I grew up watching my parents spend hours in the kitchen, perfecting their signature Caribbean dishes but it wasn’t until I had moved out and started cooking for myself that I realised why they enjoy cooking. It’s rewarding and gives you a sense of fulfilment. A homemade dish can make even the saddest eyes light up, even if it’s just for a minute or two, and there is nothing quite like throwing together a few ingredients to find that you’ve created a masterpeice.

I’m always trying to create healthier versions of my other halves favourite treats but they sometimes lack flavour and it’s hard to get the right consistency. I know cooking involves a lot of trial and error and the whole process is just a huge learning curve, but it often leaves me feeling frustrated. But after attending a cooking Master class with Madeline Shaw and Ombar, I realised that the reason why I am never satisfied with my recipes is because I lack essential baking skills and I still haven’t figured out which flavours work best together.


Madeline Shaw started out as a food blogger and she now has a bestselling cookbook, Get the Glow, that encourages people to be healthier and happier. And Ombar? You only have to open my cupboards or look in my handbag to see that I’m a raw chocolate addict. They have a rainbow of different flavours and their chocolate is raw and dairy free.

It was clear from the very beginning that Maddie has a passion for food. She spoke in a way that made us feel excited about the chocolate cake that she was going to make.


Photo credit: Ombar

I think a lot of us believe that when we say we are going to eat healthy, it means that we have to eject every ounce of flavour and fun out of our food and inject anything that is green and earthly. And when we see a product marked “healthy” in big bold letters, we become sceptical because we believe that it isn’t going to taste like the “real thing”.  Which is funny because the “healthy” version is the “real thing”! It’s free from additives, nasties and made using real food.

After Maddie finished baking, it was time for us to head to our cooking stations and make raw energy balls. I felt like I was having a Bree Van de Kamp moment as I got to work in a sparkly clean kitchen, complete with marble chopping boards. It looked like a set from Desperate Housewives!


The energy balls are so easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. They make the most perfect snacks that satisfy your sweet tooth without leaving you feeling sluggish.


I plan to recreate the chocolate cake recipe over the Christmas holidays, and I will share the recipe with you as soon as I have it.

You can eat food that nourishes your body and your soul, without consuming a single limp lettuce leaf!



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