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….
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….
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….
Making waffles is life. Sweet Potato Chia Waffles are heaven.
It’s slowly becoming a weekend tradition for us to make a batch of waffles. I like to experiment with different kinds of recipes, always vegan, sometimes gluten-free and sometimes even paleo.
When I grew up we never really had waffles on Sundays (or any day of the week) like other families. My parents didn’t own many kitchen gadgets and so didn’t I until 2015 when I bought a blender and juicer in the beginning and a waffle iron at the end of last year. It’s probably no surprise that I can’t imagine life without them anymore and I’m even considering extending the family of little kitchen helpers (I’m looking at you dehydrator).
But let’s get back to the art of making waffles. I love pancakes, I really do but the love for waffles is real. Crisp outside and light inside. Just thinking about these Sweet Potato Chia Waffles makes today’s Monday so much better. They are one of my favorite waffle recipes because you can enjoy them as a sweet treat with lots of fruit, cream and syrup or you can devour them with avocado, cabbage and some herby sauce.
Admittedly they’re pretty decadent – crispy on the outside, moist and spongy on the inside and full of those sweet potato flavours.
Okay, I’m pretty hungry now. It’s 7.15 am on a Monday morning, I got up at 5.30 am (no finger pointing here but the bf went on a business trip and dragged me out of bed with him in the middle of the night) and I need some breakfast now. Maybe I make waffles. Because who said that Monday mornings are not made for waffles.
Creamy, flavourful and vegan lemon curd. Super easy to make, only 4 ingredients needed. Have it with your granola, smoothie bowl, on toast or as tart filling. The options are endless so I recommend making a big batch.
I’m feeling the winter this year. Not just the crisp cold and the snow falling on my nose. The love for seasonal food. The spices of chill days. The smells of cozy evenings. The taste of roasted pears. It’s the first proper winter I experience since a few years and the first one I embrace with my new-found love for food.
I’ve always been some kind of a foodie (thanks to my dad who lives to enjoy food) but I rather loved to eat out and let others cook for me. This has changed in the last year or so. Cooking brought me closer to the ‘here and now’. I live by seasons. I create with local produce only. And I crave my regular visits to the farmers market to pick fresh ingredients and watch other people doing the same.
Cooking also got me thinking. About food traditions in my family. I remember my grandma being an amazing cook. Or maybe it’s just some blurry childhood memories. Or her semolina pudding with an extra portion of butter is the reason why I still love sweet and creamy breakfasts and desserts. And her paprika chicken was amazing, but that is not an option for me anymore. There is also my dad pancake tower he would make on weekends. For him it was almost like a competition to make the pancakes (not American pancakes but more like French crepes) as thin as possible, spread each one with plum jam and stack them to build a giant cake. But despite my grandmas puddings and my dad’s pancakes I didn’t have any other memories of childhood food. Until I ate these sweet roasted pears with nuts. The taste, the smell, the emotions, everything reminded me of …well, ehm something. And then it dawned one me. We used to have this beautiful tiled stove in our tiny apartement. And during winter season my mum would make baked apple stuffed with raisins and nuts.
So there are these roasted pears, covered with crunchy walnuts, soaked in golden coconut syrup and baked with aromatic coconut oil. And there is this sweet tahini sauce and it’s slightly bitter yet nutty taste. The cashewcream gives a fresh and simple nod….
Let me tell you one thing first. You do NOT need a doughnut pan to make doughnuts at home. There are plenty of tips and tricks online. I personally used a muffin pan and placed piping tubes of my cake decoration set in the middle of each cavity (photo of my little experiment). A great summary on how to make vegan doughnuts even if you don’t have a doughnut pan was also written by onegreenplanet.org.
Now that this is out of the way, let’s talk about doughnuts. I had my last doughnut more than a year ago. And even before that, the few times I tried it I found doughnuts too sweet or too greasy to become a regular treat.
So here I am on a lazy Friday night scrolling through Instagram , browsing Pinterest and seeing all these healthy-looking vegan doughnut recipes. And my mind wonders ‘Hm, this doesn’t look *too sweet* or *too greasy*. Maybe I should just make my own doughnuts?! And Hey, I could even add pumpkin or sweet potato. And I don’t need tons of powdered sugar to create a delicious and shinny glaze.’. No sooner said than done. Here is my Super Easy Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Doughnut recipe with refined-sugar-free peanut butter glazing. You need less than 10 ingredients for the dough AND the glazing. Another wonderful thing about this recipe, you need no more than 30 min from taking out the mixing bowl from the cupboard till getting out the freshly baked doughnuts from the oven. But what’s even more awesome (I hope you now understand that this is the best doughnut recipe ever), the peanut butter doughnut glazing does without powdered sugar or any other form of refined sugar….
There is no denial. Raw (no-bake) desserts have become a popular trend around the world.
It all sounds too good to be true. Smooth cheesecakes, sweet caramel slices and creamy chocolate cake. Minus all the nasty stuff.
What started out as part of the vegan scene has now reached many health-conscious enthusiasts who like to indulge without the guilt. Most raw treats are refined sugar-free, gluten-free and diary-free. I personally love the fact that you can whip up a cake or a few small tarts without waiting for the oven to finish its job. Plus they are healthy, planet-friendly and most people won’t even believe they are raw.
So, let’s just agree that raw desserts are amazing and wonderfully tasty.
Oh and there are no rules to it. The other day I wanted to eat something sweet. So I checked my cupboard, soaked some nuts, added ingredients that I like and made a delicious dessert for dinner with the girls….
It’s carrot season in Egypt. Wait! You might wonder, there is a carrot season? Yes, there is! Obviously, you get carrots all year around but at the moment they are the juiciest and sweetest.
And here is another fact: Cooking season is not only during Christmas. Okay, you probably know that already. I, on the contrary, never really baked cookies other than in December.
Big mistake as I learned this week. Because these delicious carrot cake cookies with mango cashewcream are just the best treat a healthy girl can ask for. They are vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free….