I felt like baking but had no fun seasonal ingredients and wanted to use what I have, so I decided whip something up from pantry essentials and some tired carrots and a ripe pear that I had sitting in the fridge veggie section. These turned out great, perfect midweek snacks for those home office coffee procrastination moments. Also good for kids as low in sugar and there is heaps of hidden nutrients !
Carrot Muffins (GF, DF)
2 carrots, grated 1 pear (or apple) 2 eggs (replace with flax eggs if needed) 1/2 C soy/almond/oat mylk 1/4 C coconut oil 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 C maple syrup
1 C flour (I used a mix of buckwheat/brown rice/tapioca if no need for GF use spelt or oat) 1/2 C almond meal 1/3 C coconut sugar 1.5 tsp baking soda 0.5 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 0.5 tsp ginger 1/2 C rolled oats (GF if needed) 40 g sultanas (or handful of chopped dates, seeds or nuts)
1. Heat oven to 190 Celcius. 2. Place mylk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, pear/apple chunks, vanilla and eggs in blender. Blend until smooth. 3. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 4. Poor the wet mix to the bowl with the dry ingredients, mix. 5. Fold in grated carrots and sultanas. 6. Spoon the mix in a silicon muffin tray (I also used some coconut oil for oiling). 7. Mix all topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of each muffin. 8. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins. I used a small muffin trays, which made 12-16 small muffins and they were ready after 15 min, but if using large ones keep checking and bake for 25 min if required.
My one joy at the time of the lockdown has been ordering a veggie box every week from local farmers full of mystery veggies and fruits. This has forced some creativity out of me to use some ingredients that I don’t usually buy – and it has actually been quite fun!
This box often included rhubarb, and I made rhubarb jam and sauce a few times and enjoyed them with yoghurt and granola or on top of oatmeal – so delicious!
This time I wanted to bake something easy and made an old classic Rhubarb apple crumble! This could be done with just rhubarb (or apple) or by replacing apples with strawberries. Or why not stone fruits. Great easy dessert, snack or breakfast to use whatever seasonal!
Rhubarb-Apple Crumble (Vegan, GF)
4 Rhubarb stalks 3 Apples 1 tsp cardamom (1 tbs rose water)
1 C rolled oats (gluten-free if needed) 1/3 C buckwheat flour (any flour will do) 1/4-1/3C coconut sugar 50g coconut oil, melted Pinch of salt 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional: cinnamon)
Set oven to 200 Celcius.
Cut washed rhubarb to 1 cm pieces and dice apples (no need to peel, just wash).
Mix in a bowl with cardamom and rose water if using.
In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Mix vanilla to melted coconut oil and mix with the dry ingredients forming a crumble (I used my hands to mix).
Use coconut oil to lightly grease an oven tray. Poor rhubarb-apple mix evenly in the oven tray, cover with the crumble.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.
Enjoy warm with coconut ice-cream.
The recipe makes 4-6 portions as a dessert/snack (yes it’s healthy enough to be a snack – or even breakfast if you top it with coconut yoghurt!). We also had some as a pancake topping with some vanilla coconut yoghurt and it was a perfect weekend brunch treat. Reminded us of those good old days when someone else served us our brunch in a cafe shop!
Also, I used a large oven tray (not the one pictured – that’s just for reheating the leftovers), but you could use individual oven dishes if you want to be fancy!
I know – I have been lazy as and only doing smoothie bowl recipes lately. I said to my boyfriend that I don’t really see the point of even sharing them because there are so many amazing creative recipes out there for crabs. However, he convinced me that simple is what people like us need. And I actually agree – you know all those rainbow parfaits and unicorn toasts? I mean – they look amazing – but most of us have day jobs and time is valuable. My directors would be slightly unimpressed for me to turn up late at work due to arranging my peanut butter and jelly toast to look like a dog face.
For some reason, I only crave for a few things lately: pretty and yummy smoothie bowls, pizza or kimchi seaweed loaded brown rice bowls. Hmm. Not sure what’s going on here. However, I will post a yummy macro bowl recipe soon including homemade seaweed salad – as soon as I get a chance to cook it in daylight and take a decent photo!
Anyways – as I’m cutting down fructose to 1-2 portion of fruit a day (I hate it), I have been playing a bit more with other ingredients in a smoothie, which is great. I made a wonderful pumpkin spice smoothie earlier this week but I won’t post it before I have excelled it. However – this rose raspberry smoothiebowl was born as a star. It tastes like nothing else, creamy, sweet enough but still fresh and light. So here we go.
Rose Raspberry Smoothiebowl (Breakfast for one, snack for two)
1/2 C soaked cashews (overnight or 6 hours) 1 frozen banana 1/2 C frozen zucchini (or more banana) 1/2 C frozen raspberries 2 cubes of frozen coconut cream 1/3-1/2 C of oat mylk 1 tsp rose water 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbs of vanilla protein powder
1. Blend cashews, bananas and zucchini with the oat mylk and rose water in the medium until smooth. Add liquid if needed. 2. Add the coconut mylk cubes at the end with the vanilla and blend more until smooth.
3. Taste. If you prefer it sweeter – add a teaspoon of xylitol or maple syrup.
4. Top with few raspberries and your favourite granola/seeds. I went with some chopped brazil nuts and shredded coconut.
If you are not Finnish – you may not know that every second weekend of February is dedicated for a sledding hill and cream buns! It’s the best feeling to spend all day out in the snow and afterwards have a hot drink and yummy Selma bun. Traditional Finnish cream bun, semlas, are cardamom spiced soft buns filled with whipped cream and either almond paste or rasberry jam, yum but not really in line with my gluten and sugar-free reality, at least not this year.
Also as it’s nice and summery here and I’m nowhere near snow and slides I started my day with this low sugar, nutritious smoothie bowl and it was creamy and yummy and filling and perrrrrfect way to start a Sunday.
1 tbs cashews
1 tbs chia seeds
1/3 C gluten-free oats
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 C frozen zucchini
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cardamom
1 tbs vanilla protein powder
1/3 C oat mylk (or any plant-based mylk)
3 ice cubes + (1 cube of frozen coconut mylk or just ice)
Place cashews, oats and chia seeds in a cup an fill with water until they are all covered. Let soak for an hour or overnight.
Poor cashews, oats and chia mix (including the water) in a blender with banana, zucchini, protein, spices and oat mylk.
When the smoothie is smooth add the ice/coconut mylk cubes and blend until smooth and thick.
Enjoy with raspberry jam and chopped almonds (or brazil nuts) on top.
Make the jam before and store in a jar in fridge for two weeks.
2 C raspberries
1 tbs xylitol
3 tbs chia seed
3 tbs water
1 tbs vanilla extract
1. Bring all the ingredients boil in a small saucepan.
2. Mix until thickens.
3. Cool down and adjust the sweetness with more xylitol if desired.
4. Store in a air tight jar in the fridge.
One of the reasons that Australia is such a great place to live is the pumpkin culture. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant or coffee shop without a pumpkin salad option (other one is beetroot). It is all-year everyday vegetable – unlike in Europe where pumpkins are available for autumn only. Just saying, missing out… So this is me justifying my new spring favorite breakfast – pumpkin pie overnight oats (just kidding an hour will do)!
This is not only the most delicious thing ever but also now my everyday saver. I make a batch of this and have it a t work after my run or barre class (hence the ugly photos). Most convenient thing ever! I used to make oatmeal and have it with banana and PB – but as spring is coming this is more fresh but still as filling and delicious and creamy. Nothing like some slimy overnight chia puddings, yuk.
Btw, if you want to go crazy – add some sultanas and chopped walnuts as well as a small crated carrot – and you got yourself pumpkin pie – carrot cake hybrid oats.
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
½ – 1 C butternut or kent pumpkin 1/3 C oats 1t tbs chia ¼ C oat mylk (1 tbs vanilla protein) ½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp gingerbread spice ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp turmeric
Dry roast or steam pumpkin (25-30 minutes in 200 C will do for a half pumpkin as a whole – with peel on). Let cool and chop to pieces. You can do this when ever and use the pumpkin later (one should always have roasted pumpkin in fridge to add to salads, pasta sauces, pizza toppings, smoothie bowls or sandwiches).
Blend pumpkin, banana and oat mylk until smooth (also the pumpkin peel, it’s good for you).
Add rest of the ingredients in blender and pulse to mix everything.
Potentially add a dash of more mylk if too sticky.
Put in a container and let sit in fridge for at least an hour.
This is for you if you love Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Kinder Bueno. And coffee. Enjoy. Perfect way to start a slow weekend morning.
If you are not having an easter chocolate bender like we are at the moment, you can also use a tablespoon of cacao powder or spoonful of cacao nibs instead of melted chocolate. Or you can leave it out altogether, just hazelnuts, banana, and coffee are a divine combination.
Hazelnut Mocca Smoothie Bowl (for two)
3-4 frozen bananas 1/3 C almond mylk double shot of espresso (or strong coffee) 1/3 C hazelnuts 1 tsp of vanilla beans (or extract) 20 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao)
Roast hazelnuts fro 10-15 mins in 200 C. Let cool. (I roast these earlier and keep in a jar if I feel like this smoothie etc. They just taste richer after roasting). No oil needed.
Make espresso and let it cool in the fridge.
Blend 2/3 bananas and hazelnuts with almond mylk and coffee. Add remaining bananas and vanilla. Blend.
Melt the chocolate on top of boiling water. use a spatula to pour the melted chocolate into a blender. Blend.
Enjoy in a bowl topped with some crushed hazelnuts and more chocolate or berries.
//EDIT: I healthified the recipe for weekday mornings. I tried it today and it was still amazing. See below:
See below a yummy recipe that I have healthified to be a perfect breakfast. Again there is a few fancier ingredients involved but if you like liquorice ice cream (like any Finnish kid) this one is for you!
Liquorice Smoothie Bowl
1.5-2 frozen bananas 1/3 C coconut water/water/almond mylk 1 tbs almond butter 1-2 dried figs Handful of spinach (optional) 1-2 spirulina tablets (optional) 1 tbs of vegan vanilla protein powder 2 tsp of liquorice root powder
Blend spinach with the liquid.
Add bananas and chopped figs few at the time and keep blending.
Add rest of the ingredients.
Top with granola and berries (especially rasberries and blueberries go well).
TIP: If you need more protein top your bowl with seeds and nuts. This is, however, quite filling with almond butter and protein powder. Also, spirulina curves sweet cravings and is good to have with all the fructose in the bowl. However, if you prefer less fruit use avocado or zucchini instead of some banana.
I whipped up this smoothie bowl last Saturday for lunch and I loved it so much I had it for breakfast twice this week. Trust me, it’s not your typical mixed berry and banana smoothie which you grew old back in 2009. Cranberries together with the sweetness of baobab and creaminess of almonds make it such a treat!
Cranberry Baobab Bowl
1/2-1 C frozen cranberries 1 frozen banana 1 small frozen plum (or any other frozen fruit) 1 tbs almond butter 1/2 orange (optional) 2 tsp baobab powder 1 tbs vegan vanilla protein powder (optional) 1/3 C almond mylk 1/2 tsp natural vanilla 2 ice cubes
Start blending with liquids and cranberries and the non-frozen ingredients.
Add ice cubes at the end and blend until smooth.
Top with your favourite stuff. I used fig, caramelized buckwheat, and sea buckthorn powder.
This is a perfect lady boost for your day. Red plums are high in natural estrogen which is something that I currently have to focus on eating. I always add flaxseeds or silken tofu to my smoothie as well to increase my daily estrogen intake. Almonds are a great source of estrogen too. I know that many people are opposite to me and have to avoid, for example, soy products, but even though you would not suffer from any hormonal dysfunction this amount of estrogen does not harm you.
Additionally, cranberries are very good for women’s body if you have a tendency to suffer from UTI or kidney infections, as they clean your kidneys and bladder being highly acidic. Baobab improves collagen creation (oh hello there!) and boosts immune system and energy levels.
This is just one of those treats that make you feel amazing.
Camping food. Always a bit of a challenge. No fridge, no oven, in our case not even proper BBQ, just a gas heater. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and there is no way you see me eating a dry toast with vegemite or a bowl of cereal on a slow weekend morning.
On our most recent camping trip, I prepared my favorite Finnish winter warmer, the pimped up porridge! There are as many versions as there are days in a year. This one was filling and just enough sweet and crunchy and warming as a hug. It works well on cool winter mornings as well as on Autumn days camping on the ocean side. And most importantly, it is foolproof to make on the campsite.
Porridge (for two)
3/4 C oats 3 tbs of chia seeds 1 C of water 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp of cardamom pinch of salt 1/4 C almond mylk 1 banana 1 apple (chopped dates/prunes)
Premake the dry mixture of oats, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and chia seeds. Store in a jar.
In the campsite warm water in a pot. Add dry mix. Let cook for 5 minutes.
Chop banana and apple. Add the fruit to the pot (save few pieces to garnish)
Add a splash of almond mylk to the porridge. Let cook for another few minutes until plating it to bowls.
Top the bowls with all the berries and fruit and a massive spoonful of almond butter (don’t opt it out!)
Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and buckwheat on top.
Enjoy with steaming mug of stovetop coffee.
So easy and yummy and affordable everyday brekky too! Oats are so good for you, they are gentle for tummy and as slow wholemeal carbs they give you just the right energy to start the day. They actually help with sleep too so this could be a light dinner too! Talking about cheap superfood.
I could write a few more camping recipes here, they are usually no-brainers, simple and wholesome. We often bring a selection of antipasto style food like dips, olives, nice bread and vegetables for lunch munchies and for nighttime I cook something warm. This time it was brown rice pasta with broccoli and homemade Spanish tomato sauce on the first night and Mushroom burgers on the second night. Everything just tastes so much better when it’s cooked outdoors!