fi menu

Tag

Le Chick! Caramel Bars – Nut-free and vegan super treat

9.2.2017

Time to fulfil your wishes. Your nut-free wishes! Nearly every time I post a new sweet recipe I get messages from my lovely readers with allergies asking if it would be possible for them to prepare the recipe without nuts or almonds. Most of the times I have to disappoint them because nuts and almonds play such a significant role in many raw/health recipes, and the recipe just wouldn’t be the same if you substitute them with something else.

But now, my babies – now I have something magnificent for you! Something that is nut-free, raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and naturally sweetened, all at the same time. And delicious too! This one is truly a crowd pleaser.

And it doesn’t lay on coconut! Many times nut-free treats use coconut to get the creamy rich texture, but I know that the taste of the coconut doesn’t please everyone. And I have to admit that I don’t prefer a strong coconut flavor either and nowadays I use coconut in my recipes in veeery subtle ways so that the strong hippie vibe doesn’t push through. (All my love to hippies ♡)

So, therefore I picked a more neutral ingredient here that still gives a nice wholesome consistency. I picked chickpeas – le chick! Those brilliant little creatures that are so versatile, nutrient-rich and lovely. Then I accompanied them with fresh organic dates. Because dates are my no. 1 favorite sweeteners and they also add a nice little bonus to the texture and taste. I really could not survive without fresh dates in my kitchen.

Which brings to mind another quoestion I get asked a lot – Which dates do I use? Well, the ones that you can always find from my kitchen are fresh organic dates by Fontana that are sold in cardboard boxes in fruit ja vegetable section in supermarkets – at least here in Finland. I like the texture, the taste and the fact that they are organic. They are also easy to find because they are available very widely in the supermarkets – at least here in Helsinki. So I was very happy to pair up with Fontana with this post, because I actually use their dates A LOT.

And here’s my hot tip for a natural date sweetener:

Buy a package of fresh dates. Preferably organic. Take about 20 dates, take out the stones and place the dates in a blender. Add about 1 cup water and 1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp vanilla powder, if you like. Blend until creamy and smooth sauce. Add more water, if needed. And if you like your sauce to be extra smooth, remove the date skins under a running water. Then pour the sauce inside a sealable clean jar. Now you have a lovely sweetener that you can use when baking in breakfasts or in any way you want. Store the date paste sealed in a fridge and you can use it easily for 2 weeks.

Now there you have it. Go ahead and make this date caramel paste & my Le Chick! Caramel Bars and serve them for example to your Valentine next week. Moi moi!

V

In collaboration with: Fontana organic dates

(Nut-free, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free)

 

Base:

1 cup chickpeas (cooked / from a can)

10 fresh dates, pitted

5 tbsp coconut flakes / shredded coconut

½ tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

 

Caramel:

10 fresh dates

3 tbsp tahini (or your favorite nut/almond butter)

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp water

3 tbsp coconut syrup (or raw organic honey)

½ tsp vanilla powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

a tiny pinch of sea salt

 

Chocolate frosting:

6 tbsp raw cacao butter, melted

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

6 tbsp raw cacao powder

4 tbsp coconut syrup (or raw organic honey)

a tiny pinch of sea salt

 

OR about ½ cup of your favorite raw chocolate melted

 

Tin size: 17 x 12 cm / 7 x 5 inches

 

Base:

Cover the tin or the freezer safe container with parchment paper. Add the chickpeas into the blender and blend. Add dates, coconut flakes and vanilla and mix until a thick sticky mass. You may have to scoop down the sides of the blender in between blending. Taste and if you want add vanilla or other sweetener, for example coconut syrup. Spoon out the dough into the tin and even the surface with a spoon. Prepare the caramel sauce.

 

Caramel sauce:

Place all the ingredients into the blender and blend until sticky sauce. Add a drop of water, if needed, but try to keep the mixture as thick as possible. Spoon out the caramel sauce and spread onto the base mixture. Prepare the chocolate frosting.

 

Chocolate frosting:

Melt cocoa butter and coconut oil in a warm water bath. Add cocoa powder, syrup and salt. Mix until a nice sauce. Taste and add more some of the ingredients, if needed. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the caramel sauce. Put into the freezer and freeze for a couple of hours or until solid. Take out of the freezer and cut into bars. Let thaw for about 15 minutes before serving. Store in the freezer or in the fridge.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s a Pleasure – Nut Caramel Candies

3.10.2016

Life has had quite hectic twists and turns lately. Sometimes I wonder how it is even possible for me as one human being to cope with all these projects I have managed to gather in my life. But in some weird way person kind of multiplies herself, expands time or makes other magic tricks when stuff just needs to be done. And there is no time to sit around when a revolution awaits! A food revolution, you know, in which I try to take part with my work.

A part of my revolution dream has now become reality as my very first cookbook about healthy sweet treats, that came out in Finland some time ago has now been released in the US and it goes by the name It’s a Pleasure. I’m so happy about the outcome – the book looks and feels super pretty and nice and I hope it can help to transform globally the way people feel about sweets with it’s over 80 recipes for cakes, candies, cookies, muffins, ice creams, chocolates and other sweet treats – all without guten, dairy and refined sugar. Because there is just no better way to indulge than to savor with treats that left you feeling light, healthy and satisfied!

Try for example these overwhelming pralines. I have prepared big batches of them lately and people have LOVED them. And no wonder. The best pralines combine many elements: a soft filling, a texture that snaps nicely and something crunchy. Also, a hint of saltiness is a big plus. These chocolates are all of the above and can be created with very simple and wholesome ingredients.

Please, just try them! And if you wish to have a copy of It’s a Pleasure, throw me a message here below before Oct 10th and I’ll pick two winners to whom I’ll post the book next week – in Finnish or in English, you choose!

Until then – Viva la revolucion!

V

NUT CARAMEL CHOCOLATES

Makes 15-20 pieces

Caramels:

  • 15 fresh dates
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 15-20 pecans
  • 4-5 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter

Icing:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened dark or raw chocolate, or ½ cup Basic Chocolate from the It’s a Pleasure book.

On top:

  • flaky sea salt

Pit the dates. Put the dates, coconut oil, water vanilla extract and salt into the blender and purée. Caramel should be thick and smooth. Spoon the caramel in a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that it thickens a bit and is easier to handle.

Line a small baking sheet with a parchment paper. When the caramel sauce has thickened, take about teaspoon-sized dollops of the caramel and place onto the prepared baking sheet and mold the caramel into balls. Press a pecan into each ball. And then add about half a teaspoon of peanut butter on each pecan nut and place the tray into a freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime melt the chocolate on the top of a double boiler / in warm water bath. Take the pralines out of the freezer and dip each of them into the chocolate icing. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and return them to the freezer just to set. Bring out, serve and indluge. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Recipe from the book IT’S A PLEASURE by Virpi Mikkonen

Tags: , , , , , ,

Vanilla N’ice cream sandwiches & Giveaway

17.5.2016

The time has come!! The N’Ice Cream book about healthy vegan ice creams by me and Tuulia has come out today in the US. And I’m over the moon excited! The Finnish version of the book got sold out in a week here in Finland and I hope the international audience will love the English version just as much.

Several people have now said to me that the N’Ice Cream book feels like the ultimate summer saver for them, and that makes me sooo happy. Because that is exactly what this book was designed to be. To enable a feel-good summer with healthy, naturally sweetened and gluten-free vegan ice creams, ice pops, sorbets, soft serves, instant ice creams, ice cream cakes & cookies, waffle cones, sauces, jams and all that jazz. And also our very best tips on how to prepare delicious ice cream easily without an ice cream maker.

You can now buy the book from:

If you like to have more n’ice cream inspiration, come and follow our Instagram: @nicecreambook where we share pics & tips and give shout-outs to peoples beautiful nice cream creations. Be sure to tag your n’ice cream photos #nicecreambook and @nicecreambook so that we can see them!

And now, ladies and gents, I'm happy to introduce these treats I have for you: Lovely lovely Vanilla Chocolate N’ice cream Sandwiches that I made inspired by a couple of recipes from the N’Ice Cream book. They just might be the perfect summer snack. And the perfect way to celebrate the launch of our book. Note that you can always just skip the cookies and make the instant ice cream base and enjoy it with this super quick chocolate sauce, if your ice cream cravings won’t wait!

And then there’s still one more thing: A giveaway! I’m giving away one copy of the N’Ice Cream book. Just write a short hello and why you would like this book to the comments below and you’re in! You’ve got time to participate until midnight Sunday the 22nd of May. And the giveaway is this time open to US, Canada & Finland. Good luck, my friends!

V

VANILLA N'ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

About 4 big or 6 small pieces

Vanilla n’ice cream:

  • 3 ripe bananas (frozen)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (kept in a fridge overnight)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder

Slice bananas into smaller pieces and put into the blender. Open a coconut milk can and scoop the white thick paste (about 2/3 cup) into the blender with bananas. Add vanilla. Mix until smooth. If your blender is not very powerful prepare the ice cream in two baches. Pour the ice cream mixture in a large freezer-safe tin and freeze for about 15-30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the cookies.

Chocolate Cookies:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 4 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp flax meal
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup or coconut syrup

Preheat the oven to 175 C / 350 F degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water and melted coconut oil and syrup. Mix. The dough should be now easily moldable. Add a bit more water or flour if needed. You should be able to make a big ball out of the dough with your hands.

Place a dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out to ½ inch thickness. Cut the dough into rectangles with a knife or use a cookie mold. Place the cookies gently on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely. The cookies can be a bit soft when you take them from the oven because they will get crispier as they cool.

Chocolate frosting:

  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut syrup

Mix the melted coconut oil, cocoa powder and coconut syrup in a small bowl.

Assembly:
Scoop about two spoonfuls of the ice cream and place it on the back side of one cookie. Place another cookie on top of the ice cream and press down gently. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Drip some chocolate frosting on top on the sandwiches and sprinkle some shredded coconut on. Freeze for 30-60 minutes. Enjoy!

MORE HEALTHY VEGAN ICE CREAM RECIPES FROM THE N’ICE CREAM BOOK

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , , ,

3 Ingredient Vegan Apple Pie

8.3.2016

We made a fun little video with my man about this 3 Ingredient Vegan Apple Pie I had developed and I suddenly thought it might be a good idea to share the whole version of the recipe here too. Although it is insanely simple and you can basically see the whole procedure from the video!

The recipe is from my new and – happy to say – no. 1 best-selling cookbook in Finland Kiitos hyvää Pikaruokaa (meaning healthy fast food) and I personally feel this recipe here is one of the most relaxed ways to make an apple pie I have ever encountered. I’m glad that it popped into my head somewhere from the cosmos one cloudy day when I really needed a quick comfort food.

So check out the video HERE – and see how the magic happens!

I hope you’ll try it and love it as much as my family does!

V

3 INGREDIENT VEGAN APPLE PIE

  • 3 sweet apples
  • 1 ⅓ cup (3 dl) rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • +ceylon cinnamon on top

(pan size: 7 inches/18 cm)

Preheat the oven to 425 F/225 C degrees. Cut 2 apples into pieces and place into a blender. Puree until smooth. Add rolled oats and coconut oil. Blend well. Cover the bottom of a cake pan with a parchment paper and grease the sides. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Cut one apple into very thin slices and cover the surface on the pie with apple slices. Top with plenty of cinnamon. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the color is nicely golden and the sides and the surface look done and dry. Take it out from the oven and let it cool. Serve and enjoy! Store covered in a room temperature.

Tags: , , ,

Gluten-free Vegan Semlas

5.2.2016

One of my favorite things in the world is problem solving and finding a solution. Give me an overhand knot and I’ll untangle it. Tell me something is impossible, I’ll find a way. Show me a problem, yo, I'll solve it.

Because in my world, there ain’t no problems, just solutions not yet found.

And that is exactly what a vegan semla (aka shrove bun, a traditional sweet bun filled with whipped cream and almond paste or raspberry jam and consumed for example in Finland, Sweden and in Estonia at Shrove Tuesday / Pancake day.) without gluten, dairy, yeast and refined sugar appeared at first.

Sure, I had made gluten free and yeast free semlas many times before, but they always included eggs. With eggs it is easy. With eggs everything is easy. And then, on the other hand all the vegan semla recipes they include usually white flour and yeast. With white flour and yeast it is easy. Even a baby can do it.

But to make a vegan semla, that has a nice and soft texture, that doesn’t crumble, that has a heavenly taste and none of those belly swelling ingredients – THAT was a tricky equation. That was something I just had to get involved.

So I made my math and baked the first batch. Disaster. The taste was good but the texture was horrible. Let’s modify the recipe and make another batch. Buns come out all flat. Ok, the third version usually always works. Not this time. The taste is great, the texture is better, but buns remain raw on the inside no matter how long I bake them. And finally when they are done, they look horrendous.

At this time a normal person would just say, oh well, let’s just eat pancakes then!
But a maniac like me – is just getting started.
So I roll my sleeves, take a deep breath and go to the mattresses.

I twist the recipe here and there, pour a little bit more of this and less of that. Change the baking temperature and add a new ingredient. In my head the buns should come out brilliant, but you can’t never be certain when it comes to baking. There is always a bit of magic involved, and a lot of chemical reactions happening that are hard to predict. But with high hopes I send my buns to the oven. And with a growing excitement I take them out, split them and fill them. …And with happy tears in my eyes I finally eat them.

I’m in love with these semlas. My family is in love with them too. Please do try them also. With the vanilla flavored coconut whipped cream and super easy homemade almond paste. They just belong together. This equation equals love.

V

Pst, Check out also my other shrove bun inspired recipes:

Creamy Raspberry Cardamom Smoothie & Creamy Raspberry Raw Cake

SEMLAS

(gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugarfree, vegan)

6-7 pieces

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds + 1 cup water
  • ½ cup coconut whipped cream (about one can of full-fat coconut milk kept in the fridge)
  • 1 cup full-fat almond meal
  • 4 tbsp full-fat coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp psyllium husk
  • ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (or for example xylitol or erythritol)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For greasing:

  • 2 tbsp water + 1 tbsp maple syrup

    TIP: If you don’t like almonds, ude can replase almond meal with 1/2 cup of coconut flour. In that case you can replace the chia-water mixture with 3 organic eggs. Whip the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy and then add to dry ingredients with whipped coconut cream. Always add enough flour or whipped coconut cream so that the dough is nice and fluffy, not crubly and dry or too sticky or loose.

Preheat the oven to 350 / 175 C F degrees.

Mix chia seeds and water in a small bowl and leave to thicken.

Take the coconut milk can from the fridge and scoop out the white thick paste into another bowl. Whip until fluffy.

Mix the dry ingredients in a third bowl. Add the chia mixture and the coconut whipped cream and apple cider vinegar. Mix. Leave the dough to thicken for about 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it’s easy to handle and you can mold buns from it and they’ll retain the ball shape without flattening. Add flour if needed. Mold small round buns from the dough on a baking tray covered with a baking paper. Grease with water-syrup mixture. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until buns get nice golden color. Take from the oven and let cool totally. In the meantime prepare the fillings. When buns are cooled, cut off the hats and fill with almond paste slice and coconut whipped cream. Dust lightly some coconut flour on or sprinkle on some shredded coconut. Serve and enjoy! Store in the fridge.

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2 can full-fat coconut milk (keep in the fridge)
  • 1 tbsp coconut syrup (or for example maple syrup)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder

Take the coconut milk cans from the fridge and scoop out the white thick paste into a bowl. Add syrup and vanilla. Whip until fluffy. If the mixture gets too warm and runny, keep in a fridge for awhile  so that it gets as thick as normal whipped cream. Use as a filling in semlas with almond paste.

ALMOND PASTE

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 3-5 tbsp coconut syrup or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder or seeds from half vanilla bean.

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. The dough should be easily moldable, like playdough, not too dry or crumbly. Add more syrup or almond meal if needed. Roll the dough into a pole (about 5 cm / 2 inches thick) and roll it inside a parchment paper or plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge and leave to thicken for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Cut the pole into 1 cm/½ inch thick slices. Use slices inside semlas with coconut whipped cream.

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , ,

3 Ingredient Chocolate Cake

11.12.2015

After a long development I can proudly announce that I have captured the essence of a chocolate cake. And here comes the news: A delicious chocolate cake can be done with only just 3 ingredients!

And before you say anything, like "3 ingredient chocolate ain't no news, miss!, let me clarify: this ain’t one of those 3 ingredient cakes, that has been spreading in the internet, which includes store-brought chocolate, which actually contains a big bunch of different ingredients. No, no, no.

This cakes includes solely 3 basic NATURAL ingredients: Organic eggs, dates and raw cacao powder. Yep, that's all you need.

You can of course refine the recipe for example with vanilla powder, cinnamon or a tiny pinch of chili. And top with super easy chocolate mousse, or whipped coconut cream and berries!

The recipe is from my brand new cookbook, and I feel it is a good example of how simple you can make cooking, and still enojy nice flavors and clean ingredients.

And then to the muse of my cake! I have dedicated this cake to my friend’s amazing ethical fashion brand Lovia. Lovia’s clothes and accessories are produced in Helsinki, Finland and they use mainly recycled and organic materials in their clothes and accessories. I recommend to take a look at their beautiful and unique products, photos and films at their site.

Lovia’s pure, wild, clean and dark style made me think of deep chocolate flavors and pure basic ingredients used in a new and innovative way. And the outcome was truly somewhat magical!

As a christmas present Lovia wanted to offer 30 % discount to Vanelja’s followers during this weekend. With the code LoviaVanelja30 you can get the discount when shopping at their online store before the midnight of 13th of December.

So have some chocolate cake folks and make your weekend merry!

V

3 INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preparing time: 25 minutes

Cake:

  • 4 organic eggs
  • 10-15 fresh sweet dates
  • 1,5 dl raw cacao powder

Cake tin diameter: about 17 cm / 6,5 inches

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 Fahrenheit degrees. Grease/oil the sides and the bottom of the cake tin. Cut pieces of parchment paper to cover the bottom and the sides. Remove the stones from the dates and add all the ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the dough into the cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until the surface looks dry. Watch out not to dry the cake too much (a tough job!). Let the cake cool completely before you remove the cake from the tin. Notice that the surface will come down quite a bit. Enjoy with chocolate mousse and nut crust or whipped coconut cream and berries!

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FROSTING

  • 1 can (400 ml) full fat coconut milk (kept in the fridge)
  • 3-5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp organic honey (or coconut syrup)

Take the coconut milk can from the fridge and scoop the white thick paste into a bowl. Add cacao powder and sweetener and whip with a mixer until mousse. Taste and add more cacao or sweetness if needed. Use as a frosting.

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthy Fast Food

9.12.2015

Baby, It is dark, rainy and cold outside but my heart is shining brightly!

The reason for this glow is that my book about healthy fast food can be now finally found in the bookstores in Finland!

And may I just say: Pheeeew.

I’m feeling SO relieved. And happy. But not at all super hyped like I was when my first book was released a year ago. Now the feeling is more trusting, confident, calm and collected. I can be proud about the outcome and I know that this book will be the most used cookbook in our household! My husband, who is quite a lazy cook, has been cooking from the book many times already. So my main mission here is accomplished: Get the guy to cook!

Small step for the humankind, big achievement for my family. Huge.

Hopefully other takeaway lovers and lazy cooks will also find the book inspiring!

The book offers over 80 recipes for healthy, easy and quick vegetarian dishes, all without gluten and refined sugars. Most of the recipes can be done totally vegan. And the best part here is that the dishes can all be done less than in 30 minutes and they come with super simple ingredient lists.

I don't mean to brag but isn't that just great?!

And because many of you have asked me about the English version, I can now say that I’m in the progress of getting the book translated into English, but it will be a project for the next year. Let’s see then in what form it will eventually come out!

But here's as a tasting, some examples from the menu of my book:

For breakfast:

  • 3 x Easy Pancakes
  • 3 x 3 Ingredient Smoothies
  • 3 x Energy Bars
  • Blueberry Ginger Porridge
  • Cinnamon Jar Porridge
  • Chocolate Oat Porridge
  • Coconut Oat Breakfast Rolls
  • Easy Dairy-free Cheeses
  • Fig Pear Crumble

For Lunch & Dinner:

  • Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Curry Peanut Butter Sauce
  • Asian Green Wraps
  • Nepalese dish with 3 ingredient Naan Bread
  • Quick Curry with Sweet Potato Noodles
  • Sunshine Pasta
  • Avocado Pasta
  • Shiitake Seed Risotto (rice-free)
  • Eggplant Pizzas
  • White Pizza
  • Beetroot Pizza
  • Sweet Potato Pizza
  • Burrito Bowl with Chili Sin Carne
  • 3 x Easy Mayo (egg-free)

For Dessert:

  • 3 Ingredient Chocolate Cake
  • 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cake
  • 3 Ingredient Apple Pie
  • Almond Soft Serve
  • 2 Ingredient Cookies
  • Wholesome Banana Muffins
  • 2 Ingredient Apple Donuts
  • Melon Cake for Kids

And lots and lots of more dishes and treats! A small introduction of the book can be found here.

Have a lovely week, Friend!

xxx

V

Tags: , , , , ,

Vegan meatballs and sweet potato pasta

26.11.2015

One year ago I dreamed about a cookbook that would save our family meals.

My dream book would have recipes that would take less than 30 minutes to make, preferably only 15 minutes, ingredients lists should be nice and short, they would not include gluten, dairy or refined-sugars and most of the recipes should be vegan. The book should offer wholesome recipes for breakfasts, dinners, lunches, snacks and for sweet treats. Kid-friendly recipes would be a big plus and also if the book could also offer better alternatives for pizzas and burgers, my man’s favorite meals. All in all, the recipes in the book should be healthy, super easy and super delicious.

Too sad there wasn’t any book like that on the market. I went through a big bunch of cookbooks and waited for a hero that would fly into my arms and save those moments where the stomach is empty and the mind goes blank at the same time. There were nice recipes here and there but a book that would fulfil ALL my needs just didn’t seem to exist.

So, I had to make it myself. And I did.

Two weeks from here my next cookbook about healthy fast food is going to be released in Finland. The Finnish name is Kiitos hyvää Pikaruokaa, and I’m proud to say that the book offers EXACTLY everything I just described above!

I am so thrilled and I can’t wait to get it in my hands – For one since I actually cook the recipes from the book everyday, and I can’t remember all my recipes in detail, and I don’t wanna go on searching for them from my computer all the time, so I really need to get the book in my kitchen and in my hands – ASAP!

Gonna let you know more about the book later, but I’m sure you guys are going to appreciate it as well. Who would not love healthy and tasty fast food!

But now, to today’s meal! This vegan meatballs and pasta recipe is not actually from my upcoming cookbook, because I created it after the book had already gone to print, but it makes an excellent and simple everyday meal also. I’m just loving this easy pasta made from sweet potato and the rich taste and great texture of these vegetarian meatballs! If you ask me it's quite an excellent mimic of the Italian classic meal, with a healthy and fun twist.

V

VEGAN MEATBALLS AND SWEET POTATO PASTA

Vegan meatballs:

( 8-10 pieces)

  • ½ heaping cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • 5 tbsp flax meal (or flax seeds)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp Tamarin soya
  • black pepper
  • a pinch sea salt

For frying:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

Sweet potato pasta:

  • 1 big sweet potato
  • 2 cup marinara tomato sauce

On top:

  • vegan parmesan cheese (recipe in Kiitos hyvää Pikaruokaa cookbook!) or original organic parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit/200 Celsius degrees. Measure sun-dried tomatoes into blender and blend until quite smooth. Add rest of the ingredients and blend. Pour the dough into a bowl and form small balls with your hands. If the dough feels too wet add a little bit of coconut flour or other flour. Pour generously oil onto a pan and fry the meatballs for about 5 minutes, until they get a nice brown color. Transfer the meatballs onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes. In the meantime prepare the sweet potato noodles.

Peel the sweet potato and prepare noodles with a spiral slicer or julienne peeler. Add 1 tbsp oil onto a pan and cook the nools for one minute. Add the marinara sauce and cook for about 10 minutes.
Take the meatballs out of the oven. Dose some noodles on plates, add meatballs on top. Grate some vegan cheese or parmesan cheese on top and sprinkle on some fresh basil leaves. Serve and enjoy!

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sweet Potato Oat Porridge

3.11.2015

Hello darlings, it’s been a while! Actually over a month since my last post. …Oops. I could say that I have been working like crazy and have been doing this and that and the third, which would be very much true, but as my mother always says: only a lazy person counts her work. So let’s trust her and forget explanations and concentrate on the present, and on the most essential – the goodies I brought you!

I have been doing some collaboration with Oatlet Store, which is a brilliant webshop that deals oat-based products. And as a big fan of all oat related I have been super excited to test their gluten-free oat products from Provena and to design new recipes with them.

One of my absolutely favorite thing that came out of my laboratory is this pre-christmas sweet potato oat porridge. It is just insanely tasty, comforting and rich! And it includes my favorite ingredients at the moment: Sweet potato, cinnamon, cardamom, pecan nuts and – jumbo-sized oat flakes. Oh-my-god – TOTALLY different thing than those small oat flakes, that taste like a cardboard, especially after you’ve tasted jumbo ones. So delicious, and you get beautifully textured hearty porridge out of them.

I’m planning to make this sweet potato oat porridge my family’s official christmas porridge that will be consumed every morning until christmas. Well, at least on the weekends. And maybe only in December. I would rather like this to give nice taste memories to my kid than to cause any food traumas. It is too good to be overdosed. …Although I have a tiny hunch I’m gonna do it personally anyways.

But hey, with this pre-christmas porrdige I have also a pre-christmas gift for you: With the code VANELJA you get -20 % discount when shopping in Oatlet Store and the discount is available for two weeks from now. Oatlet Store ships throughout the EU. And if you want a tip, I can recommend at least, surprise surprise, these Provena Gluten Free Jumbo Oats and also Provena Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour for baking.

Have a lovely November, stay warm and eat a lot of porridge!

V

SWEET POTATO OAT PORRIDGE

Gluten-free & vegan

Serves two

Porridge:

  • ½ cup pureed sweet potato (about 1 small sweet potato)
  • 2 cups oat milk (or for example almond milk)
  • 1 ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats (preferably jumbo-sized)
  • 1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • A pinch of sea salt

On top:

  • Crushed pecan nuts
  • Maple syrup (or organic local honey)
  • Ceylon cinnamon

Make the sweet potato puree: Peel the sweet potato and cut into small chunks. Steam until soft. Place the chunks to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the oat milk and the sweet potato puree into a pot, bring up the heat and whip until mixed. Add spices and rolled oats. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending of the type of oats used. Serve with crushed pecan nuts, cinnamon and maple syrup. Enjoy!

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , ,

Happy Birthday Vanelja!

16.9.2015

It was exactly one year ago when I opened the doors of Vanelja and introduced it to the world for the first time. And in my very first blog post I then wrote:

“Nothing in Vanelja is permanent, no goals has been set. That makes it possible to grow to whatever direction life takes it to. It is exciting to see what kind of flowers will Vanelja bloom in when the fertilizers are freedom, passion and pleasure!”

And wow, what beautiful blossoms have I been able to witness during this first year! I have been just amazed by all the opportunities, connections and people life has sent through my blog.

During this year I have made great new friends from different parts of the world, I have also made 3 cook books (insane, I know! do not try at home), been featured in international media, websites and blogs, been picked by Instagram to their suggested users list, been nominated in the Saveur Food blog Award and actually winning the award in the Best-designed blog category. And then there are also some huge huge things I can’t yet talk about that have started to seed during this year.

So may I just say: Phew. And thank You. Thank you life, thank you dear You, thank you universe. I promise to continue following my dreams. And as Elsie De Wolfe said:

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.”

And I’m also going to make lots of these delicious banoffee-muffins, which you should try also. They too taste like a dream.

V

BANOFFEE MUFFINS

Muffins:

  • 1 ½ ripe banana
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 3 organic, free range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees / 175 C degrees. Grease the muffin cups. Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture in muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes. In the meantime prepare the caramel sauce and frosting. When muffins are ready, take them out from the oven and let cool. Spoon some frosting on top and pour on some caramel sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Peanut butter frosting:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (kept in a fridge)
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • 1 ripe banana (sliced in small pieces)

Open the coconut milk can and scoop out the white thick paste in a bowl. Add peanut butter and honey. Whip until fluffy. Fold in the banana pieces.

Caramel sauce:

  • 7 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt

Place the coconut sugar and coconut milk in a pan. Stir gently on a medium heat until the mixture is well mixed. Let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Store in a glass jar in the fridge and use within two weeks.

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , , ,

Late summer Power soup

24.8.2015

Hello lover, I just dropped by to tell you that in case you were wondering what to make for lunch this week or prepare quickly in the evening, here is the recipe you have been looking for! It is especially designed for these late summer days when the sun is still nicely warming our noses but you can already feel that the chill of fall is on it’s way.

The recipe is super simple, it’s quick to prepare, takes less than 15 minutes and the ingredient list is nicely minimalistic. So it has exactly those features that an excellent everyday food should always have. And it of course tastes heavenly.

It is a spinach soup with a twist. The soup is made of ripe, juicy pears and fresh spinach leaves accompanied with coconut milk and a nice bunch of fresh herbs, coriander and parsley.

I’m loving how it is creamy and smooth, fresh and earthy, all at the same time. I couldn’t wish for better elements from my power soup.

I hope you’ll find it is a perfect match for your late August days too!

V

PEAR SPINACH SOUP

(dairy-free, vegan, nut-free)

  • 2 ripe pears
  • ½ onion
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 organic vegetable broth cube
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) spinach leaves
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • a bunch of fresh coriander
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • blackpepper

On top:

  • olive oil
  • seeds
  • +cashews, if you like

Peel onion and pears and cut to pieces. Add a little bit of olive oil to a pan, add onions and pears cubes and sauté for a couple on minutes. Add coconut milk, water, vegtable broth cube, spinach leaves, parsley, coriander and cook for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in bowls, add a drop of olive oil and sprinkle some cashews and seeds on top. Serve and enjoy!

Tip! For extra creaminess, add ½ cup to the soup mixture cashews while cooking!

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , ,

Week of Sundays

6.8.2015

Did I hear someone wondering why it is so quiet in Vanelja and why the lady of the house has not been posting ANYTHING for over five weeks (which equals an eternity in the world of internet)?

Well, let me explain. It is because of the incredible tradition we have here in Finland called a summer holiday month. Yes, a holiday MONTH. In my country people just totally stop working for about 4 – 6 weeks in the summer time. No joke. They travel to their summer cottages, soak their feet in some of our thousands of lakes or in the Baltic sea, wander in forests picking berries, laying around in their hammocks and watching the clouds go by. And if you are an employee you get actually paid for doing all that. Plus your employer gives you also a big monetary reward when you return to work, as a thank you for coming back. I’m still not pulling you. Welcome to Finland.

Although, as I’m nowadays an entrepreneur and outside of that financial support system when being on a vacation, but still, what can you do, I’m a true Finn, I need my holiday month. Also I’m a true believer of freedom which means that you do what ever your heart desires and sometimes it might just be something else than blogging. Like swimming in the sea and picking cloudberries.

But now I have returned from my big Finnish summer adventure and trying to re-teach myself on how to use the internet. I’m starting gently and for the time being my bed is my home office and my pajamas are my uniform. That is why it also felt natural to share you guys a breakfast recipe, because my week has mainly felt like an eternal morning, or a Sunday.

This dairy free peach coconut yogurt and cinnamon granola enjoyed with peanut butter is just a perfect thing for hazy lazy times like this.

And the super soft bed linen you see in the pictures, that are decorating my headquarters, those I got from ever so lovely Evencki. I think it wash actually the linen that made me think of peaches in the first place. The color and the tender softness. Both perfect for a week of Sundays.

V

PEACH COCONUT YOGURT

Vegan

1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)

4 peaches

2 probiotic capsules

1 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla powder

Rinse the peaches and remove stones. Spoon out the white thick paste from the coconut milk can and put it to a blender. Add peaches and puree. Open the probiotic capsules and pour the powder into the blender. Add also the honey and vanilla powder. Mix. Add some of the transparent liquid left in the coconut milk can if you want your yogurt to be more runny. Now you can enjoy your yogurt as it is or leave it to ferment: Wash a glass jar with boiling water and dry it carefully. Pour the yogurt mixture into the jar and seal with a mesh fabric or a cheese cloth and a rubber band. Put the jar of yogurt in the oven, but do not turn the oven on, just close the oven door and turn on the oven light. Let the yogurt sit there overnight or for about 7 hours.
Enjoy with cinnamon granola, peanut butter and peach slices!

CINNAMON GRANOLA

Gluten-free & Vegan

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup raw almonds

½ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup shredded coconut

5 tbsp flax meal

5 tbsp water

3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

1 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp sea salt

Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and preheat the oven to 300 F degrees. Put cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds to a blender and blend until slightly chopped. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes stirring after 10 minutes. When the mixture is golden brown, remove the granola from the oven and let it cool. Store in sealable glass jar.

FOLLOW VANELJA ON:

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Grazy, Crazier, Galette

25.6.2015

Galette. The word which commonly refers mainly to certain pies is associated in my mind with a crazy person. As “galen” means “crazy” in Swedish and “galette” could then easily be a crazy person in Italian, or something.

In my head I see a passionate woman with a messy hair and flour dust all over her face who is so crazy about pies that she doesn’t have time to polish it and fiddle with it, so she just mixes whatever fruit or berries she can find, throws the fillings in the center of the dough and sort of slaps the sides in the middle so that the pie barely keeps it’s form and then swooshes it into the oven! And when the pie is done, she eats it while still standing in front of the kitchen counter with her apron on. Sucking her fingers in between devouring because the pie is still way too hot, but at the same time way too tempting and delicious for her to keep her fingers away from it.

Well, the reality is much more boring, and galette means just a flat cake, usually a rustic berry or fruit filled pie. Or quite surprisingly, a thin man. But not a crazy baker. Only in my head. And possibly in yours too now.

So with that image in your mind I suggest you to try this luscious gluten-free berry galette that is super simple to make. And even though nothing usually beats freshly baked pies this pie is actually maybe even more delicious if you happen to have the willpower to save it for the next day.

When I did the first batch I savored it immediately.

Yes, with my apron on, in front of the oven. Yes, I am the messy crazy baker lady described. Yes, you already knew it, I know.

But, with the second batch I managed to save a few pieces until the next day. And boy was it moist and tasty then!

Next I’m going to make one pie to be eaten right away and one to be saved until the day after. I’m also planning to try this base with peaches and raspberries and with apples and cinnamon. Strawberries & rhubarb I already tried, and It was heaven! Pears and figs would work with this one too
And why not also savory fillings! Like mushrooms and onions, or roasted vegetables and herbs. Or squash and ricotta!

Ok, apparently my summer is going to be just totally “galette”. Hopefully yours too!

V

Try this galette for example with vegan vanilla ice cream, they are match made in heaven! Healthy ice cream recipes can be found in our Kind Ice Cream for You eBook.

MIXED BERRY OAT GALETTE

Crust:

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp psyllium earusk powder
  • ¼ cup butter (room temperature) (or coconut oil)
  • 1 organic egg (or ¼ cup water + 3 tbsp chia seeds)
  • 1 tbsp organic honey (or coconut syrup/sugar)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • optional: 1 organic egg for brushing, which protects the surface from drying and helps to bind the texture.

Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh berries of your choice, for example a mixture of strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries
  • 1 – 3 tbsp organic honey (or coconut syrup)
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour or potato starch

1 egg for brushing (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F degrees. Put the rolled oats, almond flour and psyllium powder into a bowl. Add butter and work the dough with fingers to make the mixture crumbly. Add egg (or chia gel which you’ll get after mixing water and chia seeds and let them sit for 5 minutes) and honey (or coconut syrup) and salt. Work the dough again with your hands to mix everything. Place the dough into a small bowl and put into a fridge for about 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the filling.

Slice the berries and combine all the ingredients of the filling in a small bowl.

Take the dough out of the fridge and put it in between two baking sheets. Roll it into a circle and make it about half an inch thick. Pour the mixture in the center of the dough circle, leaving the sides empty. Fold the sides up. If the dough cracks in some places, fix them by pressing the dough gently with your fingers. Beat one egg in a bowl and brush the sides of the galette with the egg. Bake the galette in the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes until it get’s a nice golden tone. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Serve and enjoy!

Tags: ,

Rum & Raisin Chocolate Ice Cream

11.6.2015

I have to say my life is super full at the moment. Actually even a little bit too packed for my taste. My calendar is full with work, meetings and photoshoots, my hands are full with things to do both in home and also in work field, and my head is crowded with stuff I need to remember and take care of. Surprisingly, even though it usually never goes together with a hectic life, my heart is full also – and it is just bursting with gratitude!

One reason for that is this unforgettable incident I had last week in New York at the Saveur Food Blog Awards where Vanelja was nominated as one of the finalist. And you can’t believe this – the craziest thing happened: Editor’s Choice for Best-designed Blog! As in Vanelja was picked to be the winner by the editors from the almighty Saveur magazine!

high-fives with my graphic designer friends Leena Oravainio & Lotta Niemien who helped to build this site and with all you followers, readers and lovely friends and supporters! You guys made this happen!

It is such a huge honor and such a recognized award that I am still totally overwhelmed and it is still hard for me to understand that it actually happened. The whole event, the award, all the amazing people and fellow bloggers I met. The whole experience was like from a dream. Especially when I was totally jet-lagged and was feeling quite surreal even in the first place.

So now, we need to party. Because that's what we people do when something big comes our way – we celebrate and throw a party to mark these big happenings and changes in our lives to somehow make them feel more real, right? First we ask someone to pinch ourselves and then we party.

And because it is summer and I’m just all about ice creams at the moment, as our e-book about healthy dairy-free & refined-sugar-free ice creams, Kind Ice Cream for You just got launched last week, I decided that we celebrate with ice cream. Yay!

This one is an adaptation of one “Instant Chocolate Ice Cream” recipe from our book which can be enjoyed as a soft serve or as a more solid ice cream. I chose to flavor it with a little bit of rum and raisins just to make it more festive. And because rum & raisin is my all time favorite ice cream flavor. And well, because alcohol just gives a nice boost to certain occasions. Though here the rum is first brought to a boil so there’s no change/risk of getting tipsy. …Although, you just might do it anyways because of the intoxicating raw chocolate and the super rich flavor!

So enjoy, live life to it’s fullest and celebrate all the big and small treasures life throws to you. For example now with these luxurious party ice cream balls flying your way!

V

Remember to follow me on Instagram and tag your ice cream photos with #kindicecreamforyou or #kindicecream!

RUM & RAISIN CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 5 tbsp rum
  • 2 tbsp almond liqueur
  • 3 tbsp organic raisins
  • 1,5 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp organic honey (or coconut syrup, stevia or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk (or other milk), if needed
  • 3 rkl raw cacao nibs

Peel the bananas and cut them into small coins. Put the bananas into an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. In the meantime pour the almond liqueur and rum into a small pot ja bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and add raisins to the alcohol mixture and let marinate until the bananas are frozen.

To make the ice cream, add bananas into a blender and pulse until a crumble forms. Keep on pulsing until the bananas start to form a smooth texture. You might have to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times. Add the marinated raisins, chocolate, vanilla and sweetener and keep on pulsing until you get a smooth and creamy ice cream texture. Mix in the raw cacao nibs and stir with a spoon. Scoop into a bowls, serve and enjoy! If the ice cream melts too much while you process it, you can freeze it a little bit before serving.

* More healthy, dairy free ice cream recipes in Kind Ice Cream for You e-book!

Tags: , , , , ,

Kind Ice Cream for You

2.6.2015

It has arrived! Our e-book about healthy ice creams is finally out! And I must say that I am deeply and utterly in LOVE with it. Hands down, it must be the loveliest cook book I have ever encountered. And that is my totally objective opinion. If me and my partner-in-crime Tuulia Talvio would have not made it I would still love it to pieces! Hahaa!

But the most amazing thing for me here is how this book took even myself by surprise. Because when we started making it this winter I would have never guessed that it would become so big, beautiful and comprehensive as it is.

First we planned to make just a nice small e-book about healthy, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free and gluten-free ice creams with few nice recipes with few nice pictures. But the project kept on growing and growing until one day we realised that we have a real book in our hands, well, on our computer screens – with 130 pages and over 60 recipes, great pictures – and last but not least, a beeeautiful layout, thanks to my dear friend, a super talented graphic designer Leena Oravainio.

So here I am now, super proud, deeply happy and a little bit teary over our kind and beautiful new-born book, Kind Ice Cream for You. And I really want you to meet her, so go ahead and
read more about it in the book’s official website: www.kindicecream.com.

You can buy the book through my SHOP or through www.kindicecream.com or by going straigh HERE. All the roads lead to the same destination. NOTE: E-BOOK IS TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

So be free to share, download and spread the love! We have really poured our love and passion in this one, so we are very grateful for all the help you can give in spreading our kind ice cream message! #kindicecreamforyou #kindicecream

Take care, be Kind and have a lovely ice-cream-filled June, my friend!

V

Tags: , , , , , ,

Chocolate Luxury cake in a jar

12.5.2015

Hi Honeys! I have been in silence here for quite some time, mainly because I have been soaking my feet in the golden sands and foaming waters of Venice Beach, LA and also enjoying the blooming spring of New York and tried to keep myself as far from computer as possible. With a quite great success, as you may have noticed.

The other thing that is keeping me busy elsewhere is my book project, well, actually TWO book projects that I´m currently working on. (Gonna hype more about them later! But may I just say that there will be coming up some insanely delicious stuff made with a big and shining heart!) And because there is only one me and only certain amount of hours in the day and a soul that seeks also for relaxed family time so that easily equals some tranquility in this channel.

But, now I got you something special to make up my absence: A luxurious and truly amazing chocolate cake in a jar recipe that I designed a while ago to one Finnish web site but hadn´t posted it here yet. This layered sweetie has it all – the creaminess, some crunchiness, the rich cake layer and above all delicious taste and wholesome ingredients!

And it is actually very simple to assemble even though the instructions may seem quite complicated by a first glance. You just layer some clean chocolate cake crumble, raw chocolate sauce, banana, nuts and coconut whipped cream in a jar and then spoon the magic in your mouth! simple and sensational.

Please let me know the level of your love when you decide to try it! At least my heart expanded to the maximum already with the first bite.

V

CHOCOLATE LUXURY CAKE IN A JAR

(gluten-free, milk-free)
About 5 pieces

You need:

  • Chocolate cake crumble
  • Melted raw chocolate
  • Coconut whipped cream
  • 1-2 bananas
  • Pecan nuts
  • About 1 cup sized glass jars

Steps:

  1. Prepare the cake cumble by making chocolate muffins.
  2. Melt the raw chocolate or prepare it yourself.
  3. Prepare whipped coconut cream.
  4. Crumble your chocolate cup cakes and add into the bottom of the jars.
  5. Add some sliced banana and chopped nuts and pour some melted chocolate on.
  6. Add some whipped coconut cream.
  7. Crumble in some more chocolate muffins.
  8. Add banana slices & chocolate sauce & coconut whipped cream & top with chopped nuts.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate muffins:
(Gluten-free, milk-free)

  • 2 cups full-fat almond flour
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour (or gluten-free oat flour or 50:50)
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 cup melted butter (or coconut oil, or 50:50)
  • 1 cup oat milk (or a dairy-free milk beverage of your taste)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the eggs in another bowl, add melted butter/oil, milk and spices. Add the mix dry ingredients and stir. Spoon the batter to muffin moulds (or a small cake pan) and bake in the oven for about 25-35 minutes. Muffins may be a little soft in the middle. Allow to cool.

Raw Chocolate Sauce:

  • 5 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any dairy-free milk beverage)
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • a small pinch of sea salt
  • (+ 1 tbsp almond butter if desired)

Add cacao powder to a bowl and stir in the almond milk for a small amount at a time, until you reach desired thickness. Add honey, salt and almond butter and stir until smooth.

Coconut Whipped Cream: Get the insturctions HERE.

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Pistachio Fig Smoothie

11.4.2015

I have a huge spring time crush happening here. The target of my affection is oh-so creamy and dreamy home-made pistachio milk. What a charmer. The color of this heavenly nectar is so beautiful that I could just sit and watch it´s tones through my drinking glass forever. …If I would not be so eager to gulp it down in a heartbeat.

Pistachio milk is perfect for example in making raw cakes and ice creams and it´s a loveliest base for smoothies too! In today´s smoothie recipe I connected pistachio milk with figs. And boy did it turn out delicious!

I warmly recommend you try it out on some lovely spring day. And also a bunch of other delicious and fresh smoothie recipes from my free e-book, Creamy Smoothie Guide!

And hey, while you´re here could I ask you to take a minute (or more like 30 seconds) and vote for VANELJA in Saveur Food Blog Awards in the best-designed blog category, as my blog is one of the finalists. Your vote would mean a world to me! As this whole being-in-the-finals already did. You need to registrate first but it only takes a second and you won´t get any junk mail.

So Click & Vote for VANELJA and pure pleasures! Thank you darling, I send you loads of love in return!

V

PISTACHIO FIG SMOOTHIE

  • 2 fresh figs
  • 2 cup pistachio milk (or 0,25 cup pistachios and 2 cup of water)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • +1 tsp rose water (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Check the taste and add some seasoning or sweetness if desired. Enjoy!

PISTACHIO MILK

  • 2 cup pistachios (salt-free)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp of organic honey (or one fresh date)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder

Soak the pistachios in the water for a few hours. Drain the soaking water and rinse pistachios. Place nuts, 3 cups of water, honey and vanilla to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the nut milk through a fine sieve, cheese cloth or nut milk bag. Store the pistachio milk in the refrigerator in a sealed bottle or a glass jar. Shake before use and enjoy! Use within a week.

More delicious smoothie recipes from VANELJA´s free e-book: Creamy Smoothe Guide!

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Creamy Smoothie Guide

4.4.2015

“She´s a smooth operator, smooooth operator…”

I am so happy to announce that I have created something really cool for you guys. I have been a real “smooth operator” and collected my all time favorite smoothie recipes and best smoothie tips inside of virtual covers of an e-book. The Creamy Smoothie Guide includes 34 pages packed with delicious recipes, mouth-watering photos and hot tips + a formula for a perfect green smoothie. This e-book is a gift from VANELJA to you! You can now download it from HERE.

At the same time you´ll be able to subscribe to VANELJA mailing list which means that you´ll be privileged to get more pure pleasures, recipes, news and quality content, such as this smoothie guide, to your email about once in a month. No non-sense spamming, I promise. Just diamonds.

So go ahead and download your Creamy Smoothie Guide and make your blender buzz! I hope the guide can channel even a drop of that inspiration and energy to you that these liquid lovers give to me! Feel free to share love and tell about VANELJA and The Creamy Smoothie Guide to your friends in your channels:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

TWEETABLE: A LOVER OF SMOOTHIE? GET THIS FREE CREAMY SMOOTHIE GUIDE WITH 34 PAGES FULL OF MOUTH-WATERING RECIPES, PICS & TIPS!

Thank you!

V

Download your own Creamy Smoothie Guide HERE for free! + subscribe to VANELJA newsletter for more pure pleasures, recipes and news.

Tags: , , , , ,

Stracciatella Chocolate Cake

29.3.2015

I have always found it very interesting to observe how different people react on new things, when they hear great news, new opportunities arises or something good happens. Some go openly bonkers screaming and jumping from happiness, some start panicing and turn the good thing into something scary and intimidating and some swallow their joy and let just a slight smile escape through their lips even though they are dancing and moshing inside.

And then there are people like me who´s natural reaction for something good is to bake a cake. (After the going-publicly-bonkers-phase.) For me a cake represents a deep and intense joy and something ultimately festive. The whole procedure including designing, cooking, eating, food styling and photographing a cake is something that my soul finds very relaxing, joyous and gratifying. For me creating a cake is art on it´s best.

This weekend I have been celebrating with this phenomenal Stracciatella Chocolate Cake that was my reaction to one magnificent news I received on friday. It is born from pure happiness and bliss. When I served the cake people were just chewing it in total silence for a while, then they took a deep sigh and bursted into a praise. Like music to my ears.

I´m not going to tell just yet what was the thing that inspired me to make this super tasty and creamy and luscious piece of work, that I will announce tomorrow on my social media channels (Instagram & Facebook). Now I just wanted to share my happiness in the form of this cake and wish it can pass on some of my great mood and love to all of you!

V

STRACCIATELLA CHOCOLATE CAKE

Cake:

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp psyllium husk
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • ½ cup oat milk
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 5 tbsp organic honey or coconut palm syrup
  • 5 tbsp cup coconut palm sugar

Filling:

  • about 5 tbsp almond butter

Stracciatella filling:

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp organic honey or coconut syrup
  • 5 tbsp raw cacao nibs

    On top:
    grated raw chocolate

The pan diameter: 18 cm / 7 inches.

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit or 175 Celsius degrees. Grease the cake tin with coconut oil and cover the bottom with a piece of parchment paper so that the cake is easier to remove later.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl with honey and coconut sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes). Mix the dry ingredients and egg foam. Stir in the oat milk.

Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. (In the meantime prepare the filling). Take the cake tin out from the oven and let the cake cool. Remove the cake from the pan and if necessary, help gently with a knife.

Stracciatella filling:

Take the coconut milk cans out of the fridge. Open the cans and remove all the solid coconut cream and scoop it into a bowl. Mix cream in a bowl with beaters until fluffy. Mix in honey or syrup, vanilla and cacao nibs. If the mixture gets too runny, place it in the refrigerator for a while.

Assembly:
Cut the cake in two parts. Spread almond butter on top of the first layer. Then add stracciatella filling. Add the second layer on top and spread stracciatella filling also on top of the cake. Decorate the cake by sprinkling on some grated raw chocolate. Serve and enjoy!

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , ,

White pizza

24.3.2015

Who ordered a super tasty grain-free and yeast-free pizza? Hold your tablecloths! Here comes your waitress with so jaunty dance moves that even the pale white pizza on my tray almost blushes.

But what can you do when you have created something so tasty and phenomenal – A delicious white pizza that is build on a gluten-free, yeast-free and vegan pizza crust and which is one amazing combination of a crispy pizza and and a rich savory pie – with a hint of flaky mouthfeel to it. It is simply a hit!

I first planned to post it on friday, which is a classcial pizza day, but then thought, screw that, I´m probably going to make it on every evening this week so I must give others the opportunity to do that also. And preparing this “pizza pie” takes less than 20 minutes so you could actually make it even on your lunch break.

And wait, before you run to buy the pizza ingredients I want to highlight also these two gluten-free Vanelja Pizzas, that you could also find interesting:

Butternut Squash and Sage Pizza

Cauliflower Pizza

Try these out and find your favorite!

V

WHITE PIZZA

Crust:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds + ½ cup water (or 2 organic eggs)
  • 1 ¼ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 2 tbsp psyllium husk
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Filling:

  • 5 oz mozzarella
  • 5 tbsp feta cheese
  • about 3 sliced artichoke hearts
  • about 5 cooked green bean
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • green olives
  • black pepper
  • dried herbs

On top:

  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit/200 Celsius degrees. Mix water and chia seeds in in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes. In the meantime put all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix. Add the chia seed mixture (or 2 eggs) and stir. Place the dough on a parchment lined baking paper and press or roll the crust to be about half an inch in width. Bake for about 12 minutes or just until the crust starts to become a very light golden brown. Take out from the oven, add the toppings and put back for about 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is well melted. Take out from the oven, sprinkle some olive oil on top, serve and enjoy!

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , ,

Sea Salt Toffee

16.3.2015

These last days I have been so grateful for all the feedback and daily messages that I am receiving from the people who have bought my KIITOS HYVÄÄ -cook book (in Finnish) and who have cooked something that has blown their mind away and taken them to healthy treats heaven. That is absolutely the best thing for me as a cook book author. To success to inspire and give new ideas for clean eating. And to read, hear and see the reaction of the people when they notice how good, let´s say for example a raw blueberry cheese cake or raspberry candy sticks can taste or how delicious a Cherry Garcia ice cream made mainly from hemp seeds, raw chocolate and honey can be!

After my book was published in December it has been the best selling cook book (for 3 months already!) for example in this Finnish online book store. And that is beyond amazing! It says clearly that people are tired of that shabby, shitty and bloated feeling they get from the traditional pastries, and that they want to feel good not only when they are dropping that piece of cake into their mouths but also afterwards. And no-one wants to give up their pleasures and sweet treats! And actually no-one has to, you just have to pick better ingredients and maybe learn few new tricks.

At the moment I´m looking for a publisher in the US and in Europe so that I could get the book in other languages also, for aaaall you people with sweet n clean cravings out there! Many of you have been asking for an English version, and I also heard a funny rumor that such would be published any day soon. But as far as I know it is not happening just yet, although I took it as a sign, so maybe in the near future it will be not just a rumor but also reality. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime I will share one of the most loved recipes from the book – Sea Salt Toffee Candies aka Nut Butter Toffee! We also made a video of them sponsored by the great nu3.fi. CHECK IT OUT!

And because all the feedback that I have received from these I really have to give a word of caution: These golden cuties seem to be truly addictive stuff. They are super easy to make and they taste delicious. Before you notice you´ll be making another batch. And another, and another.
Regardless, please do try!

V

SEA SALT TOFFEE CANDIES

Approx. 15 pieces

  • ½ cup of almonds and / or walnuts
  • ½ cup of local organic honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond butter or nut butter
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut /coconut flakes
  • a pinch of sea salt

Chop the nuts/almonds into small pieces, for example with a blender and set aside. Pour the honey into a pan and heat it on the stove over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to foam.After stirring the foaming honey for about 5 minutes, turn the heat low and add the almond or nut butter. Stir the mixture until it begins to thicken slightly. Remove immediately from the heat and add the chopped almonds/nuts and coconut flakes. Blend quickly until it becomes a smooth paste. Place the warm mixture into silicone molds or into a tin lined with baking paper. Smooth the surface and sprinkle sea salt lightly on top. Allow to cool and set in the fridge before slicing small pieces with a knife. Wrapped candies can be stored in the fridge, eat within a couple of weeks.

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Flourless Chickpea Blondies

12.3.2015

Everything easygoing feels now very tempting. Or maybe those kind of things always attract me like a light bulb attracts the fly. Light-hearted, bright and laid-back essence just feels the right way to be. Ask for example from golden retrievers, daisies or from these carefree little blondies!

So the recipe of the day is called Flourless blondies, Flourless Chickpea Blondies, to be exact.

Once again, a surprise ingredient! Peas. But you´d never guess by the delicious taste what they are actually made of. And that is because they get their genius side kick from banana, almond butter, honey and vanilla extract and maybe, if you will, from a pinch of cinnamon too. So good, I promise!

And I love the way how they are super easy to make, just blend all ingredients in a blender, pour into a pan and bake. Ta-daa! And the whole procedure takes less that 30 minutes from the moment you start having cravings until the moment you pop them out from the oven. My kind of darlings!

And speaking of darlings, I would love you to be one too and vote my blog at Saveur magazine´s annual food blog awards, in case you like my recipes, photos and videos or find this page inspiring! Nominations close on March 13 so you´ll have two more days to vote. Getting nominated would mean a lot to my work.

Thank you and have a lovely and light-hearted rest of the week!

V

FLOURLESS CHICKPEA BLONDIES

The dish size: about 8 x 6 inch or 20 x 15 cm

  • 1 can (1 ⅓ cups) chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • ¼ cup almond butter (or nut butter or seed butter)
  • 5 tbsp organic honey (or 5 fresh dates)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (+ 0,5 ts cinnamon if you like)
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup raw cacao nibs or grated raw chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit / 175 Celsius degrees. Grease the pan or use baking paper. Add all the ingredients, except the raw cacao nibs into a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth dough. Stir in cocoa nibs and pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the sides get a nice light brown color. Allow to cool, serve and enjoy!

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Dairy-free Chocolate Ice Cream Pops

3.3.2015

Sunny summer greetings from the grey and rainy Finland! You dear blogger is totally in shining summer vibes here even though the weather gives us no reason to actually celebrate just yet.

The cause of my mental summer trip is that I´m preparing here one super nice surprise for you guys for the upcoming spring and summer. So inspired by that I have taken kind of a head start here, wearing floral pants, eating ice-cream and all that.

And speaking of ice-cream. I found this old recipe which is actually one of my most loved vegan ice-cream recipes that is maybe familiar to some of my Finnish readers who followed my old blog. Because it is truly a crime to hold this delicious recipe for myself I decided to put it online again and translate it of course also to english.

So here they are, my super delicious vegan ice-cream pops that are easily made with only just 3 ingredients. And when you add just a few bonus seasonings you´ll get yourself a really luxurious treat. I recommend to try them in both ways!

V

DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM POPS

1.Easy Ice Cream Pops:

(About 3 ice pops)

Ice-cream:

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 heaping tbsp almond butter or nut butter (for example peanut butter)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs

Puree the bananas and peanut butter in a blender. Add cacao nibs and mix gently. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze. When the ice pops are frozen remove the molds. Serve and enojy!

2.Luxury Ice Cream Pops:

(About 5 ice cream)

Ice cream:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 heaping tablespoons almond butter or nut butter (for example peanut butter)
  • a small handful of almonds
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut syrup
  • About ¼ cup oat milk (or almond milk or coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs

Chocolate frosting:

  • ¼ cup raw cocoa mass
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey or coconut syrup
  • a pinch of sea salt

(Or use melted raw chocolate or sugar-free dark chocolate for frosting)

On top:

  • Crushed nuts or almonds or coconut flakes

Add bananas, peanut butter, almonds and a little bit of water into a blender. Puree until smooth. Do not add too much water so that the mixture does not become too runny, because then the ice cream can become grainy. Add honey or stevia, vanilla and raw cacao nibs. Stir softly. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze. When the ice pops are frozen prepare the chocolate frosting. Melt the cocoa mass and coconut oil in a warm water bath. Add syrup and salt. Stir. Take the ice creams out of their molds and frost them with chocolate. Sprinkle on some nut crust. Serve right away or store in the freezer.

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Clean Bounty Bars

19.2.2015

I´m all about secret ingredients. Like in cooking adding stuff that would suddenly feel weird and totally wrong for example in sweet treats. In my KIITOS HYVÄÄ healthy treats cook book (in Finnish) there is for example a recipe for Mint Pistachio Brownie that includes black beans, a Sweet Chocolate frosting that is made from avocado and a Caramel Mud Pie of which magic lies in sweet potato. Unexpected and therefore interesting. And extra interesting – and quite essential – it is also that the one who eats the dish would never ever guess.

And this is how we get to today´s topic. Which is a chocolate bar recipe that is also found in my cook book. These rich and creamy coconut bars, also called as Clean Bounty Bars are simply de-licious.

But. If I would tell you that one of the main ingredients in these delicious looking coconut chocolate bars is in fact potato would that spoil your appetite? I hope not, because that is truly the case.

Mashed potato is one of the key ingredients in these babies and I don´t know what it actually does to them but it makes them taste goood. And makes the texture and mouthfeel oh so goood.

And the most surprising thing while making these bars happen when you mix the mashed potato with honey – it turns into liquid! Crazy magic potato!

I promise that after these chocolate bars you´ll never look the good ol´ potato at the same way.

And hey, check out how the magic really happens and watch this Clean Bounty Bars VANELJA video!

V

CLEAN BOUNTY BARS

About 8 bars

Coconut filling:

  • 3 tbsp mashed otatotatoes
  • 3 tbsp organic honey (or kookossiirappia)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 dl grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Raw Chocolate Frosting:

  • ⅔ cups cocoa butter, melted
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ⅔  cup raw cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp organic honey or coconut palm syrup
  • a pinch of sea salt

Coconut Filling:

Peel and cut the potatoes. Cook until done. Mash the potatoes with a fork. Put three tablespoons of mashed potatoes in a bowl. Add vanilla extract and honey. Stir. (Mushi becomes a liquid at this point!) Stir in the coconut and the molten coconut oil. The dough should be so thick that it may be lurking ball. If necessary, add grated coconut. Shape the dough into small bars on a dish. Put batons for half an hour in the freezer to solidify.

Chocolate Frosting:

Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a warm water bath. Add cocoa powder, honey and salt. Stir. Check the taste and add more sweetness if desired.

Take the bars from the freezer and dip in chocolate. Store in a refrigerator until served.

Check out the Clean Bounty Bar VANELJA video!

FOLLOW VANELJA:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Lovers Chocolates

13.2.2015

I had made something super sweet and cool to pamper you in this Valentine´s Day but some higher forces threw so many small obstacles on my way when I tried to release the post that I realised it is just better to lift my hands, leave it and post it some other day. When the stars align, wind blows from the right direction and the time is ready.

“If you gotta force it, just leave it alone. Relationships, friendships, ponytails. Just leave it.”

Said someone somewhere in some Pinterest picture.

I think it is a good thought especially now at Valentines. When you are at ease love comes and what is meant to happen happens. No need to stress, fuss and hustle. All is good.

Here are my 3 favorite clean chocolate treats for you to prove it. They´re all pure good. Make them to your loved one or show yourself some self loving and care.

Sweet Valentine´s Day, my friend.

V

CHOCOLATE CANDIES WITH SOFT CARAMEL CENTER

(raw, nut-free)

Chocolate:

  • ⅔ cups cocoa butter, melted
  • ¼ cup cold pressed coconut oil
  • ⅔ cups raw cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp organic honey (or coconut palm syrup)
  • a pinch of sea salt

OR Use about 2 dl of melted raw chocolate or sugar-free dark chocolate.

Soft caramel filling:

  • 10 soft dates
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • Caramel Stevia drops (optional)

Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a warm water bath until liquid. Add cocoa powder, honey and salt. Stir. Check the taste and add more sweetness if desired. Pour a little bit of the chocolate mixture in the bottom of chocolate molds or ice cube molds. Place the mold in the freezer and prepare the caramel filling in the meantime.

Soak the dates for about 15 minutes if they are not super soft. (This recipe will not work with completely dry dates ). Remove the stones from dates. Remove the skin of the date if you want your caramel to be very soft or if your blender is not super powerful. Add the dates and melted coconut oil into a blender and mix. Add enough water to get smooth picture, soft caramel-like purée.

Take the mold from the freezer and add a dab of caramel filling in each mold with a little spoon or a piping bag. Fill the molds with the remaining chocolate. Put the molds back into the freezer for about half an hour. Take out, serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator.

VANILLA STARS WITH CHOCOLATE HEART

15-20 pcs

Drops:

  • 1 ¼ cup cocoa butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp organic honey (or vanilla stevia drops)
  • 2 tbsp squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder

Chocolate Filling:

  • ½ cup chocolates almond butter or nut butter
  • 2 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • a pinch of sea salt

Melt the cocoa butter, coconut oil and honey in a warm water bath. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Blend in a blender until smooth. Taste and add seasoning if desired.

Melt the almond butter in another bowl. Add cocoa powder, coconut oil, salt and sweetener and stir.

Pour a little bit of the white coconut mixture on the bottom of a mini cup cake tins/casseroles. Add a drop of chocolate filling. Fill the tins with the white mixture. Put the tins in the freezer for about an hour. Take out to room temperature, serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator in a resealable box.

MINT TRUFFLE BARS

  • ¼ cup cacao butter
  • ¼ cup raw cacao mass
  • 4 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp organic honey (or coconut palm syrup)
  • a few drops chocolate flavored stevia (optional)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup almond meal

Chocolate coating:

  • ½ cup grated raw cacao mass
  • ¼ cup grated cacao butter
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp organic honey (or coconut palm syrup, or stevia)
  • ½ cup  tsp vanilla extract or few drops vanilla flavored stevia
  • a pinch of sea salt

Mint truffle bars:

Melt the cacao butter, cacao mass and coconut oil in a warm water bath until liquid. Add raw cacao powder, honey, stevia, vanilla and peppermint extract and sea salt. Stir. Check the taste and add more spices if needed. Measure the almond flour into a blender and add the chocolate mass. Mix until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and put it into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Prepare the chocolate coating in the meantime.

Chocolate coating:

Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil in a warm water bath until liquid. Add cacao powder, honey, and salt and mix. Check the taste and sweeten if needed.

Take the chocolate mass from the freezer and from small chocolate bars. (If the mixture is still too loose put it in the freezer for a moment.) Glaze the bars with the chocolate coating. If the frosting is too runny, keep it in a cold water bath for a little while so that it thickens a bit. When all the bars have coating, put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator. Best when kept in a room temperature for a while before serving.

Tags: , , ,

Creamy Cardamom Rasberry Cake

11.2.2015

I love theme foods and traditional treats that are consumed only in one specific feast and only once a year. And I also love love love spring and every small promise and hint that says that spring is actually and finally coming and bringing the light back. So those two loves combined it is no wonder why I am so inspired and excited of the upcoming Shrove Tuesday (which is for me the first solid promise of spring) and it´s treats.

In many countries Shrove Tuesday is know as the Pancake day, that naturally means that the day is celebrated by consuming pancakes. In Finland we have that pancake thing also, but even more common treat is the “Shrove Bun” which is this sweet baked roll that is halved and filled with raspberry jam or almond paste and whipped cream. People go always nuts about them! And argue every single year which is the BEST and the REAL filling for Shrove Buns – raspberry or almond paste. (I must say I love them both but in the end I would lean towards raspberry jam.)

As delicious as the Shrove Buns are there is one problematic thing about them. They include wheat, yeast, white sugar and dairy which makes many peoples belly bloat. Especially because for many people one bun is just not enough.

That is why I have created these alternative treats that you can consume generously and still feel fresh and great afterwards! Last year I created this gluten-free, yeast-free and dairy-free Shrove Buns (sorry the recipe is only in Finnish here) and this year I made this Shrove Smoothie as in Creamy Cashew Cardamom Raspberry Smoothie AND also Raw Shrove cake as in Raw Creamy Rasperry Cake which are both inspired by the traditional tastes of the Shrove Bun.

So this year no-one needs to feel like a gas balloon or decline from treats anymore. How wonderful is that! And how wonderful is also that the sun has been actually shining here for two days already (which feels like a miracle after this exceptionally dark and gray winter)!

So hurray for the sunshine and Shrove Tuesday and enormous amounts of treats! Spring is coming and love is in the air, and in the smoothies and cakes and buns!

V

RAW CREAMY RASPBERRY CAKE

Crust:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 4 fresh dates
  • ½ tsp cardamom

Creamy Filling:

  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • ½ cup almond milk (or oat milk or other desired milk drink)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp organic honey
  • ½ cup cold-pressed coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp ceylon-cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

Coconut Whipped Cream:

See the instructions HERE.

On top:

raspberries
cardamom/cinnamon

Dish diameter: about 7 inch or 17 cm

Crust:

Place the nuts into a blender. Blend until crumble. Wash dates and remove stones. Add dates with nuts and puree into crumbly dough. Add cardamom. Cover the bottom of a cake tin with a piece of parchment paper. Press the dough on the bottom of the cake tin. Prepare the filling.

Creamy Filling:

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste and add seasoning or sweetness if desired. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Put in a freezer. In the meantime prepare raspberry filling.

Raspberry Filling:

Puree the raspberries in a bowl and mix with honey. Add chia seeds and melted coconut oil. Let thicken for about 15 minutes. Take the cake from the freezer and pour the raspberry layer on top. Put the tin back into the freezer for about a couple of hours. In the meantime prepare the coconut whipped cream.

Coconut Whipped Cream:

See the instructions HERE.

Take the frozen cake from the freezer. Allow to melt for a moment. Apply coconut whipped cream and raspberries on. Serve and enjoy. Store in a refrigerator.

Follow Vanelja!

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Raw Chocolate Coconut Cream Cake

8.2.2015

This cake was born to be a legend. I first released the recipe over two years ago in my old blog and it immediately gained a great success. I haven´t got that much comments and feedback from any of my other recipe. Both raw cake and traditional cake lovers seemed to love it. And no wonder. It combines creamy vanilla frosting, deep chocolate flavors and banana. You just can´t go wrong with those simple and always stylish ingredients.

The recipe found its way also into my healthy treats cook book and now I think it´s time to release it again online – in the name of democracy. Classics belong to everyone.

So help yourself and stick your spoon into what I would modestly call one of world´s best raw cakes.

V

RAW CHOCOLATE COCONUT CREAM CAKE

Base:

  • 3 cups almonds
  • 1 cup grated coconut / coconut flakes
  • 1 medium sized banana
  • 5 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp organic honey (or coconut palm syrup)
  • a pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Filling:

  • 5 tbsp grated cocoa butter
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp organic honey (or coconut palm syrup)
  • a pinch of sea salt

Frosting:

  • 1-2 bananas
  • coconut whipped cream (See instructions HERE)

On top:

  • coconut flakes

Cake tin: about 7 inch or 17 cm

Coconut whipped cream:

Prepare coconut whipped cream. See instructions HERE. Move the whipped cream to the refrigerator and let it sit until you’ve made the cake.

Base:

Chop the almonds in a blender. Add coconut flakes and the banana and mix to a smooth paste. Add raw cocoa powder, sweetener and salt. Stir. The dough should be now easily moldable, quite dry but not crumbly or flaky. If necessary, add ground almonds or coconut flakes. Taste and add sweetness if desired.

Chocolate Filling:

Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a warm water bath. Add peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey and salt. Stir. Taste and add sweetness if desired.

Assembly:

Cut a round piece of baking paper on the bottom of a cake tin so that the cake is easy to move afterwards. Press half of the base dough into the bottom of the pan tightly and evenly. Apply a thin layer of chocolate filling over the dough base. Leave the rest of the chocolate filling wait in the warm water bath. Transfer the cake tin in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Take the pan from the freezer and press the rest of the base dough over the chocolate filling. Then pour the rest of the chocolate filling on top of the dough and put the pan in the freezer again.

When chocolate has solidified in the freezer, remove the cake from the pan and lift on a serving plate. Let the cake melt for a moment in a room temperature. Slice a banana or two and put the slices on top of the cake. Take the coconut whipped cream from the fridge and frost the cake. Add some coconut flakes on top. Serve and enjoy!

Follow Vanelja!

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , , ,

Caramel Mocha Muffins

3.2.2015

I´m a true believer of pleasures. Good amount of lazy enjoyments keep your brain working and new ideas flowing.

I have had quite a hectic time in the beginning of this year and one thing that keeps my mind clear from all the work fuss are my midday hot showers. No matter how worried, stuck or stressed I feel when I step into the shower I always leave with calm feeling and fresh new ideas and realizations. Sitting under a hot running water for about 15 minutes in the middle of my home office day is my everyday pleasure and meditation technique numero uno.

Look for example these caramel filled mocha muffins with vanilla coconut whipped cream frosting. These babes were born while one of my midday showers. Well, the idea was born there. And while they might not be any world changing innovation I think they are still truly remarkable. So luscious and tasty and soft and lovely! And I have heard amazing feedback from many people about these muffins. Someone called them life savers. So maybe there might be some world changing potential in them after all.

So I say relax your brains and go ahead and seek for pleasures and enjoy! Lazy time can be very productive. You can start with these muffins.

V

CARAMEL FILLED MOCHA MUFFINS

(gluten-free, grain-free, yeast-free, milk-free)

Approx. 10 pieces

Muffins:

  • ½ cup coconut flour (full-fat)
  • 5 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 organic eggs
  • ¾ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp organic honey (melted)
  • 5 tbsp strong coffee
  • ½ cup oat milk (or other dairy-free milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Caramel filling:

  • ½ cup melted butter (or coconut oil)
  • ½ cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp organic honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp oat milk (or other dairy-free milk)
  • 3 tbsp almond liqueur

Coconut whipped cream:

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (kept in the refrigerator overnight)
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp organic honey or coconut syrup

Muffins:
Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius degrees / 390 F degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the eggs, butter, honey, milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Mix with dry ingredients. Add coffee, stir and leave the dough thicken for about 5 minutes. Spoon the batter in muffin tins and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Muffins can be a little soft in the middle. Allow to cool before frosting.

Caramel filling:
Melt the butter, honey and peanut butter into a smooth paste in a saucepan. Add vanilla extract and oat milk and stir. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, and put it in a refrigerator for a moment. Whisk with a hand blender/beaters until creamy. Spread or pipe the frosting on top of the muffins. Put the muffins in the fridge for a moment and prepare the coconut whipped cream in the meantime.

Coconut whipped cream:
Take coconut milk cans out of the fridge. Open cans and remove all the solid coconut cream and scoop it into a bowl. Mix cream in a bowl with beaters until fluffy. Mix in honey or stevia and vanilla. If the mixture gets too runny, place it in the refrigerator for a while.

Take the muffins from the fridge and frost them with coconut whipped cream. Serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator.

 

Follow Vanelja!

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: ,

Chocolate pudding cake

20.1.2015

I must say – and it might come as a surprise when thinking of my profession as a food editor, recipe artist and a cook book author – but I´m a quite terrible cook.

And that is when it comes to normal, real food, meaning warm dishes, meals and dinners. In that area of cooking my imagination just stops and mind goes blank. I have maybe two kinds of dishes that I can handle well: the other one is oven roasted or steamed vegetables and the other one is veggie soups. Oh yeah, there´s also a third one I like to serve and that´s called “Let´s go out to eat.” That´s something that is served in our family many times a week. And I´m not proud of it. It´s just that I might miss a chromosome that makes mothers eager to cook meals for their family. My man misses that too. His cooking chromosome, I mean. Well, maybe mine too.

Okay, I think I would have the basic skills one needs in preparing good meals, but it is the passion and interest that I lack. Even though the inspiration would be found everywhere. Cook books and internet are bursting delicious recipes, but for some reason mostly the sweet stuff catches my eye. Or snacks. Or breakfast things. That part of cooking makes my eyes sparkle and mouth water.

This being said it might not be a surprise that I´ll once again serve you guys something from that field. It is a great invention of mine called a Breakfast Cake. It unites granola and chocolate pudding. It is truly a brilliant thing. It´s really soft and fudgy and can barely hold a shape of a cake. But it can, and that is why it´s called cake, not just a pile of pudding and granola. It is not too sweet because in the morning too much sweetness for me is like loud noise to tastepuds. You will want to wake up your senses gently.

The other great thing besides the subtle and delicious taste and a great concept is that for a change this recipe is totally nut-free. I´ve received so many pretty requests for nut-free recipes from people with allergies that I thought now is the time.

I have also received many pretty requests for recipes for healthy meals but as you now know, I´m not quite there yet. Still developing. Maybe someday in the future I will start creating these great entrees for you readers and for my family. (to be honest, hopefully I will be able to hire someone to do that in my home and on this site…)

So for now I´ll continue with these sweeties and snacks! With them – I rock.

Try this and you´ll rock too.

V

CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE

Crust:

1 ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats

4 tbsp sesame seends (or other seeds you like)

½ cup soft dates

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of sea salt

 

Filling:

1 ¾ cups oat milk (or coconut milk or other dairy-free milk)

¼ cups chia seeds

¼ cup raw cocoa powder

4-5 tbsp coconut oil (heaping tablespoons soft oil. or alternatively 4 tbls melted cacao butter)

1 ripe banana

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 soft dates

if more sweetness desired, use honey for example

Topping: (not necessary)
Coconut whipped cream. Get the recipe here.

(Size of the pan: max 7 inch or 4 x 8 inch / 17 cm or 10 x 20 cm)

Prepare a small cake tin by putting a piece of paper on the bottom of the tin so that the cake is easier to take out later. Prepare the crust by mixing all ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender. Mix only a little bit so that the dough is easy to mold but the rolled oats do not get grinded into pulver. Taste and add seasoning or sweetness if desired. Press the crust onto the bottom of the cake tin. Prepare the filling.

Put all ingredients in a blender and puree. Taste and add sweetness if desired. Pour the filling into the cake tin and put the tin into the freezer for at least an hour, or until it gets solid.

In the meantime prepare the coconut whipped cream for the top. (Cake goes also well without.) Get the recipe here.

Take the cake from the freezer, remove from the pan and let it melt for a little. Cut the cake into pieces while it is still slighly frozen. Add some coconut whipped cream on top of the cake and sprinkle some raw chocolate, muesli or cocoa powder. Serve and enjoy! Store in a refrigerator.

Follow Vanelja!

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

Tags: , ,