Saturday, 23 July 2016

Crunchy Buckwheat Granola


A short and sweet post today, because I just wanted to quickly share the recipe for this super crunchy granola. Its base is made from rolled oats and whole buckwheat and it also contains some seeds, coconut, raisins and goji berries. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, rosehip powder and vanilla and lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and a mashed banana, it makes for a very delicious start to the day. I especially like it as a topping for smoothie bowls (of course). Yum!

Crunchy Buckwheat Granola

Makes 1 big jar

1 1/4 cup (3 dl) whole raw buckwheat groats
2 1/2 cup (6 dl) rolled oats
1/2 cup (1 dl) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (1 dl) pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 tbsp rosehip powder (optional)
1 banana
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 cup (2 dl) coconut chips
1/2 cup (1 dl) raisins
1/2 cup (1 dl) dried goji berries

1. Put the buckwheat groats in a bowl with water. Let soak for about 2 hours, then drain and rinse thoroughly.  
2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). 
3. Put the oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and rosehip powder into a large bowl and mix everything together. Add the soaked buckwheat.   
4. Mash the banana with a fork in a small bowl. Add the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Mix into a fairly smooth paste. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  
5. Spread out the mixture on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes. Stir halfway through baking. 
6. If the granola isn't completely dry after 60 minutes, it can be baked for an additional 20-30 minutes with the oven door slightly open. 
7. Allow to cool and then add the dried fruit and coconut. Store in a jar at room temperature.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

This is by far my favourite hummus at the moment (yes, I'm a typical vegan hippie with a never-ending love for blending chickpeas into new creations). With a flavour of tomatoes, lemon and herbs, this hummus is equally delicious as a sandwich spread or as a tasty addition to almost any lunch or dinner.

Here I flavoured my hummus with lemon thyme but regular thyme works just as well, or substitute it with basil which goes very well with the tomatoes. Also, feel free to add 1-2 gloves of garlic (I prefer this recipe without garlic though). I like to blend my hummus for several minutes to make it really really smooth and creamy.

The star ingredient of hummus is, of course, chickpeas. Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and, unlike animal proteins, they are also high in fibre. They are also rich in many minerals and vitamins - iron, zinc, magnesium and folate to name a few. They are very versatile and can also be used in stews, soups and salads. Or have you tried roasted chickpeas as a snack? So good!

It looks like we might get a very sunny and beautiful Sunday here. After a little morning exercise I plan to just BE and REST today. And to eat of course. Have a lovely day!

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 small lemon, juice and grated zest
1 fistful fresh thyme or basil
8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp oil from the tomatoes
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp spicy paprika powder
Herbal salt and black pepper, to taste
Water, until desired consistency

1. Blend all the ingredients except for the water in a food processor. Then begin adding some water, a little at a time, until the hummus is smooth and creamy.
2. Store in a jar in the fridge for a few days.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie Bowl

Sunshine, open windows and the trees almost singing outside. Sipping on a matcha latte, listening to music and taking it slow. This is a beautiful day.

I'm actually still nursing quite a sore throat and I'm craving everything frozen right now. Like this smoothie bowl. It's thick, creamy and super cold and almost tastes like a decadent ice cream.

I have a big mint plant (or actually a chocolate mint plant, how awesome is that?) which is growing like crazy, so I have a constant supply of fresh mint. Here I combined the mint with cacao nibs for that "mint chocolate chip"-flavour. In fact I have no idea if this is a breakfast, dessert or snack, but a smoothie bowl is always a good idea in my book.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie Bowl

2 small or 1 large bowl

1 big fistful of fresh mint
1/2 cup (1 dl) plant milk
1/2 cup (1 dl) plant yoghurt (or more milk)
1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp raw cacao nibs
2 frozen bananas*
2 tsp barley grass or wheat grass powder (optional, but adds to the green colour)

Blend until smooth. Pour into bowls and top with more cacao nibs, seeds, coconut chips, granola etc.

*Peel and chop up the bananas. Freeze for a few hours or overnight.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Gluten Free Fruit & Nut Bread (+ Simple Avocado Spread with Thyme)

This recipe might be a bit more elaborate than my usual ones, but sometimes you just need a loaf of freshly baked bread, you know? This bread contains brazil nuts and dried apricots which makes it so so delicious. I like this bread toasted and with a spread of avocado, hemp seeds, lemon and thyme. It also tastes great with almond or peanut butter.

I used buckwheat and oat flour in this bread, which makes it naturally gluten free (if you have celiac disease, make sure to use a certified gluten free oat flour though!). Now, gluten free baking is a bit different than regular bread baking. For starters, there's no kneading involved since there's no gluten proteins to make elastic. Second, since there's no gluten to hold the bread together you'll need to add other binding agents to make the bread stick together. In this recipe I used psyllium husk powder and chia seeds. Lastly, gluten free bread will always have a slightly different mouth feel than regular breads since they miss that elasticity of the gluten proteins. BUT they can be totally delicious anyway!

I'm actually home from work today with a massive cold, so it's mainly lots of tea, rest and books for me right now. And also lots of catching up with Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black. Anyone else watching?

Last week was SO filled to the brim that I really enjoyed a calm day at home yesterday. Last week I was at a big conference in Gothenburg Monday to Wednesday. Then on Wednesday I met my newborn nephew when he was only 2 hours old. Pure love! Then I said goodbye (via phone) to my boyfriend before he went to Indonesia for a three week trip (sob) before I went home. Then work on Thursday, and then I went to Stockholm to celebrate Midsummer's Eve on Friday. Phew! Anyway, I'm not completely sure where I'm going with this, other than to say that it's so nice to have a big loaf of home-made bread at hand when you're too ill or tired to cook.

Have a great week!

Gluten Free Fruit & Nut Bread

1 big loaf

500 g oat milk (or other plant milk)
25 g fresh yeast
250 g buckwheat flour
150 g oat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 small apple, grated
100 g dried apricots, roughly chopped
75 g brazil nuts, roughly chopped

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm/finger warm.
2. Crumble the yeast in a big bowl and add the milk. Stir until the yeast is completely dissolved.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the flours with the salt, phyllium husk powder and chia seeds. Then add this mixture into the milk/yeast bowl and stir with a wooden spoon or fork.
4. Add the apple, apricots and brazil nuts. Stir very thoroughly until everything is well combined. The dough will be quite loose/runny.
5. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it prove for about one hour, ideally in a warm place like next to the oven/stove or on a sunlit kitchen counter.
6. Take a bread tin, preferably in silicon, and dust a little buckwheat flour in the bottom. Put the dough in the bread tin and smooth out the surface with a spatula. Cover with the tea towel and let it prove for another 30 minutes. Warm the oven to 225 degrees Celsius/430 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. If the dough has risen beautifully and feels a bit elastic to the touch, it's ready to be baked. Put it in the middle of the oven and let it bake for about one hour. Take it out of the tin, and if it feels hard and sounds hollow when knocking on the base it's ready.
8. Let the bread cool on an oven rack covered with a tea towel before slicing.
9. This bread tastes best toasted, maybe with a thick layer of avocado spread (see recipe below).

Simple Avocado Spread with Thyme

1 small avocado
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
1 fistful fresh thyme
Herbal salt and black pepper, to taste

Blend together all the ingredients with a hand held blender. Serve from a small bowl with some extra thyme on the top.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Spirulina & Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

This almost black smoothie makes a very good start to any day. Thanks to spirulina powder and blueberries it's full of antioxidants which protect our cells from so called oxidative damage. And, maybe most importantly, the bananas, cinnamon and ginger makes it taste really great. Because no-one has time for a dull breakfast, right?

I poured my smoothie into a bowl and topped it with granola and goji berries to make a delicios smoothie bowl. I LOVE smoothie bowls and could eat them for every meal, every day. Whoever came up with the idea of serving smoothies in bowls instead of glasses is no less than a genius. I hope you'll like this one!

Spirulina Blueberry Smoothie

Serves 1

1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp spirulina powder
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 bananas
Large handful of frozen blueberries
Oat milk or other non-dairy milk, to taste

Blend all the ingredients. Add the milk until desired consistency. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with some crunchy granola, dried fruit, nuts or seeds. Enjoy!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Spirulina & Green Clay Face Mask

"Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit."

Self-care is so so important, yet we so often prioritise other things. So what is self-care? For me, self-care may be anything that makes you feel really good. That might be taking a long bath, going for a run, getting lost in a good book, doing yoga, meditate, pampering your skin... Whatever makes you happy. I LOVE to apply a face mask and then step into a hot bath with lots of calming essential oils. It may sound vain to feel good about a face mask, but for me it's more about showing myself (and my skin) some love than vanity. And as my face is quite acne-prone it feels very nice to deeply cleanse my skin about once a week. I most often use this super simple home-made face mask with green clay and spirulina which feels amazingly cleansing. Here's what to do to get the glow back:

Cleanse face with your favourite cleanser. Then exfoliate, either with a konjac sponge (my fave) or a gentle face scrub. Pat face dry. Apply the mask and relax for 10-15 minutes. Put on some nice music, drink tea, breathe... Remove the mask with a face cloth soaked in warm water and pat face dry. Apply toner if using. Then spritz face with lavender or rose water and apply a face oil or face cream. Done!

Green clay is very cleansing as it draws toxins out of the skin. Also calming and anti-inflammatory.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Helps the skin detoxify.
Cinnamon is antibacterial and may help clear acne.

See recipe below.

Spirulina & Green Clay Face Mask

1 mask

2 tsp green clay powder
1/2 tsp spirulina powder
2 tsp lavender or rose water
Optional: Generous dash of cinnamon

Mix together in a small bowl and apply to freshly cleansed and dried face. Remove with warm water or a damp face cloth after 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Simple Coconut Date Balls

Happy weekend!

After quite a few days of summer heat here in Sweden we're now back to grey and cold weather. Which for me means back to lots and lots of warm tea, lit candles and cozy sweaters. Rest mode is definitely on.

I have been quite ill lately, and I actually made these balls yesterday just to get some extra calories into my body. But I was so pleasantly surprised just have incredibly good they taste. Like a healthier alternative to sweets or cookies. Yes! And they are also super simple to make and only require three ingredients: dates, coconut and vanilla. Enjoy!

Simple Coconut Date Balls

Makes 10-12

15 fresh/soft dates (use less if using big dates like medjools)
1/2 cup (1 dl) raw coconut chips or shredded coconut
1/5 tsp (1 krm) real vanilla powder

Blend the ingredients together in a food processor and form into balls. Store in the freezer.