season Eating

Simple tips to healthy eating over the holiday period.



Photo cred: Fit Men Cook

After a hard year of work, diligence, and discipline, it’s always incredibly cathartic to indulge a little during the festive season. Taking some time off and enjoying the finer things in life — whether it’s a few extra drinks, snacks, or braaiing every night (because, why not), the December-January period offers many people a much-needed break from their everyday routine. However, the holidays aren’t always compatible with a healthy lifestyle. When the holiday season rolls around, it’s easy to get a little lax on the healthy eating habits and exercise routine that we typically maintain. Couple that with the stress of the holidays and all those festive parties, and you have a recipe for disaster.

But just because you’ve committed to letting your hair down this festive season, it doesn’t mean your overall well-being has to take a hit in December and January. Fortunately, with a few tricks up your sleeve, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the silly season! We teamed up with Harmony Avs, to bring you these top tips for healthier festive season eating:

Clever swaps

It’s no secret that holiday living doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with a leaner eating plan. But, something as simple as making smart food choices can mean that you’re at least consuming more nutritious meals and snacks. You don’t have to give up your holiday favourites, instead, opt for more nutritious versions of the same dish. For example, you can use less butter in your dishes, opt for Greek yoghurt instead of mayonnaise in your potato salad, or go for grilled fish instead of the fried version.

And for dessert? Why not let the humble avocado be the star of the show, and have a very merry avocado Christmas? One of our favourite dessert swaps for the holidays is a healthier take on chocolate mousse, using avocado. If you’ve never had a dessert made with avocado, don’t worry-this sweet recipe still tastes like a moreish pudding, not like guacamole.

There are many recipes for avocado chocolate mousse online, but this version from Gordon Ramsay switches out the heavy cream for avo, and jazzes it up with honey, cacao powder, and vanilla extract for a decadent dessert that your guests won’t soon forget.

To put a festive spin on your avocado chocolate mousse desserts, try dressing them up by serving the mousse in individual jars and top your creation with coconut cream before sprinkling with crushed peppermint sweets. Add a candy cane or red and white peppermints to garnish and kick up the holiday spirit. While the pudding itself is sure to be a showstopper, topping it with peppermint crunch is going to make it look super festive and add a lovely crunchy texture to complement the smooth pudding.

festive chocolate mousse

Ice-cream fans can also incorporate avos into their beloved treat, indulging in a scoop or three of Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream this holiday season. It’s super simple to make — just a few ingredients mixed up to make an amazingly decadent and healthy chocolate ice cream to rival anything you’ve had at an ice cream parlour. And the best news? It’s also really good for you! This avocado chocolate ice cream is loaded with the healthful goodness of avocados, cocoa powder, coconut milk and sweetener. So no guilt. Just healthy indulgence.

Of course, you can dress it up to make it fun and festive, too. Simply add a scoop of your ice cream to a cone, top it with 2 pretzel halves for horns, and add a red smartie for a nose, and you’ve got an easy Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer to delight little ones and bring some Christmas cheer to your holiday party.

festive ice cream

Chocolately avocado treats are the perfect healthy, yet delicious desserts for your Christmas lunch or dinner. Not only do avocados have a velvety, luxurious texture when blended, (which makes them ideal for puddings and ice cream recipes), but they’re loaded with folate, potassium, and antioxidants. Their abundance of healthy fats and fibre will help keep you full longer, and avocados have also been shown to improve cognitive health. Plus, According to a 2019 study published on Science Daily, eating just one avocado a day can help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and even help improve your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

With just a few simple tricks, you can keep all your favourites on your plate these holidays, safe in the knowledge that you are feeding your body with much-needed vitamins and minerals, rather than just sugar-laden empty calories.

Add more fruit and vegetables

We all know the holidays are for feasting, and it’s very likely that you will be consuming more calories than usual during the festive season. But, while it’s ok to let your hair down and forget about calorie counting, you also don’t want to be dealing with the struggles of sugar crashes and lethargy from over-eating. One way to avoid a sugar crash or feeling bloated after a big meal is to ensure you’re at least feasting on more nutrient-dense foods, rather than just empty processed sugar and carbohydrates.

A good trick is to add more fruits and vegetables to your meals. If you’re hosting a festive lunch for family friends, then make sure you increase the number of vegetable dishes on the lunch table. Something like roasted asparagus can be beautiful on its own, and roasted carrots or sweet potatoes are rich in taste and a bright pop of colour. Also, focus on delicious salads laden with healthy fats — like avocado, nuts, and olives.

If you’re looking for healthy snack or appetiser ideas for your festive season parties, then you can rest easy knowing that healthy doesn’t have to be boring. We all know the trick to a good snack table at any party is the presentation, and the festive season offers plenty of excuses for fun decorations and cute plating ideas.

Take, for example, this fabulously festive Avocado Toast Christmas Tree; the recipe is as easy as they come and is such a fun way to bring a touch of jingle bell magic to your snack table this holiday season. The recipe calls for delicious homemade guacamole and toast cut into individual mini triangles to make the branches of the tree.

If chips and dip are more your style, then you can also swap out the bread for homemade tortilla chip triangles made with oven-toasted tortillas. Switching out supermarket-bought dips for homemade guacamole is an easy way to increase the amount of good-for-you nutrients in your holiday snacks while still indulging a little!

Practice healthier snack habits

Snacking is a favourite pastime for many people during the holiday season. Because, what is a visit to the beach, a picnic in the park, or a hike with friends without a few good snacks? It may be tempting to toss a few bags of chips, some chocolate bars, and a couple of sugar-packed soft drinks into your bag for your outing, but a little bit of extra thought when choosing your snacks can save you loads of calories, and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

If you’re looking for a quick snack to enjoy before going on a hike, then a homemade smoothie is a great choice. A smoothie that is packed with healthy fats, fibre, and protein, will help to slow down digestion and may even prevent blood sugar level spikes. Try whipping up a quick protein smoothie with protein powder, avocado, and dates to power your hike and get you ready to take on the steepest of climbs.

If you’re enjoying a leisurely picnic this festive season, there are loads of healthier picnic options you can enjoy. A wrap packed with fresh vegetables is a great light meal option for a picnic. It’s easy to transport, and the filling options are endless.

For wraps, we love combinations like grilled chicken and avocado with grated carrot, baby spinach, and cucumber. To ensure your wraps don’t go soggy before you’ve had a chance to eat them, line the wrap with a large lettuce leaf and place the filling on top of the lettuce before folding the wrap closed.

Of course, there’s also room for a little bit of indulgence this holiday season. If you’re looking to treat yourself and your loved ones to a fun festive drink, then nothing says; “deck the halls” quite like eggnog! For a naughty-but-nice healthier alternative to traditional eggnog, we love this recipe for Avocado Eggnog using coconut milk. It’s thick yet airy, frothy and smooth, plus you can make it boozy with a tot of rum if you prefer your eggnog with a kick! Don’t forget to dress up your eggnog with cinnamon sticks and a sprinkle of cinnamon to really feel that festive spirit in every sip.

Eat local these holidays

Adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals and snacks is one of the best ways to stay healthy this festive season. And, while you’re at it, remember to be mindful of eating local produce. Eating fruits and vegetables from local producers is often more affordable, plus, it promotes the local economy and is more environmentally friendly because your produce doesn’t have to travel such long distances to reach supermarket shelves.

Take avocados, for example, we would all love to feast on avocados this festive season, but for most people, forking out R70 for 2 small ripe-and-ready-to-eat avocados at big-name grocery stores isn’t financially feasible. So, if you want to enjoy avocados without paying hugely inflated prices, then you’re best off enjoying locally grown avs when they are in season.

This Christmas choose Harmony Avs

The great news is, there’s no need to check your calendar to see if avocados are in season this summer, ZZ2 Harmony Avs has got you covered! Harmony Avs are in season all year round for South African consumers, so you can rest assured you’ll have the green gold for your morning avocado toast. With a range of 12 varietals of avocados that ripen at different times of the year, Harmony Avs makes it possible for South Africans to have locally grown avocados all the time and at any time!

While South African consumers are mostly familiar with the Hass and Fuerte varietals of avocado, ZZ2 is now releasing ten other varietals so that consumers may buy locally grown produce while it is in season. They have the added benefits of supporting their local market, knowing where their food comes from and knowing that it has not travelled far to reach them. To achieve this incredible feat, ZZ2 has planted trees at various altitudes which come into season at different times. The result is locally grown avocados at prices South African consumers will love.

The 12 Harmony Avs varieties available include: Hass, Maluma Hass, Lamb Hass, Fuerte, Pinkerton, Ettinger, Ryan, Galil, Edranol, Itzamna. Simmonds, and Shepard. Rather excitingly, each of the 12 Harmony Avs varietals in South Africa offer a unique flavour profile for you to enjoy. In December, Harmony Avs fans can enjoy the delicious flavour of Reed and Lamb Hass avocados grown right here in South Africa.

To learn more about the beauty of avocados and how to live #TheHarmonyWay visit the Harmony Avs website here

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Review: We Tasted ‘The Best South African Hot Sauce’

The Greenhouse Farm Produce Sweet Pepper & Chilli Sauce was crowned as ‘The Best South African Hot Sauce’ for 2021.



Things are heating up in the food world. Across the globe, the hot sauce trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing down and while South Africans have always loved turning up the heat in their favourite dishes, the growing hot sauce trend has resulted in even more options coming to market. From the big players in the game to independent, small-industry producers, there have never been so many options for South African hot sauce fans to indulge in. But what is the best hot sauce in South Africa?

According to the Aurora International Taste Challenge, it’s the Greenhouse Farm Produce Sweet Pepper & Chilli Sauce. The best-selling hot sauce was awarded double gold in the taste test and crowned the Best South African Hot Sauce by the Aurora International Taste Challenge 2021. But does this local hot sauce live up to the hype? I got the opportunity to taste the Greenhouse creation and judge for myself.

Who is Greenhouse Farm Produce?

Greenhouse Hotsauce

Founded in 2017, Greenhouse Farm Produce is part of an incredible tale of entrepreneurship, opportunity, and success. The brand’s sauces that you enjoy, and have come to love, are part of rich history. But, if you ask the original farmers if they ever imagined that the peppers that they wished to grow would become household favourites, they most certainly would have thought that perhaps you may have toppled your cart and hit your head.

Greenhouse Farm Produce began with a farming enterprise called Blueberry Hill Farm in 2005. Near East London, this hydroponic farm started with the vision of a few farmers. Donning their farming attire, looking out at a small piece of ground, they saw an opportunity in the form of farming peppers. The farmers teamed up with seasoned businesswoman, Loretta Phillips, and Greenhouse Farm Produce was born as a means to use the oversupply of peppers produced on the farm in a meaningful way.

Greenhouse Hotsauce

Greenhouse Farm Produce quickly became a saucy success and today the award-winning range includes four products; the Gold Award-winning Roast Yellow Pepper & Pineapple Hot Sauce, Roast Red Pepper & Sundried Tomato Hot Sauce, Double Gold winning Sweet Pepper & Chilli Sauce, and the Sweet Pepper & Pineapple Chutney.

The first taste

I got the opportunity to try the full range and am officially a fan of this home-grown brand. I’m a hot sauce and chilli sauce fanatic (anything that has a kick to it, really!) so I was delighted to give these a go. Of course, as much as I love a hot sauce or chilli sauce to have a decent amount of heat to it, it’s no good finding a burning hot sauce that doesn’t hold up on the flavour front.

Greenhouse Hotsauce

What impressed me most about the Greenhouse Farm Produce range was the flavour profiles of the sauces. Packed with flavour, these products are indeed deserving of their accolades. To ensure the sauces are not just packing heat but will tantalise your tastebuds as well, Greenhouse Farm Produce consults with local, renowned chefs to turn the farm’s oversupply of peppers into sauces with true, authentic, South African flavours.

When the sauces arrived at my desk, my first port-of-call was to taste the so-called ‘Best South African Hot Sauce’; Greenhouse’s Sweet Pepper & Chilli Sauce. The hype about this sauce is most definitely warranted. The perfect combination of spicy and sweet, this is truly world-class. It’s got a nice kick to it, with spice that lingers on the lips well after you’ve gobbled it all down. A subtle sweetness from the pepper works brilliantly to calm the hot chilli and bring out the unique flavours and spices in this sauce.

This sauce works just as brilliantly when used as a condiment to spice up your burger, or as a glaze on braaied chicken wings. It’s so good, I’ve even taken to sneaking a teaspoon of its spicy goodness on its own when I happen to pass by the fridge. A little birdie from the Greenhouse team also told me it works amazingly well as a chip dipping sauce when mixed with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. The sauce is made with natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any strange additives — just red and yellow bell peppers, sugar, vinegar, red chilli, and garlic.

My second favourite from the range is the most definitely the Roast Yellow Pepper & Pineapple Hot Sauce. Another award-winner, this sauce won a gold award at the 2021 Aurora International Taste Challenge. This little pocket rocket is perfect for a palette that wants enough of a bite from a hot sauce without the sting overpowering the meal. It is a sauce that plays within the middle ground of a culinary experience and dances with your flavourful dishes without stealing the show. In this delicious sauce, a touch of sweetness from the pineapple blends beautifully with yellow pepper to cut the heat and make flavours sing.

Greenhouse Hotsauce

This mild sauce has a definite kick to it, but it isn’t unbearably hot. It’s great with pizza, grilled chicken, and cheese and crackers. The Pineapple hot sauce is also made with simple, natural ingredients, so you won’t spot anything funny on the label. The recipe includes yellow bell peppers, pineapple, vinegar, jalapeño, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.

The range also includes a Roast Red Pepper & Sundried Tomato Hot Sauce, which offers a serious kick with plenty of flavour to pack up the heat. It’s a great sauce to cook with and can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and stews. It pairs beautifully with red meat and chicken and is a must-try for hot sauce lovers.

Finally, the Sweet Pepper & Pineapple Chutney is another winner for anyone who loves a chunky chutney-style sauce with a bit of sweetness. It works wonders as a burger topping and will make any cheese platter sing. I absolutely love a chunky chutney, so this was a winner of note for me. According to Greenhouse, this chutney was crafted specifically for enhancing the taste of your chosen snacks, and it definitely hits the mark!

Roast Yellow Pepper & Pineapple Hot Sauce as well as the Roast Red Pepper & Sundried Tomato Hot Sauce are priced at R75 each (125ml bottle). The Sweet Pepper & Chilli Sauce (210ml jar) and Sweet Pepper & Pineapple Chutney (280g jar) are priced at R90 each.

Shop the range online on the Greenhouse Farm Produce website now. There are also loads of great combo deals if you buy the sauces together!

Review originally published on WomenStuff.

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