Treats make the world go round! Well, kinda. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, are gluten-intolerant, have decided to cut out sugar or artificial additives, or eat low carb, as I do, treats become a little more challenging. Sure, there are some options out there, but it turns out not all low carb treats are created equal. So I’ve made it my mission to find all of Cape Town’s best low carb treats!
Searching For The Best Low Carb Treats In Cape Town
If you’ve already made a choice to follow a healthier lifestyle, the last thing you want is an interior substitute for so-called regular treats. I mean, who wants a sugar-free treat loaded with aspartame? What’s the point of an ice cream that is sugar-free but contains 30 other unpronounceable ingredients? Why would you want a bread that tastes like sawdust or a cupcake that tastes like your worst nightmare?
Exactly! You’d be better off just avoiding substitutes.
The way I see it, a low carb version of something shouldn’t just be a substitute of the original. Nope, it should be better than that! Of course, it needs to be healthier but it should also taste better.
And it should make you feel good, both emotionally and physically. No sluggish after-effects, no bloated tummies, and no assorted food comas. Like all the other good amazing food you usually choose, a low carb treat should make you feel awesome.
And coz I love a good adventure, I’ve made it my mission to find the best low carb treats out there. So whether you’re a serious long-term low-carber like me, gluten-intolerant, avoiding sugar, or just wanting a few healthy treat options, my list of awesome goodies is bound to make you very happy indeed.
So, in no particular order, here is my personal selection of Cape Town’s best low carb treats.
Best Low Carb Burger
Da Vinci’s Burger In A Bowl
You’ll often see places offer a low carb version of a burger. They basically remove the bun, charge you the same, and leave you hungry. Or they’ll offer you a low carb bun for an additional amount and then, upon investigation, you’ll find out that it isn’t really low carb or all that good for you.
But Da Vinci’s is different. Instead of replacing one thing with another, they’ve reinvented the burger. May I present Burger In A Bowl?
Why Is It So Good?
The concept is simple, really. You choose the type of burger you want and Da Vinci’s places that burger patty plus all of its toppings on the most beautiful bowl of salad. And this isn’t just a couple of lettuce leaves. No, this is an incredible salad containing cocktail tomatoes, mixed peppers, carrots, red onions, avo, cucumber, and, of course, mixed greens. You’ll also get a generous portion of the most delicious toasted seed mix (pumpkin, sesame, flax, and sunflower).
What I love about Da Vinci’s Burger In A Bowl is that it is a complete and full meal. You don’t feel cheated or like you’re missing out on anything. The portion is filling, the seeds and avo up the good fat content, and the burger patty itself is incredible.
There are a couple of great options to choose from. The Windsor with bacon and cheddar (R105) and the Paris with Brie, bacon, and avo (R115) are both out of this world.
Da Vinci’s Burger In A Bowl is a burger option I have returned to over and over again because, quite simply, it’s the best.
Where Can I Get Da Vinci’s Burgers & What Are The Prices?
Da Vinci’s offers a range of burger options, with prices ranging from R100 – R150. We had the Windsor Burger In A Bowl, which costs R105.
The restaurant is located at 70 Kloof Street and is open for sit-down, collection, and delivery. You can also grab the low carb burgers via Mr D or Uber Eats.
Best Low Carb Bread
Banting Blvd Seed & Almond Loaf Premix
I’ve never been much of a bread eater and bread was probably the easiest thing for me to give up when I first went low carb. But, having said that, sometimes you just need a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. Or a French toast. Or a slice of toast with butter melting into it. And for these things, you need a great low carb bread. For this, I recommend the Banting Blvd Seed & Almond Loaf premix.
Added bonus: You’ll also get that incredible ‘bread baking in the oven’ smell and you get to pat yourself on the back because you actually baked something!
Why Is It So Good?
Banting Blvd specialises in easy-to-use low carb premixes – and they do that really well. Check out our full review here. One of the many things I love about them is that their premixes are truly low carb and contain only what’s important.
The Seed & Almond Loaf premix (R55) contains sunflower seeds, flaxseed, coconut flour, desiccated coconut, almonds, raising agent, psyllium husk, erythritol, and Himalayan salt. You have to add buttermilk and eggs to the premix, pop it in the oven, and get to enjoy bread at 1 g of carbs per slice!
As for the taste? It’s amazing. It can be challenging to get low carb bread to taste really good. Often you end up with an eggy-tasting bread or something that tastes too much like one particular low carb flour.
But Banting Blvd’s Seed & Almond Loaf gets this just right. The bread is tasty but neutral enough to be enjoyed with whatever you want to put on it. This is a nice firm loaf with a wonderful texture that fills you up after a slice or two.
And, added bonus, it freezes really well. This means that someone like me can bake a loaf, eat a few slices, and freeze the rest for those toasted cheese emergencies. Oh, and I would also suggest you check out their savoury muffin premix.
Where Can I Get Banting Blvd & What Are The Prices?
Prices of the Banting Blvd premixes vary but most of them are priced between R50 – R100. The Seed & Almond Loaf premix costs R55.
Premixes are available via the Banting Blvd online store and select Food Lover’s Markets.
Best Low Carb Pizza Base
Dough Boys Low Carb Pizza Base
Making true low carb pizza taste as neutral as regular pizza can be challenging. I have tried many a base and figured out the following: With low carb pizza bases, there has to be a bit of a compromise. Either you compromise a bit on taste and get a true low carb base, or you have to compromise a bit on the carb count. When compromising on carb count, I think it’s important to still stay in the lower-carb department, staying clear of artificial additives and any sort of grain.
Why Is It So Good?
And this is where Dough Boys low carb pizza bases shine! First of all, this base tastes great but doesn’t overpower your toppings in any way. You get a yummy crunchy crust and a soft, but not soggy, rest of the base.
Ingredient-wise, the Dough Bows low carb pizza contains only cauliflower, tapioca flour, chickpea flour, psyllium husk, garlic, onion, and sea salt — at 23.3 g carbs per 150 g serving. I usually stay clear of chickpeas due to their carb count but, for this pizza, it’s totally worth the occasional indulgence.
We only recently met Dough Boys when they sent us their super fun DIY low carb pizza kit to try (full review here). I love DIY and really wanted to find a yummy low(er) carb pizza.
The pizza kit provides you with 3 frozen bases plus cheese and tomato sauce (R175), and, of course, a dose of fun. Toppings are up to you. I don’t often eat pizza but for when I do want a pizza treat, I’ll be sure to have some low carb bases from Dough Boys in my freezer.
Good to know: Dough Boys supplies several restaurants with their low carb bases, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for those.
Where Can I Get Dough Boys & What Are The Prices?
The DIY Pizza Kit, which includes 3 margarita pizza sets, is available at R175. You can order online via Eat Out The Box. The kit is frozen so it’s easy to keep and use whenever the craving for good pizza arises.
Best Low Carb Baked Goods, Cakes, Cupcakes & More
Guiltless Protein Bakery
The first thing I wanted to find in the low carb world was a substitute for cake. Having scrambled eggs with my birthday candles just isn’t a thing, even for a serious low-carber like me. I searched high and low for a ready-to-buy cake or cupcake or something treat-like. That search finally ended when, perchance, I stopped by Guiltless Bakery last year. It was love at first bite.
Why Is It So Good?
Since then, I’ve managed to try out most of their selection, and I’m proud to say that I’m still deeply in love with Guiltless.
In a nutshell, Guiltless Protein Bakery creates low carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, high protein treats, sans all the bad stuff. Bearing in mind that a cupcake is always a treat, whether low carb or not, I think an average of 9 g carb per cupcake is perfectly reasonable.
Guiltless has a fantastic selection of cupcakes, cakes, bonbons, etc., and they are all very, very good. Read our full review here. From a taste perspective, you don’t even realise you’re eating a low-carb, sugar-free treat. They are that good.
What I also love is that these treats aren’t overly sweet. Very often, low carb baked goods are sickly sweet. But Guiltless get the sweetness ratio just right and that, together with their yumminess factor, makes them my favourite low carb bakery.
And my favourite treats on their menu? The cheesecake (price on request) is light and fluffy and heaven in every bite. The Nuts For Carrot cupcake (R25) tastes like Christmas and a dose of happiness. And the cream cheese frosting – OMG! I also love the Dark Chocolate Cookie Dough Bar (R25), which is like a nougaty-style chewy bar enrobed in chocolate. And in the bonbon department, the Dark Choc Carrot (R15) provides a portion of delicately-spiced magic.
Where Can I Get Guiltless Bakery Treats & What Are The Prices?
We’ve mentioned some of the prices above but, in general, you’re looking at R15 for cookies and bonbons, R20 for brownies, and R25 for cupcakes and protein bars. Cakes are sold from R300.
Guiltless Protein Bakery treats are available to order from their website and select goodies can also be found at the Palm Grove Spar in Durbanville and Drop-In Cafes (5 Husdon Street, De Waterkant, and 120 Main Road, Sea Point).
Best Low Carb Ice Cream
I love, love, love ice cream. So finding a good low carb version was super important to me. For me, there are four criteria when it comes to low carb ice cream:
- Obviously it needs to be truly low carb.
- It needs to have a relatively short list of natural ingredients with no added nonsense.
- It needs to leave me feeling great after eating it.
- And it needs to taste incredible.
There are quite a few low carb/diabetic/sugar-free ice creams on the market and I have tried every one I could find. Most of them fall terribly short of being good. I would rather not eat bad ice cream, thank you very much. So I thought I was doomed until I tried Skinny Scoop a few years ago!
Why Is It So Good?
Skinny Scoop makes low carb, sugar-free, protein ice cream with a super short list of ingredients. My fave, the Afterdark Cacao, literally only contains cream, whole milk, xylitol, cocoa powder, why protein isolate, and some sodium alginate to thicken. And that’s 3.6 g of carbs per 100 g of ice cream. I mean, does it get any better than that?
Actually, yes. The taste is out of this world. The Afterdark Cacao Skinny Scoop is incredible. Super chocolatey and smooth, it truly is happiness in a tub. Even when I compare this ice cream to all the ice cream I ate before I went low carb, I would still choose this one. Every day. I mean, literally, I could eat this ice cream every day.
I can also recommend the Camilla Vanilla Skinny Scoop for vanilla goodness. Another option is the Peanut Butter Zoey. Although still in the low carb range, it has more than double the carb content of the other two.
Skinny Scoop even has a vegan option, the Maca Maya, which is super low carb due to the dairy to coconut cream and milk swap.
Where Can I Get Skinny Scoop & What Are The Prices?
Skinny Scoop tubs are priced at approximately R30 per 175 ml tub and R90 per 500 ml tub (depending on where you buy). Read our full review on Skinny Scoop here.
The full range is available at Wellness Warehouse, Food Lovers’ Market, Spar, select Engen stores, and Giovanni’s in Green Point.
Enjoy Cape Town’s Low Carb Treats
So there you have it, my list of Cape Town’s best low carb treats. These are things that make me happy, make my taste buds happy, and keep my body happy.
So happiness all-round for this low carb foodie.
May they do the same for you.
Article Date: September 2020
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