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Colorful and cozy Dream Lattes

30.10.2017

Hello Love! I’m here to give you some new inspiration for warm drinks – something that makes you thrive during the cold months and something super fun to try out at your coffee or tea break, at your breakfast or as your good night drink.

Pink Latte make from beet and vegan milk

I call them Dream Lattes (Or Soul Lattes – Sweet child has many names, as we say in Finlandas they sooth the soul in such a dreamy way. The happy pastel colors and nourishing ingredients make such a beautiful winter surviving combo that your average cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate just starts to feel bo-ooring.

 

I’m a person who loves variation and I have been switching between these Dream Lattes during the last months and I love to come up with new modifications and color combos. I have never ever believed in the phrase “Don’t play with your food.” Of course you should play – Always, in every single situation you get a change! Playfulness in life is something that makes us vibrate in such a high and light level and that’s the path to true happiness and wellbeing. Through joy, you know.

Pink Latte make from beet and vegan milk

Well anyways, what I was saying about these Dream Lattes, is that few months ago I enjoyed my golden latte with different kinds of spices every evening. Then I started doing the Pink Latte, in which I incorporated beet powder (or blended cooked beet with the milk) and that was a true eye candy for me, because my color taste has stuck to what it was when I was 5, like “All pink everything”. Lately I have been doing my Smaragd Latte which is a combination Blue Latte and Green Latte, that includes matcha, chlorella and/or blue algae. And as you can see all these lattes look like some water coloring session would have just taken place – but they actually are quite potions, I tell you! Big powerful color & herb therapy session in one mug.

Then I have some news to tell!

  1. Last weekend Vanelja won the award for The Best Food Blog at The Blog Awards Finland! Yayyyyy! That was something so so miraculous, that I’m still astonished.  My updates and posts happen mainly on Vanelja’s Instagram account, and I had thought that this kind of an award is targeted mainly to more old school type of bloggers, so it was so heart-warming to notice that the jury had considered also other channels this time.  You can read my thoughts about the victory here from my Instagram post. Wanna send a HUGE warm hug to all my lovely followers for supporting me and being part of this journey.
  2. Vanelja.com is under a renovation and a new beautiful site is building up. This site functions normally until the launch, but I won’t be posting here before the new site opens. But my IG is as active as normal, so no actual radio silence happening.

Pink Latte, Golden Latte, Green Latte and Blue latte to sooth your soul

So stay tuned, my bunnies, and please do try out some of these Dream Lattes – or all of them! Tag your creations on Instagram #dreamlatte and @vanelja so I’ll see them! 

Be love and stay golden!

 

V

Pink Latte:

1 cup unsweetened vegan milk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

1 teaspoon beet powder (or a small cube of cooked beetroot)

½ teaspoon ceylon cinnamon

⅓ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Golden Latte:

1 cup unsweetened mylk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon

⅓ teaspoon ground cardamom

pinch of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Green Latte:

1 cup unsweetened mylk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

1 teaspoon matcha powder

⅓ teaspoon chlorella

¼ teaspoon ashwagandha

⅓ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon peppermint extract or fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Blue Latte:

1 cup unsweetened mylk (such as almond milk, oat milk or hemp milk)

¼ teaspoon blue algae powder (like Blue Majik)

¼ teaspoon ashwagandha

⅓ teaspoon ground ginger

juices of half a lemon

1 teaspoon ow raw organic honey or maple syrup or agave

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in all the ingredients – except honey, if you’re using. Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and add the sweetener, honey or syrup. Top with ceylon cinnamon or beet powder, if you like. Enjoy Warm!

Tip 1: You can also warm the milk and then pour all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Tip 2: If you want to play with colors, make different colors of lattes, scoop off some froth from the surface and mix the froths to different colors of lattes, like pink froth to golden latte, yellow froth to pink latte and so on.

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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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In bed with the Quirky Quinoa

17.2.2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V

In collaboration with: Familon 

2 cups quinoa (cooked)

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

½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)

2-4 tbsp raw organic honey or coconut syrup

2 capsules of probiotics

½ tsp vanilla powder

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

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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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