South African Staple Food From OCSA’s New Foreign Blogger

We are delighted to introduce you to OCSA’s Foreign Blogger, Shaleen Jacobs.  You may remember her when we featured her in our OCSA Blog in April of 2016.  We are pleased to share her very first ocsa blog that focuses on South African cuisine!  Welcome Shaleen! To learn more about Shaleen please visit:

~ Vallie Szymanski

While it might be winter in the states, it’s summer here in South Africa. ‘Tis the season where you can’t hide behind layers of clothing to hide extra kilos. What makes surviving winter bearable? Food! Today I’ll be sharing with you a few staple dishes from South Africa. Most are healthy but of course I’ll throw in one or two “unhealthy dishes.” These meals are delicious, hearty and more importantly, affordable! Regardless if you’re getting all cozy or soaking up the sun, these are staple dishes we South Africans love to enjoy year-round.

Samp and Beans
Samp and Beans is a meal traditionally prepared meat-free with red speckled beans. It’s low in the Glycemic Index, low in fat, and cholesterol free. The dish is naturally high in carbohydrates and dietary fiber which does wonders for the digestive system. Samp & Beans works deliciously as a curry dish especially if you love spicy food. It’s perfect for the cold winter season. For a delicious recipe, visit:

South African Staple Food..jpeg

Maize Meal/ Miele Meal
We South Africans also enjoy our Cornflakes, Oats, Rice Krispies etc. But if you’re opting for a cheaper alternative it’s definitely Maize Meal. Maize Meal is traditionally eaten as porridge. It could be prepared in more than one way: crumbly porridge – lots of milk involved here so opt for low fat milk. Stiff porridge can be served with your usual meat and vegetables as an alternative for rice. It’s rich in sodium, carbohydrates, and is a rich source of iron and manganese. It’s also great to bake with if you have the guts, unlike me! Note that Maize Meal/Mielie meal is high in GI or Glysemic Index.  (The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Also known as “blood sugar,” blood glucose levels above normal are toxic and can cause blindness, kidney failure, or increase cardiovascular risk.)


Biltong (Snack)
A snack I personally enjoy is biltong, a South African favorite. According to an article on the Food Lovers Market, biltong is gluten free so gluten free fans will love this. It’s also high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You can also visit the website for great ideas on how to cook with biltong. A sure snack for in between meals. Warning! You can over indulge! It is very similar to jerky meat. According to an article on Mom Junction, you should avoid biltong during. For the rest of us, it’s a nice “on the go” snack to keep in the bag!

food-2794787_1920.jpgPhoto via Pixabay User AlbanyColley

Snook and Hake (Stockfish/Stokvis)
I am Capetonian, so my love for fish is almost hereditary. I could not complete my list without mentioning it. Most fish are rich in minerals, omega -3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B2 (riboflavin). Your cheapest option will be snook and stockfish (South African hake also known as stokvis.) It should not be confused with dried cod which is also known as stockfish. Yes, it does taste great when deep fried but eat with moderation, of course. If you are a health nut, grilling is the best option. South Africa is synonymous with fish over the Easter month especially in Cape Town.

Not the healthiest option, but so delicious that I just had to share! We South Africans love a good old braai (barbecue). If you’re going to have a braai, boerewors (a type of South African sausage) will be right up there! Very quick and easy to prepare, boerewors could be cooked or fried usually in a little amount of oil. Grilling is also an option. It goes wonderfully with the stiff pap or porridge (definitely not your only option) that I mentioned earlier. The possibilities with boerewors are endless. If you want to know a bit more about boerewors you can visit this awesome website:

braai-2572725_1920Photo via Pixabay User davyart

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