Sweet Potato Brownies

These brownies are rich, moist, fudgy and not to forget absolutely delicious! The secret ingredient in this recipe is sweet potato, it gives the brownies a perfect texture. There are different kinds of unsweetened cocoa powder. If you use a highly deoiled one, the brownies will get a stronger, slightly bitter aroma. Partially deoiled cocoa powder has a higher content of cocoa butter and a typical chocolate taste. For this recipe, you can use either kind, depending on what you prefer.

Ingredients 

(for a baking tray 30 cm x 20 cm)

350g cooked sweet potato

3 heaped tbsp coconut oil (50 ml of melted) + some extra for greasing the baking tray

2 eggs

150 ml maple syrup

100g cocoa powder

40g rice flour

2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

 

Method 

Grease the baking tray with some coconut oil and preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. 

In a medium mixing bowl mash the sweet potato with a fork. In a small pot (or in the microwave) melt the coconut oil and combine it with the sweet potato. Add the eggs and maple syrup. Use a whisk to combine all ingredients and make sure there are no sweet potato chunks left.

Now add the cocoa powder, rice flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth.

Fill the mixture into the baking tray and transfer it into the oven. Bake for 20 min. Wait until the brownies are cooled down, then cut them into squares. Serve with nut butter or yogurt and fresh berries.

 

 

Oatmeal Cookies

These vegan cookies are among my favorite snacks. If you want them to be refined sugar-free, make sure you use cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips. Not a fan of dried fruits? Try chopped nuts or seeds instead. Make sure you place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 min, so the coconut oil can harden and it is easier to shape the cookies. The cookies will be soft when they come out of the oven but do not worry, they will firm up when they cool down.

Ingredients

(makes roughly 12 cookies)

3 heaped tbsp coconut oil (about 45 ml melted)

120 ml maple syrup

100g rolled oats

170g whole grain flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

50g cranberries (or dried fruit of choice)

3 tbsp chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

a pinch of salt

 

Method 

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan (or microwave). In a medium bowl, mix it with the maple syrup.

Add the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon to the bowl. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.

If needed chop the cranberries into small pieces and add them along with the chocolate chips and a pinch of salt to the mixture. The dough should feel wet and sticky. If it is to dry, try adding a little more coconut oil.

Place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 min. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Take the mixture out of the fridge. Take about one tbsp of the dough at a time and roll it into a ball. Place the dough balls on the baking tray. Use the backside of a spoon or your hands to flatten them. The cookies should be roughly 1,5 cm thick.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. They will become firm once they cool down. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Thoughts about Healthy Eating you need to Ditch

Following a balanced diet is a great thing. However, sometimes the motivation to eat healthily can go a little too far and turn the relationship to food into a negative one. You may even find yourself worrying about food choices, instead of enjoying them. In this post, I will discuss some thoughts and terms that frequently pop up in context with healthy eating. Maybe it will help you to reflect on your own thoughts about food and you think more critically next time you stumble upon them.

Cheat Meals

No meal is a ‘cheat meal’, it is simply a meal. “Cheating” implies something negative and by no means should you regret or feel guilty about having a good time, enjoying something you like. Besides that, planning a cheat meal or cheat day encourages a restrictive eating behavior on all other days, leading up to a consumption of a large amount of “forbidden” foods, that can be classified as a binge. Behavior like this is far away from having a healthy mindset about food.

Earning Food

Food is a necessity that we need to live- much like the air you are breathing. It is nothing you “deserve” only after a workout or a certain amount of time. Eating is essential to survive and for your body to function properly. Think about it this way, it doesn’t make sense to tell yourself you are only allowed to pee after a 5K run- the same thing goes for having a meal.

A clean diet = Happiness

Throughout my research, I have found many people are motivated to change their eating habits because they believe that happiness is related to a ‘good’ diet. Social media often gives us a very positive, yet, one-sided insight into people’s lives. Only seeing the cheerful moments of somebody’s life, paired with pictures of an idealized diet, leads to the assumption that mental well-being and eating habits are connected. And yes, a balanced diet may, in fact, be helpful to feel good, but it is only one, tiny building blog. Mental health is made up of many, many more aspects and focusing on diet only, can not only make you feel depressed, but it can also lead to the negligence of all the other factors.

Comparing your Food to what you see on Social Media 

Are you looking at pictures of food online? Or are you following people who post about their daily eating habits? Well, you are most likely to come across people, who seem to eat the prettiest and most elaborate dishes. Be aware that those dishes you see are created to look vivid and photographable. An apple with yogurt and oats is just as healthy as exotic papaya, filled with more colorful and expensive fruits. Frozen veggies, simple dishes, and canned beans are amazing options if you don’t have a big budget or a lot of time to cook. How colorful or presentable your food looks does not determine it’s nutritional value. You don’t need superfoods, supplements or even kale to get all necessary nutrients and vitamins. Additionally to that, don’t compare your eating habits to those of others. Everybody’s needs are different and even changing on a daily basis.

 

Cocoa Butter Bars

These bars are a perfect snack or desert. You can easily store them in the freezer for a couple of weeks, so I usually prepare double the amount. If you don’t like dried fruits you can use any chopped nuts or seeds instead. Cocoa butter can be hard to come by in an ordinary supermarket and most of the time it is relatively expensive. However, because raw cocoa butter has quite a long shelf life, I recommend to order a big bag online. The prices are cheaper and bigger packages also mean less plastic waste.

Ingredients

(makes roughly 12 pieces)

150g cocoa butter

120g popped amaranth

140g mix of dried plums, apples and cranberries

50g hazelnuts

40g pumpkin seeds

70g agave syrup

2 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of salt

Method

Chop the dried fruits, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds in into small pieces and mix them together in a medium bowl. Add the cinnamon, salt and agave syrup.

Melt the cocoa butter in a water bath. (Fill a large skillet with water. Place a heat prove bowl with the cocoa butter  in the middle of the skillet and bring the water up to a simmer.)

While the cocoa butter is melting, line a rectangular baking dish or food storage container with cling film or parchment paper.

Add the melted cocoa butter to the ingredients in the bowl and stir well.

Fill the mixture into the lined baking dish or container and press it down with the backside of a large spoon. Place it in the fridge for at least four hours.

After the mixture has set, cut it into small pieces. Store the bars in the freezer or fridge. Enjoy!

Bruschetta with Burrata Cheese

Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetiser. It is easy to make and absolutely delicious. If you want to prepare bruschetta for a bigger crowd I recommend you toast the bread in the oven, instead of frying it in the pan. The tomato mixture can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Ingredients

(for 2 servings)

4 slices whole grain bread

2 tbsp olive oil

2 hands full of cherry tomatoes

1 buratta cheese

1 hand full of basil leave

2 garlic gloves

salt and pepper

Method

Cut the tomatoes in half and combine them with the basil leaves in a medium bowl. Carefully slice the burrata cheese and add it to the bowl. Season everything with salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Set aside.

Use a pastry brush to spread the olive oil on the slices of bread. Make sure you grease both sides. Peal the garlic glove and cut it in half diagonally. Gently rub the cut side on the bread. Season each side with a pinch of salt.

Heat a frying pan and add the prepared slices of bread when it’s hot. Fry until both sides are crunchy and golden brown. 

Transfer the slices onto a plate. Use a spoon to put the tomato mixture onto the bread. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 

Homemade Croutons

These tasty homemade croutons make every soup special or add an extra crunch to your salad. The recipe is perfect if you want to use up some stale bread. You can get creative with the type of bread you use and the seasoning. Try to make some sweet croutons with butter, honey and cinnamon for example. These homemade croutons also freeze well, so you can prepare a big batch and keep them on hand for your next meal.

Ingredients

(2 servings)

2 slices of whole grain bread

3 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic glove

salt

Method

Cut the bread into small cubes. Transfer them into a bowl and add the olive oil.

Use the flat side of your knife to crush the garlic. This makes the peel come of easier. Chop the garlic finely and add it to the bowl. Sprinkle everything with salt and stir well.

Heat a frying pan and add the bread cubes and garlic from the bowl once it is hot. Stir occasionally to make sure all sides get crunchy.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the croutons to a soup or salad. Enjoy!

4 Ingredient Potato Bread

This bread recipe is not only super easy, it is also vegan and great if you want to use up left over potatoes. It only requires 4 ingredients: flour, potatoes, plant milk and baking soda. I always add a pinch of salt, but feel free to experiment with other spices like dried rosemary or caraway.

You can also swap the potatoes in this recipe with pumpkin.

Ingredients

350g cooked potatoes

300 ml plant milk (I used oat milk)

300g whole grain spelt flour

3 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tbsp of salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 160 degree C.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

Mix the potatoes and plant milk in a blender until you get a smooth mixture.  Add it to the mixing bowl and stir everything together.

Line a rectangular baking tin with parchment paper or grease it with a little bit of oil. Transfer the bread dough into the tin and back it for 50 min to 1 hour. Use a wooden stick to test if the bread is done.

Let the bread cool down and remove it from the baking tin. Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl

This smoked salom sushi bowl is a perfect weeknight dinner that can easily be prepared ahead of time. I love the crunch that cucumbers and carrots add to the bowl, but you can also use green beans, avocado or broccoli as an alternative. If you like it spicy, try adding 1-2 tsp of chilli oil or sambal oelek to the dressing.

Ingredients

(1 serving)

60g of sushi rice or brown rice

150g smoked salmon

1/2 cucumber

2 medium carrots

1 spring onion

a hand full of soy bean sprouts

 

For the Dressing

30ml soy sauce

15ml agave syrup

15ml water

lime juice from 1/2 lime

Method

Cock the rice according to the instructions on the package.

In the mean time cut the cucumber and carrot into fine slices or use a peeler. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. 

Place the cooked rice, soy bean sprouts and veggies in a bowl. Chop the spring onion and add it as a topping. Serve with the dressing and some lime slices on the side. Enjoy!

Simple Carob Waffles

So what actually is carob powder? It is made from the pods of the carob tree and is often used as a substitute for chocolate powder because it tastes less bitter and has a nutty flavour. Carob powder is also caffeine free and high in fibre. Because carob is naturally sweet, I love to use it in baking, pancake or waffle recipes. 

Ingredients

(makes roughly 4 Waffles)

200g flour (for example 140g whole grain and 60g chestnut flour) 

40g carob powder

2 eggs

120ml plant based milk

100g apple sauce

30g agave syrup

1 tsp of baking powder

a pinch of salt

 

For the carob spread

2 tbsp carob powder

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp honey/ or sweetener of choice

1-2 tbsp plant based milk

Method

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour with the carob powder, salt and baking powder.

Add the eggs, apple sauce, agave syrup and milk. Use a whisk to mix all ingredients together. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.

In the mean time in a smaller bowl combine all the ingredients for the carob spread.

In a lightly greased waffle iron bake the waffles on medium heat for about 2- 3 minutes until crispy.

Dip the waffles in the carob spread and top with fresh fruits, coconut flakes or yogurt. Enjoy!