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Fluffy Gluten Free, Low Carb Pancakes

Food is a vital part of my lifestyle, for obvious reasons like sustenance. However, I also enjoy preparing it and enjoying the fruit of my labour thereafter. Most often high fat-low carb take priority, because it keeps my body healthy and me happy. After experimenting with several banting/paleo/primal pancake recipes, and searching for ingredients that appealed to me the most – here is my take on a gluten free, delicious banting pancake!

Makes 8 small pancakes.

What You Need

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup (plus 2 tbps) almond flour
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium ripe banana (mashed)
  • 60ml milk (cow’s, almond or coconut)
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Butter or coconut oil, for the pan
  • Maple syrup/Honey and bacon to serve



Method

  • Put all the dry ingredients through a sieve (Some almond flour will not go through, just pop it into the bowl)
  • Mash the banana to ensure that there are no lumps and then add it to the mixture.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and give it a good mix till combined and quite smooth.
  • Add a little oil or butter to a cast iron pan or non-stick griddle. Once the surface is greased, spoon in the mixture.
  • Wait for little bubbles to appear, then flip.
  • Enjoy with butter, maple syrup or honey and bacon/chacon/macon on the side.

You can add any of these extras below and create your own version:

  • Cacao nibs
  • Blueberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Nut butter
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Coconut

ENOY!

XOXO

A Rare Seaside Pearl…

We decided to drive from Durban, and at the time I didn’t realise how close this little piece of paradise was to us! Just 5 hours to Kosi Bay with no issues at the border. I was pleasantly surprised that the process was quick and efficient and the drive there is a real adventure!

Once we crossed the border, all we could see was a sandy dirt road flanked by the beautiful bush and swamp forests – so you do need a 4×4 or a 4×2 at least!

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If you decide to fly to White Pearl Resort, you would need to fly into Maputo and have the option to be collected by helicopter or vehicle – (either from Kosi Bay or Maputo). When we arrived, we were whisked away and welcomed by friendly staff and a magnificent view!  The azure ocean looked ever so enchanting.

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The interiors are predominantly white, paired with pale shades of blue and grey, with beautifully textured chandeliers and lamps.

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All suites are fresh and inviting and have a breathtaking view of the Indian ocean. The opulent décor also reflects the beauty of the sea. You have a choice of either a beach suite, or a pool suite. Both are luxurious, with their own private pool and an unforgettable view. It wasn’t surprising that I fell in love with the “beach cottage” feel of it. You even get your very own private butler, who is available to take care of all your needs. What a treat!

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Overall, the food and service was excellent. There were 9 rotational menus for dinner, and a great selection for breakfast and lunch. The Piri Piri Chicken on their lunch menu cannot be beaten! I was also temporarily addicted to their homemade chilli sauce and even left with some. The dining areas and most of the resort have an “indoor-outdoor” feel, bringing the beauty of the sand dunes, ocean and foliage inside.

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Our trip here was a diving holiday but unfortunately my husband fell ill. The incredible staff went out of their way to obtain medication for him and see to our every need.

My father in law enjoyed his dives and he was well taken care of by Jazz and Lorenzo. (Dive master and assistant at the time) At 71 years of age, he started diving earlier this year and is now a rescue diver. A true inspiration to us all!  On the way back from their final trip they encountered the biggest school of dolphins I have ever seen! (I watched this from our suite) Watching them play in the distance while the ocean glistened was a feast for our eyes.

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On our second visit, we went out snorkeling and diving and had a blissful time. If you are not keen on snorkeling, ocean safaris or diving, don’t despair – you can choose from holistic treatments at the spa, to volleyball and horse riding. At the time of our stay, a gym was being constructed, adding another activity to their list.

The grounds and interiors are wonderfully spacious and well designed.

I particularly loved spending time in their main bar with an all-white theme and a terrace that leads right onto the beach. A magical walk on the beach and around the sand dunes, after watching the sunrise was food for my soul each day.

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My only gripe about this resort is the outdoor shower, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE outdoor showers, as long as there is an indoor option as well. Inside the suite you have a tub with a handheld shower but no standing shower. So you have to take a shower outside which is great when it is warm, but not when you decide to shower at night and a cold breeze decides to blow.

I have no doubt that we will frequent this gem. It is certainly worth a visit, you will not regret your stay here.

Ponta Do Ouro, a small beach side town is close by, you can take a drive to a nearby beer shack to enjoy a drink while watching the sun set, visit a few rustic restaurants or take a stroll through an open air market.

They do offer special rates for South African residents, so don’t delay! Your next getaway is waiting for you at White Pearl Resort, Ponta Mamoli.

Note: Suite photos borrowed from www.Whitepearlresort.com

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Zanzibar, Final chapter: Mnemba Island

Ever since we visited Phinda, I have fallen in love with this luxury travel company – And Beyond. So when I stumbled upon this little piece of heaven, I was thrilled that it was an And Beyond property. After two years of looking at this island, we finally made our way to Mnemba. Many have asked me why I have taken so long to complete my blog post on this place, my answer is simple: it’s not easy putting into words how I feel about this island. Saying that it holds a special place in my heart, is an understatement. I have been to Mnemba on 2 occasions, at different times of the year. It’s quite a sight approaching the ocean with fishermen sitting around, traditional fishing boats floating in the water and there in the distance lies Mnemba.

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fishing boats

mnemba in the distance

Within minutes, we were whisked away to Zanibar’s private gem and warmly welcomed by the GM, our butler, and a few other members of their team with cool towels and cocktails. I was hesitant to let my shoes go, but it was the best thing ever! This is truly a barefoot paradise. Mike, the GM showed us around & finally to our banda. (the individual rooms are called bandas) On our first trip during August we stayed in banda 11 on the furthest point of the island with the most magnificent sunrise view. This time, during January we stayed in banda 4 which was wonderful for that time of year as it is quite windy.

arrival

sunrise from banda

The banda takes some getting used to as it has a indoor-outdoor feel, but is private. Each banda is very secluded and don’t worry, you won’t be caught walking around naked, if you choose to. The only time our butler would visit (without us asking for his assistance) is to bring us coffee in the morning at a desired time, which we would give him the night before. We had Rajab and Christopher as our butlers, both made us feel at home.

banda relaxing area

banda bathroom

banda closet

Almost everything in the room is natural and blends in perfectly with the surroundings. There is no television or telephone available – but there is Wi-Fi. I don’t need to say much about the bandas, its perfect and the pictures speak for themselves.

the banda

view from banda

to the bathroom from the banda  bedroom

The resort doesn’t have a gym, but you are provided with a gym in a bag. Honestly speaking, who needs that when you’re on a private island? A therapist who is also a yoga master is on hand to offer you treatments in the comfort of your banda. Breakfast and Lunch is served at the dining area – whenever you wish to eat, with a different menu each day. The chef is very flexible, if there is something you would like to eat or change on their menu, they are ready to oblige.

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breakfast and lunch area

breakfast view

Let’s talk food – absolutely DELICIOUS to say the least. Chefs Ishan and Jaco come out each morning to give you the run down of the menu for the day and that’s when you have an opportunity to alter anything you wish to. The menu is predominantly seafood, and you cannot get anything fresher! The best fish I’ve eaten, was at Mnemba.

lunch

coconut sorbet

Each evening at sunset, sun chairs are set outside the Banda facing the sunset and your butler brings you a cocktail or drink of your choice. Absolute bliss!

sunset cocktails

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Dinner is usually on the beach – but if the timing of your stay is good, you will get to experience a beach barbeque (Braai). The pre dinner drinks on the beach, lit up by candles and lamps is so inviting! You will also get to experience the Calamari Brothers, a singing duo – Mike the GM and Jaco, the head chef. The two came together by chance and ended up getting a name!

barbeque dinner setup

Sitting by the beach, listening to music with drink in hand under moonlight in good company is just perfect. Drinks usually start in the bar from about 7pm and dinner is served at 8. This is when you get to meet other guests and the hosts (Members of their team), are always there to engage you. There are only 12 bandas, so there will be a maximum of 24 guests – most of the time we felt like we were on our very own island.

the bar

It is by far one of the most romantic places I have ever visited. There aren’t too many activities on offer – but you can snorkel, dive and swim with the dolphins and it’s all included in the rate. I went on some amazing snorkeling expeditions with Matt. We would go out on our own and explore. Mnemba has some of the most beautiful, untouched reefs I have ever seen. My husband completed his open water dive course with Marie and he could not have had a better teacher. The island also has its own house reef, so you can swim out and snorkel on your own.

Back from diving

Snorkeling with Matt

The Dive centre

Mnemba is small – you can walk around it in about 25min and I loved taking daily walks exploring on my own. On one side of the island, during low tide, the sea would recede up to 200m! The natural beauty of this island is unmatched.

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around the island

As you walk around you may notice signboards in the sand with dates on it. One of And Beyond Safari’s priorities is conservation and Mnemba is one of only two protected nesting sites in Zanzibar for the endangered green turtle. If you are lucky enough, you will witness the hatching process and their mini voyage to the ocean. It was such a beautiful experience, the turtles can barely see, but can sense the sea. It’s incredible how they gravitate toward the ocean! It’s best not touch them if you are not wearing gloves as our bacteria can cause them illnesses. We did meet a little guy with a leg that wasn’t fully formed, but that didn’t stop him, he took longer than everyone else, but he made it!

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turtles making their way to the beach

turtle nest

 baby turtles

As you explore the island you will also meet little deer-like animals, the suni and ader dyker, both species of antelope. Being some of the rarest in Africa, they are protected on the island and allowed to breed. I was hoping to catch sight of the coconut crab but I don’t think he wanted to see me.

in the forest

suni

The island seemed to have a micro climate. Mnemba had clear skies everyday, while the main island of Zanzibar, just across from us, would be cloudy and rainy, it was very strange but very special! I can say so much more, but it would never do justice. Hopefully my pictures show you the true magic of this island. I can’t wait to return! So long Mnemba, till we meet again.

bidding us farewell

Mnemba from Mtoni shore

 

Zanzibar, an East African Hideaway

After our tours in Stone Town, it was time to head off to Hideaway of Nungwi, (part of the Leading Hotels of The World group) a 45min drive from Zanzi Resort. I love taking long drives through any city or town. It allows you to see what the locals get up to everyday. The streets are lined with homes, stores, men sitting under the shade of trees, kids on break at school and people working on plantations.

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We walked into the lobby area and were warmly welcomed by the team. We had to take a moment to admire the view. Sheer beauty! On our first trip, the resort was full so we only managed to book a junior suite, which was very comfortable; the décor was warm and inviting and had a Moroccan feel to it.

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The carved wooden doors and mirrors are just stunning! All suites have a stunning view of the ocean, a patio, small lounge and a large bathroom and closet.

On our recent trip we booked into one of their prestigious beach villas, closer to the beach. It has its own Jacuzzi and pool, large bathroom, and closet, separate lounge and patio. Our butler and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine welcomed us. You get assigned a butler in the prestige villa who was helpful but not too overbearing.

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There is Wi-Fi in all public areas, which was great, except it wasn’t always working. The junior suites have to use a plug-in – which is a slight inconvenience, but the prestige beach villa does have its own Wi-Fi that consistently worked well.

There are 2 rates available, a bed and breakfast rate, or an all-inclusive rate. They have 1 buffet restaurant (Aqua) and 2 al la Carte restaurants. (Carnivorous – and Tappanyaki) The food on our first trip in October was undoubtedly better – it was fairly good this time round. They have a large selection of Swahili and international cuisine with plenty to choose from including live stations, grills, curries, pasta, pizza, stir-fries etc.

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YES, they do have a large white sandy beach that goes on and on! Perfect for long walks on the beach. The resort itself is on a slight hill, so the view of the gardens and the ocean from the suites; bars, restaurants and pool area are all spectacular.

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You have the option of relaxing on the beach, which has a bar, and lounger service or at the infinity pool with a drinks/snacks service as well. There is always live music or entertainment in the evenings to enjoy, which creates a festive and later, a breezy relaxed atmosphere.

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We loved the Shisha and Cigar lounge while there in October, but sadly when we visited in January, there were no cigars/shisha’s on offer due to lack of staff.

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There are many adventures and tours you can book through the concierge and hotel including your diving and snorkeling trips. We had done our DSD (Discover scuba dive) with Simon who was so patient and a wonderful dive instructor. Our package also included a sunset Dhow cruise. We sailed across the sea watching the sunset while sipping on cocktails. It’s something you have to do, at least once whilst in Zanzibar.

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Hideaway is a big resort, but thankfully it never feels over crowded. We did make use of the spa, beautiful layout with an open courtyard and Jacuzzi. The spa treatments were very average. In future, I’ll only make use of the spa if the weather isn’t outdoor friendly. They also have a well-equipped gym for those wanting to burn off some calories while watching the sunset.

In January, we were slightly disappointed that the hotel could not offer us a special dinner on our anniversary, even after I requested it when we made the booking. From my experience, most leading resorts offer couples a beach dinner or something special. They did have a hi-tide disaster on the beach a few days before, so I am not sure if that was the reason for not offering us a private dinner. They did eventually offer us dinner on our patio after we made some enquiries – but we opted to enjoy dinner at one of their restaurants instead.

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Overall we had a wonderful stay, and will return to Hideaway of Nungwi. It is an ideal getaway for couples, a bunch of friends or family. It has all the facilities a 5 star resort needs, and you will certainly enjoy your time there.

My advice would be to stay closer to town on the first leg of your trip and then spend the remainder of your trip at a luxury resort soaking up the African sun and enjoying the warmth of the Indian Ocean.

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It was time for us to pack our bags and head off to my ultimate barefoot paradise, Mnemba Island.

Zanzibar (Part One)

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I’m sitting on a beach with soft white sand and a glistening azure ocean before me and I wonder why I haven’t yet written a post about this beautiful place called Zanzibar, an archipelago of islands, with the main one known as Zanzibar.

With glistening beaches, cobbled streets, warm people and a taste of the east, this spice island is certainly a unique African experience.

Right now I am on the magical barefoot paradise – Mnemba Island. You will hear all about it in part 3 of my Zanzibar mini series.

My husband and I are island babies, we love the water, warm weather and sunshine, we also happen to prefer shorter flying times. So after visiting Mauritius a few times as well as Seychelles we decided to try something a little closer. (Especially now that Mango offers a direct flight from Johannesburg, twice a week)

Usually, you would have to fly into Dar es Salaam and then fly to Zanzibar. Direct flights are winners!

If you are a business/first class flier, this short economy flight isn’t too bad at all. (If the flight isn’t full) The flying time is just over 3 hours and there is wifi on the plane, which will keep you occupied.

On our first trip we decided to stay at Mnemba island as well as one of the resorts on the main island so we could get in some tours. I always use trip advisor, as travellers are honest and open about their experiences. When we holiday for leisure – we prefer to choose places that are – as good as or better than our home. (That’s if we aren’t backpacking through a country of course)

At the time, Zanzi resort was no. 1 as it had great reviews. We also wanted to stay closer to Stone Town in order for us to be able to get in our tours easily.

Our first trip to Zanzibar was in October 2013. We were promptly collected from the airport and whisked away to the resort- about a 20min drive from the airport. Zanzibar reminds me a lot if India, the lush vegetation, the plantations, the buildings and the heart of its people. Zanzibar was once an Omani colony so the arab influence certainly remains in the culture, the architecture and the cuisine.

Our host Katherine and friendly staff warmly welcomed us, had a quick chat and some chilled coconut water and then we were shown to our villa. The gardens are beautifully kept with each villa very private.

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The villa is well appointed with a lounge, bathroom, bedroom, patio and a garden view that extends to the ocean, a large swimming pool and day bed area outside for lounging.

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I didn’t fall in love with the décor, but it was neat, fresh and simple. You have access to the ocean directly from your garden. It is indeed beautiful, but there isn’t a beach. During low tide, there is a carpet of coral and rock. You can swim out but only during high tide.

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Breakfast lunch and dinner can be served in your villa or in the dining area. I felt the in-room dining menu was too limited. Service is very good, but the food lacked overall flavour. We were not ecstatic about staying here – the deciding factor was the beach, I did expect a big white sandy beach, but unfortunately their beach is very very small and extremely rocky.

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I was disappointed as I do quite a bit of research before travelling and I felt I failed on this one.

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I then went back onto the net and came across a fairly new resort up north, Hideaway of Nungwi. It looked lovely and was recently added on a booking site we trust.

We stayed at Zanzi Resort for 2 nights as it was close to stone town. We got a chance to do the Stone Town and The Spice tours. What an experience that was!

Zanzibar is a Muslim state, so when visiting stone town, it’s always good to respect the culture of the people, it’s best to wear trousers/skirts below the knee and sleeved blouses/tops.

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Stone town is full of history and you’ll want to absorb it all! It’s a true mix of old and modern. With bustling little lanes, food aromas on every corner, beautifully carved doors and colourful markets you’re sure to soak it all up. I got to sample some chapatti’s we saw being made at the back of a little Swahili restaurant, it was delicious!

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The spice tour was my favourite, our guide was funny and kept us entertained. Our most fascinating discovery was the fact that menthol comes from the root of the cinnamon tree! Nature never fails to amaze me. And of course we were declared king and queen of the spice plantation with snazzy crowns made by one of the local village boys.

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I purchased some spices, all were good with the exception of a ginger tea which I love making, but it wasn’t to my liking. I think I’ll stick to my usual 5 roses with added fresh ginger.

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On our last night, Zanzi were kind to offer us a private beach dinner. It was set up beautifully, the seafood fresh and delicately prepared. We truly appreciated the wonderful send off.

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Zanzi Resort is close to town so could be a place to stay if you are touring the surrounding areas. To enjoy the luxurious white sandy beaches Zanzibar has to offer, it’s best to move up north.

Stay tuned for Part 2. (Hideaway Of Nungwi)