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.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Granola with Molasses & Spices

Oh the joy of coming home from work early and make a fresh batch of granola. This granola is sweetened with black strap molasses which gives it a very deep flavour. And unlike regular syrups and refined sugar, black strap molasses actually contains some vitamins and minerals. The granola is also flavoured with some of my favourite spices, namely cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. So delicious!

I served my granola with a raspberry chia pudding, pear and a sprinkle of cinnamon. And a cup of tea, of course :) Always tea. Under the "Recipes" page I have several other granola recipes, like nettle granola, chocolate & banana granola and crunchy buckwheat granola. Because there is absolutely no such thing as too much granola, right?

Last weekend me and my love took the train to Stockholm to go to a spa which was so so divine. Almost so much that it's been a bit hard readjusting to my "normal" life this week. What we did was basically switching between different baths/hot springs and saunas and eating. We also had access to unlimited fresh fruits and Japanese teas which made me childishly happy. And we attended a meditation with Tibetan singing bowls which I've never tried before. The meditation was great but so relaxing that I fell asleep, haha! All in all, the weekend was the most perfect and happiest way to celebrate our one year anniversary. After a long winter (and it's still going strong) we're a bit tired and just longing for spring to arrive already, so a spa break was like a perfect breath of fresh air right now. What has made you happy lately?


Granola with Molasses & Spices

2 1/2 cup (6 dl) rolled oats
1/2 cup (1 dl) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (1 dl) pumpkin seeds
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cardamom
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp black strap molasses/black treacle
Raisins and coconut chips, optional

1. Warm oven to 150 degrees C/300 degrees F.
2. Mix the oats, seeds and spices in a big bowl.
3. Gently melt the coconut oil with the molasses in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly until fully combined (I think it's easiest to use my hands).
4. Spread out on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Make sure that the granola doesn't get burned towards the end.
5. Let cool and add a few handfuls of raisins and coconut chips. Enjoy!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Spiced Hemp Mylk

Have you made your own milk before? I don't mean as in milking a cow, obviously, but as in blending up a vegan milk alternative (=mylk). You simply blend nuts or seeds with water and optional flavouring and that's about it.

Hemp mylk is great if you're a bit lazy like me, as the seeds don't have to be soaked before blending and the mylk doesn't need to be strained afterwards (unlike other mylks like almond). Hemps seeds are also so incredibly good for you as they are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids, high quality protein, fibres and several vitamins and minerals. I usually add them to smoothies for extra creaminess and to chocolate energy balls for some extra nutritional punch. They are also great sprinkled onto salads and even blended with lemon juice and spices into creamy salad dressings. A true little super seed!

This version of hemp mylk is flavoured with some cinnamon and ginger. Vanilla and cardamom would also be a great option. Or blend in some dates and cacao powder for a healthy chocolate drink :)

What are your plans for the weekend? I'm going to a spa with my love to celebrate one year together ♥. I so much look forward to spending the entire weekend with him, just relaxing, bathing, reading and meditating. Lately I really crave some relaxing down time instead of just doing and I'm trying to listen to my body as good as I can. Because it's so hard sometimes, right? To just switch off and relax? Sometimes I decide to relax and read a good book or whatever, and then I find myself cleaning the house like a madwoman 5 minutes later. That's something I need to work on for sure. Apart from meditation and physical activity (which usually help me), do you have any other tips for relaxing a busy mind? Please share!

Spiced Hemp Mylk

1/2 cup (1 dl) shelled hemp seeds
3 1/2 cup (8 dl) water
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lacuma, optional
Coconut sugar or maple syrup to taste, optional

Simply blend until smooth. Add lacuma and/or coconut sugar/maple syrup if you want it sweeter and blend again. Store in a glass bottle in the fridge for a few days. Shake before use. Enjoy!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Oat Bliss Balls: Two Simple Recipes

I love having little snack balls on hand. I usually bring them to work along with some fresh fruit for when that afternoon slump hits (it's always somewhere between 14-15 pm for me).

The base ingredients in these "bliss balls" are rolled oats and dates. Simple, right? The ball in the top picture is flavoured with cinnamon and rosehip, and the green-ish one is flavoured with matcha green tea and liquorice. A nice change from my usual chocolate balls which I make almost every week or so (recipe here and here).

And how nice is it that it's the weekend soon? After a bit too much sickness lately I certainly don't feel as energetic as I'd like to, so I'm hoping for quite a restful weekend at home. Maybe some baking would be nice. I'm definitely more of a cook than baker, which is why most of my baking recipes just involves some mixing in the food processor. But now I feel like some actual baked cookies would be nice, maybe definitely with some chocolate involved. What's your favourite cookie recipes (prefereably healthy-ish)? Please share!

I wish you a nice weekend ♥

Oat Bliss Balls with Cinnamon & Rosehip 

1 cup (2 dl) rolled oats
1/2 cup (1 dl) almonds or sweet apricot kernels
10 big fresh and juicy dates
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp rosehip powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp coconut oil

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until a sticky dough forms. Roll into balls. Keep in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

Oat Bliss Balls with Matcha & Liquorice

1 cup (2 dl) rolled oats
1/2 cup (1 dl) cashews
10 big fresh and juicy dates
2 tsp matcha green tea powder
1-2 tsp raw liquorice powder
1 tsp coconut oil
(1 tsp maca powder, optional)
Small pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until a sticky dough forms. Roll into balls. Keep in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

P.S. Also try crumbling 1-2 balls on your breakfast bowl, it's soooo good!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Creamy Green Soup

Warm soup. Sometimes there's nothing better on cold days. I've been eating a lot of soup lately and loving it.

This is probably the simplest and laziest soup in all history of the internet, but it's surprisingly delicious. I used frozen veggies here for convenience, but fresh would also work of course. Sometimes you just need to make life super simple, you know?

The secret to the creaminess of this soup is tahini. I use tahini in everything from dressings to pasta sauces and sweet treats, but here it works especially well to make the soup super nice and creamy. Also, what makes soup even better is to serve it with some avocado toast. Here I mashed some avocado on a freshly baked teff bread. No recipe for the bread though because it fell apart and was kind of raw inside, but it tasted really nice when toasted at least.

Sorry for the lack of measurements in this "recipe". I didn't mean to share this soup on the blog and therefore didn't measure any of the ingredients. But then the soup turned out too good not to share :) Basically just fill a really big pot with frozen veggies, I used A LOT to get lots of leftover soup for lunch boxes. Also make sure to use lots of spices, as a bland soup is simply boring.

I'm fighting a massive cold right now. And yesterday I fell with my bike when trying to cycle to work on icy streets, and then spent a few hours in the ER because of an injured wrist. So this afternoon is all about rest for me, with books and tea and kisses from my love ♥.

Have a nice weekend!

Creamy Green Soup

(My no-recipe recipe)

Frozen spinach
Frozen broccoli
Frozen green peas
Herbal salt (Herbamare)
Black pepper
Paprika powder
Ground ginger

Cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Then add:
Tahini (several spoonfuls for a big saucepan of veggies)
Lemon juice

Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

How To Go Plant-Based

Plants are awesome and healthy, right? And tasty too! I think that it's a complete myth that plant foods taste bland compared to animal foods like meat and fish. And think of all the colours in plant foods! Nothing compares to eating the rainbow every day.

So what is a plant-based diet?
It's simply a diet of plants. Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), nuts and seeds.

Then it's a matter of definitions. Some might call a diet plant-based when the bulk of the calories comes from plant foods, but the person eats small amounts of meat, dairy and/or eggs sometimes.

Some others may call a diet plant-based only if it's totally vegan, which means that it excludes all meat, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy. Then others may say that a plant-based diet is vegan but that it also excludes all processed foods. It's mainly based upon fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds etc in their whole form. So no (or very little) processed foods like soy sausages, soy milk, vegan candies and cookies, pre-made dishes, vegan fast food etc.

The important message, though, is to simply eat more plants!

Why eat a plant-based diet?
There's so much evidence on all the health advantages of eating a plant-based diet instead of a diet rich in animal products. From everything to preventing cancer to treating and/or preventing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and constipation, a plant-based diet is the way to go for a long and healthy life.

I eat a plant-based vegan diet for three main reasons:
  • My health (see above).
  • The environment. Animal agriculture is literally destroying our beautiful planet. The meat and diary industry is far more responsible for greenhouse gas emissions than all the transportation means in the world. Yes, that's all the cars, buses, trains and planes combined! Watch the documentary Cowspiracy for more info on this.
  • The animals. Their suffering is totally unnecessary and it breaks my heart. Watch the documentary Earthlings
  • ... And an extra fourth reason: Because it's so delicious! I'm so so happy that I don't "have to" eat meat, fish or chicken and I never ever crave them anymore.

How to go plant-based?
  • Begin with making small changes instead of trying out elaborate recipes with tons of ingredients you've never heard of. For example, try making pasta bolognese with lentils instead of ground meat. Or make a stew with chickpeas instead of meat. Replace hamburgers with veggie burgers.
  • Explore what works for you. Maybe trying out making lots of new stuff like lentil soup, hummus, quinoa, white bean stew etc. Or maybe buying packaged meat substitutes like veggie burgers or vegan sausages works better for you. There are no rules.
  • Stock your kitchen with lots of plant foods (see my tips here) and try cooking in bulk. Make big pots of veggie stew and soup, big salads or maybe cook lots of quinoa and lentils and eat them with lunch or dinner for a few days.
  • For a simple start, when you're planning lunch or dinner think something like this:
    • A carb like quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice etc.
    • A protein source like lentils, beans, chickpeas, veggie burgers or tofu.
    • Lots of veggies. Preferably at least a couple of different kinds. Mix it up with raw and cooked.
    • A small amount of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, tahini etc.
  • I also think that breakfast is easier to begin with than lunch or dinner. Many breakfast foods are plant-based to begin with (think oatmeal, cereal, bread, fruit smoothies etc) or are easy to make plant-based. Switch dairy milk to a plant-based option like oat milk, soy milk, almond milk or hemp milk. Try oat or soy yoghurt with granola. Make a creamy smoothie or milkshake with oat milk. Try toasted (preferably whole grain) bread with hummus, mashed avocado or nut butter. Tofu scramble is a great substitute for scrambled eggs.
  • Snacks are also fairly easy to make vegan. Fruit, nuts, granola bars or raw bars, smoothies, rice cakes with hummus, avocado toast, popcorn, trail mix... 
  • Eat more. Yes, really! Since most plant foods are big in volume but quite low in calories you might find that you'll need to increase portion sizes and/or eat more often to feel satisfied and avoid weight loss (if that's not desired, of course).
  • Season your food well. Use lots of spices, herbs, tamari, tahini, herbal salt etc. Make delicious sauces and dressings.
  • If you're not used to fibre rich foods like lots of veggies, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains etc, then you'll probably need to start slow or else your bowels may get, ehm, upset the first few weeks. 
  • Explore! Buy a fruit or veggie you've never tried before.
  • Bake some vegan cookies, there are tons of recipes online. Or try my healthy chocolate energy balls. And make ice-cream from frozen bananas! Try this chocolate cookie dough banana ice cream.
  • Eat foods you enjoy. This seems pretty obvious, but I feel that it's quite common that people force down some broccoli, kale or other food just because it's healthy. There are so many other things to eat.
  • Find out what works best for you. Going from a "standard" diet to a vegan diet from one day to the next might work for some, but I find that it's easier to go slowly. Start eating more plants whilst also phasing out meat, dairy and eggs for a few weeks, months or even years. I was a vegetarian (I ate dairy and eggs but no meat) for a couple of years before finally quitting animal products all together, which really worked for me.
  • Stay inspired. Here are some of my tips for books, documentaries and blogs.
  • Explore vegan restaurant if those are available in your area.
  • Supplement. If you're eating a strict vegan or almost vegan diet you have to take at least a vitamin B12 supplement and maybe some more.
  • And lastly, remember that you won't die of protein deficiency :) You WILL get the "But where do you get your protein?" question. From plants. Simple as that.