Healthy Matcha Porridge

As the corona virus roams around the world, we are trying to stay home as much as possible as I’m sure the rest of you are as well. Porridge makes a great isolation breakfast as oats have long shelf lives and one box feeds many mouths. However, the flavor can easily become boring so I wanted to share this pale green concoction that is infused with matcha.

Matcha is packed with powerful antioxidants that is rich in fiber and vitamins that detoxifies naturally yet having a calming effect on the mind and body. I used to start my days with an oat milk matcha, but slowly and surely, I have incorporated it into different types of foods as well. It makes a great glaze for croissants or mixed into a pancake batter. It works wonderfully in your morning porridge too, giving it a pale green hue and a mild taste to the oats. Top the porridge with a ripe creamy avocado, toasted almonds and flaxseeds for maximum flavor and health benefits.

Porridge ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup oatmilk
  • 2-3 teaspoons matcha powder
  • Garnish: avocado, almods, flaxseeds, thyme

Directions

In a sauce pan, add the oats, water, salt and bring to a boil. Place the lid on and let it gently simmer for 10minutes. Stir in the milk and matcha powder and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile toast some almonds and flaxseeds on a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes. Ready to plate: Add the porridge on a plate and scoop an avocado on top. Add the toasted almonds, flaxseeds and a sprinkling of thyme.

Miso glazed pears & rice porridge

“December 15th Buttery miso glazed pears with rice porridge”

We arrived back from Spain over the weekend and we are making the most of trying to adjust to Christmas mode. We picked up a beautiful tree yesterday and have started drinking glögi and listened to plenty of Christmas songs. Before we left for Spain, we had some snow in Helsinki but as of now, it has been washed away with the rain. We managed to make the most of the snowy weather and take a forest walk to pick some material from the woods (for wreaths etc) and enjoyed some rice porridge in the all white forest. I glazed some small pears with a miso infused buttery sauce that is a delicious topping for the porridge.

Miso glazed Pears

  • 1 ripe pear halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste

Rice Porridge

  • 2 dl water
  • 2dl rice porridge
  • 1l milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Melt the butter on a pan and add the honey, bay leaf and miso paste. Add the halved pears (flat surface facing down) into the frying pan and cook gently (with lid on) for about 10 minutes. You can occasionally turn the pears to the other side so they ripen throughout.

To make the rice porridge, add the water, cinnamon stick and rice to a saucepan. Let it gently cook until the water has dissolved into the rice. Then add the milk and let it cook gently for 45minutes stirring occasionally. Add some salt. Once you serve a portion, make sure to pour the butter sauce from the pears on top of the porridge for delicious sweet flavour.

Dec. 5th, Winter Turmeric Rosemary Oven Loaf

“ Is there anything cosier than homemade baked bread during December mornings?”

I haven’t practised too much of baking bread, because I for some reason think it is going to be a really difficult task. However, one day I came across a simple no knead oven tray bread recipe that I decided to try out. To my liking, I actually added some rosemary and turmeric to this recipe and left out some of the original ingredients out (like garlic) and made it more suitable to my needs. It turned out fantastic and my husband was very impressed too, so this first trial has defiantly sparked my interest in making more homemade loafs. This recipe is time consuming just because it needs rise overnight (12h) so with that being said, make the dough the night before and then just bake it in the morning.

When the weather starts getting cosier and colder, the idea of baking home made bread is rather idyllic and charming, quite perfect to start practising in December. For example, if you were going for morning coffee to a friends/families house during the holiday season, how lovely would it be to bring over a freshly baked loaf to put a smile on their faces? This recipe calls for all-purpose flour but in the future, I really want to also try something robust like spelt or rye flour. I love rye bread the most, so my goal is to learn how to make that too. I have a great recipe for a healthy seed bread that is super easy to make, see the recipe from here. However, this loaf is more traditional, that makes great breakfast loaf with a crunchy surface and delicious soft middle. The turmeric and rosemary add a succulent mild flavour to the background and the deep yellow colour is rather magnificent too.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 7g dry yeast (1 packet)
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 rosemary twig finely chopped (about 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric

Directions

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, turmeric, salt, rosemary) and the warm water together. Mix everything until dough is formed and place a towel over it. Leave to rest in a warm place overnight (for at least 12h).

In the morning, lightly flour the sides of the loaf pan. Turn the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and shape into the loaf tin. Cover with towel and let it rise at least for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 210-Celsius degrees and bake the loaf for 30 to 45 minutes until the surface has beautiful browned a bit.

Generally you should let it cool for a while, but it you are impatient like me, that rarely works. We ate it with chilli hummus and pomegranate but it was perfect with just butter too.

Seabuck thorn turmeric pancakes

‘ Fluffy mini pancakes with turmeric, ginger & vanilla’

Seabuck thorn blooms in early fall, and we are lucky to be able to pick some from my brothers and his wife’s backyard to freeze over winter. The little pungent pearls are gods gift to earth, as they are packed with vitamins and are considered a super food of the north. This morning, before changing the flowers to autumn style, we decided to have turmeric pancakes on the balcony to solute to the changing season. It feels like such a shame to change all the flowers to a more winter style because they are still in perfect condition. However it’s good to do this in advance, in case of drastic weather changes. These mini pancakes are light and fluffy, with a hint of vanilla, ginger and turmeric making it a delicious autumn breakfast. We topped the pancakes with lots of berries and a bit of honey for some extra sweetness. You can officially say fall is here as the fresh summer flavours, like dill and mint are slowing turning into earthy cosier spices. When I pull out the turmeric from the spice cabinet, it means cosy knit candle season is here.

Fluffy autumn pancakes

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt/pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • about 1½ cups almond flour (sieved)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • about ½-1 cup oat milk

In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, including the spices. Then add the egg and melted butter. Slowly pour in the milk so the consistency is left quite thick. Leave to rest to the side for about 20minutes. If you feel the consistency is too thick or thin after resting, add in a splash of milk or more flour.

Scoop some batter with a tablespoon onto a non-stick pan. Turn the pancake over when the side starts to bubble and cook the same on the other side.

Garnish with sea buckthorn, blueberries and runny honey.

Hello Autumn.

10 hours of sleep, slow breakfasts & countryside fresh air’

Last weekend was all about cozy knits, warm cups of tea, fresh autumn air and peaceful countryside surroundings. We spent a wonderful few days at the countryside with my nephew and sister in law, letting nature do it’s magic. We spent time outdoors, went picking for mushrooms in the forest, warmed up in the sauna and made delicious food. I slept for 10 hours straight and in the morning, we cooked some pumpkin cinnamon toast, letting the kitchen linger of autumn sweetness.

We caramelized carrots with honey and pistachios and made an endive, qvinoa and fig salad to accompany them.

Pumpkin toast

Preheat the oven to 190 c. degrees.

In a saucepan, add some butter and cook little chunks of pumpkin. Add some cinnamon, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Add a bit of water if the butter sticks to the bottom. Cook for about 10minutes.

Place the pumpkins onto a baking tray and in the oven for about 20minutes until the pumpkins are lovely and golden and slightly mushy and crispy on the sides. It will make your kitchen smell beautiful, it certainly got the attention of my nephew as he kept asking what good smell was in the kitchen.

Once ready, “mush” the pumpkin pieces (with a fork) on some toasted rustic bread, add some toasted pecan nuts on top, along with a few blueberries and herbs of choice.

Countryside September Breakfast

‘Cinnamon glazed apples with a sprinkle of thyme… that’s what September breakfasts are all about’

Last week, my hubby and I took a little trip to the countryside to spend the last days of summer there before the season starts slowly changing to autumn. Blessed with a heat wave, we had the most beautiful weather and therefore spent most of our time outdoors. We went to the sauna by the lake and swam on a daily basis and ate al fresco style, every evening. My parents were still there on summer holiday, so it was lovely to spend time with the family even though it was the first time there without our beloved Bella, which was quite emotional for me. We caught the most glorious sunsets, did some work on the garden and took in the warmth of the early September weather.

One of my favourite moments of the day was having breakfast by the water, just listening to the sound of the gentle waves as they hit the rocks on land. The water level was incredibly low this time, creating the most beautiful stubble shoreline.

There is an old shed and garden at walking distance from our cottage, so I often walk there to pick wildflowers, shoot photographs and this time the apples were blooming in the trees. Bella and I used to walk there most mornings and she would just sit on the side of the road watching what I was doing. I find this place to be the most beautiful during the morning, to catch that soft sensual light and soak in the peacefulness of it all. This morning I picked not only wildflowers but also a few apples that I thought I would caramelize in a bit of butter, thyme and cinnamon to go with some toast. I picked some lingonberries yesterday and mashed them up with a touch of honey that makes a great tangy base for my toast. The sweet apples (that smell heavenly) go on top of this along with a handful of blueberries. With a coffee at hand, I head downstairs to the foot of the pier.

Early September has the most beautiful nature; the sun sets much earlier but it can be really warm or really chilly. Nature has lots of hay-like growth and little by little the trees have a few splashes of yellow on the leaves. I’m still able to throw on an open back maxi and let it glide through the overgrown hay.

Summer Beet Hummus Toast

’Sunday toasty treats’

Making your own beetroot hummus may sound like a hassle, but really it is actually quite simple and worth the minimal sunday effort. It not only adds a great addition to your meals but also makes the most glorious spread for your morning toast. Have you got friends coming over for breakfast this morning? Why not surprise them with this concoction instead of the classic eggs Benedict. Not only does it look impressive on a plate, I promise you, it’s delicious!

Basically you toast some sour dough loaf, add a generous spread of beetroot hummus on top and add 7 ½ minute boiled refrigerated eggs on top, that are oozing a bit on the inside. Add pumpkin seeds and chopped basil on top with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and Maldon salt. Not only is the toast a reflection of summer’s vibrant colours, but it has a lovely refreshing flavour from the basil and a sweetness from the beetroot that is all rounded with the creamy eggs.

Homemade beetroot hummus recipe from here.

run wild in the woods and let your hair be free

Cherry Bread, Slow Mornings.

Slow mornings and cherry bread

My favourite part of the day is the morning when nature awakes and there is a feeling of calmness in the air. The countryside particular has a spectacular start to the day as the soft hues push through the woods and gleam across the summer greenery. You can hear the wild animals making noises and it’s that first sip of coffee across my lip that gives me pure pleasure. The sun is low as it rises making it the perfect time to sit outside of the house and let it warm my sleepy cheeks.

Before coffee, I had a swim to make the most of the refreshing lake water, which is the ultimate way to start the day. The mirrored water feels soft against the skin and does wonders in softening the body and hair.

I decided to wake up the rest of the family with the smell of fresh cherry bread as we had lots of cherries leftover in the fridge. Fresh cherry bread makes the perfect summer time breakfast or subtle treat that I enjoyed on the edge of the pier.

Summer Cherry Bread

  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • about 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4cup fig jam
  • 1 zest of lemon
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped almonds

Garnish: mixture of seeds/nuts/cherries brushed with a bit of oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 185 degrees Celsius. Butter the bread tin base and set aside. Pit and dice the cherries and place into a bowl. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients; flour, almonds, salt, baking powder & soda. In another bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil and sugar with a hand mixer. Once the texture is smooth, mix in the egg. Pour in the vanilla, lemon zest and fig jam and continue whisking with the handheld mixer.

Add the cherries to the dry ingredients and then mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently stir together. (If the consistency looks too dry, you can add a splash of oatmilk or apple juice to liquefy it. The moistness of the cherries or jam can vary, so this tip will help) Pour into the bread tin and garnish the top of the bread. Add some halved or whole cherries and nuts/seeds of choice on top. I used cashews, chia, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Brush a bit of oil on top of the garnishing and bake in the oven for about 50minutes. Once ready, let it cool for about 15minutes and enjoy with some fig jam and fresh cherries.

Summer Breakfast by the lake

Calming Countyside mornings

I opened the door this morning and felt the sun on my face and the smell of the lake and forest in front of my eyes and took in the soft air of June. Its a green palatte as far as the eye can see, nature is soft and pure full of movement, eventhough it seems so calm and still to look at. With my basket in hand and feet bare, I walk down from our house to the water while everyone else is still tucked in bed.

One of my favourite spots at our countryside, is just on the edge before the pier starts overlooking the lake and lining of the shore. There is a slight wind in the air making the waves crash against the rocks on land creating the most soothing sounds. This is pure calmness to me, the fresh air brushing against my face, newspaper in one hand and hot tea in the other. The morning light brushes through the birch trees casting all kinds of shades on my breakfast layout and the sound of the birds is as lively as ever during nesting season. I picked some wildflowers the night before and for breakfast I have oatmik english breakfast and a bowl of porridge. The porridge is slow cooked in milk and salt topped with cherries, nuts and seeds. I love to add fresh herbs and a dollop of butter on top and a final sprinkle of lemon zest for that summer infusion. I find overblooming peonies so beautiful to photograph and they are bursting with scent at this point in time. Make sure to create slow breakfast moments for yourself this summer, they will recharge you with all kinds of positive energy. 

Fresh Spring Toast

‘ A fresh bouquet of pink peonies, spring toasts and a balcony humming with wildlife’

Our balcony is finally in it’s summer presence, with about twenty pots of flowers planted. I still need a few more herbs, but I love the Parisian atmosphere it holds. We have everything from olive, rose and rosemary trees, lavender, greens, tomatoes and all kinds of summer flowers. We also have new hand made cast iron chairs and a side table that adds to the Mediterranean feel and new porcelain cups and plates that we found from an antique shop from the countryside. The weather has been absolutely amazing here, about 25 Celsius degrees and during the day, it’s roasting on the balcony. We had our first breakfast outside today so I decided to make the ultimate spring toasts that are full of fresh flavours. We have ourselves a large pot of english breakfast tea and the sound of birds singing at our feet.

Nectarine Toast

  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 large sage leaves
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon butter (for frying)
  • Salt/pepper
  • Almond flakes
  • Thick Greek yogurt

Directions

Sauté sliced nectarines in a medium heated pan with butter and sage. Fry for about 10 minutes until soft and golden. Add salt and pepper. Slice your toasted bread in half, add a dollop of Greek yogurt on both slices and pour the nectarines and sage leaves on top. Garnish the toasts with almond flakes.

Cucumber Feta Toast

  • 1/2 cucumber shaved
  • Handful chopped herbs of choice ( I used oregano, thyme)
  • Pinch salt/pepper
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon juice of orange
  • Creamy feta

Directions

In a bowl, add the shaved cucumber, chopped herbs, orange juice & zest and mix well. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes to soak up flavours. Slice the toasted bread and add spread the feta cheese all over. Add a generous amount of cucumber on top and add a pinch of salt and pepper.