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18.5.2017

Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream + Ebook news!

It is time, to get your nice cream balls rolling again, baby!

You probably remember the N’Ice Cream book by me and my co-author Tuulia Talvio that was launched exactly a year ago, first in Finland and in the US and then later in the year in 6 countries, like in France, German and Chroatia. The book has found it’s home in the arms of so many healthy ice cream lovers around the world that it is hard to even realize. So thank you! There is no better feeling than when your passion inspires people, makes an impact and is even a part of a cultural change (the ever so lovely ice cream culture), like now for example when we’ve been witnessing many big brands bringing out their vegan ice creams with better sweeteners after the last summer in Finland.

We have not been talking about an ice cream revolution for no reason! * raised fist emoji *

To give it even a stronger boost we have now launched this Deluxe Edition of the Finnish N’Ice Cream book – as an ebook – with 10 new bonus recipes in it, which means now over 90 recipes for lovely delicious vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened ice creams. And you can get it only for 8,90 euros.

Note, that this Deluxe Edition is only available in Finnish and as an ebook and you can download it here. We’ll try to find a way to get these bonus recipes out also in English in some form asap!

But so that you international readers won’t have to return with empty hands, here’s one faaabulous nice cream flavor for you to exploit: Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream with Peanut Butter Swirls and Raw Chocolate Cake Chunks! I came up with it by accident when I decided to blend together chocolate mousse (from my Chocolate Pizza Post) and frozen banana. So freakingly delicious. Then I also stirred in some raw chocolate cake chunks and peanut butter swirls and I honestly almost started to cry when tasting it. That’s what pure pleasures can do to you. 

When scooping balls from this nice cream a song by Barry White, Can’t get enough of your love, babe, started playing in my mind:

“I’ve heard people say that
Too much of anything is not good for you, baby
Oh no
But I don’t know about that
There’s many times that we’ve loved
We’ve shared love and made love
It doesn’t seem to me like it’s enough
There’s just not enough of it
There’s just not enough
Oh oh, babe
My darling I, can’t get enough of your love babe…”

 

That kind of sums up the whole essence of this nice cream. You just can’t get enough of it – And you don’t even have to. As good stuff makes good to you.

V


Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream

Serves 3

(vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free)

 

1/2 cup steamed sweet potato pieces

1/4 cup cashew nuts, soaked for about 1 hour

3 fresh dates, pitted

1/4 cup almond milk, or other dairy free milk

4 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

3-4 frozen bananas

 

peanut butter

raw chocolate cake chunks

 

Place steamed sweet potato sliced, cashews, dates, almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla ja coconut oil into a blender and blend until smooth mousse. Add frozen and sliced bananas. Blend until soft serve. If your blender is small you can do this in two or three portions. Por the soft serve in a big freezer safe container. Mix in the raw cake crumble and spoon on some peanut butter. Freeze for about 30 minutes or until the mixture gets a bit more harder. Serve and enjoy!

 

Raw Chocolate Cake Chunks:

½ cup gluten-free rolled oats

½ cup almonds

3 fresh dates, pitted

4 tbsp raw cocoa powder

pinch of sea salt
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until crumble. Taste and add sweetener, if needed. The dough should be quite dry but easily moldable. Roll into small chunks with your hand and sprinkle into the nice cream batter.

More Nice Cream recipes in the N’Ice Cream cookbook by Virpi Mikkonen & Tuulia Talvio

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13.4.2017

Wholesome Chocolate Pizza

When you combine the biggest food passions of our family into one creation, you get something like this:

Gluten-free and vegan chocolate pizza filled with sweet potato chocolate mousse, raspberries and peanutbutter.

Soooo heavenly. Won’t be missing the traditional Easter desserts this year!

Refreshing and luscious weekend to all you bunnies too!

 

V  


Wholesome Chocolate Pizza

Vegan, gluten free, dairy free, naturally sweetened

 

Pizza crust:

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 1/2 cup water

1 cup almond meal

½ cup potato starch or tapioca flour

2 tablespoons psyllium husk

pinch of salt

½ cup olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius degrees. In a small bowl mix water and chia seeds and set aside for about 5 minutes. In the meantime put all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add the chia gel and stir. For the dough into a ball and press or roll out on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or just until the crust starts to become a very light golden brown. Let it cool down a bit before adding the toppigs.

 

Chocolate Mousse:

1 cup steamed sweet potato pieces

½ cup cashew nuts, soaked for about 1 hour

5 fresh dates, pitted

½ cup almond milk, or other dairy free milk

4-6 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

On top:

nut crust

raw chocolate

raspberries

peanut butter

 

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth mousse. Add a bit more liquid if needed, so that you get a smooth mixture, but keep the mousse as thick as possible. Spread evenly on the pizza crust. Add the rest of the toppings. Serve and enjoy!

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4.4.2017

Almond Yogurt Berry Popsicles

It’s always so fun to watch how people have different ways of reacting to the first rays of spring sun here in the North. After a long and dark winter people get so cute with their excitement. Some switch immediately into their light jackets and start to trip along with their small spring shoes even though the ground is still completely frozen. (Ok, that was totally a granny thing to say, but I’m a person who just hates to freeze and keeps her pantyhoes on until June. So yeah, I’m a granny.) And some optimistic people, like my dear partner, switches the summer tires on. And then go travel with the tram or taxi when the snow suddenly decides to return. (Like it tends to happen and like it also happened last weekend.)

 

And then there are people like me, whose first thought is: Ice Cream! It really is some chemical reaction that happens in my brain: Sunrays –> Must make nice cream.

 

During the last week I have managed to make nice cream from many different kinds of ingredients, for example from purple yam aka Ube. The color was so amazing so it just yearned to be blended into a nice cream. Check it out from my Instagram

 

The same thing happened a few days ago when I received a box of smoothies and breakfast bars from Semper. Naturally they started a new life as a nice cream. Well, some of them. Most of the bars ended up in the “quick snack stash” in our car and the smoothies in our refrigerators “panic shelf”, which is our family’s life saver. We are just so bad in routines, meal planning and all that wise adult stuff and the mealtimes manage to surprise us almost every time. Plus we usually move with super short notices so everything that is healthy and easy to grab along is totally needed in our household.

 

One of our favorite snacks are nice creams that can always be found in our freezer. Either we make nice cream from frozen bananas with frozen berries or fruits or almond butter or then we enjoy smoothie popsicles. It’s fun to have the familiar breakfast/snack, as in yogurt with berries and granola, in a form of an ice cream. The kiddo loves it and I don’t have to feel guilty for giving her ice cream or two as a evening snack. Win/Win. 

 

Oh, and all the nice cream lovers in Finland – or people who understand Finnish – the Finnish version of the N’Ice Cream book by me and Tuulia Talvio is coming out as an ebook in a month with some new bonus recipes. So stay tuned, if you wish to download a huge package of nice cream recipes into your phone or computer. In the meantime you can start your Summer of N’Ice Cream with these popsicles!

 

V

 

In collaboration with Semper 

 


Almond Yogurt Berry Popsicles

 

Almond Yogurt:

2 cups raw almonds (soaked overnight or 3 hours)

2,5 cups water

2 tbsp raw organic honey or maple syrup

1 probiotic capsule OR 1 package vegan yogurt starter OR 3 tbsp unflavored vegan yogurt with active bacterial culture

1 – 3 ts agar agar (if you want your yogurt to be thicker)

 

Blend the soaked and strained almonds, water, and sweetener in a blender until smooth. Strain the mixture with cheesecloth on top of a bowl, so that you get a nice white almond milk. You can use the leftover almond pulp for example in crackers or bread rolls. If you want your yogurt to be thicker, add agar agar and boil the almond milk in a pot carefully for about 5 – 7 minutes. Take the pot from the stove and let it cool  down (to a body temperature). Pour in the probiotics and mix. Pour the yogurt into a sealable clean (boiled or washed in a dish machine) and dry glass jar. Close the jar with a lid or cover with a cheesecloth and a rubber band. Turn the oven light on, but do not heat the oven. The oven light should keep the oven warm enough for the yogurt. Place the yogurt in the oven with the light on and leave the yogurt to set for about 8 – 12 hours. The longer you let the yogurt ferment, the stronger and more sour the flavor will be. Store the yogurt in an airtight container/jar in the refrigerator.

 

Berry mixture:

-Blueberries, apple, fresh mint leaves and rolled oats OR Semper Fruit & Oat Blueberry, Apple, Mint Smoothie 

-Raspberries, pear, rolled oats OR Semper Fuit & Oat Raspberry, Pear, Aronia Smoothie

 

Add a big handful of berries, handful of rolled oats and a sliced fruit into a blender and blend until thick and smooth smoothie. Add a drop of water, if needed.

 

Oat Crumble:

1 cup rolled oats

3 fresh dates or ¼ cup organic raisins (soft and moist, not dry and hard)

1 tsp dried berry powder

OR 2 Crumbeled Semper Soft Oat Bars 

 

Blend the rolled oats and dates or raisins in blender into a crumble or puree with a stick mixer.

 

Assembly:

Pour some almond yogurt into a bowl and add a few tablespoons of berry mixture. Stir few time gently so that you get nice swirls. Slice in some fresh berries if you like. Pour the mixture into a ice pop molds but leave a small space for the oat crumble. Fill the molds with the oat crumble or crumbled oat bars, add sticks and put into a freezer.

In collaboration with Semper.

 

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24.2.2017

Green Goddess Sweet Potato Pizza & One ingredient pizza crust

Hello, love! I have one pretty delicious weekend greeting here for you! And it comes in a form of a pizza. I hope you like sweet potato, because this pizza crust is all about it. I mean ALL about it. Totally and completely. Nothing else added.

One of the most popular everyday foods in our household are mini pizzas made on small sweet potato slices. We all love them. They are super easy to make and it takes less than 30 minutes to get them ready. The only thing that started bugging me in the whole mini pizza process was that I always have to add all the toppings separately on each and every slice. So, as a great optimizer as I am, I started to think how could I use the same idea but in a bigger pizza size.

After a few test batches I found out that when I slice the sweet potato lengthwise with a cheese slicer and place the slices overlapping on a baking tray in a form of a round pizza, it makes a great crust which cooks up quickly. And when I sprinkle on some organic mozzarella (and/or feta or vegan cheese) it works like a glue for the slices and makes the pizza easy to eat. Of course you won’t get it as firm as a normal pizza crust would be, but firm enough so you can eat it decently – and with a smile on your face, because it’s just so so tasty.

As a pizza topping I used loads of greens, lovely vegetables and fresh herbs, which made the whole thing look so generous and verdant, especially when I added some edible flowers on it, that I named it the Green Goddess Sweet Potato Pizza. Talk about life energy and abundance.

If you like it more hard core, go ahead and add some organic meat and cheeses on, if you feel you get your divine energies better that way. My kid loves her sweet potato pizza with some tomato puree, tuna (MSC certified, of course) and pineapple. And as she’s going through some picky state of life, I let her enjoy it that way and won’t push my greens on her pizza.

What I love most about this recipe is that it takes less than 30 minutes to make and you can use almost anything you happen to have in the fridge, as long as you have sweet potatoes. As a person who live is the moment, not planning too much her eatings and at the same time gets VERY hungry VERY quickly this kind of a dish is just priceless.

So, there you go! I hope this delivered you some inspiration for the weekend. May the pizza goddess light your way to the kitchen!

 

V


Green Goddess Sweet Potato Pizza

 

Makes 1 pizza

 

Crust:

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

pizza spice mix

garlic clove, minced

 

Filling:

pesto sauce

125 g organic mozzarella (and/or feta or vegan cheese)

couple of handfuls baby spinach leaves

1 spring onion

4 stalks of sweet baby broccoli

artichoke hearts (cooked/from a jar)

3 slices of lemon

pine nuts

olives

fresh oregano

fresh basil

sunflower sprouts

 

Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius / 390 Fahrenheit degrees. Cover a baking tray with a parchment paper. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them up with a cheese slicer or a mandolin vegetable slicer into very thin, almost transparent slices. Arrange the sweet potato slices on the baking tray so that they overlap each other and make a circle. Fill all holes and also the inner circle, so that you get a circle with no holes or see-through spots. Nos sprinkle on some olive oil, salt, black pepper and pizza spice mix. Add also the garlic. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the sweet potato slices get softened. Take out from the oven. Spread some pesto on the crust and add the cheese. Add also the spinach leaves. Cut the spring onion and broccoli into small pieces and sprinkle them on the pizza. Slice the artichoke hearts and add them with lemon slices, pine nuts and olives. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese melts and the filling get a nice tanned color. Take out of the oven and top with fresh oregano and basil + sprouts. Serve and enjoy!

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17.2.2017

In bed with the Quirky Quinoa

I just love homemade yogurts. Dairy free homemade yogurts. There’s something magical in the whole process, which is sort of an alchemy or some other mystical procedure where you play with the forces of nature. Living cultures of good bacteria, to be exact.

I also love the fact that only sky seems to be a limit to what different kinds of yogurts you can prepare: With what ingredients and spices you make it, how strong and sour you want it to be and so on.  

When I was creating the yogurt recipe for this blog post I noticed that I have actually tried out quite a big range of different kinds of ingredients for homemade vegan yogurts and also managed to get at least one vegan yogurt recipe in every single cookbook I’ve ever made, no matter what the subject has been.  

In It’s a Pleasure – Sweet treats without gluten, dairy and refined sugar there are recipes for Coconut Yogurt and Almond Yogurt. In my Healthy Fast Food book (Only in Finnish) there are Fruit Bomb Yogurt and Chia yogurt and in the Christmas book (Also only in Finnish) there is this Oven Apple Yogurt made with Oatmeal and Apples. And also from the N’Ice Cream book you can find a recipe for Breakfast popsicles made from homemade vegan yogurt.

So it looks like I have a bit of an obsession about this theme. But a good obsession, I must say!

Because without that obsession I would have not for example created this Blueberry Quinoa Yogurt. …I knooow, it sounds quite quirky – Quinoa Yogurt. (Maybe I should have named it a Quirky Quinoa Yogurt, ha!) But at least here in Finland one of the most popular vegan yogurts are based on oats and well, quinoa isn’t that much different. Just remember to add enough berries (other berries will do also!) and sweetener as the taste of quinoa alone can be a bit strong. 

I was actually quite surprised after my first test batch when I tried to google if someone else had made something similiar, but couldn’t find anything. Nada! No quinoa yogurts on the market or quinoa yogurt recipes in the whole world wide web! Really? Gotta get my Quirky Quinoa Yogurt Factory running asap! Who’s in? Throw me an email and we’ll start a yogurt revolution together!

But now, will you excuse me, I have to get back to my office aka my bed and make new inventions. I got these ah-mazingly fluffy and soft Feel blankets & pillows from Familon with crispy duvet covers made from percale cotton to our new home and since then it has felt a surprisingly good idea to have a home office – and a studio – and a dinning spot – in the my bed.

I wish you a cozy and yogurt-filled weekend, my love!

Oh, and if you feel you don’t have time nor the patience for the fermentation process, you can as well eat the yougurt straight from the blender, as it can be enjoyed as a whipped porridge as it is!

V

In collaboration with: Familon 


Blueberry Quinoa Yogurt

2 cups quinoa (cooked)

2 cups oat milk (or some other dairy free milk)

½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)

2-4 tbsp raw organic honey or coconut syrup

 

2 capsules of probiotics

½ tsp vanilla powder

 

Cook the quinoa according to the instructions of the package. Let it cool. Pour the quinoa into a blender and add the oat milk, blueberries and the sweetener. Blend until very smooth. Add more liquid, if needed, so that you get the texture as smooth as possible. Taste and add more sweetener or blueberries, if you like. Open the probiotic capsules and pour the powder to the mixture. Mix gently. Pour the mixture into a sterilized and totally dry glass jar. You can sterilize the jar with boiling water in a big pot (for couple of minutes) or washing it in a dish machine. Beware of not to leave any water in the jar. Close the jar with a lid or cover with a cheesecloth and a rubber band. Turn the oven light on, but do not heat the oven. The oven light should keep the oven warm enough for the yogurt. Place the yogurt in the oven with the light on and leave the yogurt to set for about 8 – 12 hours. The longer you let the yogurt ferment, the stronger and more sour the flavor will be. Take the jar from the oven, stir in vanilla ja put the jar in the fridge and let it cool. Use within a week.
The swirls in the picture are made with a white Almond Yogurt – Get the recipe here!

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