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Blueberry Dream Cake celebration

3.5.2018

Well hello, babes! Finally it’s happening, updated Vanelja.com has opened its doors and welcomes you to take a tour. Though it took quite some time to get this open, it has been heart-warming to notice how many of you regularly uses the recipes on my site, as I have got tons of messages from people asking when all the material will be returning. So sorry you’ve had to wait for them, but happy to know you’ve missed my treats!

Blueberry Dream Cake by Vanelja

And now when the new site is open I’m also beyond excited to launch my brand new grocery: Blueberry Dream Cake by Vanelja. It is a treat that I absolutely ah-dore and I’m just so super duper happy to start offering my all time favorite raw cake to people. I get asked almost weekly if I do catering or if I take orders for my dream cakes, and now I can finally say YES!

And this one is truly a raw cake of my dreams. If I should pick only one sweet treat to consume for the rest of my life, it would be my Blueberry Dream Cake, most def, no doubt about it. It has such a mouth-watering taste with the pecan based crust with a hint of cardamom and the rich blueberry filling. The texture is creamy and fluffy yet the cake is very fresh because of the white layer with some hints of lemon in it. I honestly start salivating even now when describing it to you, haha. And what’s lovely about this Blueberry Dream Cake is that there is no coconut flavor that pushes through, which I feel is a problem in many raw cakes.

Blueberry Dream Cake - Raw cake by Vanelja

I’ve made my Blueberry Dream Cake in collab with Green Street, a big-hearted Helsinki-based provider for raw cakes and other healthy food. The cake will be out very soon, at 15th of May to be exact, and you’ll be able to buy it from certain retailers, supermarkets and cafés in Helsinki and Stockholm. Gonna list down all the retailers here on my site soon! And if you want to have a whole cake, preordering is open NOW and the first deliveries start 15th of May. If you have some parties coming up this spring and summer, like graduation parties, family get-togethers, brunches for friends etc. you can preorder the cake HERE. It is a great thing to serve for a big bunch of people as it is vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened, so it fits to most diets and most occasions. I prefer it as a weekend brekkie, as it is perfect for cozy slow mornings.

The decoration of these photos are not included in the cake, but it has a beautiful pattern on the surface (which you can see here) so it can be served as it is, or  you can finish it for example with some blueberries or edible flowers.

Blueberry dream Cake brekkie

At the moment the availability of my Blueberry Dream Cake is limited only to Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, but hopefully we’ll get the cake to wider reach too. Again, gonna be updating the retailers here on my site. And if you have a café and you’d think my Blueberry Dream Cake could match your selection, throw me a message!

But in the meantime, let me know how you like my cake and my new site! There are still some new features on their way + one surprise gift for you coming before the summer, so stay tuned – especially on Vanelja’s Instagram, as that is the place where I holler most often about my moves.

xo

V

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Christmas dream treat: Gingerbread Coconut Bundt Cake

14.12.2017

Hello friends! I thought I’d share this oh-so delicious and christmassy Gingerbread Coconut Bundt Cake recipe that got popular on my Instagram also here on my site, so that many of you’d find it.

Gingerbread Coconut Bundt Cake - vegan, gluten free and naturally sweetened.

I created this vegan & gluten-free cake with warm notes of gingerbread and juicy chuncks of dates originally for Risenta and have been preparing it several times already, as it is just sooo good and rich and delish. I try not to think about it too much now so that the cravings won’t hit me again or else I’ll find myself baking it again and eating it tomorrow the whole day…

But you go and make this! And let me know how you liked it!

Enjoy & Have a cozy Christmas!

V

(vegan, gluten free, naturally sweetened)

Cake:

5 tbsp ground flaxseed
½ cup water
1 ½ cup Risenta almond meal
1 cup Risenta rice flour
⅓ cup coconut sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
2 tsp gingerbread spice mix
½ tsp cardamom
tiny pinch of sea salt
1 can (400 ml) full fat coconut milk
½ cup coconut oil, melted
5 fresh dates, pitted
5 tbsp coconut syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
+ 5 fresh dates, pitted and cut to small pieces

Frosting:

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp smooth peanut butter or white tahini
1 tbsp coconut syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

On top:

Coconut flakes
hazelnuts

Cake mold:

0.4-0.5 gallons (1,5 – 1,8 liters)

Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) degrees. Grease the bundt cake mold with coconut oil. Mix the ground flax and water in a small bowl and leave to thicken. In the meantime prepare the cake dough.

Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Place coconut milk, coconut oil, 5 dates, coconut syrup and vanilla into a blender and blend until smooth. Mix with dry ingredients. Add also the flax mixture you made and mix well. Stir in the date cubes. Pour the dough into the cake mold. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean. Take out of the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes and remove from the mold. Let the cake cool down totally. Frost and serve! The cake is at its best after one night in the fridge.

Frosting:

Mix the coconut oil, nut butter and vanilla in a small bowl. If the mixture goes too runny, keep it in the fridge for about 15 minutes, mixing it couple of times. Frost the cake and decorate with coconut flakes and nuts.

More recipes on Vanelja’s Instagram!

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Pink Breakfast Pizza

14.9.2017

You wanted recipes for lunch and dinner – I give you granola pizza!

What do you mean, that doesn’t look like your average everyday meal? My five-year-old ate that specific pizza as a dinner, straight from the photo background, after she’d came home from the kindergarten the other day. True story. That’s how we run things here at the Vanelja household.

Ok, to be honest (and boring), I have to admit that we do also eat so called normal food, every once in awhile, but that’s not on my blogging agenda today. Either. But, I give you a hint that in the near future I’m gonna launch something super exciting, that I know all you savory craving creatures will lovelovelove! So stay tuned!

And now back to this marvellous breakfast pizza. Such a whimsical weird creation it is. I always encourage people to play around with their food and experiment with familiar ingredients. And that is exactly what happens with this granola pizza. Your ol’ granola and yogurt breakfast, but in a new and refreshing form. Maybe not a totally new concept to all you trendy foodies out there, but something fun to try out, at least!

The crust is made from Vanelja’s Pink Granola (recipe below), but you can take the easy way and use whatever gluten free store-bought granola you like and stir in some berry powder or freeze dried berries to get that pretty pink hue. Then just top it with your favorite dairy free yogurt, berries, figs and flowers and cuteness overload and your favorite weekend brekkie is guaranteed. Although, I must say that this kind of a breakfast would give an extraordinary start also to a Monday morning, that’s when some extra magic and zest is usually needed the most.

Oh, before you run away after your granolas and yogurts, I just want to let you guys know that Vanelja is nominated at the Blog Awards Finland, in the food category – Yay! That would be my first award in my home counrty after 8 years (!) of blogging about health food. Phew – time really flies when you’re having a blast! So if you like what I’m doing, go click and leave a vote for me HERE. Only your email (Sähköposti) and your name (Nimi) is needed. Thank you, sugar – I mean, honey, raw and organic! haha!

V

Gluten-free, vegan, dairy free & naturally sweetened

Crust:

2 cups Vanelja’s Pink Granola (recipe below) or granola of your choice with 3 tbsp pink berry powder or smashed freeze dried berries

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

¼ cup peanut butter (or tahini)

 

On top:

coconut yogurt or other dairy free yogurt

berries

figs

raw organic honey or syrup of your choice

edible flowers

 

Melt the coconut oil and peanut butter in a warm water bath. Pour all the crust ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of a cake mold. (Cover the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.) You can also press the crust firmly onto a freezer safe plate and make it about half an inch thick round pizza. Freeze for about 30 minutes until the crust gets solid. Remove from the freezer, spread some yogurt on and sprinkle on some berries and fig slices. Pour a bit of honey or syrup on top and decorate with edible flowers. Serve and enjoy right away. Store in the fridge.

 

Vanelja’s Pink Granola:

1 small raw beet, peeled and cut to pieces

handful of raspberries

5 fresh dates, pitted

5 tbsp coconut syrup or organic honey

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

1 ½ cup rolled oats

½ cup almonds, chopped

½ cup coconut flakes

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup flax seeds

¼ cup hemp seeds

tiny pinch of salt

 

Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit degrees. Blend the beets, raspberries, dates, coconut oil and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and pour in the beet raspberry mixture you just made. Mix until dry ingredients are evenly coated. Pour the mixture on a baking tray covered with a parchment paper and spread evenly. Bake for about 10 minutes. Stir the granola and bake for 5-10 minutes more. Take out from the oven and let cool completely.

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Dreamy Blueberry Thyme Raw Cake

29.8.2017

Hiya Honey! Look what I’ve got for you today – A dreamy and creamy blueberry thyme raw cake –  A cake that can also be found on the cover of the latest THRIVE magazine. That’s right, babe, my cake is an actual cover girl! So sooo amazing! There’s also a four page spread & a feature of me in the magazine in where I share some of my food secrets + many many other great features and recipes of super talented recipe creators.

I first created this blueberry raw cake in the spring with a collaboration with a Finnish salad and herb producer Järvikylä when I made an adaptation of their thyme blueberry cake and during the summer the cake photo has become easily one of my most shared and liked IG posts ever and it has been so much fun to see people making their own creations of it and posting them on their pages and sharing them with me. The beauty and magic of Instagram.

To celebrate my cover photo I thought to share the recipe here on my site too – So here you go, my friend, go and enjoy these blueberry filled dream bites!

V

(gluten free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened)

Base:

½ cup pecan nuts

½ almonds

7 fresh dates, pitted (or dried organic soft apricots)

a pinch of sea salt

 

Filling:

2 cups cashew nuts (soaked for 30 minutes & rinsed)

½ ripe banana

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

5-6 tbsp raw organic honey (or maple syrup or coconut syrup)

¼ cup oat milk or almond milk

fresh lemon juice from ½ lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup blueberries

a handful of fresh thyme leaves

 

On top:

blueberries

fresh thyme

 

Pan diameter: 18 cm / 7 inches

Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a cake pan. Place the lamonds and nuts into a food processor or a high-speed blender and blend until crust. Add dates or apricots and blend until mouldable dough. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the cake pan. Prepare the filling.

Place all the filling ingredients (except blueberries and thyme) into the food processor / blender and blend until smooth. Add some dairy free milk, if needed, to get a smooth texture, still keeping it as thick as possible. Pour about ⅓ of the mixture into the cake pan and smooth out the surface. Add blueberries and thyme to the food processor / blender and blend with the remaining mixture. Taste and add some spices if needed. Spoon the filling into the cake pan and even the surface gently with a spoon so that you don’t mix the white and the purple filling. Top with blueberries. Place the cake pan into the freezer for about 2-3 hours or until the cake is solid. Remove the cake from the pan and place it on a serving dish. Sprinkle on some thyme leaves, serve and enjoy. Store in the fridge.

 

As seen on THRIVE magazine!

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Deluxe Chocolate Nice Cream + Ebook news!

18.5.2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

V

Serves 3

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

 

½ cup steamed sweet potato pieces

¼ cup cashew nuts, soaked for about 1 hour

3 fresh dates, pitted

¼ cup almond milk, or other dairy free milk

4 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

3-4 frozen bananas

 

peanut butter

raw chocolate cake chunks

 

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

 

Raw Chocolate Cake Chunks:

½ cup gluten-free rolled oats

½ cup almonds

3 fresh dates, pitted

4 tbsp raw cocoa powder

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

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

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Wholesome Chocolate Pizza

13.4.2017

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

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

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

Refreshing and luscious weekend to all you bunnies too!

 

V  

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened

 

Pizza crust:

2 tbsp chia seeds + ½ cup water

1 cup almond meal

½ cup potato starch or tapioca flour

2 tbsp psyllium husk

a pinch of salt

½ cup olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 390 Fahrenheit (200 Celsius) degrees. Mix water and chia seeds 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 gel and stir. For the dough into a ball and press or roll out on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or just until the crust starts to become a very light golden brown. Let it cool down a bit before adding the toppigs.

 

Chocolate Mousse:

1 cup steamed sweet potato pieces

½ cup cashew nuts, soaked for about 1 hour

5 fresh dates, pitted

½ cup almond milk, or other dairy free milk

4-6 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

 

On top:

nut crust

raw chocolate

raspberries

peanut butter

 

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

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Green Goddess Sweet Potato Pizza & One ingredient pizza crust

24.2.2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

V

 

Makes 1 pizza

 

Crust:

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

pizza spice mix

garlic clove, minced

 

Filling:

pesto sauce

4.5 oz organic mozzarella (and/or feta or vegan cheese)

a couple of handfuls baby spinach leaves

1 spring onion

4 stalks of sweet baby broccoli

artichoke hearts (cooked/from a jar)

3 slices of lemon

pine nuts

olives

fresh oregano

fresh basil

sunflower sprouts

 

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

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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.

 

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Raw Licorice Chocolate Mousse Cake

17.1.2017

New year, fresh winds! A new edition of my very first cookbook, It’s a Pleasure – Sweet treats without gluten, dairy and refined sugar (in Finnish: Kiitos hyvää – Herkkuja ilman sokeria ja gluteenia) has just came out in Finland with new recipes in it. 

I’m really excited that I had an opportunity to design new stuff for this title, as I feel that although the book came out already two years ago here in Finland, the subject is still very topical.

Well, actually I can’t think of a time when healthy yet delicious sweet treats would go out of style. At least they are very much trending in our household all the time. And it was only 3 months ago when the book came out in the US, so it’s great to blow some new wind to these sails also in Finland! (I know there might not be that kind of idiom in English, but you get the point.)

So cake, muffins, donuts, cookies, chocolates, candies, ice creams and other heavenly goods, all without gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Gentle yet effective ease for sweet cravings with 86 recipes. Pretty luscious package, if I may say. And you’ll recognice the new Finnish edition by the green stamp it has on the cover. 

To celebrate the new edition I wanna give away one copy of the new Finnish title to one lucky reader. All you have to do is drop a comment and say hello here in the comment field and I will pick a winner (located in Finland) on Sunday 22nd at 22.00. (10 pm)

Of course I don’t wanna leave you guys from other counties with empty hands, so I’m giving away one copy of the English title, It’s a Pleasure too. So eeeveryone can join! And please do!

Here is also one of the new recipes from the new Finnish edition: my current No.1 favorite raw cake, Raw Licorice Chocolate Mousse Cake, with a super soft and tasty filling and crunchy truffles. Enjoy, babes!

V

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

Crust:

1 cup almonds

½ cup pecan nuts

5 fresh dates

3 prunes

3 tsp licorice root powder / licorice root extract powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp anise powder

½ tsp sea salt

 

Filling:

1 cup cashew nuts (soaked for 1–3 hours)

1 cup coconut milk (room temperature)

6 tbsp coconut syrup or raw organic honey

1 tsp tamari soy sauce

1 cup raw cocoa powder

pinch of sea salt

5 tbsp cocoa butter (melted)

5 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

 

Chocolate Licorice Sauce:

2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

2 tbsp raw cocoa powder

2 tbsp licorice root powder or licorice root extract powder

½ tsp vanilla powder

2 tbsp coconut syrup (or maple syrup)

a tiny pinch of sea salt

 

On top:

Small truffles made from the crust dough + black sesame seeds

raw cocoa powder

 

Tin/Cake mould size: 17 cm / 7 inches

 

Crust:

Cover the bottom of the cake mould with a parchment paper so that it is easier to remove later. Add the almonds and nuts into a blender and blend until fine crust. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until a thick and sticky dough. Check the taste and add more seasoning if you like. Spoon out the dough and put into a bowl, taking aside about 4-6 tablespoons of the dough, from which you’ll later make the truffles. Press the rest of the dough firmly onto the bottom of the cake mould. Prepare the filling.

 

Filling:

Toss out the soaking liquid of the nuts and rinse the cashews in cold water. Place the nuts into the blender and add the coconut oil. Also add the syrup and tamari. Blend. Add the raw cocoa powder and salt. Also pour in the cocoa butter and coconut oil. Blend until a smooth thick mass. Pour the mass into the cake mould. Even the surface with a spoon. Place the cake mold into a freezer for about 2 hours or until it’s totally firm. In the meantime prepare the truffles and the sauce. When the cake is firm, take it out of the freezer, remove from the mould, dizzle some shosola sauce on and decorate with the truffles you’ve made. Serve and enjoy. Store in the fridge.

 

Truffles:

Prepare small balls from the dough crust you had set aside. Roll the truffles on black sesame seeds pressing them firmly but gently so that the seeds stick and cover the balls evenly.

 

Chocolate Licorice Sauce:

Add the raw cocoa powder, licorice powder, syrup and salt into the melted coconut oil. Mix well so that you get a nice chocolate sauce.

More healthy sweet treats: It’s a Pleasure cookbook

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Gingerbread porridge

19.12.2016

And so has the week before Christmas started. The perfect time to start fueling up hard core with all the lovely christmas flavors, spices and Holiday treats and taking the Christmas in with all your cells and taste buds. Showering with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, anise and ginger. Living the Christmas to the fullest! Like they say. Or like I say, at least.

Although I have a strong tendency to flip into the Christmas insanity, my passion is mainly focused on the food & the mood, not so much on the material stuff. Well okay, I have installed a small set of fairy lights (aprox. 8 meters long) on the balcony and a humble (only a half meter big) star on the window, but otherwise I mainly believe in peace & love kind of Christmas. Because when you just stop, breathe deep and be present then you are in the very essence of Christmas.

And it is just so much more romantic just to burn candles and enjoy small dishes and treats with christmas flavors all around the christmas time than to go bonkers with decoration and to stress over huge Holiday dinners that take insanely long time to prepare. 

“You get the most beautiful Christmas by returning back to basics: To the simple and tasty food that makes you feel good and to small handmade ornaments and gifts that touch the heart.”  Like we say in our new Christmas book that I made with my ever-so-lovely friend Riikka Kantinkoski. The book is all about a low-key Christmas with easy, natural and rustic interior ideas and healthy (gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and mainly vegan) recipes for the Holidays and for the whole winter time. The book, called Joulukirja (“The Christmas book”) came out a few weeks ago and I’m super proud of it. Go check it out, if you happen to be in Finland and hang around bookstores!

The Gingerbread Porridge in this post didn’t make it into the book, but it most certainly would have if I just would have came up with it a bit earlier than last week. But hey, luckily I can share it with you guys now!

I got to use lovely Gluten-free & Deluxe products of Lidl in it, for example Gluten-free Rolled Oats, Walnut oil, Dates and Clove & Cardamom Mills. Those spice mills are especially my favorites because you can just go ahead and grind lovely christmas flavors on just about everything with them! On your porridge, on stews and casseroles, on cakes and other treats – or even on your cranky neighbour that needs to get into Christmas mood.

…I bet Lidl wouldn’t sign the last recommendation for use, but you get my permission.

Or even better, go ahead and prepare this Gingerbread oatmeal to the Grinch of your life and I bet you’ll see a warm light start shining through his/her eyes. I mean, this stuff really brings the Christmas. 

Be good, my friend & eat a lot of porridge.

V

(In collaboration with LIDL)

Serves 4

2 cups oat milk

2 cups water

1 1⁄4 cups gluten-free oatmeal

1 ½ tsp gingerbread spice mix

pinch of sea salt

3 fresh dates

1 tbsp walnut oil (or almond butter)

Top with:

apple bites

crushed walnuts or almond flakes

ceylon cinnamon

crushed clove

crushed cardamom

ginger bread pieces

raw organic honey or maple syrup or coconut syrup

oat milk

Pour the oat milk and the water into a pan and bring to a boil. Add oatmeal, salt and spices. Chop the dates into small pieces and put on the pan. Cook in a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the porridge is cooked. Stir in the walnut oil or almond butter.

Dose the porridge into serving bowls. Top with apple pieces, crushed ginger breads and almond flakes. Sprinkle on the spices and add a drop of honey or syrup. Pour some oat milk on, if you like. Serve and enjoy!

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