Healthy Winter Recipes: Comfort Food with a South African Twist

July 08, 2024

Winter is here, and there's nothing better than warming up with some delicious comfort food.

But comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. With a few tweaks, you can enjoy hearty, nutritious meals that not only keep you warm but also provide essential nutrients to keep you healthy through the colder months. Here are some healthy winter recipes with a uniquely South African twist that will delight your taste buds and nourish your body.

1. Bobotie with a Twist

Bobotie is a classic South African dish, traditionally made with minced meat and topped with a milk and egg custard. To make it healthier, substitute beef or lamb mince with lean chicken mince. Add plenty of vegetables like carrots, peas, and bell peppers for added nutrition. Use whole wheat bread instead of white for the base, and top it with a mixture of egg whites and low-fat milk to cut down on fat.


  • 500g lean chicken or turkey mince
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, soaked in low-fat milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp fruit chutney
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the mince and cook until browned.
  4. Stir in the vegetables, curry powder, and chutney. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix in the soaked bread and transfer the mixture to a baking dish.
  6. Beat the egg whites and low-fat milk, then pour over the mince mixture.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden and set.

2. Butternut and Sweet Potato Soup

Nothing beats a warm bowl of soup on a cold day. This butternut and sweet potato soup is not only comforting but also packed with vitamins and fibre. Adding a touch of ginger gives it a delightful zing and boosts your immune system.


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh coriander for garnish


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
  2. Add the butternut, sweet potatoes, and ginger, and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh coriander.

3. Rooibos and Cinnamon Baked Apples

For a healthy dessert option, try these rooibos and cinnamon baked apples. They are naturally sweet and require no added sugar. Rooibos tea adds a unique South African flavour and is rich in antioxidants.


  • 4 large apples, cored
  • 1 cup brewed rooibos tea
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the apples in a baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Pour the rooibos tea over the apples and scatter raisins and nuts around them.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the apples are tender.

These healthy winter recipes are perfect for students looking for nutritious and comforting meals. They are easy to make, affordable, and bring a touch of South African flavour to your winter cooking. Enjoy!

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