Chestnut Hazelnut Squares

Hello and happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 1 was World Vegan Day – a day for celebrating veganism, brought into life by The Vegan Society of the UK in 1994, 50 years after the term “vegan” was conceived. And what better way to celebrate it than to eat lots of fabulous plant-based food with other vegans/vegan-friendly people?

Here in Switzerland, the Vegan Society of Switzerland (Vegane Gesellschaft Schweiz) hosts an awesome annual potluck on November 1st. This year they kindly reached out to me, asking if I would like to bring some dessert and share the recipe, which is where these Chestnut Hazelnut Squares come in. They may not sound very sexy, but I can’t get enough of them: soft yet substantial, sweet and nourishing. Paired with a cup of hot chocolate or a turmeric latte they’re my favorite fall treat and personal epitome of autumnal “hygge 🙂

Chestnut Hazelnut Squares

Makes: 12 squares

Ingredients:

  • 400g cooked and peeled chestnuts (much easier if you can buy them like this)
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 180 ml plant-based mylk (rice or hazelnut are my favorite here)
  • 120g soft dates (I always use these for my baking)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 50g hazelnut chocolate (I use White Nougat Crisp from iChoc, which is heavenly!)
  • 30g of the same chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut butter

Method:

  • Grind the chestnuts into a course flour and combine with the other dry ingredients (ground hazelnuts, flaxseeds and salt) in a large bowl.
  • Heat up the mylk and melt 50g of the chocolate in it. Mash up the dates with a fork, add the mylk-chocolate mixture and hazelnut butter and blend the mix.
  • Add the liquid to the dry mixture and combine thoroughly, before stirring in the chocolate chunks (I saved a few to sprinkle on top).
  • Fill the thick, lumpy mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and heat in an oven preheated to 180°C for ca. 30-40 minutes. It should be firm enough to hold together but not dry in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, at least, before taking out and slicing into squares.

To turn this into a slightly more fancy dessert, serve warm with some ice cream, berry compote and a drizzle of hazelnut butter!

For more Potluck Recipe contributions and vegan goodness check out Vegan.ch.

Enjoy 🙂

xoxo

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Maca, Peanut & Salted Date Quinoa Granola Crumbs

Hello and happy Sunday!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I’m happy to finally be back with another recipe 🙂 Most of September I was on holiday in Indonesia (there will be some blog posts with lots of great vegan recommendations coming!) and somehow I just didn’t have any time or energy to dedicate to my blog or food photography.

But never mind that now, let’s talk about these crunchy, deliciously sweet & salty, nourishing, comforting and super speedy Maca, Peanut & Salted Date Quinoa Granola Crumbs. A serious mouthful. What is it exactly? Not chunky enough for granola, yet still kind of clumpy, I wasn’t quite sure what to call this mix (“grumps” came to mind, but didn’t have quite the appeal I was going for), so I settled for “granola crumbs”. They can be sprinkled on top of smoothie bowls or fresh fruit or eaten on their own with mylk, for a satisfying (and seriously addictive!) snack.

As to the flavors: Maca – a root native to South America that can be bought in powdered form in health food stores – is one of my favorite “superfoods”. Its taste is subtle yet powerful (it often lingers after I eat it in my smoothies), mildly earthy but in a wonderfully sweet sense and it’s said to be “adaptogenic” (i.e. able to help the body deal with stressors and stabilize internal processes in a healthy way). It was also used by the Incas in Peru as a source of energy, nourishment and healing. I personally also find it to have a very “happy” flavor, if that makes any sense 🙂

In this recipe I’ve paired the maca with dates for sweetness, adding a bit of salt to evoke a salted caramel-like aroma, as well as my beloved peanut butter, as I find maca and peanuts are best friends. Here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 100g fine oats
  • 20g puffed quinoa
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp maca powder *
  • a good pinch or two of salt
  • 100g soft dates, mashed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp “clumpy” peanut butter (if yours is runny, you may need less)
  • optional: 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean

 

Method:

  • Mix together the oats, puffed quinoa, ground flaxseeds, maca powder, salt (and vanilla, if using).
  • Add the dates (mine are so soft I can simply squish them by hand) and peanut butter and combine the mixture by hand.
  • Heat in the preheated oven at 160°C (fan) until golden. Note: keep an eye on the oven – it only took me about 6 minutes, and one of the first batches almost burned!
  • Remove from the oven, leave to cool before storing in an airtight container (ideally in the fridge) or sprinkling on top of your smoothies.

Enjoy!

xoxo

 

* The maca I used is from Iswari Suisse , who I have been collaborating with for several months and whose products I love.

Green Protein Smoothie

Hello and happy Sunday!

Today I’m sharing another smoothie bowl. My go-to smoothie is my all-time favorite blueberry smoothie, but I do love a good green smoothie every now and then. Getting in some greens while enjoying a sweet bowl of deliciousness AND getting a protein boost sounds like a pretty good win-win situation to me.

The inspiration behind this green smoothie is the “Super Detox Protein” by Iswari, which consists of: rice protein, pea protein, hemp protein, spirulina, chlorella and matcha – 100% organic ingredients. As part of a collaboration with Iswari Switzerland, you can get 5% off any orders from Iswari Suisse with the discount code “blueberrysmiles” (disclaimer: I earn a small commission on such orders).

Incredibly simple, this combination of fruity sweetness and refreshing “greenness” is especially irresistible on a hot day. What I love about the Iswari mix is that it’s zingy from the matcha, but doesn’t taste “too green”, especially combined with sweet, ripe mango. If you can’t get your hands on this product, you can also replace it with your own proteins and green powders/matcha.

Ingredients:

  • 200g frozen mango cubes
  • 35g Super Detox Protein (or your own blend)
  • 1 tbsp rice mylk
  • Desired toppings – I used almond butter, fresh raspberries and granola

Method:

Blend the mango and rice mylk (if your blender tends to struggle with frozen ingredients you may need to let the mango defrost a bit and/or add more liquid) and stir in the protein blend. Pour into a bowl and enjoy with the toppings of your choice – I love adding nut butter, fresh berries and granola.

Enjoy!

xoxo

 

Nourishing Breakfast Waffles

Hello and happy Monday!

I’m back with another recipe, and this time we’re not firing up the grill but heating up the oven to prepare some delicious baked waffles. (Alternatively, feel free to try these with a traditional waffle-iron). I recently bought some silicone waffle molds and love how much easier it is to make waffles in the oven. You can make them all in one go and can pop the molds into the dishwasher to reduce clean- up 😉

I love these waffles for weekend breakfast, especially pre- or post-workout, as they’re not only tasty but also super nourishing and packed with good-for-you ingredients such as banana, dates, buckwheat flour and this nutty ground chia and flax seed mixture from Iswari. I created this recipe as part of a collaboration with Iswari Suisse – if you order anything from Iswari Suisse, you can get 5% off with the discount code “blueberrysmiles”. (Disclaimer: I earn a small commission on such orders).

Ok, enough talk, let’s get to the recipe!

Nourishing Breakfast Waffles

Makes: 6 medium waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 50g soft and sweet dates
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp rice mylk
  • 1 tsbp Omega 3 Mix (ground flax- and chia seeds)
  • 160g buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon lucuma powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 heaped tbsp aquafaba (save the chickpea water from the tin and beat until it reaches a consistency close to beaten egg whites)
  • coconut oil for greasing
  • Recommended toppings: berries, banana, nut butter and maple syrup
  • Variations: substitute some of the buckwheat flour (or the lucuma powder) with matcha or acai powder, for example, to switch things up!

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, gently folding in the aqua faba at the end.
  2. Grease the moulds with some coconut oil and divide the batter equally.
  3. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C until golden brown and firm (this will depend on the oven – for me it takes around 15-20 minutes).
  4. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Mediterranean Tofu Skewers

Hello and happy Monday!

The weather here in Zurich has been incredible – hot, sunny and all things summery – the perfect weather for barbecuing. One of my current favorites for throwing on the grill are these flavorsome tofu skewers – the recipe for which I came up with in collaboration with Migros, for their summer grill campaign (#grillitarier) 😉

I hope you enjoy!

Mediterranean Tofu Skewers

Makes ca. 9 skewers

Ingredients:

  • 400g tofu (2 x 200g blocks), cubed
  • 100g sundried tomatoes (in olive oil and herbs); drained
  • 100g green olives
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (from the jar of tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and cayenne pepper to season
  • 1 yellow bell pepper / veg of choice, sliced

Method:

  1. Prick the cubed tofu with a fork (this will help the marinade soak in more).
  2. Blend together the sundried tomatoes and olives, adding the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning.
  3. Coat the tofu cubes in the marinade, rubbing the marinade onto the tofu. Cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours (ideally overnight).
  4. Assemble skewers by alternating cubes of tofu and sliced vegetables and cook on a tray over the grill (top with extra marinade that has fallen off).
  5. Serve with sweet potato wedges, quinoa, salad, couscous or whatever your favorite BBQ sides are.

Enjoy!

xoxo

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Sweet Potato Nice Cream

Hello and happy Sunday!

One of my favorite things for staying cool in this hot weather is a serving of delicious, smooth and creamy, refreshing nice cream. I love how a frozen banana is pretty much all you need for a cooling and naturally sweet treat – but I also love experimenting with different flavors and fun ingredients.

Yesterday, for a post-workout meal I added some frozen sweet potato to my blender and ended up with a super satisfying, dessert-like concoction that left me with a big smile on my face. You can blend frozen sweet potato, frozen banana and cacao for a very simple version (with dates or maple syrup for extra sweetness), but below I’ll share with you exactly what I used.

I love the deep flavor the raw cacao powder gives this as well as the hint of fruity sweetness from the lucuma – the two powders complement each other perfectly and add extra goodness and nutrition to this already nutritious treat.*

Ingredients:

  • 150g sweet potato (cooked and frozen)
  • 1 ripe, frozen banana (mine was 130g)
  • 1.5 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1/2 tbsp carob powder
  • ca. 1 tbsp rice mylk
  • optional: 1 tbsp maple syrup / 1-2 dates (for more sweetness)
  • optional: 1 tbsp pea protein
  • Toppings: berries, chocolate sauce, nut butter such as peanut or almond butter, jam

*I use “superfoods” from Iswari, because I love the taste and quality. You can get 5% off orders from Iswari Suisse with the discount code “blueberrysmiles” (Disclaimer: I earn a small commission on such orders). 

Method:

  1. Blend the frozen sweet potato and banana (and dates, if using), adding the mylk. (Depending on how powerful your blender is, you might have to let the frozen ingredients defrost a bit).
  2. Stir in all the other ingredients.
  3. Enjoy as is or with your desired toppings.

Variation

To make this more of a mousse, simply use a non-frozen banana and/or non-frozen sweet potato [as in the photo below]. For extra creaminess, stir in some nut butter 😉

I hope you enjoy!

xoxo

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Ultimate Banana Bread by Nourishing Amy

Hello and happy Sunday!

Today’s recipe is from my wonderful friend Amy from Nourishing Amy (@nourishing.amy) and I’m so happy to share it with you, because it’s epic.

There are arguably some recipes that we all should have in our repertoire and one of these is banana bread. We all need a good banana bread recipe for cold winter evenings and a cup of tea, just as much as for summer brunch outside, served with fresh fruit, and for that any-time-of-year moment when we realize those bananas just need to be eaten.

I’ve made this recipe several times and particularly enjoy making it before a trip (nothing better than a chocolate chip version of this moreish loaf on the train or plane 😉 ). It’s super simple, not requiring any outlandish ingredients or a special trip to the grocery store, and can easily be whipped up. It’s also a really great one to play around with – adding chocolate chips, peanut butter, fresh raspberries or all together, depending on what mood you’re in. I’ve also seen Amy do this recipe in muffin version, which always looks incredibly irresistible!

Without further ado, let’s get baking!

Nourishing Amy’s Ultimate Banana Bread

Ingredients:

WET

  • 3 large bananas (the riper the better)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (ground flaxseeds will work too)
  • 1/3 cup plant-based milk [I use rice, while Amy loves oat and almond]
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or coconut honey

DRY

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar [I’ve also used raw cane sugar]
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour*

Optional: sliced banana for topping, ½ cup walnuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips etc. 
Optional: 1 tsp maca, lucuma

* I’ve also tried this with buckwheat flour, which worked really well too. Apparently plain flour also works well, although Amy doesn’t recommend wholemeal flour, as it was a bit too dry.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160Fan/180°C. line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mash the banana well in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add all the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Leave for 5-10 minutes, then add in the dry ingredients together and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Add in ½ cup optional extras, if using. The mix will be very thick and seem ‘dry’ but this is perfect.
  5. Pour into loaf tin lined with baking paper, smooth over the top. Add sliced banana on top, if using.
  6. Bake for 30-40 mins, ovens vary, until the top is browning nicely and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Keep checking the cake very 5 mins if it’s not done and add some foil to cover if it is getting too dark on top.
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack. After 10 mins, remove from the tin and peel away the parchment. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It freezes well in slices too.

To serve, eat as is, or slather on some peanut butter, chocolate and raspberry chia jam, as I like to do 😉

Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to check out Nourishing Amy for more plant-based goodness, wonderful recipes and lots of feel-good vibes!

xoxo

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Protein Pancakes

Hello and happy Sunday!

Today I’m sharing with you my go-to post-workout protein pancakes. They’re simple to whip up and wonderfully nourishing, whether you’ve just had an intense workout or simply rolled out of bed! There is always a good excuse to have pancakes, in my opinion, any day of the week or time of day 🙂

While I don’t think protein powders are, by any means, a “must”, I enjoy using them in breakfast dishes for an extra boost of protein. I always go for unflavored ones and my favorite is pure rice protein – the one I used here is from Iswari – which is high in plant protein and has a versatile, neutral flavor.

I love having these topped with some sliced banana, berries and nut butter, also adding some chocolate or maple syrup (or both), for even more indulgence. Today I even made a white chocolate matcha sauce, which I didn’t measure exactly, but also describe below. Enjoy!

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PROTEIN PANCAKES

Serves 1 (makes 6-8 small pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 85g buckwheat flour (wholemeal spelt should also work well)
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice protein (ca. 10 g)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (or chia seeds)
  • 1 tbsp ground lucuma
  • 200 ml rice milk (or another kind of plant milk)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • optional: some maple syrup, for sweetening
  • coconut oil, for cooking
  • desired toppings – I recommend bananas, berries or other fruit, nut butter and maple syrup, or my white chocolate matcha sauce (below); I also added some nutritious hemp seeds

Method:

  1. Mash the banana and combine with all the ingredients, save for the coconut oil (for a smoother texture, blend everything together). For more sweetness, add some maple syrup to the batter.
  2. Heat some coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan, reduce the heat slightly and do a tester (baby) pancake. This way you can see if you need to reduce or increase the heat – plus you get a little appetizer 😉
  3. Ladle a large spoonful of batter into the pan and cook on each side on medium heat for a minute or two (you’ll see bubbles start to form and the sides begin to cook through, before flipping); repeat until all the batter is used up.
  4. Serve with your toppings of choice and enjoy!

 

*Due to a collaboration with Iswari Switzerland you can get 5% off orders from iswari.ch using the discount code “blueberrysmiles” (I earn a small commission on such orders). I’m loving their products, from their raw chocolate to their “superfood” powders. If you don’t live in Switzerland, you can check out their global website.*

 

MATCHA WHITE CHOCOLATE SAUCE

I made this in a very experimental manner and didn’t record the exact measurements, but I started with:

I then added:

until I got a ganache-like texture, perfect for dolloping on top of my pancakes. It started to harden as it cooled, becoming more of a spread, which I’m storing in the fridge.

I hope you enjoy these pancakes, and let me know if you give them a go!

Celine

xoxo

 

 

Fluffy Cacao & Date Swirls

Hello and happy Sunday!

Baking with yeast is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the kitchen, for the simple reason that it’s so rewarding. Taking that extra bit of time (the rising!) and effort (the kneading!) is well worth it in my opinion, when you consider that sense of accomplishment of seeing your dough rise, and the delight of that first doughy bite (and all the next 😉 ).

Today I’m sharing a recipe with you for super soft swirl buns with a sweet cacao-date filling. They’re perfect for brunch or a snack – eaten as they are or with some nut butter on top 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Makes: ca. 10 buns

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 465g Zopfmehl (this is a mix of plain white flour and spelt flour that the Swiss like to use for making the traditional platted loaf Zopf; if you can’t get this, I’d suggest mixing ca. 90% plain white flour with 10% spelt flour)
  • 15g cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1/2 40g cube fresh yeast (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2.5 dl rice milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 80g margarine; soft
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Filling

  • 300g soft dates (I used the Sukari cooking ones from Palmyradelights.ch)
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter/ other nut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 4.5 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 4.5 tbsp rice milk
  • optional: dark chocolate chunks, chopped nuts (e.g. pecans)

*Note: Due to a collaboration with Iswari you can get 5% off orders from iswari.ch using the discount code “blueberrysmiles” (I earn a small commission on such orders). I’m loving the quality of their products – from “superfood” powders to their unique mixes such as the Breakfast Protein. I linked the cacao and lucuma to the website as I used the Iswari products for this recipe.

Instructions

Dough

  1. Lightly heat up the rice milk so that it’s lukewarm (not hot), add 1 tbsp of maple syrup and crumble in the 1/2 cube of fresh yeast. Leave for a few minutes.
  2. Measure the flour and cacao into a large bowl, add the lucuma and mix well before adding the salt on the side (not mixing in, as you don’t want it to come in touch with the yeast yet). With your hand, create a well in the center of the bowl.
  3. Pour the yeast/rice milk/maple syrup mixture into the middle of the flour well, sprinkling a little bit of flour on top. Leave for ca. 5 to 10 minutes – you should see some bubbles form.
  4. Next, add in the margarine and the remaining 2 tbsp of maple syrup and mix together using your hands until it all comes together. Knead the dough until elastic (ideally it should stretch until almost transparent – if it breaks apart instead of stretching it needs some more kneading). It took me a good 15-20 minutes by hand (alternatively knead it by machine using a dough hook, for ca. 10 minutes on low).
  5. Shape the dough into a round, place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave somewhere warm to rise for ca. 1 hour 45 minutes.
  6. Filling – Blend together the ingredients for the filling (dates, peanut butter, maple syrup, lucuma, cacao powder and rice milk) until a thick, sticky paste forms. (My dates were so soft I could just mash them with a fork and mix everything together without having to use extra equipment – always great when there’s less washing up to do 😉 ).
  7. The dough should have at least doubled in size. Punch the air out and roll it out to a rectangular shape. Spread the sticky cacao-date mix onto the dough evenly. At this stage you can also sprinkle some dark chocolate chunks and/or chopped nuts on top of the filling.
  8. Roll the dough inwards, starting from one of the longer sides of the rectangle, gently but also firmly, so that you form a compact log. With a sharp knife slice up the log into even slices and place these on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  9. Bake the swirl buns in an oven preheated to 200 °C for about 20 minutes (oven time may vary, so keep an eye on them. They should be lightly browned on the top and bottom, but still spring back a bit when you press the sides).
  10. Leave to cool on the baking tray and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Celine

xoxo

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Banana Breakfast Bars

Hello and happy Saturday evening!

It’s my first weekend in my new place and of course I couldn’t wait to test out my new oven 😉

As part of an ongoing collaboration with health food company Iswari (if you’re not in Switzerland, check them out here) I’ve been trying some more tasty products, one of which inspired me to make these delicious and nutritious breakfast bars.

The “Super Oats Banana Bliss” (Gekeimter Hafer Banane & Kakao in German) is made up of gluten-free raw sprouted oats, ground buckwheat, powdered lucuma, banana powder, ground almonds, cacao beans, activated buckwheat and blackberries and is such a tasty mix! I love that it’s only made from wholesome ingredients and is packed with so much flavor and nutrition. You can also add liquid to it and create an instant porridge.

Variation: If you can’t get your hands on this product, the recipe should also work with the same amount of dry ingredients, such as a mix of ground and whole oats, buckwheat flour, ground almonds, lucuma etc, but may not have quite the same depth of flavor. I’ll probably experiment with this when I run out (which is bound to happen very soon), so I’ll keep you updated 😉

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Makes: 9 small bars

Ingredients:

  • 200 g Super Oats Banana Bliss* (/for non-Swiss residents: see here)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 100 g soft dates, mashed or blended
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 heaped tbsp tahini
  • generous pinch of cinnamon

* If you’re thinking of ordering this and live in Switzerland you can get 5% off (as well as on any other Iswari products) with the discount code “blueberrysmiles”. [I get a small commission on any orders placed with this code. I only promote brands and products that I genuinely love and would recommend to friends]. 

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together (if your dates are soft enough, you can just mash them in, meaning you only need to use one bowl).
  2. Spread the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper (it won’t fill the whole one, but that’s fine as the mixture is firm) and bake in an oven preheated to 180 °C for ca. 15 minutes. Depending on the thickness, the oven time may vary – you’re looking for the bake to spring back when you touch it.
  3. Leave to cool for a bit before removing from the tin and cutting into bars.

Tip: they’re even better with some tahini slathered on top 😉

Enjoy!

xoxo

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