Eight-year-old Yanica Zammit was over the moon when she learned that her healthy recipe, inspired by the Maltese indigenous carob tree, had won first prize in an international competition.

Yanica loves baking and believes in the importance of choosing healthy ingredients in our food since “it’s important to keep healthy”.

“When I found out I won I felt so happy and proud,” she said. 

Yanica won a joint first prize in the Kids Kitchen Club Challenge 2022 organised by the UK-based Need For Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme (NNEdPro), which works to bring nutrition education to children.

From Yanica's submission to the competition.From Yanica's submission to the competition.

As part of the competition, children between the ages of eight and 15 were asked to send in photos with a written description of the ingredients, steps in preparation and the final product relating to making a healthy treat for the whole family based on regional and traditional recipes and healthy eating principles. ​

Yanica found out about the competition from her aunt who encouraged her to take part and guided her on which recipe to submit. She entered with a recipe for carob energy balls that included a range of healthy ingredients including oats, almonds and dates.

The indigenous carob tree has inspired several recipes that are loved by Maltese. These include the carob sweets, known as karamelli, which are traditional sweets that can be consumed during Lent.

Ġulepp, or carob syrup, is a popular household item that’s essentially a carob syrup that resembles honey in consistency. It can be served with dessert or, more traditionally, drunk with hot water.

Whenever it comes to carob-based recipes they always make for a healthy treat and Yanica can’t wait to now share her energy balls with her friends.

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