How to Make your own Dried Apples

How to make dried apples

Apples are currently in season here in Korea, which means we are able to buy them without the usual $10 a pop price tag that that comes with them at any other time of the year. The apples used in this blog post were bought from a little farm stall near Naejangsan National Park.  

These dried apples were made with a dehydrator we were given by Farmboy's school, (here is a link to buying them on Gmarket) but you can easily do the same thing using your oven. 

It takes a while for the apples to get really soft and chewy (anything from 12 - 24 hours) but it's definitely worth the wait, and using a dehydrator instead of an oven will make your life easier. If you want them to be crunchy instead of chewy, then leave them in for even longer.

So far we have dried apples, pears (these have been the best so far!) and persimmons (another fruit that is also currently in season) and I plan on trying to make doggy snacks out of chicken breasts for our pup #ShadowTheJindo. I am also going to try my hand at making Biltong (the South African equivalent of Beef Jerkey) so let me know in the comments below if you can recommend any great recipes for Biltong!

If you have a dehydrator, the process is very simple.

1. Peel your fruit.

2. Chop/Cut/Core your fruit into small pieces. If you want to make apple rings then you will need to get hold of an apple corer. I was only able to find an apple corer than also slices (the green thing pictured below).

3. Place your fruit pieces as close together as possible, without actually having any of the pieces touch each other.

4. Turn on and adjust the temperature if your dehydrator has a temperature control switch. Turn up your dehydrator the the highest temperature (the higher the temperature the faster the fruit will dry out).

5. Leave for 24 - 48 hours. The first batch of fruit (pictured in this post) was only dehydrated over nights (about 15 hours) and so the apples were still quite soft and squidgy. We made another batch using persimmons and left those over night and the following day and they came out crunchy and delicious. I definitely recommend leaving them as long as possible.

6. Place the dried fruit in airtight container. You can use an ordinary ziplock bag and a straw to suck out all the air. Store in a cool, dark place. Your fruit will keep for a good couple of months (although ours doesn't last longer than a few days as we eat it all!).

Thanks to a friends suggestion, we just finished a batch of dried apples covered in cinnamon. Out whole house smells like Christmas and those apple pieces were absolutely amazing! Experiment with different spices, you can't really go too wrong.

If you don't have a dehydrator you can theoretically use your oven, but I'm not sure whether you'd actually want to leave your oven on overnight while you're sleeping? It is possible with the oven, but using a dehydrator is much easier. You can buy a dehydrator like ours on Gmarket (click here) for about W30 000.

Banting Zucchini Lasagna #BantingInKorea


A recipe for lasagna that uses ZERO pasta? And still tastes out of this world?! I kid you not, this is one yummy meal. Packed with loads of protein (thanks to the delicious mountains of melted cheese and mince) this is a great meal for the cold winter months.

*Banting is a form of Low Carb High Fat diet (similar in essence to Paleo except that allows dairy). It's much more than a diet though, and followers should be prepared for the lifestyle changes that will follow. You're body will love you for it, I know mine does! To find out more about it click here to read my interview with The Banting Blondes 

I used a store bought pasta sauce for convenience sake (as canned tomatoes are not that easy to come by here in South Korea). You can substitute a lot of things in this recipe (like I did with using dried basil instead of fresh, coconut oil instead of olive oil, cream cheese instead of ricotta as called for by the original recipe by Skinny Taste). Just bear in mind that these things will change the taste of your lasagna slightly. Also, I've just found out you can buy cheese from Gmarket instead of having to trek all the way to your nearest Costco (and it's only a tiny bit more expensive than Costco too!). Click here for the link to the 1kg block. 


  • 500g lean mince (pork is the cheapest mince here in Korea but you can substitute for beef or even chicken)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (to make my life easier I used a store bought pasta of the 'meat variety')
  • 2 Tbsp chopped basil (fresh is best but I can only get hold of the dried kind)
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tub cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar/mozzarella  cheese 
  • 1 large egg


1. In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt. When cooked, drain in colander to remove any fat. Add coconut oil to a pan and saute garlic and onions for about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes/pasta sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer on low for at least 30-40minutes, covered. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.

2. Meanwhile, slice the zucchini into thin slices, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of that moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel. This step took me the most amount of time as I have very little space to spread out in my kitchen.

3. On a gas grill or grill pan, grill zucchini on each side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.

Preheat oven to 350°.

4. In a medium bowl mix cream cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well. 

5. In a glass casserole dish spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the ricotta/cream cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella/cheddar cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce and cheddar/mozzarella and cover with foil.

6. Bake for 45 minutes covered at 180°C, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.


*Adapted from the original recipe by Skinny Taste

Low Carb Chocolate Coconut Brownies {#BantingInKorea}


I'm mad about chocolate brownies, as I'm sure you are too if you're reading this post, and so I have been on a mission to make brownies in a way that lines up with the Banting diet I am currently on. I'm sure you're wondering what bulks up these brownies if they are Banting (click here to read more about this low carb/high fat lifestyle). These brownies contain no wheat or gluten as the secret bulking ingredient is SWEET POTATOES!.

I was pretty shocked when I found out that sweet potatoes (much better than regular potatoes as they have more fibre and less carbohydrates) can be used to bake sweet tasting treats. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic bulking agent to use in cakes and brownies BUT they do still contain quite a few carbohydrates and so they are 'allowed' on the Banting Diet, but in moderation. The recommended allowance of sweet potatoes per day is 1/2 cup, so that would be about 3 of these brownies. So you can still have your cake (or brownie!) and eat it.

I adapted the recipe slightly from one of my favourite South African food bloggers, Lexi from Whisking It and changed up a few small things to suit my grocery cupboard here in Korea.

I also really like what Lexi says about the fact that we should forget about following a diet like it's a religion. There are so many branches of Banting/Paleo/LowCarb HighFat diets (some allow this and not that etc) and so you need to rather listen to your body when it comes to following an eating plan. Following the Banting Diet strictly has REALLY worked for me, but I know people that have struggled with it and found they aren't losing any weight. You just need to find something that works for you (including drinking plenty of water and of course exercising).



2 cups of grated sweet potato (Thanks to Lexi for the tip to use the SMALL holes of the grater - not the normal ones - to get a finer batter)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup of raw honey (I can only find very syrupy honey here in Korea so mine was already a very thin consistency, you can just heat in microwave to thin it a bit if yours is very thick)

1 tsp stevia ( I used Xylitol)

1/2 cup olive oil (I used coconut oil)

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tbsp of bicarbonate of soda

1 cup cocoa powder

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

*not entirely Banting but I added a few crumbs of dark baking chocolate to the mix 


Preheat your oven to 180 °C

Mix the grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and olive oil/coconut oil in a large mixing bow. It will be a sticky mess, keep going. 

Add baking powder and baking soda.

Add cocoa powder, and finally add the coconut flour, coconut and stevia/xylitol and any chocolate chips you may want to add.

Finally pour the mixture into a baking tray. Make sure to grease your pan tray well (I used coconut oil, and didn't quite use enough and so lost quite a bit of brownie to the bottom of the pan!).

Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you're here in Korea and have a small, fiery hot oven like we do, watch your brownies like a hawk! I burned to bottom of mine when I got distracted by something or other in Instagram (note to self...when baking, stop trying to do a million other things at once!)

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake from the tin. 

These brownies freeze very well! I found mine were very crumbly, but they firmed up well after freezing. Freezing also ensure you don't eat the whole lot in one go!


Banting Broccoli Burgers #BantingInKorea


These broccoli burgers are one of my absolute favourite meals to make for dinner .  They are quick and easy to make, filling, delicious and packed full of goodness for your body. These burgers are the second Banting recipe I've posted here on the blog (click here to read more about the Banting diet & lifestyle plan) and as with all Banting recipes are Low Carb High Fat. Click here to see the other #BantingInKorea recipes I've posted here on the blog.

Some people wouldn't go so far as to call them burgers, as technically there's no bun or toppings, but trust me when I say you won't need to have anything to accompany these (except for your favourite sauce). Both Farmboy and I are completely stuffed every time I make them and there are always a few left over for lunch the next day.

If you do try these let me know what you think of them in the comments below!


2 heads of broccoli (pulsed until fine in a blender or food processor)

1 pack of bacon

1 onion

2 or 3 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

ginger (optional...I used a small thumb sized amount)

tablespoon coconut oil (optional, depending on whether you like to cook in bacon fat or not)

1/2 cup almond/coconut flour (we have tried both and they work equally as well, the almond flour makes the patties a little more dense)

2 eggs

salt & pepper

1/3 cup grated cheese

makes 12 patties


Heat your oven to 180C. Fry your bacon. Then finely chop the onions and garlic and fry them in your bacon fat (or coconut oil) until brown. Leave to cool.

In a large bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients (broccoli, almond/coconut flour, cheese, salt and pepper). Add the garlic and onion mixture and finally add the eggs. 

Oil a baking tray (with coconut oil) and spoon balls of the mixture onto the tray. I used foil in the pictures below but it was an absolute nightmare removing the foil from the burgers.  Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, keep checking on them to make sure they don't burn.

Remove when they are slightly golden on top.

Serve with your choice of sauce (or even salad) and enjoy!

3 Ingredient Carb-Free Banting Pancakes #BantingInKorea


I have been on the Banting diet (along with the rest of South Africa it seems!) for the past 5 weeks and nothing I have ever done, exercise or diet wise, has done for my body what this eating plan has done for me. I can't believe how my body has changed and responded to it. BUT as with any eating plan, it may not be right for you so please don't feel like this is the only way to loose a little bot of jiggle around your middle. Also I would like to note that I have been exercising very little so far, and my now confirmed 4kg loss has been all due to this eating plan and not from going crazy at the gym. If you want to find out more about  Banting, click here to read an interview I did with The Banting Blondes.

3 Ingredient Pancakes (especially for the Banting Diet)

Here is one of my favourite Banting breakfasts. It's super quick and easy and tastes heavenly (even better than the 'real' flour filled pancakes). Today Farmboy changed things up and added a flaxseeds to our mixture which helped them hold together better, as they tend to be quite fragile in the pan. But that's up to you.

Also, cream cheese is quite expensive not only here in Korea but all over the world. But once you try these you won't want to eat anything else.



Makes 4 medium sized pancakes

-1/2 tub of standard cream cheese

-3 eggs

-dash of cinnamon

optional: teaspoon of Xylitol sweetner (I found mine online through iHerb...$11 for 450g)


Simply mix all your ingredient together in a blender (or by hand if you have the muscle power). One everything is well mixed, grease up a pan with coconut oil and start cooking!

I find my mixture can be very hard to work with as it is very fragile in the pan. Make sure to use lots of coconut oil (I ordered mine off iHerb) to make your life easier when it comes to flipping your pancakes.

Top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder if you need something chocolatey, or with a teeny bit of honey (remember your honey allowance for the day is only 1 teaspoon).

Banting Pancakes

Introducing the Banting Blondes...What is the Banting Diet and why should you be following it too.

For the past few months I have been following this seemingly odd diet/eating program called the Banting Diet. The bottom line is high fat, Low carbs.  This way of thinking isn't new, with past diet trends like the Atkins and the Paleo Diet.

I am guilty of the 'eat all the fat' mindset that most people enter into when they first hear about this eating plan. I went cream cheese crazy for the first week, but have since been trying to increase my veggie intake so that I can keep the 4kg's I have lost so far. And I am happy to report that I have had no problems keeping the weight off, even when I slip off track every now and again. 

I am not working out as nearly as hard as I used to (it's  terribly cold and dark here in Korea) but I am amazed at the changes in my body that have come about from this eating plan. I have never been one to diet, and in the past have simply upped my exercise to combat flabbier areas, but the changes I have seen and felt so far in my body have been so dramatic that I am going to be 'Banting' for a long time to come! 

So for those of you who have yet to hear about the latest diet craze to hit South Africa, let me introduce to you two ladies (one of them being my sister) who are taking South Africa by storm. Don't they make Banting look sexy?!

1. Who are the Banting Blondes?

We are! Two girls who have been friends since high school and have always been a massive part of each others lives while still pursuing our individual goals and dreams - together every step of the way! Roxane Hayward is a proudly South African actress, model and singer working in South Africa and London, and Julia Pietersma is a passionate pilates instructor currently working in London - both physically demanding careers where being in shape and healthy is a top priority! This Banting journey of ours started when we both moved to London in May 2014 - inspired by the incredible Tim Noakes book 'Real Meal Revolution' and all the success stories we had heard. We became super creative with our meals and treats in order to make this lifestyle change a bit of an easier transition, and through doing this, created some incredibly delicious recipes that we thought we just HAD to share with other banters out there! Pancakes, Nutella, cinnamon buns, low carb bread, but to name a few. It started as an Instagram page and then grew to a Facebook page with nearly 5000 followers in just over a month! It's growing everyday and we are loving the journey.


2. What exactly is Banting/The Banting diet?

We like to look at Banting as a change in lifestyle rather then a 'diet' - ewww, we hate that word! Banting is known to be a Low Carbohydrate, High Fat eating plan - but we stress wherever we can that it is, in fact, a 'No Sugar, Low Carbohydrate, Moderate Protein, High Fat and SUPER High Vegetable' eating regime. Yip! You heard right! NO sugar. Sounds impossible, but it is not! There are so many delicious meals and treats you can make using healthier, lower carbohydrate substitutes - and that is what we share with you on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Banting also cancels out any processed, synthetic or refined foods from your diet, leaving you healthy and glowing from the inside out!


3. What makes it different from Paleo?

They are actually very similar in theory and both extremely healthy ways of eating. Differences would be that Paleo says absolutely no dairy, whereas Banting you are allowed dairy in moderation. Paleo doesn't limit you on your daily fruit intake, but Banting does. Other differences would be that with Paleo you are still allowed sweeteners such as agave, coconut sap, honey and maple syrup - all sweeteners which are not allowed while Banting (honey in moderation). Reason being, these foods are still relatively high in carbs and therefore going to spike up your sugar levels, causing your pancreas to release insulin - insulin being the fat producing hormone; no thanks! Banting is also safe for diabetics whereas we wouldn't recommend Paleo if your sugar levels are already high.


4. What can I eat? What can’t I eat?

That is quite an extensive question, haha. Simple answer and without going into too much detail would be that you have to avoid anything and everything that is toxic to your body (processed, refined or synthetic) which includes sugar, margarine, artificial sweeteners, soya etc. You'll also have to cut out anything that is high in carbohydrates which includes all grains, legumes, fruit juices and starchy vegetables like potatoes, peanuts and peas. Instead, you would want to fill your plate with food that nourishes your beautiful body. This includes green leafy vegetables and other vegetables grown above the ground. You can also eat 80g of protein with each meal. And lets not forget the fat! Mmmm...nuts, seeds, animal fats, coconut oil, butter and olive oil are all things that will help keep your body, tummy and mind fully and satisfied. Sweet tooth? You are allowed fruit in moderation as well as natural sweeteners such as xylitol, stivia and erythritol. If you want the full list, we recommend going to


5. Why is it good for me?

Where do we begin! Firstly, lets not forget that your body is a machine and in order for it to run smoothly, you need to give it the correct fuel. i.e. don't fill your diesel 4X4 with petrol and wonder why it breaks. Blondes talking cars hey? Yip, we're that cool. But seriously, with Banting you are only filling your body with nutritious basic foods that our bodies were designed to process. You are eating actual FOOD, no more 'food like products' and the benefits that go with doing that are insane! Hold onto your seats cause here is a list of just a FEW of those benefits (if you want to find out the rest, you'll have to start Banting!) - increased energy levels, clear skin, healthy nails and hair, stronger immune system, no carb or sugar cravings, and of course (the one everyone wants to hear about) weight loss!


6. So what you’re saying is I can stuff myself silly with cream cheese and still loose weight?

Haha, well not exactly. That is where a lot of people go wrong with banting. They read 'Low Carb, High Fat' but all they see is 'HIGH FAT! HIGH FAT! HIGH FAT!'. They forget that this eating plan includes tons of vegetables and moderate protein. The fat is permitted and included in order to keep you satisfied and sustained for longer until your next meal. So yes, eat your cream cheese, but have some steamed spinach or broccoli with it. Don't overeat, don't snack, only eat when hungry and focus on the nutrition that is going into your body.


7. And eggs? I see that you're allowed to eat as many as you like. Wouldn't that increase my cholesterol?

This is actually a really interesting question, which calls for a super interesting answer. Time to put our brunette wigs on... haha. Firstly, cholesterol isn't all bad. Our bodies naturally produce it, because without cholesterol, we would die - gasp! There are two types of cholesterol in your body - the bad kind known as LDL (which can clog your arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes) and the good kind known as HDL (which actually removes LDL and sends to back to the liver to be processed). BUT, there are two subtypes of LDL:Small, Dense LDL (ewww) and Large LDL (yay). 

Recent studies have shown that it is the Small, Dense LDL that you want to watch out for and try lower. Saturated fats (such as eggs, coconut oil, animal fats and butter - all which are 100% from nature and 100% yay while banting) increase the Large LDL and HDL cholesterol and decrease the Small, Dense LDL. So eat your eggs, make sure they are free range and organic, but also don't get stuck in a pattern of eating the same thing every day (seperate from the cholesterol issue).

You're body is designed to be a hunter gatherer and graze on different food types that it can find for that season. So mix things up a little and give your body a change up every now and then. This is a very concise answer on quite a detailed subject, so if you'd like some more info and would like to do your own research, make sure you do this by searching 'Small Dence LDL Cholesterol, Saturated Fats'.


8. Isn’t it expensive? What if I live somewhere that I can’t get hold of the ‘good’ foods easily? Are there things I can substitute?

You'll definitely be able to get hold of the correct food easily. That's because they are all food types that are in their most basic form - no processing and no specific commercial products. So no need to stress about that! It can be expensive if you are eating tons of the expensive fats such as avocados, nuts, cheeses and coconut oil, but you shouldn't be eating TONS of these in any case - only enough to satisfy you. Another tip is when you go to your local butcher to buy your grass-fed meat, ask for the fattier off-cuts - these will be cheaper and are perfect for your high fat banting meals! Also, don't forget the most important ingredient - vegetables! If you are banting correctly, this should be a large part of your eating plan; something which is relatively inexpensive. As you body goes into ketosis you will find that you don't need to eat as much as you used too. The fat helps you body feel sustained for long periods of time, so we find that we're only having to eat two meals a day - another factor that saves on money (and time) big time!

8. Do I need to exercise too?

Definitely! Exercise is a must if you are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It starts in the kitchen, but it ends in your sweat pants! And you'll want to show off your sexy new banting bum in those yoga tights you've been hiding at the back of your cupboard. Exercise is the cheapest, most underused anti-depressant, so get moving! Find something you enjoy like yoga, pilates, kickboxing, surfing, dancing, or even ping-pong!


9.  Where can I find recipes and inspiration so I don’t get bored?

You came to the right place! Follow us on our Instagram page @thebantingblondes and our Facebook page 'The Banting Blondes'. We post tasty and delicious Banting friendly recipes, meal ideas, health tips and motivational quotes. We also answer any questions you might have whenever we know the answer! 

***TheBantingBlondes have recently launched an incredible E-Book packed full of all their recipes posted on their Facebook page, as well as loads more! Click here to order one for yourself!

10. What is your favourite thing about Banting?

Oooo, we have so many favourite things! But if we had to pick just one it would be this - because you are having to cook your meals, treats and yummy eats from scratch, rather than just buy already-made, store-bought products, it forces you to become more creative and experiment cooking with ingredients that you would never normally look twice at, like coconut flour and flaxseeds for example. Therefore, you create and try out recipes that are delicious, guilt-free and packed with nutrients and goodness. So come and join us on this Banting journey! We have a cheesecake in the oven and it serves 8 people - who's joining us for tea? ;)

You can find The BantingBlondes at the following places:



Buy their E-Book

And for those of you here in South Korea, I am going to be using the #BantingInKorea hashtag when I post recipes that I have made right here in Korea, using local ingredients that I have been able to find here. I hope you'll join me in this journey to a healthier you!