Diet fads come and go but the banting phenomenon looks like it is here to stay. The proof seems to be in the pudding (yes, pudding is allowed on the banting diet) because many of my friends are losing weight and they all swear it is because of the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet they follow.
Like many others, I find it is those last 5kg that just won’t shift, so I thought I would jump on the “bant wagon” and see if it would make a difference.
For the last three months, I have cut down on carbs and increased healthier fats such as nuts etc. I am not strict and I have more “cheat” days than I can count but I have definitely noticed my pants are less snug and I have lost 3kg.
But there are only so many hard-boiled eggs I can eat for lunch, so Sally-Ann Creed’s Delicious Low Carb recipe book came at the right time.
The co-author of The Real Meal Revolution offers healthy and affordable recipes because banting can become expensive. What I like about this book and the recipes is that she encourages making low- carbohydrate meals a part of your life so it is not just a diet but a lifestyle change.
Some tips she gives are simple – like replacing margarine with butter, cooking your meals from scratch and avoiding processed food, especially sugar!
There are some amazing, easy and, dare I say it, delicious soups, breads and desserts in here that make one forget they are eating healthily.
Jump on the Bant Wagon by foodie Nick Charlie Key is his first recipe book and he tells the story of his banting journey. Key was overweight and suffered from poor health related to his obesity.
He discovered the low-carb, high-fat diet and shares how this diet has changed his life – and his shape.
What I like about this book is that Key is a regular guy sharing realistic recipes that are affordable, quick and easy to make.
I have tried a lot of cauliflower pizza bases and I have found his one to be one of the best and tastiest.
Lamb and mushroom cauliflower risotto from Jump on the Bant Wagon:
Serves 4 to 6
15ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh chilli, chopped (deseeded if you prefer less heat)
300g lamb, cut into small cubes
1 x 250g punnet mushrooms, sliced
Salt and black pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, destalked
60ml (¼ cup) fresh cream
1 large head cauliflower
500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
Grated Parmesan for garnishing
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the onion. When the onion is soft, add the garlic and chilli and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the lamb and cook until brown. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. When the lamb is cooked, add the cream. Transfer the lamb and mushroom mixture to a separate bowl.
Turn the cauliflower into cauliflower rice. You do this by chopping up the cauliflower, then blitzing it in a blender until it has the texture of rice.
Using the same pan in which the lamb was cooked and with some of the liquid still clinging to the inside of the pan, turn up the heat and add the cauliflower rice to the pan. Fry until it starts to brown.
Start adding the chicken stock roughly 60ml (¼ cup) at a time, stirring constantly.
The stock needs to reduce before adding the next ¼ cup so make sure your pan is on a medium to low heat so you have time to react should it reduce too quickly.
Once all the stock has reduced, return the lamb and mushrooms to the pan.
Turn down the heat and allow to simmer until it becomes sticky.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over Parmesan just
Chocolate bark from Delicious Low Carb:
Chocolate bark is very well known in the Paleo and low-carb world so, while this is not new, Creed has given it her own twist.
“I adore ginger so have added some to one of the recipes below. You can do just about anything with chocolate bark and then break it up into uneven pieces to enjoy. You can use straight chocolate, or you can add some butter and/or coconut oil to it. I’ve added coconut oil to this one.”
Basic chocolate bark mixture
What you need
1 x 90g slab dark chocolate (sugar free), broken up
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Pinch of Himalayan salt
What you do
1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or place it in a dish suspended over just boiled water (you don’t need to keep the water boiling, just use the residual heat).
3. Stir in the coconut oil and salt. This is the basic mixture.
4. Spread the chocolate mixture on the prepared tray.
5. Now place the nuts, seeds, dried fruit or whatever you’re using (see options below) on top of this.
6. Freeze for 30 minutes.
7. Remove, break up, eat or store.
- Nutty Chocolate Bark:
¼ to ½ cup nuts of your choice
ýPistachio Chocolate Bark:
¼ to ½ cup pistachios, peeled and roughly chopped
- Coconut and Cranberry Chocolate Bark:
1 tablespoon toasted coconut flakes
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- Ginger Chocolate Bark (this should be eaten within a week since it contains fresh ginger):
Fresh ginger, finely sliced or grated with a microplane
A few finely chopped almonds
- Hazelnut and Frangelico Chocolate Bark:
¼ to ½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Frangelico
There are so many variations to this theme:
- Use butter instead of coconut oil, or half butter and half coconut oil.
- Add more salt (slightly more granular too) for a salty chocolate.
- Add chilli flakes to the chocolate.
- You can use any nuts – almond, Brazil and walnuts are especially nice.
- Dried goji berries are a favourite of Creed’s.
- Use ground cinnamon, cloves and cardamom for chai bark.