Friday, 28 April 2017

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Usually I'm not that big of a fan of cookies, but everything containing chocolate is the exception. I'm actually kind of surprised of how delicious these oatmeal cookies turned out. They taste of chocolate, hazelnuts and banana and are chewy on the outside but pretty soft on the inside.

Cookies for (almost) all! These cookies are vegan, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free (if using certified GF oats). For a nut-free version you could try sunflower seeds and sunflower seed butter instead of hazelnuts and hazelnut seed butter. The cookies are also more nutritious than your regular cookie as they are made from mostly whole foods instead of refined ingredients.

I love that the weather is getter warmer and that it's finally season for drinking tea in the garden again (well, sometimes at least). Few things feel better than being in the sunshine, tea in hand, surrounded by plants. In our often stressful world I think that it's so important to cherish these calm moments and simply be in the now for a while.

As I write this it's Thursday evening and I've just come home from work and the gym. I'm so grateful that after a few challenging months I'm finally strong enough and in so little pain that I can finally work out again. I've kept up my at-home yoga practise during this time, but the gym wasn't even something to consider. I just wanted to stay on the sofa after work. But now I feel better and that's so awesome. Now it's REST time though. I'm having some green tea and a few super delicious medjool dates (which my love bought for me ♥). Then we'll probably have a chill night with dinner and some HBO. We began watching The Handmaid's Tale yesterday and OMG! Watch it!

Anyways, happy weekend!

Chocolate, Hazelnut & Banana Oatmeal Cookies

About 12 cookies

1/2 cup (1 dl) raw hazelnuts
2 tbsp hazelnut butter
8 fresh and juicy dates, pitted
1/4 cup (1/2 dl) coconut sugar
1 big banana
1 tbsp chia seeds
Pinch of salt
Pinch of vanilla bean powder
1/4 cup (1/2 dl) raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa)
1 tsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 1/3 cup (3 dl) rolled oats

1. Warm the oven to 150 degrees C/300 degrees F.
2. Blend together everything but the cacao nibs and oats in a food processor until fairly smooth.
3. Add the cacao nibs and oats and pulse until they are mixed into the batter but not blended smooth.
4. Form the batter into balls which you then flatten out slightly. Put them onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 25-30 minutes. The cookies will harden a bit more when cooling. Enjoy! Store any leftover cookies in the fridge.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Best Tomato Pasta Sauce

Oh dear pasta, you weekday dinner saviour. Whenever we are too tired or lazy or short of time to make proper dinner plans (which is actually very often) we turn to either pasta or a simple wok. Or if I'm home alone I sometimes make a big smoothie bowl with all the toppings for dinner, but my boyfriend would never consider that a "real" dinner :)

Anyhow, this pasta sauce takes about 40 minutes to make, but it kind of takes care of itself after some simple preparations. That means that you can leave it simmering on the stove for half an hour while you do other things around the house, for example I baked some cookies and did some cleaning. Or you can of course be all mindful and zen and simply be whilst the sauce is cooking. Both ways are fine!

The key to a good tomato sauce is, in my opinion, to add something sweet to balance the slightly acidic tomatoes. In most recipes you simply add a small amount of sugar or honey to the sauce, but this recipe includes carrots and bell pepper instead. These slightly sweet veggies give the sauce the perfect amount of subtle sweetness and they also add more flavour and nutrition to an otherwise very simple tomato sauce.

My not-so-secret trick is also to add a spoonful of tahini (sesame seed paste) at the end of cooking, which makes the sauce so much more creamy and delicious. We add tahini to just about everything, both savoury and sweet, in our household, but in this and similar recipes it works especially well. Tahini is high in fat which almost makes it act like cream in sauces. It also adds a depth of favour which I really like. The fatty acids in tahini are mostly unsaturated and good for you, and it also contains some minerals like calcium and iron.

We served the sauce with red lentil pasta and broccoli. Simple and delicious!

The Best Tomato Pasta Sauce

Serves about 4

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium or 3 small carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely grated
1 small red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
Pinch of turmeric
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tins/boxes of crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 tbsp finely chopped fresh or frozen basil
Herbal salt, black pepper and parika powder, to taste
1 tbsp tahini

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the grated carrots, garlic, bell pepper and turmeric. Sauté for a few minutes while stirring.
2. Add the tomato purée, crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil and spices. Bring to the boil, stir and then let the sauce cook on low heat under the lid for about 30 minutes.
3. Add the tahini and stir thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Creamy Vanilla Walnut Mylk

If you enjoyed my recent recipe for spiced hemp mylk then this recipe is for you as well. Homemade mylks (vegan milk alternatives) are very easy to whip up at home, even though I usually go for store-bought varieties for convenience. But making your own plant milk from time to time is so satisfying and also so delicious!

This vanilla flavoured walnut mylk is very creamy and is great on its own or in tea, on oatmeal and cereal or in smoothies. If you want a less creamy or more "light" version, simply add more water before blending (try 4 cups instead of 3).

How's life been treating you this week? I've been SO tired from being back to work after being on an awesome vacation the entire last week. I've also been dealing with some health problems which make life rather hard sometimes. But I'm grateful that things finally are starting to look up now! And this week I had booked both a massage and a haircut because #treatyourself. AND now it's the Easter holiday which means Friday and Monday off work, woho! I'm taking the train today to visit my parents for the weekend ♥. What are your Easter plans? If you're in for a delicious but healthy(ish) treat, then go ahead and make my chocolate Easter eggs.

Happy weekend!

Creamy Vanilla Walnut Mylk

1 cup (2 dl) raw walnuts
3 cups (6 dl) water + more for soaking
Vanilla bean powder, to taste

1. Soak the walnuts in a bowl of water for about 4 hours or overnight.
2. Rinse the nuts and then put them in a blender with the water and a generous pinch of vanilla bean powder. Blend for a few minutes until smooth.
3. Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve or nut milk bag. Pour into a glass bottle and enjoy! Keep for a few days in the fridge. Shake before use.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Blueberry Coconut Bowl

Hello gorgeous breakfast!

I already have tons of smoothie bowl recipes here on the blog, but I couldn't resist putting this up too. Wild blueberries are so delicious and good for you. Full of antioxidants to protect your precious cells, they are a true superfood. I also adore the beautiful purple colour ♥.

In this smoothie I used coconut flour, which gives it a subtle but lovely coconut flavour. The coconut flour also makes the smoothie thick and creamy as it absorbs a lot of liquid. The frozen blueberries also makes the smoothie thicker, but if you want an even thicker and creamier consistency you could also use frozen bananas instead of fresh ones. Simply pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with nuts, seeds, granola or dried fruit.

I almost always eat my breakfast at work. So for taking this breakfast on the go I would simply put the smoothie in a glass jar. Then I would put my toppings in a smaller jar and add them on top of the smoothie just before serving. For a normal work day I usually bring breakfast, lunch, snack and a few pieces of fresh fruit. Also I love to have some dark chocolate on hand. This may seem like a lot of food (and sometimes it's so heavy to carry :)) but it's so worth it. Food is fuel (and pleasure) and so important for keeping your energy up during the day.

Have a great Friday and weekend!

Blueberry Coconut Bowl

Serves 1-2

1/2 cup (2 dl) frozen blueberries
2 bananas
2 fresh dates, pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup (2 dl) plant milk
3 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
Pinch of vanilla powder

Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl. Top with nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit etc.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce

Pasta is always my go-to comfort food. It's simple, fast, warming and filling. Usually I stick to tomato sauce, but when I made this dish I was craving something a little different. And as I had some leftover baked sweet potatoes in the fridge I used them to make this delicious and super-creamy pasta sauce. In addition to sweet potatoes it also contains sun dried tomatoes, tahini, lemon, garlic, mustard, nutritional yeast, basil and spices. All the ingredients are simply blended together which makes this recipe super simple. Here I served the sauce with some excellent new pasta spirals made from green peas, buckwheat and quinoa (for my fellow Swedes, the pasta is from GoGreen's "Ancient Grains" range). 

On a completely different note, how awesome does this smoothie look? It contains beet, kale, zucchini and cauliflower (yes, really!) and has the most beautiful colour. Also, since I'm on a big pink smoothie kick lately, I also want to try this cherry smoothie bowl. It contains chai tea. And it's topped with chocolate sauce! That has to be great, right?

Right, back to the pasta :) Have a lovely weekend!

Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce

Serves about 3-4

6 sun dried tomatoes
1 big/2 small sweet potatoes, oven baked, steamed or boiled until very soft, skin removed
2 tbsp tahini
1 big lemon, juiced
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 cup (1 dl) unsweetened plant milk
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh or frozen basil
Herbal salt, balck pepper and parika powder, to taste
Pinch of turmeric

1. Soak the sun dried tomatoes in hot water for about 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and squeeze out any extra liquid.
2. Blend the tomatoes with all the other ingredients in a food processor until fairly smooth. Enjoy the sauce cold or gently heated on the stove.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Spring Juices


Such happy colours!

Spring is slowly coming to Sweden and we've had some glorious sunny days. Last weekend I dusted off my juicer and made these juices on Sunday morning. The sun was shining into the kitchen as I juiced my carrots, apples, citrus and veggies and all the colours and sunshine made my whole world feel spring-like, happy and full of possibilities.

In the pictures are a carrot ginger juice (recipe below), a green veggie juice (recipe below), orange juice and in the tiny bottle is a ginger lemon "shot". Simply juice a large piece of fresh ginger and one lemon. This can be taken as a shot in small doses (be warned though, it's super intense!) or add a small amount into a cup of warm water for a nice and warming drink.

The carrot ginger juice also has limes and apples in it, and it's so sweet, spicy and fresh. The green veggie juice is a bit more "hardcore" as it's very heavy on the veggies. It's still very fresh though, as it includes lemon, lime and apples. It's also super hydrating and perfect for when the weather gets warmer.

Today I have absolutely no plans at all and it feels awesome! I will probably spend my day reading, drinking copious amounts of tea, doing yoga and cooking. Hopefully it will also involve soaking up some sun. Calm rest days are so important sometimes :)

Happy weekend!

Carrot Ginger Juice

8 carrots
2 limes, peel removed
2 small apples
Fresh ginger, to taste (I like a large piece)

Run through your juicer. Enjoy!

Green Veggie Juice

1 cucumber
1 fennel bulb
3 stalks of celery
2 big kale leaves
3-4 green apples
1 lemon, peel removed
1 lime, peel removed
Fresh ginger, to taste (I like a large piece)

Run through your juicer. Enjoy!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Olive & Chickpea Salad Topping

I love simple meals. Although I blog about food I usually don't like to spend more than half an hour on dinners, especially on weekdays. Just the thought of slow cooking makes me restless. That's why I love salads with lots of delicious toppings that can be varied endlessly. 

The secret of making an exciting salad (unlike the depressing classic salad of iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber) is, according to me, to:
1. Combine different textures: A mix of cooked and raw vegetables, chopped, minced, shredded or in the form of vegetable "noodles".
2. Combine many different flavours: Salty in the dressing or from salty foods like olives, sweet from fruit or sweet veggies like carrots and beets, sour from lemon, apple cider vinegar or a little sauerkraut. 
3. Make it filling by adding chickpeas, beans, lentils and/or quinoa. I also love to add cold potatoes or sweet potatoes.
4. Add lots of interesting toppings. Olives, seeds, chopped nuts, goji berries, a delicious dressing or pesto ... 

This simple mash of olives and chickpeas works perfectly as a tasty salad stopping. Thanks to the olives and tamari it's great for when you're craving something salty. This salad was made from some leftover spiralized zucchini in a herb dressing + bell pepper, saurkraut, olives, grapes and the olive & chickpea mash. With a side of my red super juice. So delicious!

Simple Olive & Chickpea Salad Topping

Serves 2-3

1 can/box of canned chickpeas
1/2 cup (1 dl) pitted olives
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp dried oregano
black pepper to taste

1. Pulse together all ingredients in a food processor. Don't overdo it though, stop when the ingredients are finely chopped and not completely smooth.