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Meet Mariza Ebersohn

Mariza is the creative mind behind Life in the South Blog and one of Lifestyle Food’s secret weapons. Mariza’s plant-based lifestyle has helped her reimagine classic recipes such as the humble lemon meringue in a more health-conscious manner.

“Im a mom of two beautiful, crazy kiddos, which has been my full-time job for these past five years. I love cooking, blogging, and photography, and it’s been my creative outlet all these years.”

Why plant-based food? 

I struggled with an ulcer for years, I’m quite an anxious person and I just read up on dairy and I thought, this can’t be good for me. ACID is the last thing my body needs more of. So after that, I quit drinking milk and eating yoghurt and I could see an instant difference. After a visit to my sister in Geneva where they have been plant-based for a while, I knew I had to go full-on and I’ve never looked back! Finally, I had a label for eating the way I wanted to and it’s just been amazing!

What was the first plant-based recipe you ever created? 

Probably pancakes because it was the safest option, I wasn’t the greatest cook or photographer in the beginning. It was all so new and overwhelming! Here’s a delicious pancake recipe you can try.

Chocolate caramel pancakes

1 cup self-raising flour or chickpea flour for added protein
3/4 cup semi-whole wheat flour or oat flour
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2-2 cup plant-based milk
1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped coconut cream
Fresh fruit for serving

Almond butter caramel
1 heaped tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp maple syrup or another liquid sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
pinch of salt

  1. Sift together the flours, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
    2. In another bowl, add in all of the wet ingredients and leave to curdle for a few minutes, add the wet into the dry and mix well until combined, fold in the chocolate chips!
    3. Heat a pan with some coconut oil and add a tablespoon full for each pancake, frying 2-3 minutes on each side until brown and fluffy.
    4. Whisk together the caramel and then serve the pancakes with the whipped coconut cream, fresh fruit and liquid syrup of choice.

What is your favourite recipe you’ve created to date? 

I’ll have to say my vegan rusk recipe is probably one of my favourites and most repeated recipes I’ve made to-date! If you’re up for the challenge, why not try and make your own?


2-3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup flax seed flour mixed with equals part water (leave to curdle for 5mins)
1/2 cup canola oil
500ml boiling water (sub half with plant milk if you like)
500g margarine
1kg self-raising flour
5 cups bran
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecan nuts
1 cup mixed seeds and nuts (I used pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and pecans)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder and salt, then add in the sugar, bran and nuts and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  2. Measure the margarine, add the flax egg, boiling water, canola oil, and vanilla.
  3. Make a well, pour in the wet into the dry and rub the butter mixture into the flour mixture until a smooth batter starts to form, press the batter into rusk tray of choice, sprinkle more sugar on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.
  4. Once baked, let it cool, slice into fingers and then dry out at 100 degrees Celsius for 2-2 1/2 hrs.

What is your secret weapon when it comes to adding flavour to your cooking?

Spices and salt are your best friend! I can’t go without adding salt to my food. I even add it even to my oats and hot chocolate – otherwise, it’s just meh, what’s life without flavour? 

What first attracted you to the Lifestyle Foods range? 

The whole foods angle and the fact that you know what you buy in its purest form. I love living a whole foods/clean diet and this range made it possible! 

Who inspires you?

My mom is just a machine. Her kids are everything to her, she serves, bakes, and gives everything with love. She is so selfless. I’m so happy to be home so my kids can experience that! 

Is there a quote that you live by?

Let your hope determine your future, not your fears. 

What’s next for Life in the South?

Hopefully, I get to share my love of whole foods cooking with more people in South Africa, cooking courses, growing my online business, being able to work full time from home, mini bakery/bistro, product line, cookbook, the stars… 

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