Recipe of the Day

Dear all,

As you may have noticed, my website has undergone a significant makeover during the last few weeks and I am very happy to see how it has evolved. We’re still trying to fix a couple of things (like transferring the recipes into the drop down menu) so please bear with me for a little bit longer. I can assure you that we’re working hard to finish it as quickly as possible. While changing this website, my webdesigner Grant and I have also set up our children’s website which we are super excited to launch shortly. I’ll keep you posted about the date but until then will not spill any secrets!!

asparagus8x10_grandeI am very pleased to offer you some videos on my new site and I truly hope you’ll enjoy them. You’re feedback is always important to me so please let me know what you like or dislike on the new blog and whether you have any suggestions. All the hours spent at the computer working on the videos and websites have NOT kept me from preparing new plant based dishes though.

le-chef-alain-passard-sent-tomate-jardin-fille-sarthe-9-juillet-2014_0_730_341A lot of my late inspirational burst stems from watching a new episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table featuring Alain Passard, a three michelin star French chef and owner of L’Arpège

After years of preparing meat and fish dishes, he took a break for a year, completely redefined his way of cooking and returned to his restaurant offering a pure plant based cuisine. He owns two enormous gardens on the countryside where he and his gardeners produce a huge variety of high quality vegetables, fruits etc. I was deeply touched by the passionate way he speaks about plants and it made me look at foods more closely, taste them more often in different states (raw, cooked, steamed etc) and pair different textures. 

Here is my humble variation on soft and crunchy textures, greens and yellows, slight sweetness and saltiness:

New Potatoes, Pesto, Peas, Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas (without the “vertical Passard asparagus!), 



The sprinkle of pecorino cheese is -of course- optional but is is rich in LYSINE, an essential amino acid that especially growing children need (you also find in in legumes, bee pollen and seeds but in lower quantities than in egg, dairy and meat. Therefore, children benefit from eating eggs and some cheese on and off) and therefore parmesan and pecorino are used often times on our pasta dishes.

Find the entire recipe under Main Dishes in the recipe folder 

New Potatoes, Pesto, Peas, Asparagus and Sugar Snap Peas

This is such a simple yet truly delicious recipe that reminded me of my childhood when my grandmother fed me steaming, slightly mashed potatoes with butter and salt in her kitchen. There is hardly a more basic food than potatoes but so satisfying and tasty. My grandmother was a great cook and took great pleasure in amazing us with her creations but –sadly– was not one to share her recipes or teach her children or grandchildren how to cook. We were only expected to clean up after one of her enormous feats but not get in her way preparing the foods. On and off, I was “tolerated” in her kitchen and would sit on the side of her kitchen counter (as to not get in her way) and watch her prepare different foods (while being fed a slice of dark bread with a spread of butter and honey mixed together with a knife). My grandmother had a huge vegetable garden, grew all the ingredients that I used in this recipe herself and I am pretty sure she would have enjoyed this potato dish- an it would have been even better with the freshest produce straight from her garden. 

I tried my best to get the freshest and cleanest ingredients and at least succeeded in buying organic sugar snap peas and organic asparagus. Isn’t it sad that this is actually an accomplishment? Just two organic ingredients out of… how many, twelve or thirteen? Shouldn’t organic, chemical free produce be a human right? I strongly believe so!

Now let’s see- maybe the taste and smell of this simple dish will bring back dear childhood memories for you too. 

xx ursula

The Story of Lysine

Dear all,

Our dear friend Geoff, artisan baker and former hotshot manager, is taking great pleasure in throwing smart and challenging nutritional questions at me whenever we see each other. buggingLately, he has bugged me with the potential dangers of a LYSINE deficiency while adhering to a plant-based diet. This, according to his account, is especially grave when it comes to our GROWING children. Over and over, I have reassured him that our LYSINE intake is absolutely sufficient, but he still loves to tease me about our avoidance of meat and about the necessity to reintroduce it into our diet (he does, however, acknowledge the negative effects of animal products on our health and our environment. As I said he loves to tease and challenge me!).

Anyway, does he have a point? He does! People adhering to a plant-based or vegan diet might not get enough LYSINE.

What is LYSINE and why is it such a big deal??


Lysine is an essential amino acid. Essential means that our bodies cannot produce it and we need to absorb it from our food. Lysine is important for proper growth and it plays an essential role in the production of CARNITINE, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and thereby helping to lower cholesterol. It also seems to help the body absorb calcium and plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a substance essential for bones and connective tissue such as skin, cartilage and tendons.

Most people get enough lysine in their diet. People at risk of becoming lysine deficient are:

  • vegans who don’t eat legumes
  • athletes
  • patients suffering from burns

Symptoms of lysine deficiencies are:

  • fatiguefatigue
  • dizziness
  • bloodshot eyes
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • agitation
  • slow growth (children!!)
  • anemia

Luckily, there are enough plant-based foods that contain sufficient amounts of lysine. Every diet has to be balanced in order to be healthy. What one doesn’t eat is as important as what one eats.

Lysine rich foods are:

  • legumes (beans, peas, lentils etc)
  • nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds etc)
  • quinoa (please don’t forget to soak overnight)
  • soy products like tofu, tempeh

I found an excellent website with lists the amount of lysine in different foods as well as the necessary daily intake. It makes it easy to see how many servings of lysine rich foods should be consumed. Here is the link:

So Geoff, you can now officially stop worrying about our lysine intake 🙂

We love you for always looking out for us!


Natural Remedies to Help You Fight Colds and Flu

Dear all,

I was working on a post on yet another delicious cake recipe that I had made last weekend, but all around us people are falling sick with the flue and are spreading their germs. Rhinoviruses (see image below) might look amazing under a microscope but are the main cause of the common cold.


Not surprisingly, our daughter has gotten the sniffles too. There was no need to worry though, because I knew how to give her immune system an extra boost.

So let me share some plant-based advise how to get well soon- or avoid contracting a cold in the first place:

  1. Gut health I: make sure you eat fermented foods (kombucha, fermented coleslaw, sauerkraut etc, living foods (plant-based yogurt, cream cheese with live cultures).
  2. Gut health II: Consume mostly activated ingredients (nuts&seeds, grains and legumes. see post on activation)
  3. Stay away from “acidic” foods (animal foods) and consume alkaline foods (all plant-based foods). Acidic foods enhance and lead to inflammation.
  4. Consume natural anti inflammatory foods/ spices like turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, blueberries, dark leafy greens, garlic, green matcha tea etc.
  5. Consume foods that warm your body- think ginger tea or almond turmeric latte instead of organ juice.
  6. High vitamin c foods– highest amounts in camu camu powder, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, pomegranates, kiwifruit etc. Try to get your hands on liposomal vitamin c.
  7. Rest and sleep as much as you can.

This is more or less the protocol that I followed with Vivian- in the evening, before dinner, she got a dose of liposomal vit c, a pomegranate kombucha drink accompanying her dinner and a potent anti inflammatory turmeric milk after dinner. By the way, this milk tastes so delicious that I ended up making a cup for everyone.

Our immun system is usually in excellent condition because of the fermented and activated plant-based foods that we consume on a regular basis. And sure enough, the next morning, Vivian was already feeling much better. Yay!!

If you stick to the above described foods on a daily basis, your immun system will be so strong that you´ll very rarely fall sick at all. The human immun system is heavily based on gut health; the healthier we eat, the better our immun system.  The Greek physician Hippocrates realized this important relationship as soon as 400 B.C: “Let the food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”. What an amazing insight he had! It feels sometimes as if we have been walking backwards instead of forwards and are just recovering the tight connection of food and health. Well, better late than never!

So try our delicious almond turmeric latte– I have even started swopping coffees for turmeric latte. Here’s the recipe:


Turmeric is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. It has so many healing properties that currently there have been over 6000 peer- reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds curcumin. The most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation.


The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin, is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.


Hope you´ll get better soon too! And if this post finds you well and happy, maintain your health! And I am talking gut health.



Aquafaba and Cherry Clafoutis

Dear all,

Last week, I stumbled upon something I had never heard of…Aquafaba. Does this name ring a bell? Have I lived under a rock for the past years??It seems that this aquafaba has become quite popular without me even knowing about it.

aquafaba_whipping_btyAnyway, let me enlighten you, if you are as oblivious as I was. Aquafaba is the liquid that is produced when beans/ chickpeas are cooked in water. The opaque, brownish water that does not look appealing in the least. Naturally, I store my cooked legumes in a glass jar WITH their liquid, but as soon as I use the beans/ chickpeas I discard the water. Well, not anymore. Because this protein rich water is just amazing- it behaves just like egg whites and can be whipped it into fluffy white peaks!!!

To do that, strain the aquafaba through a mesh, then beat it- it’ll take a bit longer than egg whites, about 3 minutes. The good news is that you cannot overbeat it, so just turn on your food processor and walk away.

My first attempt in using aquafaba, did not result in stiff peaks, but resulted in a white, more soft texture. Nevertheless, I used it to make a French Cherry Clafoutis, which turned out incredibly delicious. I think that the consistency of whipped aquafaba depends on the protein content of the liquid. The results are great with liquid found in canned chickpeas, but I refrain from using canned legumes because of their high amount of physic acid (see previous post on activation I’d rather try to modify my own aquafaba to get the same stiff white peaks! A good way to start is to cook the aquafaba until it has been reduced by half (start out with 1 cup, cook until  there´s 1/2 cup left). Let it cool off and store it in a fridge. Only beat it when it´s cold! That does the trick!

But back to the cherry cake- a clafoutis is a baked French fruit dessert…. cherries are usually the fruits of choice and are covered with a batter.


Cherry desserts are always on the top of our dessert list, partly because cherries keep their shape and firm texture even during baking. The only downside is pitting  them. But the flavor of the cake makes up for the hard work 🙂

click here for the recipe


Cherries are a powerhouse of antioxidants and are well known for their anti-inflammatory benefits, but they are also the only natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s internal block and sleep-wake cycles.


A handful of cherries might help me to get over the jet lag on my next trip to Europe? As kids, we would hang cherries on our ears and pretend to have earrings…and, of course, competed in a “spit the pit the farthest” contest. I still play that game with my kids. So much fun!!



OMG Best Salad Ever!

Dear all,

Oh My Goodness, we had THE best salad ever! So good, that we had it two evenings in a row! Where? At home! Difficulty level? Level “super easy”. Rich in nutrients? Oh yeah!!!


The secret? The combination of activated whole grains, fruits, fresh herbs, legumes and lettuce… and a wonderful light and fruity dressing!

Even though I am repeating myself for the gazillions time and might bore you out of your mind, I have to mention– again– that THE most important aspect of this salad (or any dish, for that matter) is to use ACTIVATED grains and legumes (and nuts and seeds if you want to chuck some in). You are new to my blog and don´t know what I´m talking about? Please refer to my post on activating foods (

I´ll tell you what I used but feel free to swap the grains with whatever grain you happen to have soaked overnight (brown rice, quinoa etc). A couple of days ago, I made a barley risotto and had soaked more barley than I needed; and that’s what I used.

Here are the ingredients:

  • grains: pearl barley
  • legumes: chickpeas (I always keep a glass jar of soaked and cooked chickpeas in my garage fridge)
  • fresh herbs: cilantro, chopped
  • lettuce: rocket mixed with green lettuce leaves
  • fruits: pomegranate seeds
  • seeds: activated pumpkin seeds
  • dressing: extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper
  • optional: strips of fried halloumi. Yes, that´s cheese, made from goats milk which originated on the island of Cyprus. Every now and then, my husband loves to have a bit of parmesan cheese (which is, by the way, packed with protein, calcium and Vitamin A) or halloumi. The cheese is definitely not essential for the salad but adds a nice flavor that pairs really well with pomegranates.

Next time, I’ll make twice as much salad and take the leftovers in a mason jar to work. Can’t wait… (click here for the recipe



Might phytic acid cause iron deficiencies?

Dear all,

Have you ever wondered why so many of us suffer from chronic iron deficiencies? It’s so widespread nowadays that everybody seems to accept the fact that it’s kind of a normal thing to have. But is it really? Yes, women are more prone to iron deficiencies for obvious reasons but our  iron storage  should not be affected permanently. Do you know why iron is such an important essential mineral for our bodies? Iron is involved in various bodily functions including:

  • Oxygen transport – red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a complex protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Hemoglobin is partly made from iron, and accounts for about two thirds of the body’s iron.


  • Myoglobin – a special protein that helps store oxygen in muscle cells. Myoglobin contains iron and is responsible for the red colour of muscle.


  • Enzymes – many enzymes throughout the body contain iron, including those involved in energy production. Enzymes are catalysts (they increase the rate of a chemical reaction) that drive many cell functions.
  • Immune system – proper functioning of the immune system relies, in part, on sufficient iron. The immune system helps us fight infection.

There are animal sources and plant sources for iron. Heme iron, which is found in animals, is easier to absorb than plant non-heme iron. Still, a lot of people are diagnosed with iron deficiency. How come? If you have an iron deficiency, but you eat red meat or seafood the problem probably isn’t too little iron, it’s poor absorption. The reason can either be attributed to reduced stomach acid or to a chronic inflammation of the intestinal lining.


Though many plants are high in non-heme iron they often times contain iron-absorption inhibitors, such as polyphenols and oxalates. Both substances, at levels found in food, can prevent 90% or more of the iron in those foods from being absorbed. Plant sources of iron include whole grains, legumes, nuts& seeds, spinach, kale and other leafy greens or kombucha.


The secret therefore lies in the preparation of the particular plant foods!

Whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are all high in iron but contain phytic acid which has a high chelating activity, binding to iron (and also to zinc and calcium) and preventing absorption.


The good news is that rather simple processes can reduce the amount of phytic acid significantly… these are soaking, sprouting and fermenting. Soaking grains and flour in an acidic medium at warm temperatures, as in the sourdough process, activates phytase (the enzyme that breaks up phytic acid; see my post on activation and reduces or even eliminates phytic acid.

However, the story is a bit more complicated than that, because phytic acid also has a number of health benefits including antioxidant effects and protective effects against cancer and kidney stones. Once again, it seems that the quantity of this particular chemical plays an important factor and will determine whether phytic acid is a “friend or foe”.

Spinach, for example, like broccoli or carrots, contains oxalic acid, an organic substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and iron. Oxalic acid binds with calcium, making it unavailable for use by our bodies. It also attaches to quite a few other vital nutrients, and long-term consumption of foods high in oxalic acid can lead to nutrient deficiencies. The good news is that oxalic acid is broken down upon heating, so there is limited or no loss of nutrients in steamed or sautéed spinach.

The take home message for today:

  • Know how to prepare your food and make sure you reduce phytic acid as much as you can by soaking your grains/nuts/seeds and legumes.
  • Know what to eat raw and what to cook.

The recipe that I am sharing today is a great example for a nutrient rich food- if activated prior to consumption. Buckinis, activated and flavored buckwheat groats that make a great addition to fresh fruits, yogurts or other breakfast bowls.


The soaked and rinsed buckwheat groats are mixed with cinnamon (has a plethora of other impressive health benefits) and maca powder, which not only gives it a delicious taste but has also positive effects on hormone balance, energy levels, and boosts overall health. Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. Click here for the Buckini recipe

Hope you’ll enjoy these little tasty powerhouses!




South Tyrolean Red Beet Dumplings

Dear all,

In my last post about our European trip I mentioned the outstanding South Tyrolean Cuisine, especially the mouth watering dumplings that are served literally everywhere. Some of them contain meat, some cheese, but a couple of them a truly plant-based. Woohoo!!


 (And yes, the tiny pink bits on the image are bacon- hard to avoid meat in South tyrol!)

Long story short, we missed these little round beauties so much that my family requested dumplings pretty much as soon as the airplane touched Australian soil. So the quest was on- to find a true South Tyrolean Dumpling recipe that could be tweaked into a truly whole-food plant-based version.


Having grown up with all sorts of dumplings, I clearly remember horrified and utterly disappointed faces on Viennese mothers when the dumplings fell apart during the cooking process. The glue used in dumplings comes typically from eggs and I was naturally a bit nervous whether an egg replacer would do the job or whether my little balls would simply disintegrate. but you’ll only know if you try so I gave it a shot… And the dumplings turned out beautifully!! Phew! Look at their amazing pink color!



Not everything went smoothly though and when I first attempted to form the dumplings from the mixture, they just wouldn’t stick together and I got slightly stressed out, like the moms I witnessed in Vienna.

IMG_3060But I don’t give up easily and had the sudden, genius idea of putting the mixture into the food processor. And that made all the difference. The balls were easily formed thereafter and held their shape during the boiling process.

Lucky me! So I can only advise you to include this important step in your preparations!

Click here for the red beet dumpling recipe

Traditionally, some sort of warm coleslaw is served with the dumplings and I happened to have a homemade fermented slaw in the fridge. I warmed it up and it complemented the dumplings wonderfully. You can also simply place the dumplings on a bed of rocket and add a bit of freshly ground pepper for garnish.


They were so beautiful to look at that I think I’ll serve them at our next dinner party as an appetizer. Hm..maybe I’ll have a red beet dinner with red beets in every course.

Red beet dinner menu:

  • Appetizer: Red beet dumplings
  • Main dish: Pearl barley risotto leek, red beets and mushrooms
  • Dessert: red velvet brownies made with cooked beets and raw cacao

Want to be my next guest?



Back again

Dear all,

I have to apologize for my recent absence and lack of posting. We spent the last weeks with our families in Europe, mostly hiking (can you see the tiny white cabins going up the mountain? It’s a very old lift and it’s extremely dangerous to ski downhill in winter),


and although I was looking forward to cooking and sharing some Austrian and Italian recipes, I found myself too busy trying to find somewhat healthy foods during our entire trip. Now don’t get me wrong- the traditional Austrian, Bavarian and South Tyrolean food I grew up with can taste great. Not necessarily is it healthy and is usually quite heavy on meat and dairy products… and a huge variety of sweet desserts. As tasty as these dishes are, we have avoided eating them a long time ago- for environmental and health reasons as you might have picked up. But on and off, we got to enjoy a rare and beautiful dish like this one:


A beautifully arranged salad on a gourmet hut in South Tyrol, high up at 2000 meters, made of 24 herbs and flowers from the surrounding alpine pastures.


What saved us was on the one hand my homemade BIRCHER MUESLI in our apartment for breakfast, made with overnight soaked oats, chia seeds, nuts, raisins, flax meal, soy yogurt and fresh fruit and…


… on the other hand… DUMPLINGS. Among the huge variety of dumplings that can be found in South Tyrol, at least a couple of them were vegetarian dumplings. And truly delicious they were- spinach dumplings, buckwheat- and red beet dumplings.


I’ll see whether I can get my hands on a plant-based recipe for them. By the way, “Knoedel” means dumpling…


What I missed most during our trip was the almost complete absence of soy milk for my midmorning COFFEE. I had completely forgotten about the sometimes sheer impossible task of finding a soy latte in certain parts of Europe. In Munich, the waitress looked at me as if I were an alien when I asked her for soy milk. Her answer was curt- “No, we don’t have anything like that here”.

Let’s remind ourselves though that a few years ago, it was a rare occasion to spot a plant-based milk in supermarkets. Nowadays, because of consumer demand, one usually finds at least one or two different kinds of plant milks on the shelves. And only because of consumer demand  organic and health aisles in supermarkets were born.

It’s all about consumer demand, so if you happen to travel through Europe or live there, please don’t stop asking for soy lattes. Eventually, they will be introduced everywhere. Here in Australia, I have become quite spoiled- even at the smallest gas station am I able to get a decent soy latte. WOOHOO!!

A few more thoughts about the foods we encountered on our trip. Quite often, I stumble upon articles that talk about the safety of vegan diets and possible nutrient deficiencies that will develop on such an “extreme” diet. First of all, any diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies if it is not balanced. So how about the deficiencies of people who adhere to a traditional western diet?

Over time we see the effects that these nutrient deficiencies (primarily dietary fiber, iron, vitamin D, Vitamin A, calcium deficiencies) along with the absorption of too much “bad stuff” (animal protein, saturated fats etc) have. The consequences include a variety of so called western diseases- strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cancer (especially prostate, breast and colon cancer) plus a wide variety of other chronic illnesses.

What I have experienced is that people who adhere to vegan diets choose their foods more carefully, are often times better informed about the nutrient content of their foods, eat a larger variety of foods and are more willing to try new foods or new ways of preparing foods.

So despite the cold weather at the moment, I am happy to be home again having access to my activated nuts and seeds, my beloved blender and tons of delicious, colorful recipes that I have in mind for the coming weeks. My challenge: to post foods that are suitable for hot summer days on the Northern hemisphere as well as for cold days on the Southern hemisphere. We’ll see what I can come up with…




Breakfast and Sweet Potatoes

Dear all,

What comes to YOUR mind if I ask you to associate sweet potatoes with breakfast? Most likely, sweet potato hash browns, maybe sweet potato oatmeal and maybe even some fancy breakfast burritos (which, by the way, are on my have-to-try-breakfast-recipes list). What comes to MY mind are our beloved sweet potato breakfast pancakes.



Sweet potatoes naturally WANT to be combined with maple syrup, pecans and cinnamon. Just as they want to be served as fries with homemade aioli (which, simply by craving them as I am writing, lands them on tonight’s menu right away!).

What makes pancakes so seductive? Probably their soft, fluffy texture combined with a hint of sweetness and the comfort of something warm? And their delicious aroma…?

What about sweet potatoes? I guess we never think of the raw, hard, less appealing vegetable but rather of  the cooked, peeled and soft version. Again, I think it’s the soft and light texture and warmness that we crave… in pie fillings, fries, hash browns or PANCAKES.

Sweet potatoes are inexpensive and surprisingly healthy.

  • They are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). It has antioxidant activity, which helps to protect cells from damage. Beta-carotene is the main dietary source of vitamin A- and what do we associate with vitamin A? Yes, great skin! Also, good vision and eye health and a strong immune system
  • Very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6.
  • Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.

Rather than me boring you with all the background info on all the nutrients found in sweet potatoes, you can read up on the facts of vitamins, minerals and trace elements on this helpful website:

Enough of the dry facts now, let’s get to the ingredients of the orange sweet potato cinnamon pancakes:


  1. Medium sized sweet potato (as you might have guessed), pierced several times with a fork and cooked in the microwave until soft (to safe time, I use the microwave, feel free to cook the in the oven
  2. Freshly squeezed OJ
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Unsweetened apple sauce
  5. Whole flour (whole-wheat, whole spelt, brown rice flour)
  6. Unsweetened almond milk
  7. Flaxmeal
  8. Pinch of salt
  9. Baking soda

That’s all there is to it. Combine the wet ingredients  with the soft flesh of the cooked sweet potato and mix in a blender. Add the dry ingredients, blend, then fry palm sized heaps of batter in a pan until golden brown.


Serve with pecans, maple syrup and fresh berries.

Click here to see the detailed recipe:



A South American Experience

I am excited to present to you something very new (at least it was new to me) and extremely tasty- a South-American staple food, the fundamental base of the Venezuelan diet- the AREPA. Arepas are generally made with a pre-cooked corn flour (Harina P.A.N), water and salt.


AREPAS can be prepared for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. depending on the region of the country where it is prepared, the arepa varies in cooking technique, main ingredient, color and filling.

Having said that the main ingredient of areas is corn, the most common and internationally recognized brand of Venezuelan pre-cooked white corn meal is the P.A.N. brand. It might be difficult to find, because I could not see it in any supermarket. Instead, I used instant Masa Harina. To make Masa Harina, the corn kernels are removed from the cobs, dried, then are soaked in water with lime (the chemical) or lye until the skins on the kernels loosen and can be easily removed. The kernels are then mashed, dried, and ground into flour.

The Venezuelan AREPAS has its origins hundreds of years ago; cooked by the various indigenous tribes across the areas that is now Venezuela and Colombia.

I completely understand that the AREPAS has been the main staple of the South American diet. Mine were so easy to prepare and s delicious that I could eat them for morning, lunch and dinner. No kidding. I even found some recipes for sweet areas, which I have yet to try out.

HOW TO MAKE AREPAS– fairly simple process, takes about 10 minutes:

  • Add 2 cups Instant Masa Harina to a bowl and mix with 1 tsp of salt.
  • Add 2 cups filtered warm water.
  • Knead together the flour and water with one hand (keep one hand clean to add more flour or water if needed) until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Don’t overwork the dough. Stop as soon as the dough is free of any lumps.
  • If the dough sticks to your fingers add a little more flour. If it is too dry add a tiny bit of water. The perfect dough should roll easily into a large ball without cracking.
  • Take a small fistful of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten it out so it looks like a flyer saucer. No cracks should appear on the outside (if so, add a bit of water). Neither should the saucer stick to your hand (add flour).


  • Preheat the oven to 375F (170C) and heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil if needed. Fry AREPAS on both sides until golden brown. Transfer them to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until they sound hollow when you tap them with a spatula.


  • Remove them from the oven, let them cool off a bit, then slice them in half. Fill with your favorite filling and enjoy right away.


  • Leftovers can be warmed up the next day but they sure best when they are fresh out of the oven.

If any dough is left over wrap it in plastic – to keep in the moisture – and place in fridge. It will keep for three to four days.

Here is the link to the recipe:

We filled our hot AREPAS with guacamole and black beans. nect time, I’ll use homemade plain plant-based cream cheese and top it with avocados, lime and black pepper. Can’t wait to make them again… 

By the way, I’ve added a new item to my shop- reusable, eco-friendly straws. Check them out! great for smoothies and juices.