Nice Cream 

There is no need to pop out to the grocery store to get your fix of creamy ice cream. Use those overripe bananas to whip up a batch of nice cream. All you need are a few frozen chopped bananas and milk (dairy or almond). Blitz the ingredients together until smooth in a high-speed blender and viola! If you want to spice it up a little, try this recipe for chocolate peanut butter nice cream:

Ingredients:

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender. Process until smooth and mixed well.
  2. Pour into a container and place in the freezer overnight.
  3. Scoop and serve!

Source: www.fitnessmag.co.za/recipe-dairy-free-chocolate-peanut-butter-ice-cream/

French Toast

If you have stale bread and overripe bananas sitting around, then here's the perfect solution - sweet French toast topped with caramelised bananas. Take things a step further by adding a scoop of your perfectly made nice cream! Not sure how to make French toast? Follow this recipe step by step:

Ingredients:

Method

  1. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk/double cream, syrup and vanilla extract. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Lay each slice of bread into the egg mixture, carefully coating both sides.
  3. Fry each slice of bread for 1 - 2 minutes in the butter on both sides, until golden brown.
  4. Sprinkle a generous dusting of cinnamon and sugar over the French toast.
  5. Serve with caramelised bananas and nice cream.

Adapted from: www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-banana-french-toast

overripe bananas

Banana Loaf

If you've been seeing pictures of homemade banana bread popping up all over your social media timelines, it's because of the #BananaBreadChallenge. All over South Africa, people have taken to their kitchens to create their own versions of this timeless classic while in lockdown. Take those overripe bananas and join in on the fun! If you don't have Granny's recipe on hand, try this one out:

Ingredients:

Method

  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in nuts.
  2. Pour into a greased or parchment-lined loaf pan. If desired, sprinkle with additional walnuts. Bake at 180° C for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Source: www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/best-ever-banana-bread/

Smoothie Bowls 

After all this banana-inspired indulgence, you may need a refreshing cleanse. Why not get creative with a few early morning smoothie bowls? Overripe bananas are perfect for getting a chilled, creamy smoothie consistency, so chopped up a few and keep them stored in the freezer. Still looking for an early morning treat? Try out this banana, avocado and cacao smoothie bowl topped with fresh berries and granola.

Ingredients:

Method

  1. Blitz together all the ingredients, except the berries and granola, in a high-speed blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with fresh ingredients.
  3. Enjoy!

overripe bananas

Do you know of any other uses for overripe bananas? Let us know about them!

That Spot on 4th

Take a trip into the bustling avenues of Parktown North to visit That Spot on 4th. This quaint bistro-style eatery offers some of the sweetest breakfast treats in Joburg. Take your pick from toasted banana bread served with chai spiced butter and fresh banana; French toast waffle fingers served with crème fraiche and berry compote or a variety of sweet, sticky waffles. Paired with a super food latte, flavoured coffee or bitter cup of tea, this is as near to dessert for breakfast as you'll get.

Details: 17 4th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg | Tel: 010 300 3118 | [email protected]

Little Belgium

The new kid on the block, Little Belgium in Benoni is a must-visit for waffle lovers. These connoisseurs of the Belgian waffle will delight any sweet tooth with their array of dessert-style breakfasts. From classic vanilla and cherry waffles, to a sweet toasted marshmallow and dark chocolate monster, they have something to curb any sweet craving. Top it all off with a designer milkshake, if you dare!

Details: Flamingo’s Nest Boutique Hotel, Corner Dove & Boundary Road, Rynfield, Benoni AH | Tel: 082 886 3996 | [email protected]

The Whippet Linden & Melville

For crazy taste combinations and a child-like imagination when it comes to food, visit The Whippet in Linden or their Harvest store in Melville. This famed coffee and breakfast hub serves up some of the most whimsical breakfast treats in the city, including unicorn hot chocolate and Nutella stacked flapjacks. Their new summer menu also features a vegan almond, chia and strawberry French toast topped with caramelised bananas!

Details: Click here for contact details for both branches.

The Red Door Cafe

The Red Door Cafe in Edenvale knows how to do dessert for breakfast almost better than any other restaurant in Joburg. For pure indulgence, try their almond and Ferrero Rocher croissant - a mega serving of crisp pastry and melted chocolate, topped with crunchy nuts. They also serve up Nutella cruffins (croissant-muffins) and two kinds of sweet French toast. If The Red Door can't satisfy your morning sweet cravings, then no one can.

Details: 26, 5th Avenue, Edenvale, Johannesburg | Tel: 011 453 1926 | [email protected]

dessert for breakfast

Frangelicas

Frangelicas is a family run Kosher bakery and restaurant located in the serene suburb of Glenhazel. Perfectly in between Joburg East and North, this is a breakfast hot spot on Saturday mornings. Their bakery offers a delightful selection of muffins and scones to perk up your sweet tooth. However, their tempting tower of four golden crumpets, served with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar, syrup and cream, is the pinnacle of dessert meets breakfast.

Details: 2 Long Ave, Glenhazel, Johannesburg | Tel: 010 013 4237 | [email protected]

Walnut Grove 

If you somehow make it past the cake and pastry display at the entrance to Walnut Grove, then page through their menu for a truly sweet surprise. Offering an all-day boulangerie, this acclaimed cake shop at Sandton City takes dessert for breakfast to another level all together. We recommend you try the Kataifi French Toast  - sweet kitke bread soaked in a vanilla pod, cinnamon and nutmeg infused egg mixture, topped with a citrus and clove syrup with pistachio nuts and kataifi pastry, all served with fresh cream on the side! You may very well roll out of the restaurant, sugar coma well on its way, but we are sure it will be worth it.

Details: Shop B38 Sandton City, Cnr 5th Street & Rivonia Road, Sandton, Johannesburg | Tel: +27 (011) 783 6111 | [email protected]

Cut & Craft Bistro

We conclude this epic list with an unassuming curbside bistro located along Queen Street in Kensington. Cut & Craft is all about home-style family recipes, served with a smile. Their breakfast menu features a contemporary take on the classic flapjack stack - five fluffy flapjacks made just the way Grandma used to cook them, layered with cinnamon and cream and topped with pan-seared almonds, coconut and maple syrup. Yum!

Details: 159 Queen Street, South Kensington, Johannesburg | Tel: 011 615 0230 | [email protected].

Do you know of any other restaurants that serve dessert-style breakfasts in Joburg? Let us know about them! 

The Whippet Coffee 

The Whippet Coffee franchises are some of Joburg's busiest breakfast spots. It's not difficult to understand why once you take a peek at their farmstyle-meets-urban-contemporary menu. Toast is turned on its head here - in the best way possible. Their new winter menu features savoury gourmet toast options such as vegan sweet potato toast topped with creamy peanut butter and sliced banana, garnished with almond flakes and a scattering of blueberries and luxury granola. Smashed avo toast has also undergone a makeover at The Whippet. Theirs comes served on health bread with a fried egg, and is garnished with red chili flakes, black sesame seeds, pink peppercorns, micro herbs and fresh coriander sprigs.

Click here for more information.

Vovo Telo at 44 Stanley 

The original Vovo Telo bakery and cafe at 44 Stanley in Milpark is the ideal weekend brunch spot. Stop by and find out why they are regarded as one of the best bakeries in Joburg. All of Vovo Telo's breakfasts are served with your choice of toast - take your pick from their rye, ciabatta, sourdough or bagel varieties. Got a serious sweet tooth? Try out their Brioche French toast. Served with either mixed berry compote, sweet mascarpone cream and citrus infused honey or caramelised banana, bacon and maple syrup. Yum!

Click here for more information.

Gourmet Toast

My Bread and Butter

My Bread and Butter is situated on the most interesting street in Parkview. Tyrone Avenue is quaint and quirky, offering visitors a retro shopping and dining experience. The restaurant itself is eclectic and modern, featuring stone cast walls and wide panel windows. While the inviting atmosphere welcomes you in, it's the gourmet toast specials that will keep you coming back for more. Avo toast fanatics will be especially pleased, as My Bread and Butter offers patrons the choice to build their own smashed avo brekkie. Order the original - smashed avo and basil pesto on health bread - adding your choice of delicious topping; feta, bacon, poached eggs or smoked salmon. Whatever your guilty toast pleasure is, My Bread and Butter have got you covered.

Click here for more information.

La Tazzina

La Tazzina is a hidden gem tucked away in the avenues of Edenvale. While they are famed for their pastries and cakes, this tranquil suburban cafe also serves up great breakfasts. Toast lovers are offered four gourmet options here - an open avo and cottage cheese toastie, anchovies and tomato on rye, three bean toast and mushroom toast topped with Danish feta, spinach and calamata olives. Craving a little more toasty indulgence? Try out La Tazzina's sweet or savoury French toast. Paired with a frothy cappuccino, this gourmet eggy bread is the perfect breakfast time treat.

Click here for more information.

Red Door Cafe

Another Edenvale breakfast hot spot is the Red Door Cafe. This unassuming corner cafe thinks completely out of the box when it comes to your morning toasted bread. Their menu is also family-friendly, so you can bring the whole brood along for a breakfast surprise. Kiddies should enjoy the Humpty Dumpty (soft-boiled) egg served with Marmite soldiers, while adult palates may be more accustomed to salty anchovies and homemade pickles on white, brown, rye or gluten free toast. If regular old toast just won't do the trick, order a toasted bagel topped with salmon, cream cheese, chives and capers.

The Red Door Cafe wouldn't leave French toast lovers hanging. Their sweet gourmet toasts are just as exciting and out there as the savoury options. Our top choice is the cornflake crusted French toast buttered with fig jam and cream cheese. Talk about a breakfast feast!

Click here for more information.

Bread Basket 

The Bread Basket's name lives up to its promise - bread, bread and more bread. Make your own style of gourmet toast at home from one of their delightful loaves. The ciabatta is super crisp and great for toasting in the oven. However, if you are lacking the culinary inspiration to whip up a homemade toasty masterpiece, Bread Basket's menu features a special something you definitely need to try out - a banana and peanut butter French toast croissant! While it may be a mouthful just to order this unique gourmet toast dish, it is well worth the twisted tongue. A pan-fried French toast croissant topped with fresh banana, vanilla ice cream and peanut butter sauce. Never before has there been a more indulgent toast.

Click here for more information.

Gourmet Toast

Post Breakfast & Lunch

Post is a regular Braamies cool kid's hangout. With an ever evolving menu, this inner city deli often experiments with changing up toast toppings based on seasonal ingredients and the busy schedules of their customers. In January they introduced the one slice menu - one slice of rye toast, featuring toppings based on seasonality, availability and flavour. These mini breakfast bites are tweaked and updated every few months, so you will never be bored with Post's gourmet toast offerings.

Click here for more information.

Voodoo Lily Cafe

Voodoo Lily Cafe in Birdhaven sticks to the classics when it comes to toast. Order two slices of rye or ciabatta with your choice of preserves or spreads. From good old jam, to Nutella and avocado with Norwegian smoked salmon, Voodoo Lily have your toast needs met. Vegans can rejoice too, as their menu features a completely dairy-free French toast. Oven baked rye bread dipped in smashed banana and almond milk paste, served with almond chocolate sauce.

Click here for more information.

Gourmet Toast

tashas

What would brunch be without tashas? With a focus on fuss-free, healthy and photo-worthy food, tashas is the ideal restaurant for a catch up with friends, a casual business meeting or an informal first date. Of course, the avo toast at tashas isn't your run-of-the-mill fare. Creamed almond and avo dressing, fennel, labneh, chives, parsley, spiced pistachio and cucumber served on gluten-free sourdough is the order of the day here. Super wholesome and filling, this is gourmet toast with a definite health kick.

Click here for more information.

Do you know of any other Joburg restaurants that serve up gourmet toasts? Let us know about them. 

The Service Station

This little home away from home, located in Melville, is a restaurant and food store providing freshly prepared food along with carefully selected local and international products. The Service Station offers three French toast options: one with berries, a savoury one with bacon and a brioche, strawberry and mascarpone option. The egg batter used is amazing.

Details: Bamboo Centre, Corner 9th Street & Rustenburg Road, Melville, Johannesburg | 011 726 1701

Vovo Telo at 44 Stanley

The original Vovo Telo at 44 Stanley offers an array of delightful baked goods, cakes and heavenly breakfasts. So, it's no surprise that their French toast options are mouthwatering. Take your pick from mixed berry compote, sweet mascarpone cream and citrus infused honey or caramelised banana, bacon and maple syrup served on your choice of toast!

Details: 44 Stanley Road, Milpark, Johannesburg | (011) 482-4139 | [email protected]

French toast

Salvation Cafe

44 Stanley is obviously the home of French toast in Johannesburg, as our next hot spot also hails from this eclectic food and retail precinct. The Salvation Café boasts not one, but two options of the classic breakfast dish. The savoury, served with haloumi, cherry tomatoes and pesto, and the sweet, with fresh fruit, berry coulis and whipped cream on the side. Yum!

Details: 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark, Johannesburg | 011 482 7795 | [email protected]

The Whippet

The Whippet in Linden is known for its crazy combinations of sweet and savoury. Sample their classic French toast - butter brioche topped with smooth crème fraiche, crispy maple glazed bacon and seasonal berries - for a true taste sensation. Vegans, you can have your fill here too. Try their almond, chia and strawberry French toast made with chickpea flour and almond milk.

Details: 34, 7th Street, Linden, Johannesburg | 061 512 1373 | [email protected]

Voodoo Lily Cafe

In Birdhaven, there's a little family café that offers its patrons the opportunity to create their own French toast. Bacon, macon, roasted tomatoes, salmon... it's all there for your belly to feed on. The restaurant also serves up vegetarian and vegan-friendly French toast options. Thank you Voodoo Lily Café!

Details: 64 St Andrew Street, Birdhaven, Johannesburg | 011 442 6965 | [email protected]

The Red Door Cafe

Edenvale is a brunch-time haven, with a number of quirky coffee shops lining the Avenues. However, only one of these suburban cafes serves up an ingenious take on classic French toast. The cornflake crusted French toast served with cream cheese and fig jam from the Red Door Cafe is a must-try. But for the less daring diners, there are two other options to try - the sweet strawberry and coconut crusted or savoury bacon, syrup and spring onion.

Details: 26 5th Avenue, Edenvale, Johannesburg | 011 453 1926 | [email protected]

french toast

That Spot on 4th 

Have you ever thought of dipping your waffle in egg batter, frying in butter and serving it up with mixed berry compote and creme fraiche? If not, visit That Spot on 4th in Parkhurst for their French Toast Waffle Fingers! It's the best of both worlds.

Details: 17 4th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg | 010 300 3118 | [email protected]

The Bread Basket

The final stop on our journey to breakfast perfection is The Bread Basket at Sandton City. Their show stopping take on French toast - a banana and peanut butter French toast croissant - is as near to dessert for breakfast as you can get. Pair it with a gourmet coffee and you should be on cloud nine.

Details: Shop BC 28, Sandton City Shopping Centre, 5th Street, Sandton, Johannesburg | 011 783 9053 | [email protected]

Do you know of any other great French toast spots not mentioned above? Let us know in the comments section below!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Venison Meatballs With Baby Eggplant

When the gloomy weather steps on to the plate our tummies automatically crave hearty food - that's exactly why this venison meatball recipe made the list. These babies paired with baby eggplant is sure to hit the spot when the weather takes a dip. Don't worry, we'll take any excuse to snuggle up and eat this dish any day.

Click here for Recipe.

Beef & Spinach Cannelloni

The Italians perfected comfort food, so don't be too surprised if pasta makes it on to this list more than once. This creation not only boasts a perfect pairing of ground beef and spinach but calls for not one, not two but three cheeses to be used. Cheese is good, especially if it's good cheese, right?

Click here for Recipe.

Pork Fillet Strips With HoSin Sauce, Beans And Broccoli

We all love Chinese food. Heck, we all need good Chinese food in our lives at least once a month. What better than sticky pork strips served with beans and broccoli? Don't you even dare pull your nose at broccoli. Those tiny trees take months to grow and they taste amazing. They are one of our favourite veggies. Besides, they are super healthy - and complement this dish tenfold.

Click here for Recipe.

Classic Chilli With Apple Salsa

The legend behind the origins of chilli con carne is that during the 1700s cowboys in California would all huddle up next to the fire on cold winter nights and toss all sorts of ingredients into a big pot and hope for the best. The result is something we all love and indulge in each chance we get. This recipe goes well with a bonfire. Just saying.

Click here for Recipe

big-game-chili

BBQ Chicken And Pineapple Grilled Cheese Sandwhich

Welcome to the best grilled cheese you have ever had. You're welcome. There's not much to say about this but WOW! Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the steam rising off that BBQ chicken and pineapple creation you just made. It smells good doesn't it? Tiny smokey scents mixed with the sweet and tangy of the pineapple. Do you notice the cheese oozing out on the sides? Yum!

Click here for Recipe.

Indian Bothi Gosht

What kind of list will be complete without including some amazing Indian food, right? Here's our top pick for Indian comfort food. Pair this puppy with a blanky and maybe some hot cocoa.

Click here for Recipe.

Chocolate Cake In A Cup

This recipe takes five minutes to prepare and three minutes to bake. You can literally make this in the time it takes you to run a bath. Besides, what's better than snacking on chocolate cake out of your favourite coffee mug?

Click here for Recipe.

Bacon & Blue Cheese Fusilli Pasta With Roasted Baby Tomatoes

We all love blue cheese. Sure it's a bit smelly and looks weird but ooh, it goes well with pretty much anything. That is why we've paired it with bacon and roasted baby tomatoes. This goes well with red wine and cuddles. If you're single, don't worry because pillows don't judge your eating habits anyway. Besides, it's comfort food for the win. Always.

Click here for Recipe.

Praline-Pecan French Toast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and thanks to this French toast recipe it's become way more important. Praline-pecans for the win. Here's your chance to win a few hearts with this gourmet recipe.

Click here for Recipe.

Super Chocolate Milkshake

Yeah, yeah, technically it's not food but, chocolate, again. That's reason enough. Besides, you can warm it up and dunk rusks in it or something. There, we've just turned milkshakes into a meal.

Click here for Recipe.

What are some of your favourite comfort foods? Let us know below!

All right, jokes aside, I've found a place that might just be my new favourite weekend family hangout and I know you guys are going to go nuts for it. The Modderfontein Conservation Park was established in 1987 with the aim of education around environmental sustainability within the constraints and realities of the mining industry. That's a mouthful, I know but simply put, the conservancy played an important role in counteracting the environmental impact of industry in the area and although this was likely a bold move back in 1991, I think we can all thoroughly appreciate it today.

Made up of a sprawling 800 hectares of incredibly beautiful parkland surrounding a dam, the reserve is an absolute breathe of fresh air (literally). You pay R30 for an adult and R15 per child at the gate which is an upkeep fee and you can tell they use every penny of that to keep things neat and tidy. A small but reasonably well maintained road connects you to the various attractions in the reserve and is studded with small but incredibly sharp speed bumps and as annoying as that can be, it keeps cars going safely within the reserve (the alternative would be losing a portion of your car going over each one).

The park is home to a relatively wide selection of flora and fauna given its location and makes for a bird lovers dream come true. One of the dams is interestingly enough named after John Voelcker, the director of the local AECI factory nearby and non-other than the founder of the original 'Birds of South Africa' book fund. True story.

There are various 'parking areas' as they call it but I prefer to call them interest areas. One of them is an idyllic picnic spot along the bank of the dam with seating, braai areas and enough space to let the kids go wild. Another area features a functions and conference venue, a food and beer hall which is still being built (I am keeping an eye on it) and the cutest little restaurant overlooking the dam.

The restaurant has ample outdoor seating making for a lovely weekend lunch and has the most beautiful lawns stretching out from the deck. Part of lawns have been converted into a Petanque grounds while the rest of it is made up of serene picnic spots. Petanque for those that don't know is basically the French equivalent of bowls and it's a hoot, especially if you don't take yourself too seriously. This little restaurant is stunning, that I've already mentioned but we had no idea of the treat we were in for when the menu came. My wife and I spent forever deciding what we wanted and both deduced that the reason for this wasn't our empty stomachs, but rather that we had just been presented with a menu that refreshingly curates everything we like and each one with a star touch.

Smoked Trout; Eggs Benedict; croc monsieur (with Gruyere); steak frites and mezze boards make for a delightfully French inspired menu you will certainly return for. My wife went with French toast which looked amazing and I felt like a charcuterie board with breads; meats and fig preserve, it was spectacular! My first thought was to pick it up off my table and just go set up out on the grass. That board would go so well with a blanket on their beautiful lawns and I'm sure they are okay with you doing that too. They don't currently have a liquor license but they are working on it as you read this. A glass of wine would really top things off nicely.

The little ones aren't forgotten about in any of this, the Petanque area I see also boasts a few cricket bats and the likes for the kiddies to play out on the lawn with, not to mention a little jungle gym area which should keep them busy while you unravel.

by Byron Marais

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All photos by Byron Marais.

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