I never understood why would anyone put perfectly fresh and sweet blueberries in the pancake batter. That sounded completely irrational. Cooking fresh berries. Right.
I was probably really hungry the last time I went to the store. I came home with almost a kilo of blueberries. So, I decided to make some blueberry pancakes… OMG! When those blueberrues start popping in your mouth it’s like…
From now on I’m having my pancakes with blueberries!
Ingredients (makes aprox 11 – 12 flapjacks):
- 1 big egg
- 20 g rolled oats
- 10 g coconut flour
- 10 g coconut flakes
- 1 Tbsp vanilla protein (optional)*
- 1/2 Tbsp linseed
- 2 Tbsp Perfect Fit (sweetener)*
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 big handful fresh blueberries
- coconut oil for baking
- greek yogurt & fresh blueberries to garnish
* I make my own vanilla protein mix: ground vanilla & 50% rice – 50% pea protein
* I’m using Perfect Fit sweetener as I can’t eat sugar. It replaces 100% sugar and 50% fat (avaliable in Spar and VitaCare)
- Put rolled oats, coconut flour, coconut flakes and linseed in a cofee grinder and mix to get a flour like consistency.
- Transfer to a bowl, add Perfect Fit sweetener and baking powder and mix.
- Add an egg an mix altogether until smooth. Start gradually adding milk – the batter shouldn’t be too liquid. Add fresh blueberries.
- Set aside for 5 – 10 mins.
- Spread some coconut oil over the pan. Use 1 Tbsp of batter for each pancake.
- Serve with greek yogurt and fresh blueberries.
There are days when you’re just an emotional wreck and the only thing you wish is to stay in bed for the whole weekend. Well, this is what my weekend looked like. It was slept over. And in those rare moments of awakeness, all I was longing for was a good piece of pie. Chocolate pie. So I made the pie. And I didn’t care a bit about taking any proper photos. Sorry. Sometimes it’s just more important to get your hands on that pie.
As I’m about to publish this, all my worries away, I’m guessing this chocolate therapy has really helped. I’m celebrating. Sipping a glass of chilled bubbles. Enjoying the last piece of pie. Smiling. I’m not done with my studies yet, but I just made a huge step forward. Cheers to that!
CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT PIE WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND SPECULOOS CRUST
for the crust:
for the filling
- 4 Tbsp peanut butter
- 300 g chestnut puree
- almond milk
- 1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
- 5 Tbsp cognac
- 1 Tbsp sweetener (I used sucralose)
- 100 g dark chocolate (60 % min)
- 65 g dark chocolate (60% min)
- 50 g liquid cream or coconut milk
- 1 big Tbsp raw cocoa powder
* By using any vegan cookies and replacing butter for coconut oil, and liquid cream for coconut milk you will get yourself a VEGAN version! 🙂
** You can also use speculoos cookies instead. I used Balance cookies because they are sugar free. And if you replace them with any gluten free cookies, you will have a GLUTEN FREE pie.
- Crumble the cookies in the food processor. Add butter or coconut oil for vegan version. Pulse until well combined then gradually add some almond milk (just to get the dough sticky enough to combine all the ingredients). Place in a pie mold and spread evenly. The best would be using a mold with removable bottom.
- Chestnut chocolate cream: mix chestnut puree or peeled cooked chestnuts, 1tablespoon of cocoa powder, 5 tablespoons of Cognac (at least!), sweetener of your choice and some almond milk into a smooth puree using a food processor. Add as much almond milk as needed to obtain a smooth and solid (not liquid!) cream.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler and add to chestnut cream. Mix well using a food processor.
- Spread peanut butter over the pie crust. Add chestnut chocolate cream and spread evenly.
- Melt some chocolate and liquid cream or coconut milk plus one big tablespoon of cocoa powder over a double boiler. Add on top of the pie.
- Let cool and place the pie in a fridge overnight.
Autumn. It has really started now. You know it for sure, when there’s no sun in the morning. Just gray mist flowing above the city. And rain. Gray, misty, humid. And calm. No kids runing around and playing on the street. Nothing exciting, noting worth getting up actually. I could easily stay in my bed for the rest of the day. With a good book and a cup of tea, listening to the rain touching the ground…
But I have to get up… First thing: coffee. Second thing: breakfast. I always take time for my breakfast. And coffee. It’s a ritual and the most important meal of the day. It starts the engine so it really has to be something good for the body and the soul (I mean for my eyes).
In the morning your body needs energy. Lots of it. So eating fruit in the morning is the right way to start the day. Fresh figs. They’ve been collecting the sun rays all the summer to rejoice with their sweetness in the fall.
There are bananas and there are frozen bananas. I’ve been going mad for banana ice-ceream this summer. It’s basically just mixing frozen bananas in food processor until they turn into a smooth and creamy ice-cream. With a spoon of peanut butter and coconut you’ve got yourself a pure sugar free magic! But that’s for some other time…
And last but not the least, with this rainy and much colder days ahead, you need to boost your body and prepare it for the winter. A spoon of bee pollen a day makes miracles. And brings the sunshine to your day!
Be good people and start your day the right way!
Chia pudding with coconut and frozen banana
- 500 ml plain yogurt
- 2 frozen bananas
- 4 Tbsp ground coconut
- ½ vanilla pod
- 8 Tbsp chia seeds
- handful of frozen raspberries
- 2 figs
- 2 tsp bee pollen
- Finely grind coconut using a coffee grinder.
- Mix yogurt, vanilla, chia seeds and coconut. Let sit overnight in the fridge.
- Peel bananas and let freeze overnigh in the freezer.
- Next day, mix bananas and chia yogurt by using a food processor, blender or hand mixer.
- Divide in glasses, sprinkle with frozen raspberries, fresh figs and bee pollen.
It’s been three years since I’ve started my balcony garden. It had its ups and downs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, paprikas, herbs and spinach all worked well, but there were some serious fails with pumpkins and artichokes. And strawberries weren’t any success either so far. I wasn’t even planing to plant them this year but something was telling me I should…
And it turned out to be a good decision, because this year I indeed have strawberries growing at my balcony! They are absolutely delicious, and to be honest, they went straight to my yoghurt in the morning. I would not dare to cook them. But they did inspire me to make this strawberry galette.
- 60 g rolled oats
- 50 g wholegrain spelt flour
- 80 g shredded coconut
- 45 g cold butter
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup or honey
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch of salt
- 30 ml cold water (or more if needed)
- 300 – 350 g strawberries
- 3 Tbsp chia
- 1 big Tbsp strawberry jam (I used 100% fruit content jam)
- 1/2 of vanilla pod
- 1 – 2 Tbsp stevia or sucralose
- Grind rolled oats and coconut in coffee grinder to obtain flour consistency.
- Mix all the flours and salt, than add cold butter and mix evenly. Add agave syrup or honey and egg yolk. Mix and add water as needed. Form a ball, wrap it in plastic foil and let sit in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Cut strawberries in half. Mix all the ingredients for filling.
- Take the dough out of the fridge. Roll it out in between two sheets of baking paper. Put all the filling in the middle and fold the ends inwards.
- Bake for 25 – 35 mins at 180ºc.
- Sprinkle with mint leaves. And yes… vanilla ice cream is always a good idea!
Here in Slovenia, or at least in my family, we have an Easter tradition. There’s alway potica on the table. I think there’s no accurate translation for it but it’s something like north Italian gubana or like poppy seed stollen. It’s a rolled cake, usually filled with walnuts, hazelnuts, tarragon or poppy seeds. I would dare to say that almost every family has its own recipe. So, meaningless to argue the grand masterpiece.
There was a time when I was really into babkas. I especially like how you cut and bride the dough. I made couple of them, but the best was the one with coconut butter, chopped chocolate and pistachios. Coconut butter can always be replaced with some other nut butter, like walnut or hazelnut. More on coconut butter, how to make it and other, here.
- 100 g wholegrain spelt flour
- 200 g wheat flour T400
- 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
- 10 g fresh yeast
- 15 ml milk
- 50 g softened butter
- 45 g agave syrup or honey
- ⅓ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp rum
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- peel of 1 organic orange
- 130 g coconut butter or any other nut butter
- 120 g chopped chocolate
- handfull of chopped unsalted pisachios (optional)
- Prepare coconut butter: mix coconut flakes at high speed using a blender. It takes about 3-5 mins to make it. You will need at least 300 g of coconut, but definitely more info in the link! You can use hazelnut or walnut butter instead.
- Prepare yeast: mix 15 ml warm milk, tablespoon of agave or honey and fresh yeast. Let double in size.
- In a big bowl mix both flours and salt.
- In a seperate bowl mix softened butter using a hand mixer. Gradually add eggs, agave syrup, vanilla, orange peel and rum.
- Add the yeast and the egg mixture to flours and mix with wooden spatula. When the ingredients start to combine, transfer to work surface and start kneading. Knead for 10 – 15 mins. Starch needs some time to soak up. You should form a compact silky dough ball.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in volume.
- Knead once again than roll to 0.5 – 1 com thick.
- Spread coconut butter and sprinkle with chopped chocolate and pistachios.
- Roll and cut lenghtwise. Bride the two ends and form a wreath. Let rise.
- Bake in preheated oven at 170 to 180 °C for 30 minutes. After first 15 mins cover with damped baking paper and bake for another 15 mins.
This recipe was created as a part of a project for Spar Slovenija and their magazine Dobro zame.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. There’s been just so much going on lately. I finished my blog project I’ve been working on – I’ll let you know all about it very soon 🙂 And it felt great! After stressing about deadlines and everything, the satisfaction of finishing on time and turning in my work was priceless. That actually gave me the energy to started working on my Master’s a bit more seriously. So yes, that’s what’s been keeping me away from my computer… And there was another crazy thing going on in March… Ljubljana Sweet Swing Festival. I’ve been dancing for years, but haven’t been really that active recently. It reminded me how I love dancing, going to festivals and meeting new people. With all this on my mind, I realised the time has come to finish what I’ve started and move on!
Also, I went off gluten and lactose for a while. It’s been just a little cleanse before the Easter hits me… Well, I’m guilty. I just can’t resist those sweets and Easter bread…
So the first thing I did was to change my breakfast routine. Instead of fruit, rolled oats and yoghurt I had pancakes or smoothies and other things (that I will hopefully post in the next days). I replaced cereals with seeds, nuts, coconut flakes, bee pollen and cocoa nibs. And instead of cow’s milk I used plant based milk. Not bad at all.
That actually sounds very easy and delicious, which it was. But being a diabetic, I know what it means if you have restrains in your life. My condition is not that easy, but I’m grateful that I don’t have any severe allergy to gluten or lactose. So a brief pause won’t do any harm. But life without cheese? Or bread? No. I could go crazy with all this new food trends I see lately. But I won’t. I love trying out new things, but I always say to myself: be smart and don’t limit yourself if there’s no need to. Life offers great things, so take take them with a big spoon!
Cashew, coconut and banana smoothie bowl
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 handful cashew
- 3 tsp maca powder
- 2 tsp lucuma powder
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 3 Tbsp coconut flakes
- 100 – 150 ml water
- 150 ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp cocoa nibs
- 1 tsp hemps seeds
- 1 tsp bee pollen
- strawberries, raspberries or bluberries
Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Add more or less water depending on thickness you prefer. Garnish with fruits and seeds.
It’s a wonderful day today. I haven’t seen a sun like that for some time now. Blue sky and warm light. Looking through my window, big grayish trees. Naked. Behind them, on the other side of the street, some colorful table cloths drying on the line and playing in the wind.
I remember my life from Paris… Everything was way too often so black and white. And gray. In the metro, on the street, people… Maybe that’s why I loved so much going to the african or indian quarters. And maybe that’s why I bought some colorful african fabrics that still hang from my wall today.
Life should be colorful. One way or another. I had my smoothie blender for couple of years now, but I think it was never in use as much as it is right now. I guess this Ljubljana’s gray screams for colors.
- 1 banana
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 2,5 dl coconut-rice milk
- 1 Tbsp hemp protein (optional)
- 2 Tbsp hemp seed
- 2 Tbsp coconut flakes
- Blend. Blend. Blend. 🙂
A healthier vegan nut free nutella. Coconut milk and chocolate. No added sugar. That’s about it! Love it 🙂
- 400 ml coconut milk (emulsified, I used Vegalife)
- 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa
- 80 g milk chocolate (I used Balance Stevia by Klingele)
- Melt chocolate over water bath. Gently whisk in cocoa.
- Heath up coconut milk. Do not overheat. It just needs to have the same temperature as chocolate. Mix in the chocolate.
- Pour into jars, let cool and store in a fridge overnight. It will harden get spreadable consistency. Voilà!
The most delicious things are often the easiest. And I finally understand what all this coconut fuss is all about… Homemade coconut butter. Yum on toast, great for baking and making spreads or even using it as a scrub. It’s done in less than 5 mins.
What about coconut??
- coconut butter: mixing shredded coconut using a food processor, or even better a blender, you will obtain a nut butter, as you would for example with almonds or hazelnuts. Coconut butter has the same nutritional properties as shredded coconut, meaning it is rich in fibre and healthy fats. Same as coconut oil, it will harden at around 24ºc.
- virgin coconut oil and extra virgin coconut oil: there is actually no difference between the two, it’s just a market trick. The process starts with fresh coconuts and there are two ways of extracting the oil. The first one consist of drying coconut flesh and cold extraction by mechanical means without any chemicals. The second is a “wet-milling” process without drying: coconut milk is expressed out of the wet coconut meat and oil is then further separated from the water by different means.
- refined coconut oil or coconut fat: most commercial grade coconut oil is made from copra. Copra is dried meat of the coconut. It can be made by smoke drying, sun drying or kiln drying. The way most copra is dried is not sanitary, so the unrefined oil from copra must be purified, that is refined. That’s how in short you will get refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil. You can also find certified organic refined coconut oil which is higher quality and presumably untreated like the rest of the coconuts in mass production.
- coconut water: clear liquid inside young green coconuts, rich in minerals, low fat, low carb. As coconut continues to grow it will disappear.
- coconut milk: pressed out of fresh coconut meat. It contains water and oils. Depending on the recipe, you can use two kinds: un-emulsified, where fats and water will clearly separate, and emulsified, to which emulsifiers (like guar gumi) are added to form an even mixture. Coconut milk can also be made by simmering equal parts of water and shredded coconut meat.
- coconut cream: has less water than coconut milk. Coconut cream can also be made by simmering 1 part of water and 4 parts of shredded coconut meat.
- coconut flour: after extracting oil from shredded coconut, what’s left is coconut fiber or coconut flour. That’s why it has low fat content and high fiber, and is also rich in protein and low-carb.
- coconut flakes, coconut chips, shredded coconut: are made from dried coconuts. Most dried coconut on the market is often treated with sulfites to keep them white, so check the label. Coconut flakes are bigger than shredded coconut. Coconut chips can be dried or lightly roasted (brown).
As you will blend shredded coconut, it will eventually start getting hotter, the oils will extract and you will get a pretty liquid ream in the end. Coconut butter will harden at room temperature, so put the jar in hot water or use a microwave to heat it up (this might not be the best thing to do, but if in a hurry, that’s the best solution. Check often as coconut oil melts really fast).
Once you have your coconut butter done, you can mix in some melted chocolate or some cocoa, or make a cashew, almond or macadamia spread, as I did.
Macadamia coconut butter
- 2/3 macadamia nuts
- 1/3 coconut butter (if starting with shredded coconut use 1/3 weight of macadamia)
- Put shredded coconut in a blender and pulse. Occasionally you will have to scrap down coconut from the edges towards the middle. Keep doing that until you get a liquid cream. In a blender it takes around 5 mins, in a food processor up to 20 mins.
- For macadamia spread mix together macadamia nuts and shredded coconut or make coconut butter first and than blend with macadamia.
This week the christmas lights went on in Ljubljana. Well, I wasn’t there, but this didn’t stop me from celebrating. I’ve realized it’s been actually eight months since I started writing my blog. I have no idea when did the time go by. I remember planting tomatoes on my balcony in april. And I still haven’t eaten the last one. I remember the rainy summer we had this year. But I loved it. Every time I looked trough the window I saw that freshly washed green under the dark grey sky. I remember a morning when the road was covered in gold. Fallen leaves and the smell of winter. They say time passes by quickly when you’re enjoying your life. I must have had an amazing year. It’s december now.
I am here. I am now. And I celebrate every moment of my life. I live! And I am grateful for being given that second chance. Diabetes has completely changed my life. In the end, for the better. And I sure wouldn’t be writing this today if it hadn’t happened.
A reason more to celebrate is my first post in Slovene! After eight months I finally have the courage to write and read after myself in my mother tongue. Words are a powerful tool. They make us dream and create stories. And I will continue to create mine.
It’s also the beginning of a holiday season. One of my favorites in this part of the year is the 6th of december, Saint Nicholas day. I have good memories of it. Because it’s simple. And all I got for presents was always warm and from the heart. Oranges, dried figs and chocolates. That’s what my grandparents gave me.
I am celebrating all this with a rich chocolate coconut pie. It has a crunchy spiced almond cookies crust that gives it a hint of Christmas scent and velvety chocolate cream. And thanks to coconut it has a sort of caramelly taste.
And the best for the end: it is vegan and gluten free (just use your favorite cookies, mine were Balance Almond cookies that are sugar free), it is lactose free and I actually didn’t add any sugar (I used Blance chocolate sweetened with stevia and that was it).
It’s rich, dense and smooth. Share it with your friends!
- 100 g hazelnuts
- 140 g almond cookies (I used Balance by Klingele since it has no added sugar)
- 30 g virgin coconut oil
- 200 ml coconut milk (homogenized, I used Vegalife)
- 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 200 g chocolate (I used Balance milk chocolate sweetened with Stevia)
- 40 g virgin coconut oil
- unsweetened cocoa for dusting
*I’ve been using a cake ring measuring aprox. 20 cm. You will get 8 pieces with that. But the cake is really rich, so that size is more than enough. Also, if you prefer thinner layer of cream, use 1/4 less ingredients for the cream.
- Put the cookies in a food processor and pulse until you get bread crumbs consistency. Melt 30g of coconut oil and pour over. Mix well and press to the bottom of a cake pan (with removable bottom) or even better, a cake ring. Let cool in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- Preheat oven at 180°c and roast the hazelnuts until golden brown. Shake the pan two or three times to get them evenly roasted. To remove the skins, put the hazelnuts between two kitchen towels and roll over with your hands. The skins will go off by itself. Chop bigger pieces.
- Melt chocolate using a double boiler. Chocolate should always be melted at low heat, up to 32°c so it doesn’t get grainy and lumpy. Add cocoa and 40g of coconut oil.
- Meanwhile, heat coconut milk just to have approx. the same temperature as chocolate. Add chocolate mixture. Do not over mix.
- Take the cake ring with the crust from the fridge and pour four or five tablespoons of coconut mixture over, just so that the hazelnuts will stick to the crust. Add 2/3 of chopped hazelnuts and carefully pour over the rest of the coconut chocolate mixture.
- Let sit in the fridge at least 12h.
- 10 mins prior to serving take the cake out of the fridge, dust with unsweetened cocoa and garnish with the rest of the roasted hazelnuts. Raspberry or two won’t do harm either.