This cold blueberry soup is a reminder of my recent trip to Helsinki and its many wonderful food markets. We arrived by ferry from Tallinn in the morning and spent one day in the city, all while the sky gleamed in bright blue and the sunshine warmed the streets of Finland’s beautiful capital. It was a perfect day to explore Helsinki. Strolling the food markets became an instant favorite. They were overflowing with fresh produce from the region, colorful flowers and the occasional fish stand. One things that surprised me to see over and over again – berries of all sorts, colors and shapes….
Growing up at the Baltic Sea, I’ve really come to miss the ocean, moody days and nordic beach landscapes here in Istanbul. Every time I go back home to visit, everything has changed, most of my friends moved away but the cooling sea breeze and smell of the smashing waves still makes me feel like this is the home I’ve never left. I never realise how much I miss it until I’m there again. As a child and teenager I would always feel most comfortable by the sea and I would never get bored looking out to the horizon. Most summers we would spend our days at the beach, mostly swimming and sunbathing, sometimes playing volleyball or learning how to windsurf. I would walk the shore and collect shells and stones only to through them back to the sea at the end of the day. There, I imagined the beautiful jewelry I could make with my finds or the artsy collages I could create. The sea always got my thinking and imagining and visualizing. Today I still feel like the ocean is the only place where my thoughts can run free. No limitations, no obligations – just an empty head that wants to be filled with ideas….
Oh the joys of summer, they come in all forms. Sunshine, warmer temperatures, trips to the beach, ice cream and summer fruits. I’m not sure when my love for apricots and peaches started but it hasn’t been that passionate earlier in my life. As a German I grew up loving apples and strawberries. Noting wrong with that but it’s such a great feeling to extend your love to other fruits. So yes, my love for peaches and apricot is a recent one. I think it was that summer in France when I studied in Bordeaux for a semester. There was a traditional French bakery on my short walk between home and university. Every single day I’d pass by in the morning when the scent of freshly baked treats would fill up the streets of our neighborhood….
When was the last time you tried something for the first time? For me, it was just last weekend. I actually tried a few things for the first time. Had a housewarming party. Served only vegan food. And offered a raw lime cheesecake which had avocado as the main ingredient. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone because I was sceptical at first too. I mean I had tried avocado pudding before. I even shared my recipe for Matcha Avocado Pudding over on The Chalkboard Mag. But making a cake version at home…for other people, some of whom are clearly no vegans or experimental eaters…that was something else. To be honest, I did prepare two other cakes. One was a peach and apple crumble and the other one a strawberry coconut tart. I knew at least these two would be crowd pleasers….
You know what’s been my all time favorite comfort drink until recently? Coffee! And you know which drink won my heart and warms my soul since lately? Golden Milk! Drinking a warm cup of golden milk at sunrise or enjoying it before going to bed gives me an absolute feeling of comfort. And that color! It reminds me of summer days and sunflower fields. And the taste makes me think of cold winter evenings snuggled under a blanket with my cats. It brings back childhood memories when my mum would wake me up every morning with a cup of warm honey milk, a daily routine that she would uphold until I was 6 years old.I secretly still wish she would have continued serving it until I left the house at age 19.
We didn’t have many food traditions at home but the hot milk with honey was one that I really enjoyed. So when I made golden milk for the first time, it kind of brought me back to my childhood mornings. Since then I appreciate a cup once or twice a week, especially in the evenings as it calms me down and my body appreciates the relaxing ‘fuel’ just before bedtime.
I’ll keep this post short and simple and rather let photos do the talking. It kind of fits todays recipe. This breakfast bowl takes just a few minutes to prepare, is super easy to make but has this little ‘WOW’ factor to it….
Spring has finally arrived in Istanbul. And that’s definitely a reason to eat more colourful food. Like very pink beetroot chickpea flour tortillas filled with bright green spinach, cucumber and avocado. Sounds good?
These chickpea flour tortillas (some call it wraps, tacos or even socca) are the easiest recipe ever if you want to make gluten-free and vegan tortillas at home. I’m usually one of the lazy kind, so if I had the chance I would probably buy tortillas at the organic shop. But since living abroad (first Hong Kong, then Cairo and now Istanbul) it’s been super difficult to find healthy and clean foods at the local supermarket. Most of the baked goods in Turkey are made of processed wheat with lots of sugar and I try to avoid that. So I started a little testing phase in my kitchen and tried various chickpea flour recipes. My favorite and by far the easiest one turned out to be this beautifully pink version. And honestly, I think I’ll never go back to store-bought tortillas….
I’m pretty sure that you have noticed my affinity with cashews and this Quinoa Cashew Pudding is yet another recipe to strengthen that bond. Cashews have become my new best food friend lately. I can’t imagine life without them anymore, it’s so beautifully diverse. I always have a jar of soaked cashew nuts in my fridge. It’s almost like a daily ritual – I usually soak one cup of cashews every night before I go to bed. This morning I used up half a cup for the über-yummy Quinoa Cashew Pudding. And while I’m writing this the other half of my soaked cashews is waiting to be made into a vegan pesto with purple basil and nutritional yeast. But I’ll tell you about the recipe for best pesto in the world another time….
On active weeks like this one I need all the energy boosting foods I can get and this Matcha Raw Granola is fantastic to kick off each new day. I absolutely hate to say this (and I also don’t like when others do it) but I’ve been super busy lately…I don’t like the word busy. So let’s rephrase it. Life is happening a lot. I had a friend from Germany visiting and we wandered every little corner of Istanbul until we got flat feet. Before that I was sick for a few days which slowed me down and I couldn’t get things done as I had planned. I’m now trying to catch up. So I guess this is what makes me feel like I’m busy….
A few days ago I posted a photo of my Raw Falafel Wraps with Apricot Tahini Sauce on my Instagram and you guys kind of went crazy for them. So I made them again and had raw falafel two days in a row. I’m usually not that kind of a person. I don’t like to eat the same thing twice in a week, let alone two days running. But the truth is, I didn’t even mind. Because raw falafel are something amazing. I’ve had them on my idea list for recipes for a few months now. So why make them now?
I’m doing a 5-days raw food challenge. I’m on day 4 now. I had a few ups and downs. No cravings but one major and some minor recipe fails. Raw food isn’t as easy and straight-forward as it sounds, especially not when you don’t want to eat salad and smoothies all the time. I’ve created some very delicious things but resources and ingredients are limited in my household and Turkey, so in the end I had too much soaked buckwheat creations and cauliflower rice. I think if I would have had Whole Foods around the corner or a dehydrator in my kitchen, things maybe, but only maybe, would have been slightly easier. And here is another truth (this post has a lot of honesty in it) I’m happy the raw food challenge comes to an end tomorrow. I like raw food, I even love it sometimes and I usually have a raw smoothie bowl every morning. I also didn’t have any severe cravings because if there are cashew nuts and dried figs around that’s all I’ll ever need….