By Angeliz Venter
I will proudly admit that I am a woman who absolutely love “take-aways” in any shape or form since a young age. Now that I am pregnant, my love for the greasy options increased even more and it is one of the few things I could stomach the during the first trimester. What started bothering me, is the fact that I kept reading “your baby eats what you eat” and we all know the traditional fast foods does not contain healthy ingredients, to the contrary, and on top of that is also soaked in old greasy oil. This is why I was so excited to try Outcast Foods, who is a proudly South African brand that specializes in healthy alternatives for the fast foods that we love.
Before going further with this blog, let’s talk about my fears, as excited as I was to try these products, I was also very skeptical that it would taste good and that it wouldn’t make me nauseous, as all healthy alternatives do during this pregnancy. Outcast Foods has 3 core products, burgers, falafels and flapjacks and I decided to try them all. Firstly, I tried the activated burger mix. On first impressions I thought “Oh my word this box is so small and it looks like couscous, this is never going to work, never mind taste good”, then I saw the ingredient list consisting of lentils, chickpeas, buckwheat, onion, carrot, beetroot, sunflower seeds, Kalahari Desert salt, paprika, tomato, cumin, coriander, mustard, thyme, black pepper, oregano and my fears worsened. Although all of these ingredients are items that I love, I couldn’t imagine how it would taste as satisfying as my regular fast-food order. While my sweet potatoes fries were in the fryer, I got started on my burger “meat”. One pack of the burger mix will give you 4 burger patties and the instructions are very easy to use. You simply add the mixture into a bowl, add the indicated amount of water and let it rest for 10 minutes. As soon as I added the water, I could see the mixture thickening and I could visualize how it could possibly look like meat. After letting it rest, I rolled it into a ball and then pressed it down to make a burger patty. It surprisingly held the shape very well, with no crumbling and the texture actually resembled meat! It only takes a few minutes on each side to cook and turn brown and you are good to go! This would be a good time to add that I was supposed to create content with this burger and sweet potatoes fries, but at this point, it smelled so good that I just started eating and forgot about taking pictures. I can honestly say, it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had and by far the best vegan and healthy meat alternative patty on the South African market currently. There is enough mixture at the end to make 4 big burger patty and it is very juicy and filling as well, where normal fast food would leave me wanting more and then overeating, halfway through this burger of goodness I started feeling satisfied, without that nauseous feeling of eating too much cr*p. (No better way to say it sorry). My fiancé was also equally impressed with the burger mix, but then pointed out that he wants to know why it states that it is “activated” on the box. I reached out to the owner, Guy, on Instagram and almost immediately received a reply explaining that activated means that they soak the chickpeas, pulses and seeds, before they sprout to make them easier to digest and it also improves the nutrient absorption. How is that for customer service?
Of course, you know now that the burger mix is my favorite product from Outcast Foods, but let’s talk about their flapjacks. This is the second product that I tried on a Saturday morning and the mixture works similarly to all the other mixtures with just adding water. The flapjacks consist of activated buckwheat, chickpeas, banana, dates, chia seeds and a hint of maca. The whole pack makes around 15 flapjacks of 8cm in diameter and is again so filling that we couldn’t even work through half of them. I absolutely loved the flapjacks and the fact that you can taste the banana, but I would add dark chocolates chips from time to time, just to mix it up a little. I also like the fact that as soon as our baby starts eating solids, I can make these fluffy and wholesome flapjacks for him/her and not have to worry about unhealthy ingredients at such a young age.
Lastly, but not least, the falafels. They come in 2 different variants, the classic falafel mix and the crazy falafel mix. Both consists of activated chickpeas with pure herbs and spices, but the crazy mix has added beetroot, cardamon, poppy and chilies. I think if I wasn’t pregnant the crazy falafel mix would’ve been my favorite, but for some reason the spices just didn’t work for me and I couldn’t finish it, but my fiancé was very happy to finish mine and all the falafels that we made. I will definitely try them again after my pregnancy and see if it has a different effect as it is some of my favorite ingredients all in one, but for now I am sticking to the classic falafels in a falafel bowl or juicy pitta!
All in all, I am so in love with Outcast Foods and what they are striving to do within the South African market! They’ve become a staple on my monthly shopping list as they can be found online, Spar, Pick n Pay, Faithful to Nature, The Refillery, Wellness Warehouse and U Cook boxes.