Vegan Grittibänz

What on earth is a Grittibänz?! you may rightly be wondering. My fellow Swiss will, however, know these little bread men as a traditional treat we eat on December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day, along with clementines and chocolates.

Baking being something I’ve always loved, I started making them myself a few years ago, each time searching for an ever better recipe and the “right” technique to get soft and fluffy little men (and women), instead of ones that hardened as soon as they cooled.

As I was still in London this time last year, this is the first time since going plant-based that I have made Grittibänz and – I’m not saying this to be dramatic – these vegan ones are seriously the best I’ve ever made! So of course I want to share this recipe with you. Not only for all the Swiss who make these each year, but for anyone wanting a piece of Swiss culture or just a good recipe for vegan enriched bread dough. You obviously don’t have to form little men out of this dough, but can make rolls, form a plat (we call this bake a Zopf or Züpfe) or make whatever you want and eat it all year round.

The recipe I used is from the Swiss Vegan Society (Vegane Gesellschaft Schweiz). I have translated it into English and adapted it slightly (leaving out the vegan egg replacement, as I found it unnecessary) as well as changing the technique, based on my previous experience with handling dough.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Zopfmehl – this is a special kind of flour made of white flour and spelt (which makes it more elastic); if you can’t get a hold of this, regular white flour (maybe mixed with some light spelt flour) should be fine as well
  • 1 level tbsp salt
  • 80 g soft margarine (I used this one by Alnatura – which also contains walnut oil)
  • 1/2 40 g cube of fresh yeast (the recipe gives the alternative of using a sachet of dry yeast)
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 2.5 dl rice milk (lukewarm)
  • To decorate: raisins, nuts, chocolate chunks etc.

Method:

  1. Warm the rice milk if straight from the fridge (it should not be hot, just lukewarm), add the maple syrup, if using, and crumble the yeast into the liquid.
  2. Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of it (you don’t want it getting in contact with the yeast at this early stage). With your hand, form a hollow in the center of the flour into which you pour the rice milk and yeast mixture. Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on to the surface of this “lake” and let this rest for 5-10 minutes. (Ideally you’ll see some bubbles start to form).
  3. Next add the soft margarine and knead everything together to a smooth, elastic dough. (I used my KitchenAid with the dough hook attachment for around 10 minutes. Either way, test the dough by seeing how far it will stretch before breaking apart. It should be quite stretchy).
  4. Place into a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and leave somewhere warm to rise for ca. 1 hour 45 min/ 2 hours. (My oven was still a tad warm from baking sweet potatoes 2-3 hours before, so I put the bowl in there 😉 ).
  5. Once risen, divide the dough into four equal rounds and form into the desired shape. To make a Grittibänz shape check out this video I found, as it’s easier to see it than to read about it (skip to minute 2). Feel free to make whatever shape you desire, just note that the oven time may vary depending on how thick or thin you make the dough.
  6. Decorate any way you like – e.g. using raisins for the eyes of the Grittibänz – and then leave the Grittibänz to rest for about 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 200 ° C (not on fan).
  7. Optional but recommended: before putting the Grittibänz into the oven, up the temperature and put two little dishes of water on a tray and into the oven, to create some steam. This should help your bakes rise and also retain that lovely softness. Take the dishes out and switch the temperature back to 200 ° C before putting your Grittibänz into the oven.
  8. Brush some rice milk onto the Grittibänz and bake for about 20 minutes or until baked through. They should be a nice golden color. Leave to cool before eating.

Enjoy!

xoxo

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Weekend in Turin – Vegan Food Spots

Hello and happy Wednesday!

This past weekend I was in Turin for the first time, pre-celebrating my 4-year anniversary with my boyfriend, while enjoying both the cultural & culinary offerings of this beautiful northern Italian city.

Confession: The culinary aspect definitely weighed into my vote for this destination. My boyfriend was quite surprised when, a few days after he had suggested Turin and a few other places – and received a noncommittal response from me – I sent him an excited message that I’d love Turin, along with my hotel suggestions. He was (rightly) suspicious about this sudden excitement, and only when I later told him that Turin is one of Italy’s most veggie-friendly cities did a look of understanding (and amusement) cross his face. (He just laughed and – again, rightly – told me not to focus my Turin research on just restaurants 😀 )

We had an absolutely wonderful weekend and perfectly combined exploring the city (a really great free walking tour the first morning provided us with an overview of the sights as well as interesting insights into the history and culture) with fueling our explorations while trying some of the amazing vegan options.

Here are my recommendations for vegan food in Turin:

Soul Kitchen

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This place is not to be missed. It offers true Italian fine dining in a really stylish, but also homey atmosphere – and it happens to be all vegan! (It also has a menu section with raw dishes). My boyfriend and I each had a primo piatto (pasta with a broccoli cream sauce for me and spinach gnocchi in a mushroom sauce with slivers of truffle – divine! – for him), then shared a secondo (a chickpea tempeh dish with pear and endive) as well as a dessert (chocolate mousse with buckwheat granola and dried persimmon). The whole evening was an absolute treat and really inspiring! Really can’t recommend this enough. Just make sure you have a reservation ahead of time, as it did fill up quite quickly. (Luckily I’d already made us a secret reservation days before our trip 😉 ).

Location: Via Santa Giulia 2, 10124 Torino

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Flower Burger

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This vegan Italian burger chain (also located in Rome, Milan and Monza) has a cool vibe and a really fun burger menu. You can literally eat the rainbow here with buns ranging from charcoal black (ok not really a color of the rainbow, but you get what I’m saying) and turmeric yellow to cherry pink like the “Cherry Bomb” burger my boyfriend tried. I went for the “Cheesy Chico” which was a chickpea based patty full of herby flavor and a wonderful cheesiness. Also definitely go for the potatoes – we shared some and these little wedges were so delicious and not too greasy.

Location: Via Antonio Bertola, 29/c, 10122 Torino

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Coox

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This was one of the places on my radar, so when we accidentally passed it after our walking tour, on our way to Flower Burger, I had to have a quick look inside. And, of course, you can’t have a quick look and spot tasty treats without also grabbing something to go. I spotted some croissants, including a charcoal one and ended up going for a  wholewheat croissant with a blueberry jam filling for breakfast the next day – it was so delicious! I wish I could have gone back for a proper meal, but at least I got to try something 🙂

Location: Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 8, 10123 Torino

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Ratatouille 

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This vegan Italian restaurant, deli and PASTRY SHOP is also not to be missed in my opinion. It’s located slightly outside of the touristy center, but you can take a scenic walk back to the main attractions along the river Po, while digesting all the pastries you couldn’t resist. We went there for lunch on the second day and both ordered pizza – which was so satisfyingly doughy and thick, and really tasted like regular non-vegan pizza. Afterwards we kept the employees busy and entertained, ordering lots of items from the deli counter to take on the train with us as well as pastries and treats to bring home, in a mix of Italian (my boyfriend) and English & the odd mispronounced Italian word (me), while constantly asking what things were and changing our minds amid the never-ending options. I’ve never been to a fully vegan pastry shop, so this was truly a kid-in-candy-shop experience for me 🙂

Location: Corso Tortona 2, 10153 Torina

Note: What’s also great about this place is – unlike many others – it’s open on a Sunday!

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There were more places I would have liked to try, so I’ll mention these too:

  • Mezzaluna – we had a peek inside on our way to Soul Kitchen, and it also has a little shop at the back
  • L’Articiocc (it wasn’t yet open when we wanted to check it out, unfortunately)
  • Il Gelato Amico – vegan gelateria! Need I say more?

And finally, one last tip is the health food store Ditta Ceni – which is right behind Mezzaluna. Here we found dried carob pods and I am now obsessed. They are so delicious and definitely worth stocking up on if you’re nearby!

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Hope you enjoyed reading, and please let me know if you’ve tried any of these places or have any other recommendations!

xoxo

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Pumpkin Pies with Cacao Pecan Crust

Hello and happy Thursday!

Chilly weather, cloudy days (at least where I live) and early darkness all feed the desire for something warm and comforting, like a cup of tea. Or even better: a cup of tea with a slice of pie. Or better yet: A cup of tea with a whole (mini) pie to yourself 😀

These little pies are such a delicious treat, perfect in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe even a hot chocolate 😉 They’re also packed with wholesome ingredients that make them a nourishing indulgence and a steady source of energy.

This recipe came about as a replacement for my old pumpkin pie recipe from my pre-plant-based days. (We all need a good pumpkin pie recipe right?) And while I was at it, I decided to play around with the pie crust, adding pecans and cacao for extra goodness.

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Ingredients (makes 6 muffin-sized pies):

Crust:

  • 120 g wholemeal spelt flour (or buckwheat flour, for a gluten-free version)
  • 30 g pecans, ground into flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 pinch salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 can of puréed pumpkin (i.e. 213 g)
  • 3 medjool dates (if dry, soak in boiling water for a few minutes)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (unsalted, smooth)
  • 2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (the kind for cooking)
  • 3 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch salt

Optional (but trust me you want this): dark chocolate for on top

Method:

  1. Line a muffin tray with 6 paper cases.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the crust (first with a spoon and then using your hands) and press the mixture into the cases. (Start with the base, then press bits onto the sides until they’re all covered. This takes a few minutes, but can be quite therapeutic/ a good chance to practice some mindfulness 😉 ).
  3. Blend all the ingredients for the filling and distribute the mixture equally among the 6 pies.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for ca. 25 minutes. (Oven times vary, so keep an eye on them). I covered mine after 20 minutes to prevent the crust getting too dark.
  5. Let cool in the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  6. BEST WAY TO ENJOY THEM: When they are still warm, place a square of dark chocolate on top to gloriously melt (or break the chocolate into little chunks and press them into the pie for a gooey chocolate chip effect). If already cooled, heat the pie(s) up in the microwave first. Too indulgent for words.

Note: the pies freeze easily, so you can always have some on hand to heat up (and top with chocolate, if desired 😉 ) for the perfect autumnal treat.

Enjoy!

xoxo

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Vegan Advent Calendars

Hello and happy Monday!

Yes, we’re almost half-way through November, and before we know it we’ll be exclaiming how we can’t believe it’s already December and that the Christmas countdown has begun.

I’m definitely not one of those people who has their Christmas shopping completed weeks ahead of time, but this year I’ve already taken care of one important thing: my advent calendar!

Last year, while still living in London, I scoured the shops in eager anticipation, sure I’d find an amazing vegan chocolate advent calendar – in vain. I did find a dark chocolate one at Whole Foods, but it contained the exact same chocolate for every day, which – for someone who eats plain dark chocolate on a daily basis, all year round – is not very exciting.

I mentioned this plight to my wonderful friend Jordan – founder of the vegan treat business Leitchy Creates – and I’m ecstatic to say that she has created the most amazing looking advent calendar, with 24 completely different Christmas-themed, plant-based artisan pralines. They are currently available for pre-order in the UK – till Friday, November 17 – for £16.50 right here. This would definitely also be a wonderful gift for someone.

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In the meantime, I’ve also discovered some options here in Switzerland (some of which are also available in other countries, like Germany, Austria and the UK). I definitely would have gotten one if I didn’t already have my Leitchy Creates one to look forward to 😉

 

Zotter Adventskalender (Chocolate)

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This one has several different chocolate flavors – from white to dark to coconut to a fantastic sounding Superfood chocolate (with acai, chlorella, green tea, reishi and maca)!

Price: CHF 24.90

Found in: Migros Alnatura (Löwenstrasse, Zurich); also available online to order from Switzerland for CHF 24.68 (here). The same brand has other chocolate advent calendars, including this one, with wilder flavors, also available to order online from several countries, including Germany and the UK.

 

Govinda 24 Adventstage (Energy Balls)

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This calendar contains eight different flavors of mainly date-based energy balls.

Price: CHF 26.90

Found in: Egli Bio (ShopVille, Zurich main station); also available online to order from several countries, including Switzerland, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Belgium and Spain, for EUR 18.80).

 

And, for all the tea-lovers:

Sirocco Tea Advent Calendar

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This calendar contains 24 certified organic tea bags, with flavors such as Green Jasmine, Winter Moments, Pina Moringa, Japanese Sencha and White Christmas, and you can use the case long after Christmas has passed.

Price: CHF 45

Found in: Globus (Zurich)

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these calendars, and please let me know about any other exciting options you come across!

xoxo

 

 

Guest Recipe: Vegan Banana Coconut French Toast by Bianca Zapatka

Hello and happy Sunday evening!

It’s time to share with you another guest recipe – one that I can’t believe I’ve lived this long without: Vegan French Toast! This is something I didn’t think I would be eating after going plant-based, and it completely slipped off my foodie radar. Until, that is, I discovered Bianca Zapatka’s blog full of beautiful, mouthwatering recipes – including an irresistibly simple and incredibly delicious version of French Toast, using ingredients you probably have on hand.

I’ve made it twice this past week and it’s made me so happy both times 🙂 I’ve had it topped with sliced banana, berries/ chia jam, a drizzle of peanut butter and some maple syrup (this was more for decoration purposes, as the toast is perfectly sweet enough without it). Definitely give it a go, and don’t forget to tag @fitness_bianca if you share your toast on instagram 😉

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices toast (I used wholewheat)
  • 1/2 ripe banana (you can slice the other half for decoration) 
  • 75 ml plant-based milk (I used unsweetened rice milk)
  • coconut oil for frying
  • Optional: vanilla, cinnamon, desiccated coconut
  • Ideas for toppings: berries, sirup, granola

Note: I also added 1 tsp of ground flaxseed (for extra nutrition) and 1 tsp lucuma (for extra sweetness), both are completely optional however.

Method:

  1. Mash banana in a deep plate. Add milk, (vanilla and cinnamon) and stir. (This is also where I added the ground flaxseeds and lucuma). 
  2. Spread coconut flakes on a baking paper. (The recipe also works without coconut).  I omitted them, but if you’re a coconut lover, go for it! 😉 
  3. Heat up coconut oil in a pan.
  4. Dip the toasts into the “banana milk” mixture and coat with coconut flakes.
  5. Fry for about 3-4 minutes from each side on medium heat until lightly brown.
  6. Place your french toasts on a plate and drizzle with agave syrup. Serve with berries, granola, remaining coconut flakes or other toppings as desired and enjoy!

 

Happy French Toasting!

xoxo

 

 

Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Sure! I remember when I was on holiday as a child, my sister and I would always make a beeline for the sweet breakfast treats at the hotel buffet: pancakes, pastries, cakes and also cookies. It was so exciting to us that we could have these foods for breakfast. (My mom always made sure we ate a bowl of fruit first, though – something I appreciate today more than back then 😉 )

As much as I still love the idea of having cookies for breakfast, my tastes and preferences have changed, and I no longer consider cookies with lots of sugar and refined ingredients a great way to start the day. That’s why I’ve created this recipe – cookies so wholesome and nourishing that they really can replace breakfast, but also sweet and yummy enough to taste like a cheeky little treat.

I made these to take to a yoga brunch last weekend, and have since been eating them for breakfast as well as an afternoon snack. They’re especially perfect to have on the go, if there’s no time for a sit-down breakfast in the morning. (I tend to bring them with when staying at my boyfriend’s during the week – as we always end up rushing out the door – to eat on the tram together in the morning). They’ve also received the stamp of approval from a very tough customer – my not-at-all-fan-of-healthy-food sister. The full extent of this approval only hit me when I saw my breakfast cookie stash in the freezer had miraculously disappeared.

 

Luckily, they’re quick to make 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 can of chickpeas (ca. 240 g drained), drained, rinsed, skins off
  • 4 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter (unsalted)
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 pinch of salt (unless using salted peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2-3 heaped tsp raw cacao powder
  • some ground vanilla beans (or ca. 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • (optional: 1 tsp carob powder)
  • (optional: 1/2 cup puffed amaranth)
  • Variation 1: To take these cookies from breakfast to a slightly more indulgent treat, make a thick spread by combining: 2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter, 1 heaped tsp raw cacao and maple syrup to taste. This you can then use as a filling for the cookies (see step 4).
  • Variation 2: Omit the cacao and mix in some dark chocolate chunks for chickpea chocolate chip breakfast cookies.

Method

  1. Blend together the banana, chickpeas, peanut butter and dates.
  2. Stir in the other ingredients (salt, buckwheat flour, cacao, baking powder – and carob and amaranth, if using) and combine well.
  3. Roll the mixture into balls (around 20) and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Note: This is a very sticky mix, so keep wetting your hands to make it easier to roll – this will also allow you to smooth out the cookies.
  4. Variation 1: After rolling the mix into balls, use a finger to press down and create a little imprint in the middle. Put some of the peanut butter cacao spread in the middle (I was able to roll mine into little balls so they look like hazelnuts on the cookies).
  5. Bake in an oven preheated to 175 °C for about 8-10 minutes. (Oven temperatures vary, so keep an eye on the cookies. You want them to still be soft when coming out, as they harden a little when cooling).
  6. Enjoy them on their own, with extra peanut butter, raspberry jam, or any way you like!

xoxo

Note: The unbaked batter itself is SO delicious – feel free to just eat it as is 😉 If you specifically want to make ‘cookie dough’ for breakfast, I have a separate recipe, based on this one. (See my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough).

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

I’ve been sighting seductive bowls of chickpea cookie dough around Instagram, and couldn’t resist making my own. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like they’re eating cookie dough for breakfast, while nourishing and fueling themselves for the day ahead? There’s something just so wickedly satisfying about eating “dessert” for breakfast – having your cake (/cookie dough) and eating it too.

This recipe actually came about while creating breakfast cookies for a yoga brunch, when I realized I could easily just sit there and spoon the batter into my mouth instead of baking it. I’ve adjusted it slightly, and will be posting the recipe for the breakfast cookies separately, so stay tuned. (Update: I’ve uploaded the breakfast cookie recipe).

Servings: 2 (or 1, if you’re super hungry 😉 )

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (ca. 240 g, drained weight), drained, rinsed, skins off
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ground vanilla bean (or ca. 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • (1 tsp lucuma; optional, for extra sweetness)
  • dark chocolate, cut into small chunks; I used 85% Lindt chocolate
  • Note: the cookie I used as decoration is the Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookie by My Raw Joy – definitely one to recommend!

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients – except for the chocolate chunks – together.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chunks and enjoy!

Variations: feel free to experiment, adding cacao powder for a more chocolatey version, or blueberries for a blueberry muffin batter (I think I might try that next…), chopped nuts etc. And for a thicker dough, add some flour, e.g. buckwheat flour.

Enjoy! 🙂

xoxo

 

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UK Food Favorites

Hello and happy Sunday!

On my trip to London the other week, I spent a fair amount of time in my favorite health food store Planet Organic, browsing, drinking in the good vibes along with my superfood coffee and, of course, stocking up on some foodie favorites. In this post I’m sharing with you some of my favorite food products, both old ones as well as new discoveries from the Health Blog Awards and Lorna Jane Active Nation day. (You can also find previous plant-based food product recommendations here and here 😉 ).

Let’s get snacking! 

Blanxart Chocolate

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This organic, artisanal, single-origin cacao chocolate from Barcelonan company Blanxart is – I’ve officially decided – my favorite chocolate of all time. I came across their bars at Planet Organic a few months ago, and was immediately drawn to them by the understated packaging and the substantiality of the actual product (who can resist a proper, ingot-like bar of chocolate?!). On my trip I stocked up on some 77% Peru and 82% Congo bars, and a square or two (ok, the whole bar on some days) perfectly satisfies deep dark chocolate cravings! I honestly can’t think of any other chocolate brand I’ve ever enjoyed this much. No flashy packing, superfood claims or distracting ingredients – just good-quality chocolate, pure and simple.

 

Moju Turmeric & Ginger Boosters

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(Image from Moju Drinks)

I tried these vibrant little shots at the Lorna Jane Active Nation event and absolutely loved them! Very simple ingredients – pineapple, lemon juice and turmeric / apple, lemon juice and ginger – and such fiery, powerful flavor. I loved them so much that I’ve made my own version back home.

DIY Boosters: For the turmeric one, just combine pineapple juice (I’ve also made a tasty one with mandarine juice) with freshly squeezed lemon juice (try it as you go along until you find the right balance for your taste), freshly grated turmeric and a pinch or two of black pepper (this increases the bioavailability of curcumin, one of the much-acclaimed active components of turmeric). For the ginger one just substitute fresh ginger, and again use lemon juice and another fruit juice of your choice. Just make sure to vigorously stir or shake before drinking. I love having a shot after breakfast, and I like to think it helps my immune system, now that we’re heading towards winter. [Also, I’ve started eating a little chunk of fresh ginger every day and am absolutely loving it – #gingerchallenge if you know what I’m talking about 😉 ].

 

Booja Booja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream

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(Image from Booja Booja )

This vegan ice cream was on my list of things to try during the year I was in London, but (feel free to virtually slap me) I didn’t get around to it. I’m one of those people who is very selective about when they enjoy eating ice cream – definitely not in winter, and probably not if there are baked goods around, as I’ll always prefer those. So, it was the best surprise when my lovely friend (and the perfect hostess) Lauren, whose couch was my much appreciated bed for two nights, reappeared from the kitchen with a tub of the good stuff while we were having a cozy catch-up. I was honestly blown away by how delicious it was, and creamy yet also light at the same time. I also love the straightforward ingredients (water, agave syrup, cashew nuts, hazelnuts and cocoa powder).

Booja Booja ice cream is also available in Switzerland (I’ve seen it at the Alnatura Shop in Zurich and L’Ultimo Bacio in St. Gallen – but I’m sure it can be found in other health food shops as well). I haven’t had the heart to look at the price yet, but at least I know where to turn to when I want a special treat!

 

Rhythm 108 Sweet ‘n’ Salty Almond

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(Image from Leitchy Creates)

It was love at first bite when I tried the Sweet ‘n’ Salty Almond dessert bar from the new range by Swiss company Rhythm 108. Without the kick of salt I might have found the bar almost too sweet, but the two opposing flavors are perfectly harmonious, providing sheer melt-in-the-mouth bliss.

The bars (also in the flavors Super Coconut and Hazelnut Praline) are currently only out in the UK, but I’m hoping I’ll soon be able to get them here in Switzerland!

 

Sun & Seed Walnut Butter

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(Image from Sun and Seed)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may well have seen this glorious golden goodness luxuriously drizzled over a smoothie or porridge bowl. This is probably my all-time favorite nut butter (well, at least if we discount peanuts for technically being a legume). It tastes like liquid walnuts, which, to me, tastes like liquid happiness.

Sun & Seed also have other raw organic nut and seed spreads. Their lightly salted pumpkin seed butter is delightful – and I went through their jar of hazelnut butter in a shockingly short amount of time. (Also check out their black tahini!)

 

Jarr Kombucha

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(Image from Jarr)

While somewhat late to board the kombucha train, I have become a passionate Jarr Kombucha lover ever since attending a workshop of theirs a few months ago. I’ve had one or two other brands, but they just don’t compare if you ask me. I love all the flavors (original, ginger and passionfruit) of this fizzy fermented tea drink, but the BEST one is the newest raspberry flavor, which is only available on tap at Whole Foods in London. If only I could get my hands on it in Switzerland!

Bodyme Chia Vanilla Protein Bars

(Image from Bodyme)

I’ve already mentioned these in a previous post, so I won’t say much more, except that they’re my all-time favorite protein bars. Good ingredients, 16 g of plant protein, delicious flavor – what’s not to like??

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading! Let me know if you’ve tried these, or what some of your food favorites are!

xoxo

 

 

Yumchaa Indian Summer Porridge

Porridge is one of the ultimate nourishing comfort foods, and – as we’re heading towards colder weather – it seems like many of us are finding ourselves drawn to the cozy carby comforts of a hot bowl of oats.

While I do always like to mix things up with my porridge, my absolute favorite right now is tea-flavored porridge, using the limited edition ‘Indian Summer‘ rooibos blend by innovative tea company Yumchaa. I took one whiff of this and knew I would love its exotic, warming fragrances, which include chai spices, cinnamon, holy basil, ground roasted almonds and carrot flakes. The mix also contains fun little shooting stars that look absolutely delightful if you pick them out and use them to decorate your porridge.

This beautiful blend infuses my morning porridge bowl with so much flavor – its notes of Indian summer bringing an alluring warmth to winter mornings.

This is not the first of Yumchaa’s teas that I’ve tried, as they’ve been so kind as to send me some of their other flavors in the past, as well as invite me to a wonderfully relaxing Yoga & Mindfulness evening at their Tottenham Street Cafe in London, which was followed by tea (of course) and cake.* I really love their unique teas (favorites include the white tea-based ‘Gentle Giant‘, the mind-blowing ‘Blue Voodoo‘ (it really turns your tea blue!), fiery rooibos-based ‘Chilli Chilli Bang Bang‘ and ‘Peanut Butter & Jam‘), the packaging, and the vibe in their lovely cafes, which are worth keeping up to date with for things like yoga brunches 😉

*[While I have been sent this tea, I want to mention that I haven’t been paid to endorse Yumchaa or any of their products, and am only stating my genuine thoughts and opinions.]

Now, enough chatter, let’s get to the recipe!

 

Ingredients (for 1 serving)

Porridge

  • 40 g oats
  • 20 g quinoa flakes (or more oats)
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • 1 heaped tbsp Yumchaa Indian Summer tea
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp full fat coconut milk + 2 tbsp water (or 4 tbsp oat milk)

Toppings

  • ca. 50 g frozen berries, defrosted
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • orange zest, from 1/2 orange
  • (maple syrup to sweeten, if desired)
  • additional: mango, nut or seed butter

 

Instructions:

  1. The night before: Pour the boiling water into a pan, mix with the looseleaf tea, place the lid on and leave overnight. (Alternative: grind the tea into a fine powder and use in your porridge the morning you make it; this saves time and adds extra flavor, but can leave you with gritty bits if the tea is not finely ground).
  2. The next morning, pour the liquid through a sieve and then back into the pan. Heat up and add the oat and quinoa flakes.
  3. Let the flakes soak up the tea-flavored water while cooking on medium heat for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk & water/ or oat milk as well as the maple syrup and let the porridge cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  5. While the porridge is cooking, make the chia jam by combining all the ingredients (berries, chia seeds, orange juice & zest, and – if using – maple syrup) and heating up, either in another small pan or in the microwave.  Mash it all together with a fork and set aside.
  6. Once the porridge is cooked and wonderfully creamy, serve together with the chia jam and any other toppings you desire, like mango and walnut butter.
  7. Enjoy! (Maybe with a cup of Indian Summer 😉 )

xoxo

 

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Cauliflower Butter Bean Falafels

Hello and happy Monday!

I’m back with another recipe – one that I’ve been dreaming about for quite a while now. As some of my friends know, I am slightly obsessed with a certain kind of falafel: the cauliflower butter bean falafels from the Deliciously Ella Delis in London. They are an absolute dream – perfect taste & texture – and I could never tire of them. When I was working at Wilderness Festival this August, I ate an absurd amount of them (I think my total count for the 5 days came up to 46 – don’t judge until you’ve tried them!), and got to take a generous amount home. And after all that, I am most definitely still obsessed.

So obsessed that I have tried to recreate them. And while the Deli ones will always be the epitome of falafel perfection, I am so happy with this recipe, and know I will keep coming back to it. Hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

  • 250 g raw cauliflower that has been processed to a pulp (make sure to squeeze the water out after)
  • 1 can butter beans (drained weight: 240 g), processed to a paste
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 50 g wholemeal spelt flour (or buckwheat, to make them gluten-free)
  • 1/2 20 g bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (+ more for brushing on top)
  • 1 small dried chili, chopped (or chili flakes)
  • salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and form into balls, flattening slightly. (I got around 14 small/medium-sized falafels). Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with some olive oil, and bake for ca. 20-25 minutes. (Oven time will vary according to oven and size of falafels, so keep checking up on them).

Serve any way you like, for example with quinoa and salad, or eat as a snack 😉 (they’re very handy to pack along in a tupperware)!

Enjoy!

xoxo

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