Breakfast upgrade

Breakfast upgrade

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

  1. Blend spinach with the liquid.
  2. Add bananas and chopped figs few at the time and keep blending.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients.
  4. 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.

Cool like Peppermint Sundae

Cool like Peppermint Sundae

We are still enjoying the warm late summer nights here in Melbourne and no one hears me complaining. I mean, you can take the girl out of Finland but not Finland out of the girl. I will never get used to warm dark nights and warm dry winds that make you feel like you are being blow dried – I love it! One of the best things is that you need to eat a lot of cold things. Like ice cream. Or ice cold rosé. You didn’t hear this from me.

Since I was a kid I have been obsessed with peppermint ice cream. I don’t think I ever picked anything else when we visited an ice cream van. It is just most divine thing ever! And now after testing for years (with fresh mint, with coconut cream and/or spinach) I have finally found a perfect combo to make an easy and delicious instant peppermint soft serve. There is some weird synergy between spirulina and peppermint, it makes the peppermint taste even better and brings some depth to the flavour. Apparently, peppermint essential oil is really good for you digestion system too. I literally have this all the time. Even for breakfast.

Peppermint Sundae

1 & 1/2 banana (frozen)
1/4 avocado (frozen) or more banana
1 tsp super greens powder (or wheat grass or spirulina powder/tablets)
1 medjool date
1 tsp vanilla vegan protein powder (optional, I use Prana)
1/3 C coconut water/water
2 drops of peppermint essential oil

1. Blend banana, date and avocado with coconut water/water.
2. Add green powder and protein powder
3. Add essential oil.
4. Add more liquid or banana if you are not happy with the texture. Every blender and each frozen banana act different, I have noticed.
5. Top with chopped raw chocolate or cacao nibs.

Because I am basically a big kid, I have this for breakfast at least twice a week. In the mornings I often play a grown up and leave the medjool date out, add spinach and more protein powder/silken tofu/chia seeds. Also, I may not eat it from a wine class.

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Girl talk

Girl talk

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

  1. Start blending with liquids and cranberries and the non-frozen ingredients.
  2. Add banana.
  3. Add ice cubes at the end and blend until smooth.
  4. 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.

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Outdoors & Oats

Outdoors & Oats

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)

Toppings:
Berries
Almond butter
Pumpkin seeds
Buckwheat

  1. Premake the dry mixture of oats, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and chia seeds. Store in a jar.
  2. In the campsite warm water in a pot. Add dry mix. Let cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Chop banana and apple. Add the fruit to the pot (save few pieces to garnish) 
  4. Add a splash of almond mylk to the porridge. Let cook for another few minutes until plating it to bowls.
  5. Top the bowls with all the berries and fruit and a massive spoonful of almond butter (don’t opt it out!)
  6. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and buckwheat on top.
  7. 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!

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Treat me real good

Treat me real good

A few weeks back I baked a birthday cake for my boyfriend with this recipe and he absolutely loved it. It was so yummy, spongy and flavorsome – you know not “healthy tasting” at all! Today I tweaked the recipe a bit and baked some brownies – what a mission. I think brownie lovers are nowadays too often mistreated with some raw “brownies” (aka blended cacao, dates, and nuts – yum, but nothing to do with a brownie) or some sad chocolate -flavored protein powder bakes. This one is a real thing, though!

Also if you are not a fan of cacao – use vegan cocoa powder instead. If you are making a cake double the recipe and make double icing or coconut cream frosting.

I made these just because Sunday. They went down as a treat paired with some prosecco while enjoying the sunset on the balcony with a friend. The small things!

Brownies (GF, vegan)

2 flax eggs (2 tbs of ground flaxseed soaked in 6 tbs of water)
1/3 C almond mylk
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/3 C maple syrup
3 tbs coconut sugar (or more maple)
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
1 shot of espresso/strong coffee (or more almond mylk)

1 C of mixture of apple sauce + steamed pumpkin (I blended a raw apple and some steamed pumpkin and measured 1 C to the mixture, use the leftover sauce in a breakfast oatmeals or a smoothie)
1/4 C melted coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 C cacao powder
1/2 C almond meal
1/3 C buckwheat flour (blended oats work too)
2/3 brown rice flour

Icing
1/2 avocado
3 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla beans
1 tbs of cacao (adjust to your taste)

  1. Soak the flax seeds in water
  2. Mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar. Add baking soda, let sit for a minute.
  3. Meanwhile, blend steamed pumpkin and apple. You can also use ready apple sauce.
  4. Add coconut sugar, maple syrup, coffee, coconut oil, vanilla and apple-pumpkin mix to the bowl with flaxseeds. Mix and get rid of the lumps. 
  5. Add in almond mylk mixture. Mix.
  6. Add dry ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle some coconut oil to baking paper and set it in a square brownie tin.
  8. Pour mixture into the tin using a spatula to even the surface.
  9. Bake at 175 C for 30 min.
  10. Make the icing. Blend all the ingredients. Store in fridge until the brownies have cooled down. (Note: some blenders are impossible when blending only small amounts. In this case make a bit bigger portion of icing, using a whole avocado. You can use leftovers as a chocolate mousse snack or add it to a smoothie next morning or spread it on a toast with PB, you name it!)
  11. Spread icing on cooled brownies and cut. 

Trust me, this is a crowd pleaser!

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Skip the sushi train

Skip the sushi train

If you are like me and work in an office environment in the middle of the city, surrounded by endless food courts, with “oh so convenient have on your desk” options that end up costing you a fortune. I love eating out and discovering Melbourne food scene but for me, a rushed sushi roll or a salad in a plastic bowl on my computer is not it. I save my dollars for those moments when having a longer lunch with colleagues or a friend or having a dinner out after work in good company.

This week I mixed up my (boring – I admit) pumpkin-quinoa-broccoli salad tradition and ended up making nori rolls two days in a row, so easy and very exciting lunch to enjoy – hopefully in the sunshine in a park rather than on your desk.

Miso-Kimchi Sushi (for one)

1/2 C uncooked brown rice 
1 tbs miso paste
3 nori rolls

Fillings:
1/4 avocado
3 asparagus
Kimchi 
Spinach
Pickled ginger
Tamari
Wasabi

1. Follow the instructions to cook the rice. When rice is almost ready, add bit more water and the miso paste to make it sticky. Let cool.

2. Place nori rolls on a chopping board and place the rice in a row few centimeter away from the other end of the sheet. Add other ingredients next to rice. Remember that you need to roll this thing – so don’t over do it!

3. Spice up with tamari and wasabi.

4. Start rolling from the side next to rice. Use water to make the other end of the nori roll stick.

5. Cut. Keep refrigerated. Eat within few days.

Obviously feel free to use any fillings you wish. Cucumber, pea sprouts, roasted pumpkin or salmon would work well. I am loving kimchi at the moment. I made some last weekend (pictured) following the traditional Korean way and it is so good, way better than any previous attempts or the stuff you find from the health food shops. The recipe will be here later.

Enjoy rollin’!

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