Winter smoothie

Today is the darkest day of the year and it feels only natural to start the day with a vitamin filled smoothie. I try to pack in the fruit and vegetable through liquid form to ensure I get enough nutrients throughout the day, now that my time is limited with a little baby. Thus, smoothies are great additives to a diet that are quick and easy to make. Since we will be enjoying a delicious but heavy Christmas meal in just three days, a refreshing smoothie is the best way to start the day. My husband and I both love this combination of ingredients and the rich purple colour is appropriate for this festive season.

Winter smoothie

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 orange
  • about 5-7 walnuts
  • pinch of cardamum

Blend everything together and drink immidiatly 

 

Summer Breakfast

Morning swims, cups of coffee & comforting porridge bowls filled with fresh berries…is what summer mornings are made of.  Hubby and I started the day with a traditional picnic breakfast on the pier. Siena and hubs swam while I sat on the softest of blankets watching them fight over noodles in the water. Even though the pictures might not reflect it,  the weather was close to 30 degrees Celsius so you can imagine the lake was lovely and warm. According to my husband, there is nothing better than a refreshing swim and a hot cup of coffee afterwards, and I could not agree more.

 

 

Wild Strawberry Toast

 

One of my favorite summer breakfasts at the country house is to eat a wild strawberry toast. The red little pearls grow around the garden so in the mornings, I tend to take a little bowl and pick some for my morning toast. During this early hour of the day, Siena takes her first stroll around the property, listening to sounds of nature around her. Usually everyone else is asleep and I’m enjoying the nature to myself picking away the sweet wild strawberries along with some blueberries. We have blueberries and lingonberry growing all over our forest, which is a common wild berry in Finland.

To make this delicious bread, you need to toast some rustic bread and let it cool. Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on top, squeeze a little bit of lemon juice and pour the berries on top. I usually garnish with a bit of thyme and it’s ready to be indulged. It really is a simple toast and maybe it tastes so delicious with the handpicked berries or the atmosphere I eat it in, but it really does remind me of the best of summer mornings. I boil my tea into a little thermos, take a few baskets with blankets and freshly picked flowers and stroll down to the pier to set up a little breakfast spot. I used to do this with our old dogo Bella, who always accompanied me where ever I went, so I’m glad Siena is learning to do the same thing. She swam in the lake as I sipped my tea and at that very moment, I felt grateful about life. The two little seagulls you see in the photos, are the same pair that always come back to our country house when we arrive there. They have almost become like pets to us, they walk all over our garden almost to the front door, sit silently waiting for a slice of bread. My mom feeds them on occasion, which is why they keep returning to us. They also joined us for breakfast, waiting at the end of the pier, for a little bit of bread. These Finnish lakes are so beautiful; they are clear, basically drinkable in this region which makes it such a refreshing experience to swim in them. A few boats glide by and the day begins to get hotter as the sun rises, as I finish my slow breakfast and cup of tea.

 

Pink Raw porridge

‘Fiber packed goodness to start the week’

Yesterday my friend and I had a lovely Sunday forest walk away from the city to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. Siena was able to run off some extra energy and I picked some gorgeous wildflowers to take back home. I had made some raw porridge last night, so this Monday morning started with a fiber packed breakfast filled with berry goodness. I don’t know how many times I have mentioned this, but I am a huge fan of overnight oats/raw porridge as I love the nutty velvety texture it holds. I’ve noticed that a raw porridge does not need to sit the refrigerator overnight, but it is enough for it to settle for about an hour or so. The great thing about this breakfast is that it is so easy and quick to make that really doesn’t even require measuring. It is perfectly fine to play around with the flavors and amount, as it all depends on what consistency you prefer. This was the first time I added dried prunes to the mixture and it not only adds great health benefits but also a rich sweet flavor. The berries I used were a mixture of black, red and blueberries and the almonds had the skin on as well. This pink porridge is packed with deliciousness and it is the perfect way to start the week. Ps. How stunning are these blue bell flowers? I don’t think I have ever seen such large ones.

Pink Berry Raw Porridge

Ingredients

  • 200g frozen berries of choice (slightly defrosted)
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup rye oat flakes
  • About 1 cup oat milk
  • 4-5 dried juicy prunes

Mix everything in a blender until a smooth paste and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours. Once ready to eat, garnish with more prunes, mint leaves and a sprinkling of ground flaxseed. The texture should be a oozing thick velvety texture. If the consistency looks too thin or thick, you can always add more oats or milk.

Peanut Berry Raw Porridge

Our balcony flowers have seemed to settle in quite nicely and have started to bloom alongside the constant sunshine and pollination from the buzzing bees. My swiss chard is showing the tiniest of sprouts and day by day, the greenery is getting lusher. I still need to get some sage and maybe a few more flowers for a bit of colour. I intend to take full advantage of our balcony during the summer time, so this morning I had breakfast outside. My hubby left early to work, so I made a large pot of tea and enjoyed some overnight peanut/rye based porridge blended with a mixture of berries. I used the peanuts (with skin and all) to add that lovely earthy flavour that adds a deep rich taste to the porridge. I also added an additional boost of blueberry by making a sweet drizzle to go on top of the porridge. I love these slow spring mornings as it’s finally warm enough to have breakfast outside. This time of year feels always so special as the birds sing so intensely, it almost feels like a sweat symphony to the ears.

Berry Peanut Raw porridge

  • ½ cup peanut
  • ½ cup rye oats
  • 1 ½ cup mixture of berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries)
  • About ½ cup (or a bit less) almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

Blueberry Drizzle

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • Honey (optional)

Blitz everything into a smooth paste in a blender and place into a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Serve the following morning with berries, mint leaves, hemp seeds and a blueberry yogurt drizzle.

To make the drizzle, basically blitz some blueberries in a blender and then fold in some Greek yogurt. Add some honey if you wish for a hint of sweetness to the background. Add this on top of your raw porridge for an extra punch of blueberry heaven.

Spring Style Quinoa Pancakes

‘Spring pancakes topped with avocado and roasted chickpeas’

When Spring comes alive and everything is at bloom, it brings out a new set of inspirations for cooking as well. Maybe it is the rush of light already early morning, but it brings me to the kitchen to try out new colourful recipes. Last night we had some geese and quinoa for dinner and I really wanted to try out some pancakes from the leftover quinoa. I think they turned out particularly delicious, again you can make them sweet or savoury depending on your palette in the morning. We most crave for something healthy and fresh so decided to top the pancakes off with some ripe avocado and smoked paprika roasted chickpeas. I love how Spring brings fresh herbs and all kinds of salad leaf sprouts as the temperature begins to slowly warm up. We have also recently purchased a new set of old Finnish designed “Arabia Fasaani” plates that have merged into our collection quite seamlessly. Mixing together old and new forms the perfect classic and timeless interior.

Quinoa pancakes

  • Cooked quinoa
  • About 1 dl plain flour
  • Oil or butter for cooking
  • Optional: add additional spices if desired

Pancake Toppings

  • ½ avocado
  • Baby sprout leaves
  • Roasted chickpeas (smoked paprika, olive oil, salt)
  • Chili flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh dill

These 2 ingredient pancakes are a great trick to have up your sleeve if you have left over quinoa laying around. All you need is cooked quinoa and plain flour to form “patties” or pancakes that you then cook on a non-stick pan with a bit of butter or oil. If you are like me, I tend to flavor the quinoa when boiling it in water most often with some vegetable stock concentration and a bit of cayenne pepper/pepper, which does add a great flavor to the end result. So, you can easily flavor your quinoa at this point while it is boiling in water. Leave the quinoa a touch moist so it easily sticks on to the flour and forms a solid pancake. Form the pancake with your hand into a round shape and fry on a pan for a few minutes on each side.

Top the pancake with some roasted chickpeas, half an avocado, fresh dill, chili flakes and a few baby sprouts of leaves. Drizzle extra olive oil on top, chopped fresh fill and ground black pepper.

To make the roasted chickpeas, which by the way also make a devilish snack just by themselves. On a roasting tray, add a can of chickpeas that are coated with olive oil, smoked paprika and salt. Roast in the oven for about 20minutes in medium heat.

Easy Raw Porridge & Peanut butter cream

‘Easter Friday morning with raw berry porridge and homemade peanut butter cream’

 I’m currently going through a raw porridge obsession phase. Maybe it is the regal purple color that is so inviting, but over spring time this easy and tasty breakfast dish as become a fast favorite and better yet, it is healthy, diary free and suitable for vegans. The nutrient packed porridge is high on energy from the rye oats and nuts and has a wonderful velvety consistency with a bit of texture from the blended cashews. This recipe can be altered by using different kinds of berries, milk variables (almond, oat, cashew) and nuts according to your liking. For the sake of Easter Friday, I decided to make a homemade peanut butter cream to spoon on top of the porridge.

Basically, all you need is a blender and make sure to do this the night before going to bed so it has time to rest in the refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Ingredients

  • 2 dl oat milk
  • 200g berries (I used defrosted blueberries & blackberries)
  • ½ dl cashew nuts (I mixed in some almonds too)
  • ½ dl rye oats (any oats will do)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

Directions

Add all the ingredients in a blender so it turns robust porridge, in texture. You can alter the thickness by adding either more milk or oats. Let it rest in the fridge overnight. In the morning serve with blueberries and ground flaxseeds.

If you are feeling some extra indulgent, make a homemade peanut butter cream.

Peanut butter cream

  • 2 cups roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Place the peanuts in a food processor and blitz for about four minutes. The consistency will turn from crumbs to a dry ball to smooth cream consistency. Stir in the honey and salt for additional flavor.

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.

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.

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.